The Yankees acquired a shortstop when they traded for Arizona's Didi Gregorius. As it happens, the Mets also need a shortstop.

General Manager Sandy Alderson's recent endorsement of Wilmer Flores as the Mets' Opening Day starter merely said that it was a "likelihood" that Flores would start. As endorsements go, that's weak. Manager Terry Collins refused to even go that far on Monday.

Flores hit .251, with a .286 OBP and .378 SLG in 78 games with the Mets in 2014, good for a 88 wRC+ (where 100 is average), in the season in which he turned 23-years-old. Partial season defensive numbers are extremely unreliable and split on Flores: while he was worth +4.0 runs by Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), he was worth -3 runs by Defensive Runs Saved (DRS). To be clear, I think Flores can hit at the big league level, although I don't know where he will play defensively, and I do not think he can play shortstop everyday.

Did the Yankees' move have any implications for the Mets?

The argument is that the Mets have players they could have traded, at similar positions, to the ones the Tigers and Diamondbacks received and exceeded either team's return. However, the Mets, have been careful to hoard their pitching. In fact, according to David Lennon of Newsday, the Mets were not very "involved" in the derby for Gregorius after the Diamondbacks made clear that they wanted prospect Noah Syndergaard for the Mets. That's a big ask, but there's plenty of wiggle room between Syndergaard's perceived value and what the Diamondbacks eventually received. Syndergaard is still regarded as one of the top RHP pitching prospects in the game and one of the best 20 or so overall prospects. And yet, he has not made the jump to the big leagues.

The Yankees used the Detroit Tigers as a pass through. The Yankees sent RHP Shane Greene, who was roughly league average in his 2014 debut season to the Tigers, who then sent Arizona two promising younger players in INF Domingo Leyba and LHP Robbie Ray.

GiveGet
YankeesRHP Shane GreeneSS Didi Gregorius
TigersLHP Robbie Ray, INF Domingo LeybaShane Greene
DiamondbacksSS Didi GregoriusLHP Robbie Ray, INF Domingo Leyba
I think each side of this deal is defensible, but like it most from the Yankees' and then Tigers perspective. The Yankees traded a 26-year-old starting pitcher for a young shortstop with five more years of team control. The Tigers traded a very nice prospect (Leyba) and a guy who wasn't getting it done (Ray), for rotation help now to support an aging team. The Diamondbacks, a team building for the future, traded from a position of depth for a reclamation project in Ray and a fine prospect in Leyba.

The question for the Mets is really is whether Gregorius, who is six months older than Flores was a significant enough upgrade over the incumbent to be worth the move. Gregorius is a strong fielder, (at ESPN Keith Law called him "excellent"), but he might never hit much. In 191 between his age 23 and 24 seasons, Gregorius has hit .243/.310/.366 in the big leagues for a 88 wRC+. That's enough to stick at shortstop if it's combined with average or better defense at the position and maybe over a full season get him potentially get him to the 2-3 WAR range as an average player. Gregorius' walk (8.1 percent) and strikeout rates (16.9 percent) were reasonable, but he has done very little damage on contact as his .280 BABIP makes plain. He's an underpowered guy with a MLB HR/FB rate at 6 percent and an infield popup rate at 13 percent. The risk for the Yankees on Gregorius is that even if his defense is really good, his bat keeps his value down in the roughly win range per year and they'll still be searching for an offensive upgrade at shortstop. Steamer, a publicly available projection system does not see much breakout potential in Gregorius, pegging him for 1.2 wins in 80 games or about 2 wins if he played 140 games.


Could the Mets have sent the Tigers a capable starter like Greene? Yup.

Who is the Mets' pitcher most similar to Greene? By ERA estimators, both Zack Wheeler and Jon Niese were very close to average in 2014.

However, in terms of right-handed late bloomers, fellow 26-year-old Jacob deGrom is a better match for Greene. Both offer six more years of team control. Drafted out of small colleges, both right-handers have had Tommy John surgery and had strikeout rates in the majors better than their results in the upper minors. Greene did not make Baseball America's Top 30 Yankee prospects from his draft date in 2009, until earning the No. 16 ranking heading into 2014. To simplify his career arc, he was ordinary statistically with Charleston in the SAL in 2011, flopped with Tampa in advanced Single-A in 2012 and then, BA suggests he was sent across the complex to extended spring training where he made mechanical adjustments to stay on line toward the plate better. He finished up 2013 with a strong half-season in Double-A.

Let's get this out of the way: The NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom had a much better 2014 than Greene and is a more valuable property. They both made a half-season (or so) worth of starts. deGrom had a 2.69 ERA and a 78 ERA- (which adjusts for park and league and where 100 is league average and lower is better) in 22 starts. Greene had a 3.78 ERA in 15 starts and a 98 ERA-.

With the Yankees in the big leagues, Greene performed better than he had at nearly any point in the minors as his ERA dropped and his strikeout rate rose. The same goes for deGrom and the Mets.

Why did Greene's strikeout rate jump once he started pitching his home games in Yankee Stadium? He was more effective against right-handed hitters than at any point in his minor league tenure. The table below captures Greene's strikeout rate against hitters of both hands since the start of the 2013 season.

.vs. LHHvs. RHHOverall
2013 - A+19.723.522.0
2013 - AA14.023.319.5
2014 - AAA13.524.519.3
2014 - MLB16.631.323.5
Greene's fastball averages 93 mph, but by Fangraphs' accounting, only his slider has an above-average value. This explains both his dominance against righties, and his struggles against left-handed hitters.

DeGrom went through a similar, though not identical, pattern in the sense that his strikeout rate increased from the high teens in the upper minors to the mid-20s when he reached the big leagues. However, the source of the improvement is quite different.

This is deGrom's strikeout rate versus lefthanded and right-handed hitters.

vs. LHHvs. RHHOverall
2013 - A+10.036.726.0
2013 - AA12.419.216.7
2013 - AAA17.420.519.0
2014 - AAA20.316.118.0
2014 - MLB23.526.925.5
Don't pay too much attention to deGrom's 2013 in advanced Single-A, as his time at the level lasted only two starts. However, note that deGrom's stirkeout rate against lefties has steadily climbed at each of his stops in the last two seasons. Like Greene, his strikeout rate against righties spiked in the big leagues. Unlike Greene, he's more than capable against batters from both sides of the plate.

Like Greene, deGrom's average fastball is above 93, actually 93.5. Unlike Greene, deGrom's fastball (we're mixing sinkers with four-seamers here for both pitchers) carries a huge positive run value in Fangraph's accounting at +15. Notably, his curveball and his changeup, his third and fourth-most used pitches also were valued positively. It's the development of this changeup which he throws 20 percent of the time to lefties and 6 percent to righties, that's helped so much against left-handed hitters.

Is Niese a better comparison for Greene? The problem here is partly financial. Niese is owed $16 million over his next two seasons, with team options for $10 and $11 million for 2017 and 2018. Greene will be making close to MLB minimum for two more years, and will only be hitting arbitration by the time the guaranteed portion of Niese's contract runs out. If the Tigers were trying to get cheap innings, Niese does not quite fit the bill in the same way as Greene.

Wheeler, as a former first-round pick, who was already swapped for an elite player in Carlos Beltran, comes with a level of hype that is still somewhere above his aggregate level of production. He has an extra year of MLB service time over Greene, and has pitched as roughly a league average guy in his age 23 and 24 seasons. Given that longer track record and more heralded pedigree, he's still, absent contract considerations, a more valuable property. Wheeler, by dint of that MLB time, has one fewer years of team control remaining than does Greene. Still, the 24-year-old's ERA- sits at a perfectly league average 100 for his career.

Again, I'd argue based on age, and years of control, Jacob deGrom is the Mets hurler most similar to Shane Greene. He's also better than Greene. However, one could make the case that either Zack Wheeler or Jon Niese are more similar. In any case, the Mets had no fewer than three options if Detroit was looking for a pitcher in their 20s with a modest big league track record to provide innings for a team in win-now mode.


What if the Mets had dealt directly with Arizona? The Diamondbacks received Ray and Leyba from Detroit.

Robbie Ray is a project at this point who does not look like he will return value as a big league starter. His strikeout rate has declined as he's gone through the minors and in 2014, he ran a strikeout rate of 17% in AAA on his way to a 4.22 ERA and then was blasted for a 8.16 ERA in 28.2 innings over nine appearances in the big leagues in which he produced a 14% strikeout rate. Last winter, Ray was the centerpiece of the Doug Fister trade. The Tigers would like a mulligan. Ray seems likely to go the bullpen to provide big league value.

Leyba, who turned 19 in September split his year between the New York-Penn League and low-A Michigan in the Midwest League. He hit an unassuming .264/.303/.375 in 37 games in the NYP, and then torched the MWL for a .397/.431/.483 mark in 30 games to finish the year. He played second base and shortstop this year, but Jim Callis at MLB.com thinks he's destined for second base when he reaches the big leagues, writing that he "fits better at second because his speed and arm are average at best. But he should produce enough at the plate to become a big league regular." The Mets prospect who seems most like Leyba to me is Dilson Herrera as second-baseman who an average second baseman with the bat to be dangerous. However, Herrera is much closer to providing big league value than Leyba. The Mets don't have a true second baseman south of Herrera who matches up with Leyba. If we're going to expand the value comparison game to infielders who were in a-ball or short-season A in 2014, Jhoan Ureana, Gavin Cecchini and Amed Rosario are all middle infielders with very roughly similar values.  

I don't really know what the Diamondbacks think they are getting in Ray. The Mets could certainly have sent them an infield prospect and an upper level arm. Perhaps a comparable or even superior package would have been something like Jhoan Urena or Gavin Cecchini and Gabriel Ynoa that would have rivaled what the Diamondbacks received from the Tigers.


In the end though, the Mets did not make a play for Gregorious. Given his age, and lackluster offensive production in his first two big league seasons, that's understandable. Still, the team could use a shortstop, which has been true since Jose Reyes left. If the team is really serious about contending in 2015, the Mets will use organizational assets, including money, a prospect or two and a pitcher to fill in the hole on the left side of their infield this winter.    

Tags: Analysis, Toby Hyde

New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway, a rookie manager at the helm of a team that has nose-dived while dealing with injuries to some of its most important players, has been enduring "sleepless nights."

"There's been sleepless nights,'" Callaway told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. "It's not that I'm worrying about myself, but when you see these guys working so hard, and when the results don't come, you can't help but think about that. You lay in bed at night and say, "OK, what am I going to say to this guy? What am I going to say to that guy? Do you leave him alone? Do you let him work through it?"

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | It's understandable that Callaway had sleepless nights as the Mets' stretch of almost impossible to believe offensive ineptitude rolled on. There have also been major injuries Callaway has had to navigate through. Yoenis Cespedes has been out since May 13, and Noah Syndergaard hasn't pitched since May 25. Todd Frazier has also missed lots of time, and the team was without both of its starting catchers for a significant portion of the season. Meanwhile, Jay Bruce has been playing hurt and something will have to give with him soon...

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The Amazin' Life: Freaky Friday! 00:02:36
On the season premiere of The Amazin' Life, presented by Coca-Cola, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling literally switch bodies before a game!

On the season premiere of The Amazin' Life, presented by Coca-Cola, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling literally switch bodies before a game!

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New York Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia, left, and pitcher Noah Syndergaard look on from the dugout during the third inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Friday, June 8, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) (AP)
New York Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia, left, and pitcher Noah Syndergaard look on from the dugout during the third inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Friday, June 8, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) (AP)

The Mets are "ready to entertain trade offers for virtually everyone" on the roster, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.

According to Rosenthal, the Mets would prefer to hold on to Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Robert Gsellman, and Seth Lugo, and would be more open to trading Noah Syndergaard than Jacob deGrom.

DeGrom, having the best season of his career and in the midst of one of the more dominant stretches in recent memory, is under team control through 2020, while Syndergaard is under control through 2021. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Chase Field. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Chase Field. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

Zack Wheeler again looked terrific on Sunday, providing further evidence he has clearly turned a physical and psychological corner in his career.

In Sunday's game, he retired 10 straight batters before the D-backs started forcing him to change his gameplan. And he did, which is what has been most impressive about his time on the mound this year. In the end, Wheeler tossed 97 pitches, went six innings, allowed two earned runs and three hits, walked two and struck out eight.

He has a 1.93 ERA in his past three starts. And, in a situation that could make only Jacob deGrom jealous, the Mets are 1-5 during Wheeler's previous five starts, despite his 3.68 ERA.

Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets' bats explode in the ninth 00:01:29
Zack Wheeler delivered a solid start, then Brandon Nimmo and Asdrubal Cabrera homered in the ninth to steal a win for the Mets in Arizona.

Zack Wheeler delivered a solid start, then Brandon Nimmo and Asdrubal Cabrera homered in the ninth to steal a win for the Mets in Arizona.


Nimmo gives the Mets the lead 00:01:12
Brandon Nimmo hits a two-run homer off Brad Boxberger to give the Mets a 4-3 lead with two outs in the ninth inning in Arizona.

Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo hit a two-out, two-run go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth inning to key a comeback victory in Sunday's 5-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

Nimmo's home run off Brad Boxberger turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead, and Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a solo homer as the Mets won back-to-back games for the first time since May 18-21, when they won four in a row.

"To come back and get a win like that," manager Mickey Callaway told reporters after the game, "that was something that we were doing early on, feels like three years old, but that was a really good win for us."

Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Asdrubal Cabrera, Brandon Nimmo, Jose Reyes
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Gary and Ron on Mets' momentum 00:02:21
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling talk about Sunday's unlikely Mets comeback victory, and the team taking the sudden momentum into Colorado.

Brandon Nimmo's two-run homer highlighted a four-run ninth inning as the Mets rallied to earn a split of their four-game series with the Diamondbacks, 5-3, on Sunday afternoon at Chase Field.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about today's game...

1) Down to their last out, the Mets scored four times to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 edge. Jose Bautista had a pinch-hit RBI double in front of back-to-back home runs by Brandon Nimmo and Asdrubal CabreraJose Reyes reached on a bunt single to start the rally after Diamondbacks' reliever Brad Boxberger retired the first two batters of the inning. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Zack Wheeler
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Apr 7, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) throws to the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Apr 7, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) throws to the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

The Mets activated RHP Jeurys Familia from the DL for Sunday's game against the D-Backs and RHP Jacob Rhame was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Familia had been on the disabled list since June 7 with soreness in his right shoulder.

The 28-year-old Familia has a 2.48 ERA with 14 saves and 33 strikeouts this season. His last save was on May 28 when he struck out three batters in two innings of work against the Braves.

Tags: Jeurys Familia
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Jun 16, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) celebrates with teammates after scoring a run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)
Jun 16, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) celebrates with teammates after scoring a run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)

The Mets (29-38) will conclude their series with the Diamondbacks (39-31) at Chase Field on Sunday at 4:10 p.m. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Steven Matz
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Jun 16, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets center fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits a three run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)
Jun 16, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets center fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits a three run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)

Mets OF Michael Conforto hit a three-run homer and collected four RBI during the team's win over the D-Backs on Saturday night after he made an adjustment at the plate.

"Our hitting coaches saw something, and they were right," manager Mickey Callaway said. "And he's looked totally different at the plate."

The Mets noticed that Conforto was previously overextending on pitches, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Tags: Michael Conforto
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Jun 16, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)
Jun 16, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)

Mets LHP Steven Matz allowed just one run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings in the Mets' 5-1 win over the D-Backs on Saturday night.

Matz allowed hits in each of the first three innings before retiring the side in order in the fourth and fifth innings. The only run allowed by Matz came in the sixth inning when Nick Ahmed hit a leadoff triple and came around to score when the next batter, Paul Goldschmidt, grounded out to short.

Matz drew two quick groundouts in the seventh inning, but was pulled after giving up back-to-back singles to Deven Marrero and Daniel Descalso.

Tags: Steven Matz
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Aug 25, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) wears a patch on his uniform thanking his dad against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Aug 25, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) wears a patch on his uniform thanking his dad against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterMy father passed away from Multiple Sclerosis when I was 18 years old.

The Mets were one of our things, arguably our biggest thing. And that's why no matter how dark things may get with this team, it's more than just a game. At least for me. It's a connection back to my father. It's a reminder of all of the good times, talks, and laughs we had together. And it's a happiness that something my father and I loved and shared. I can still treasure that, despite him not being here.

My father was taking me to Shea Stadium from a very young age. We'd sit there, doing the book, and he'd explain to me what was going on. We'd get our hot dogs, our french fries, and ice cream. On extra special days, he'd even let me paint the Mets logo on my face (usually with my mother's eyeliner -- sorry if you're reading this and just finding out, ma)...

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Matz, Conforto lead Mets to win 00:01:11
Michael Conforto had four RBIs and Steven Matz allowed just one run as the Mets defeated the D-backs, 5-1, on Saturday night.

Mets offense comes alive in win 00:01:36
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling discuss Michael Conforto's four-RBI game in the Mets' 5-1 win over the D-backs on Saturday night.

Steven Matz pitched into the seventh inning and Michael Conforto drove in four runs as the Mets ended a four-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over the D-backs on Saturday night.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) Matz was solid, allowing one run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander walked one and struck out three as he recorded his fourth quality start in his last five appearances.

2) Conforto led the offense with a homer, a double and four RBIs. The outfielder put the Mets on the board in the second inning when he launched his ninth home run of the year, driving in Wilmer Flores and Brandon Nimmo. It was Conforto's third long ball in just eight career at-bats against D-backs lefty Patrick Corbin. The 25-year-old added an RBI double off Corbin in the sixth.

Tags: Michael Conforto, Steven Matz
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May 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
May 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes was "strongly considering" an offer from the Houston Astros before he re-signed with the Mets in November of 2016, which was one of the reasons why the Mets offered him a no-trade clause, reports John Harper of the New York Daily News.

Cespedes, who ultimately signed a four-year, $110 million contract, had a priority list consisting of three main factors, according to the report: He wanted to play with a contender; he sought a no-trade clause; and wanted to train near his ranch in Florida.

Furthermore, Cespedes did not enjoy playing for then-manager Terry Collins -- and that was said said to be a significant factor. 

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Jun 16, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) reacts after hitting a three run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)
Jun 16, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) reacts after hitting a three run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)

Check back here for in-game highlights from Mets vs. Diamondbacks on Saturday night in the desert.


Mets OF Michael Conforto hit a three-run homer in the second inning to put the Mets on the board. 

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

Tags: Todd Frazier
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Apr 27, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson looks on before a game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)
Apr 27, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson looks on before a game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)

In RHP David Peterson, 3B Mark Vientos, SS Andres Gimenez and 1B Peter Alonso, the Mets have four prospects that are getting the attention of rival scouts and top prospect lists.

Unfortunatley, insiders repeatedly tell me Sandy Alderson's farm system is lacking depth, despite adding six hard-throwing relievers during last summer's sell off of veterans.

"They have projectable talent to lean on and at positions they're going to need," a friend with an NL East player development department recently told me. "If those guys don't pan out, they'll be thin. But, they have a few guys that can be everyday players, no doubt."

So, what has happened to the pitching prospects Alderson acquired last summer?

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Sunday, May 20, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Sunday, May 20, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway said RHP Noah Syndergaard (strained right index finger) is getting "better and better" and is closer to a point where he can begin a throwing program, reports Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

Syndergaard received a second opinion on Tuesday afternoon that confirmed the initial diagnosis, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post

Syndergaard will rest before starting a throwing program, according to Puma. 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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New York Mets Yoenis Cespedes (52) holds his broken bat as he looks at a video replay of his flyout to deep left field during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday, April 1, 2018, in New York. (AP)
New York Mets Yoenis Cespedes (52) holds his broken bat as he looks at a video replay of his flyout to deep left field during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday, April 1, 2018, in New York. (AP)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway said OF Yoenis Cespedes (hip, quad) is still dealing with soreness and will not start his rehab again until Monday, reports Tim Healy of Newsday.

Cespedes, who played rehab games with Double-A Binghamton last week before suffering a setback, has not restarted any baseball activities.

The 32-year-old Cespedes has been on the disabled list since May 16 when he suffered a mild strain of his right hip flexor.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Jun 15, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) celebrates with catcher Kevin Plawecki (26) after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports  (Joe Camporeale)
Jun 15, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) celebrates with catcher Kevin Plawecki (26) after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)

The Mets (28-38) will continue their series with the Diamondbacks (39-30) at Chase Field on Saturday at 10:10 p.m. on SNY. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Steven Matz
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New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

On the latest episode of Shea Anything, Doug Williams and Andy Martino check in to see where they are as far as the rebuild discussion. They also chat about the Mets offensive struggles, trade possibilities, and the ongoing issues with Jose Reyes.

Don't forget -- Doug and Andy want to hear from you! Go to SNY.tv/SheaAnything and upload a video or audio clip of your take on the Mets. Keep it to 30 seconds or less, make it good, and you may be on the show!

Click below to listen to the show

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D-backs pound Mets again 00:01:02
The Mets' offense continued to sputter in losing their fourth straight game, 7-3, to the D-backs on Friday night.

D-backs pound Mets again 00:02:21
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling discuss Mets' unprecedented ineptitude, falling to 10 games below the .500 mark in record time with another loss.

Seth Lugo couldn't carry the momentum from his last start into Arizona and the Mets lost to the D-Backs, 7-3, on Friday night.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about today's game...

1) Lugo came into Friday's start with 10 scoreless innings over his first two starts of the season, including a win over the Yankees on Sunday. However, he wasn't nearly as sharp from the beginning in Arizona, giving up a home run to Paul Goldschmidt on his second batter of the game. He allowed another homer to Daniel Descalso and finished with five runs in five innings.

 

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Seth Lugo (67) Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)
Seth Lugo (67) Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)

Mets RHP Seth Lugo came into Friday night's contest in Chase Field without allowing a run in two starts this season. 

Unfortunately, he couldn't move that streak to three as the Diamondbacks figured out Lugo, who has been stellar all season for the Mets. 

It was Paul Goldschmidt in the top of the first that broke the 10-inning scoreless streak as a starter when he launched a solo homer to right center. But that wasn't the only offense the D-Backs strung together. 

Tags: Seth Lugo, Scott Thompson
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Todd Frazier (21) Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)
Todd Frazier (21) Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)

Check back here for in-game highlights from Mets vs. Diamondbacks on Friday night in the desert.


Mets 3B Todd Frazier gets the road team on the board in the top of the third with an RBI double to score Seth Lugo

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

Tags: Todd Frazier
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Jun 14, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) celebrates with Todd Frazier (21) after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Scuteri)
Jun 14, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) celebrates with Todd Frazier (21) after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Scuteri)

The Mets (28-37) look to bounce back against the Diamondbacks (38-30) on Froday in the desert at 9:40 p.m. on SNY. 

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New York Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores during practice drills at First Data Field. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores during practice drills at First Data Field. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Mets INF Wilmer Flores is back with the team after completing his DL stint for lower back soreness. The Mets have optioned Ty Kelly to the minors to make room for Flores. 

Flores was rehabbing with Single-A Port St. Lucie on Tuesday night, where he went 1-for-3 with a double. He has been on the DL since May 28 with his back injury. 

When Flores landed on the DL, assistant GM John Ricco said Flores has dealt with a "disc" issue, which caused the soreness in his lower back. 

Tags: Ty Kelly, Wilmer Flores
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A general view from the press box of First Data Field, home of the St. Lucie Mets (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))
A general view from the press box of First Data Field, home of the St. Lucie Mets (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))

Mets LHP prospect David Peterson was solid in his debut for High-A St. Lucie on Thursday night, allowing two runs in 5.0 innings while allowing six hits, walking three, and striking out two. 

Peterson was promoted from Low-A Columbia earlier this week on the heels of his stellar outing last Saturday, where he struck out a career-high 10 batters in eight innings. He had a 1.82 ERA with 57 strikeouts in nine starts (59.1 innings) this season for Columbia. 

The 22-year-old Peterson, who was selected 20th overall in last June's MLB draft, is ranked No. 58 on Keith Law of ESPN's Top 100 Prospects list

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Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets have agreed with their recent second round draft pick, RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson on a deal worth $1.85 million, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com.

Woods-Richardson, 17, is a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder out of Kempner High School in Houston, Texas. 

Selected 48th overall by the Mets earlier this month, he features a fastball that touches 95 MPH while also flashing a plus curveball to go along with good arm speed and athleticism, Callis noted. 

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Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets have struck a deal with their No. 6 overall pick, high school OF Jarred Kelenic, and have assigned him to the Rookie level Gulf Coast League Mets. 

Kelenic's pick value had been projected to be $5.525 million, and the Mets signed him for $4.5 million, according to Jim Callis of MLB.com. 

The 18-year-old Kelenic, who attended Waukesha West High School in Waukesha, Wisconsin, is a left-handed hitter and thrower. 

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May 28, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets former first baseman Keith Hernandez is introduced to the crowd during a pregame ceremony honoring the 1986 World Series Championship team prior to the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
May 28, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets former first baseman Keith Hernandez is introduced to the crowd during a pregame ceremony honoring the 1986 World Series Championship team prior to the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Mets, who were about to emerge from a long rebuild and contend for seven straight years, acquired Keith Hernandez from the St. Louis Cardinals on today's date in 1983.

In exchange, the Mets sent relievers Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey to St. Louis. 

''It's not often that you get the chance to acquire someone with the talent of Keith Hernandez,'' Mets GM Frank Cashen said after swinging the trade. ''His addition should improve our club in two areas, the starting lineup and the bench.''

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Apr 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) celebrates his two run single against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) celebrates his two run single against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets made a number of free agent pick-ups this past offseason, some of whom -- such as Jay Bruce -- are struggling and some of whom - such as Anthony Swarzak - have missed significant time due to injury. But through much of the chaos of the tumultuous 2018 season, Todd Frazier has been the steady, consistent leader the Mets were looking for to man third base.

When Frazier signed a 2 year, $17 million dollar contract this February, it was the team's first step towards filling the hole left by David Wright at third base. While Frazier cannot match the statistical prowess of his perennial All-Star predecessor, nor his decade of experience as a Met, he is providing much-needed value both on and off the field.

Frazier has never had eye-popping numbers, but his performance throughout his career has been remarkably consistent. And this year is no different. His .744 OPS is just short of his career average, though notably much of that production came in hitters' havens such as Cincinnati. His .333 on base percentage is significantly higher than his career mark and, along with his impressive walk rate, demonstrates his ongoing commitment to a more patient approach at the plate that is helping him succeed as he enters his mid-thirties...

Tags: Todd Frazier, Maggie Wiggin
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D-backs outslug Mets 00:01:58
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling discuss the Mets' reliance on hitting home runs to win games after New York's 6-3 loss in Arizona.

Despite three solo homers, the Mets dropped their third straight game, 6-3, in the first of four against the Diamondbacks on Thursday night at Chase Field.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) Brandon NimmoMichael Conforto and Amed Rosario homered for the Mets, who scored in more than one inning for the first time in 10 games. Of the last 21 home runs New York has hit, 17 have been solo shots. Dominic Smith singled for New York's only other hit. 

Tags: Jason Vargas
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Mets fans have a brand new, exciting challenge to check out between innings at Citi Field this season! The Citi Community Home Runs Challenge is a new in-game feature - each home game, one lucky fan at the ballpark heads down to the field to take his or her best shot at launching a t-shirt from right field into the famous Mets Home Run Apple using an oversized Citi t-shirt launcher.

There is $100 on the line for the participant to potentially take home each game - but if he or she misses, their prize money gets added to a winner-take-all pool, which accumulates until someone makes the shot. And the prize pool can accumulate quickly - one lucky fan even took home $1,200 earlier this season following a stretch of 12 misses.  

In addition to getting fans in on the action at Citi Field, the Challenge also ties back to Citi's other Community Home Runs programming at the ballpark, all of which benefits No Kid Hungry.

Each participant in the Challenge, while getting the chance to win prize money, also triggers a Citi donation of enough for No Kid Hungry to provide 1,000 meals to kids in need. And as part of the overall Citi Community Home Runs program, for each home run the Mets hit at Citi Field, Citi will donate enough for No Kid Hungry to provide 20,000 meals to kids in need.

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Mets drop opener in Arizona 00:01:11
Despite three hitting home runs, the Mets fell to the D-backs, 6-3, on Thursday night at Chase Field.

Jun 14, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jason Vargas (40) throws in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Scuteri)
Jun 14, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jason Vargas (40) throws in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports (Rick Scuteri)

Jason Vargas wasn't stellar against the Diamondbacks, but he wasn't awful either. 

In five innings in Arizona, Vargas allowed three runs in on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Two of the three runs were allowed on solo home runs. 

The Mets started Vargas out with a lead...

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Nimmo's monster home run 00:00:11
Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo smacks a solo home run to deep right field in the top of the first inning to give New York the lead, 1-0.

Brandon Nimmo blasts a solo home run, his 9th of the season, to give the Mets a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

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May 27, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) drives in a run with a base hit in the fifth inning during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports  (Benny Sieu)
May 27, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) drives in a run with a base hit in the fifth inning during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports (Benny Sieu)

Mets OF Jay Bruce (back) is unavailable to pinch hit against the Diamondbacks on Thursday and is unlikely to play on Friday, according to manager Mickey Callaway.

After the Mets 2-0 loss to the Braves on Wednesday, Bruce said that the back issue was "upper butt, top of hip" soreness that comes and goes and has "been kind of barking a bit" recently. 

The 31-year-old Bruce is hitting just .216/.297/.327 with three home runs this season. He hasn't hit a home run since May 7, and has just five extra-base hits since then. 

Against the D-Backs on Thursday, the Mets moved Brandon Nimmo to right field as Michael Conforto starts in center and Jose Bautista in left.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Jun 10, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) is congratulated after hitting a two run home run in the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jun 10, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) is congratulated after hitting a two run home run in the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

The Mets (28-36) continue to look to salvage their season against the Diamondbacks (37-30) on Thursday in the desert at 9:40 p.m. on SNY. 

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New York City, NY, USA; General view of Citi Field between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
New York City, NY, USA; General view of Citi Field between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets are 4-16 since May 22, during which they've become the first team in modern history to score fewer than 15 runs during an 11-game stretch, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Interestingly, the Nationals, Marlins, and Phillies immediately follow the Mets on the list of worst-scoring teams during the last three weeks...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Aug 3, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; St. Lucie Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (5) scores before the tag of Tampa Yankees catcher Wes Wilson (69) in the eight inning at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Aug 3, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; St. Lucie Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (5) scores before the tag of Tampa Yankees catcher Wes Wilson (69) in the eight inning at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | While discussing the future of Jose Reyes on Tuesday, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said that if they replace the 35-year-old, the team would have to be comfortable with the player who would be stepping in.

"We have to have somebody that we want to replace him that meets that threshold," he said. "If we contemplate that kind of move, it will be appropriate in terms of timing as well."

Alderson has an option in Jeff McNeil, who was promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday. And the 26-year-old is the player who should replace Reyes.

Tags: Jose Reyes, Danny Abriano
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Feb. 2018: Mets 1B prospect Peter Alonso takes BP in St. Lucie. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog
Feb. 2018: Mets 1B prospect Peter Alonso takes BP in St. Lucie. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog

Help isn't immediately on the way to the Mets, but it's one step closer.

1B Peter Alonso and 2B Jeff McNeil, who had been crushing Eastern League pitching while with Double-A Binghamton, have been promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas.

The righty-hitting Alonso, 23, is viewed as one of the Mets' best prospects and a Top 100 prospect in all of baseball. He was hitting .315/.442/.574 with a league-leading 15 HR to go along with 52 RBI in 65 games this season. 

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Dad Cam Moments from Citi Field 00:01:03
With Father's Day around the corner, check out some of the best Dad Cam moments from Citi field.

Check out some of the best moments from the 1-800-Flowers.com Dad Cam at Citi Field as we head towards Father's Day!

Visit 1-800-Flowers.com and save 20% by using the code DADSNY at checkout.

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Jun 2, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 2, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | Mets GM Sandy Alderson said last season that he wouldn't hesitate to make a trade with the crosstown Yankees. And with Jacob deGrom's name swirling around, the idea of a blockbuster between the two teams has been kicked around.

But it doesn't seem the Yankees have the stomach for what it would take to land deGrom.

One Yankees person told FanRag's Jon Heyman that the team would never trade Gleyber Torres or Miguel Andujar. If accurate, that should pretty much end any Mets/Yankees/deGrom fantasy. That same Yankees person also said the Mets would never trade deGrom across town... 

Tags: Gleyber Torres, Jacob deGrom, Miguel Andujar, Danny Abriano
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Aug 1, 2016; Sandy Alderson speaks to reporters. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 1, 2016; Sandy Alderson speaks to reporters. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In a thoughtful post for Baseball Prospectus, Rich MacLeod contemplated whether the Mets have already squandered their best shot to win with what was once believed to be MLB's next great rotation, which was a universal opinion during 2015.

David Roth wrote a similar article the next day for Deadspin, the topic of which has been debated all morning and afternoon on local talk radio.

Whether you agree with Roth, MacLeod, or the city's talking heads is irrelevant, because we will know the outcome sooner than later, either because the team manages to turn things around and win a ring during the next two years or because they don't, switch out management and start a rebuild. In other words, the proof will be in the pudding...

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Sep 10, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) and umpire Jerry Layne (24) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Sep 10, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) and umpire Jerry Layne (24) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | TwitterI called Terry Collins this morning, curious if he knew that a video of him fuming at an umpire in 2016 had gone viral overnight. He did not. "You know when Syndergaard was thrown out of a game in 2016 for throwing at Utley?"

"Yeah."

"The ump was mic'ed."

There was a pause of three of four seconds, followed by a lighthearted, "Oh no."

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Jun 3, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Jun 3, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

Mets LHP Steven Matz will be pushed back from Thursday to Saturday due to a blister on his left middle finger, reports Kristie Ackert of the NY Daily News

The Mets announced late Wednesday night that Jason Vargas -- who was supposed to be skipped this turn through the rotation -- will pitch Thursday night against the Diamondbacks in Arizona, followed by Seth Lugo on Friday. Zack Wheeler will pitch on Sunday. 

Matz had recently been dealing with a slight strain of his middle finger.

Tags: Jason Vargas, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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New York Mets outfielder Jay Bruce (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets outfielder Jay Bruce (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Lost a bit in the Mets' ongoing offensive ineptitude during Wednesday afternoon's loss was the lackadaisical and flat out inexcusable defense they played.

The culprits were Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, and Amed Rosario, who were all guilty of lazy efforts.

With one out in the seventh inning, Bruce slowly approached Ender Inciarte's seeing-eye single, allowing Inciarte to turn the hit in to a double. On that same play, Rosario was caught off guard and was out of position for Bruce's throw to second base...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Danny Abriano
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Jacob deGrom's seven strikeouts 00:00:42
The Mets struggled again and dropped another in Atlanta, but here's Jacob deGrom's seven strikeouts in 40 seconds.

Stop us if you've heard this one before: Jacob deGrom dominated and the Mets didn't score.

DeGrom, who fired 7.0 innings of one-run ball against the Braves in Atlanta (and could've easily pitched the eighth) during Wednesday's 2-0 loss, continues to be the best pitcher in the league. And the Mets continue to do nothing to support him.

Todd Frazier felt so bad that he apologized to deGrom after the game for the team not scoring...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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