I have been asked a lot of questions regarding Mets second-base prospect Reese Havens. I watched Havens during my trip to Binghamton in August, and came away impressed with his ability, but still have concerns about Havens' ability to stay on the field.
He is not a fist pumper when something good happens, not a guy to scream and yell and get emotional on a K, but even keel attitude, but extremely intense and focused.
Solid defender. Not flashy but solid. Will make the routine plays.
Strong throwing arm; good footwork around the bag on the pivot. Mobility was hampered by his health.
Very quiet at the plate; works the count to his favor; will expand the zone.
Strong hitter; ball jumps off of his bat; creates backspin and carry.
Above average power for his position; strikeouts can become an issue.
Havens showed the potential to be an above average everyday second-baseman. The ability to hit, hit for power, and get on base at a high level are his best attributes. Havens has the ability to square the baseball, and as one AL scout put it, "Havens can flat out hit."
Defensively, Havens profiles as as average. As Havens gets healthier and stronger, I could see some improvement in his range defensively. While not a gold glove caliber second-baseman, Havens will not be a liability either.
Now to the biggest issue concerning Havens, his health. While scouts love Havens' on field ability, questions remain about his ability to stay healthy and play a full season. You can have all the talent in the world, but it does you no good if you are constantly on the DL.
There is much to be said for a player's ability to stay on the field day in and day out. Havens has yet to show that ability. I had a chance to talk with Havens in spring training and he was clearly frustrated with his injuries, but is working hard to get his body in the best condition possible to prevent further injuries.
Havens' health has been his biggest flaw as a player since being drafted by the Mets in the 1st round of the 2008 Draft (22nd overall) out of the University of South Carolina. Skeptics might be concerned he will never stay healthy. While he does strikeout at a high rate, I will give Havens the benefit of the doubt due to the lack of consistent at-bats.
Overall, I like what I saw from Havens when he was on the field. That potential is what draws the attention of scouts and the Mets front office staff. Havens just turned 25, and the clock is ticking very quickly for him. Should Havens stay healthy, the Mets look like they have their future everyday second-baseman.
The Mets couldn't get things going at the plate in St. Louis on Saturday, as the Cardinals handed them a 10-2 loss. >> Box score
Five things to know about Saturday's game...
1) Chris Flexen got the spot start for the Mets in place of Jacob degrom, who was placed on the IL with a sore elbow. He didn't fare well against the Cards, allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits over 4.1 innings. While he didn't record a strikeout, he allowed four walks in his outing as well.
As the Mets' bullpen struggles, they have remained in touch with free agent reliever Craig Kimbrel. Here's the latest...
April 20, 4:02 PM:
The Mets still remain among teams interested in signing Kimbrel. But, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, the team is only willing to sign Kimbrel if he was open to pitch in any role. This is obviously due to Edwin Diaz solidified in the closer role for now.
Mets' Jacob deGrom talks elbow after long toss, may not have MRI
The Mets appear to have some reason for optimism surrounding Jacob deGrom's elbow.
After placing the right-hander on the 10-day injured list on Friday and scheduling an MRI in New York for Monday, Mets manager Mickey Callaway told reporters before Saturday's game against the Cardinals that deGrom may not have an MRI at all, although he will still be evaluated by doctors.
DeGrom even long-tossed from 120 feet on Saturday and said afterward that everything "felt completely normal."
Brandon Nimmo back in lineup as Mets take on Cardinals, Saturday at 2:15 p.m.
Chris Flexen gets spot start in lieu of Jacob deGrom on IL
Apr 20 | 11:36AM
The Mets (11-8) look to build off Friday's win as they face the Cardinals (10-9) at Busch Stadium on Saturday at 2:15 p.m.
Chris Flexen makes the spotstart in place of the injured Jacob deGrom. ... Jeff McNeil's .391 batting average is tied for the second-highest in the majors this season. His 99 career hits are also the most all-time by a Mets player through his first 81 games. ... Michael Conforto has reached base safely in 12 straight games since April 6. ... Brandon Nimmo is back in the leadoff spot after missing some time with a stiff neck. He has reached base safely in his last nine games
There was bound to be panic among Mets fans, no matter how the news was delivered that Jacob deGromwas going to get an MRI, but in retrospect it sure seemed the ballclub raised the panic level higher than necessary with what appeared to be some level of miscommunication.
After all, how could anyone not think the worst when Mickey Callaway announced Friday afternoon that deGrom was being scratched from his Saturday start, and heading back to New York for an MRI on his elbow -- immediately, it seemed.
Over the next hour or so, however, Brodie Van Wagenen released a statement providing important context, saying deGrom felt better after getting treatment from the medical staff on Friday, and wouldn't be getting that MRI until Monday, while staying with the team in St. Louis for the weekend series against the Cardinals.
1) Pete Alonso did another Pete Alonso thing in the sixth inning, crushing a solo home run 432 feet to center field with an exit velocity of 111.7 miles per hour. It turned out to be a huge homer as that put the Mets up 5-1, and their bullpen went on to give up three runs. Alonso finished 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs. He now has seven homers and 18 RBI this season.
The following is a statement sent via text from Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen. It echoes what we previously reported from other sources -- that the Mets are not particularly concerned about the injury.
"Jacob dealt with sickness over the last week and hasn't been able to conduct his normal routine between starts. As a result, he has been scratched from tomorrow's game. Additionally, Jacob experienced some mild soreness in his throwing arm over the last 24 hours. His arm felt significantly better following treatment with our health and performance staff today. Even so, Jacob will be evaluated by our medical team in New York on Monday in the abundance of caution.
"We will be placing Jacob on the IL retroactively to April 16th enabling him to return on Friday the 26th when we begin our series with the Brewers. We will make a corresponding roster move prior to tomorrow's game."
With elbow 'barking,' Mets' Jacob deGrom set for MRI
The Mets 'don't have a high level of concern'
By Danny Abriano | Apr 19 | 5:03PM
Mets RHP Jacob deGrom is having his Saturday start pushed back because his elbow has been "barking" and will undergo an MRI, manager Mickey Callaway said before Friday's game. He'll get the MRI on Monday.
"DeGrom is going to be pushed back tomorrow, he's not gonna pitch," Callaway said. "He's been under the weather, his elbow is a little barky. We're gonna get him back to New York. Get him checked out, have an MRI, and go from there at this point."
DeGrom had initially been pushed back from Friday to Saturday due to strep throat. As far as the elbow issue, Callaway said he first started feeling it Friday...
Jason Vargas tries to end struggles as Mets face Cardinals, Friday at 8:15 p.m. on SNY
Veteran lefty lasted just six batters and recorded one out in his last outing
Apr 19 | 7:11PM
The Mets (10-8) begin a three-game series against the Cardinals (10-8) in St. Louis Friday at 8:15 p.m. on SNY.
Jason Vargas tries to right the ship as he takes the hill one day earlier than expected. He was moved up from Saturday originally because Jacob deGrom had strep throat, but on Friday Mickey Callaway said deGrom would be sent for an MRI on his "barking" elbow, meaning Vargas might have more job security in the short-term. ... The Mets have lost four of their last five games. ... Since 2009, the Mets have a 10-21 record in St. Louis. ... Jeff McNeil is hitting .500 (8-for-16) with runners in scoring position, tied for fifth-best in the National League. ... Brandon Nimmo remains out of the lineup with a stiff neck but should be available to pinch-hit.
As Jason Vargas takes the hill in St. Louis against the Cardinals on Friday night, the Mets will be scouting his potential replacement.
The Mets will be in hand in Buffalo as Gio Gonzalez -- who SNY's Andy Martino reported is "increasingly likely" to opt out of his deal with the Yankees on Saturday -- starts for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.
Martino added that the Mets seem more open to adding Gonzalez now than in the offseason, when they weren't interested.
Gio Gonzalez appears increasingly likely to opt out of his minor league deal with the Yankees on Saturday, according to multiple major league sources. If he does, the Mets could be more of a fit than they were in the offseason.
On Friday, Gonzalez switched agents from Scott Boras to CAA. The move was intended to set him up with representation that he felt more comfortable with, in the event that he would become a free agent again.
If Gonzalez requests his release from the Yankees on Saturday, per a clause in his contract, the team will have 48 hours to add him to the major league roster. With Domingo German pitching capably and CC Sabathia back from the injured list, there is no obvious spot for Gonzalez -- though the Yankees could promote him and either piggyback him with German or put in him their rotation, in order to retain control.
Mets - Cardinals Gambling Advice: How to bet Jason Vargas vs. Adam Wainwright
A bettor's guide for Friday's Mets matchup vs. Cards
By Matt Zylbert | Apr 19 | 1:09PM
Some pitchers just evoke a certain type of emotion when you spot their name in a pitching matchup. In the case of Vargas -- as Mets fans unfortunately know all too well -- it could be anger. For a bettor, it might be a signal to instantly "fade," or bet against.
There's no question Vargas has been a disappointment since arriving in Flushing last year. After his latest dud, one that saw him record a mere one out last Saturday, the 36-year-old has now crafted a brutal 6.32 ERA in his 22 starts (and one relief appearance) with the Mets. Suffice to say, his days in the rotation could be numbered.
What Mets' Pete Alonso thinks about possibly competing in Home Run Derby
Rookie slugger has impressed early with raw power
Apr 19 | 10:53AM
Pete Alonso has not wasted any time in making his mark with the Mets.
The rookie first baseman has six home runs and 17 RBI with a slashline of .323/.413/.708 through the first 18 games of his career.
He has even put himself in the same category as Yankees sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton with his 454-foot, 118.3 mph home run against the Braves on April 11 -- the ninth hardest hit ball ever recorded by Statcast and hardest ball hit by a player not named Judge or Stanton.
The Mets began a 13-game stretch last week that included 10 games against the Phillies and Braves.
I believed the Mets would need to win at least six of those 10 games -- which would put them around 14-10 heading into their next homestand -- to avoid hitting the panic button too early.
To date, they have won just two of seven during this stretch, with three left against the Phillies, whom they will play at Citi Field after beginning a three-game series Friday against the Cardinals in St. Louis.
How Todd Frazier's return could impact Mets, including Jeff McNeil
Frazier's return will also have an impact on Davis, Lagares, Broxton, and perhaps Smith
By Danny Abriano | Apr 18 | 4:15PM
Todd Frazier is continuing his slow crawl back to the Mets, with his rehab stint shifting to Triple-A Syracuse and his activation necessary by early next week unless he has a setback.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway spoke earlier this week about Frazier's return, saying what was already known -- Frazier will not be the full-time starter at third base. Instead, he will split time there with J.D. Davis and -- when he isn't in the outfield -- Jeff McNeil.
The Mets have some choices to make when Frazier returns and are in for some really hard playing time choices when Jed Lowrie comes back. For now, the focus is on Frazier. Here's how things could shake out when he returns...
As Jason Vargas struggles, the Mets have remained in touch with free agent starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel. Here's the latest...
April 18, 12:14 PM:
Keuchel is open to signing a one-year deal and then "resetting," reports Jon Heyman of FanCred. It was reported by Ken Rosenthal on April 7 that Keuchel was open to a one-year deal worth more than the $17.9 million qualifying offer he rejected from the Astros or a longer-term deal at a lower average annual value.
ICYMI: Here's what happened Wednesday in Mets Land
DeGrom was pushed back, a trade target emerged, and more
WATCH: Mets' Zack Wheeler talks costly errors in loss to Phillies
Callaway still believes Wheeler did a great job in his start
Apr 17 | 8:51PM
Zack Wheeler took the mound Wednesday afternoon in Philadelphia looking another solid start like his last one against the Braves. Overall, it was a good start by the hard-throwing righty, but a couple costly mistakes linger on his mind.
Wheeler had been cruising, as he allowed just one run in the second inning. But that changed when Scott Kingery launched an opposite field solo homer to push the Phillies lead to two. Then, just one inning later, Cesar Hernandez did the exact same as his teammate, taking a Wheeler pitch over the right field fence.
That last solo homer was ultimately the winning run for the Phillies, who took the three-game series with the victory. Wheeler may have been satisfied with his overall performance, but not with those two pitches he made.
Jeff McNeil entered Wednesday hitting .418 (23-for-55) with five doubles, one triple, 10 RBI and a .484 on-base percentage, which was second-best in the National League and fourth-best in all of baseball. He notched two more hits on Wednesday, raising his triiple slash to .424/.485/.542.
"He's still still mostly under people's radars," a former MLB scout, now advisor to an NL team, told me earlier Wednesday. "Based on what he did last year, if he keeps this up, he won't be a secret for long."
In McNeil, I see a 27-year-old, old-school hitter with a unique story and unique bat that is destined to win multiple batting titles, the first of which could realistically happen this season.
Mets' Jacob deGrom has start pushed back due to strep throat
Jason Vargas will pitch Friday in place of deGrom
Apr 17 | 4:27PM
Mets RHP Jacob deGrom won't be making his scheduled start on Friday, as he is suffering from strep throat, according to manager Mickey Callaway.
In turn, the Mets will move Jason Vargas up one day and give him the ball to start the series with the Cardinals. And if deGrom isn't feeling healthy enough for the game on Saturday, the Mets could move up Steven Matz and have him pitch off short rest, per The Post's Mike Puma. Matz didn't even finish one inning in his start on Tuesday.
DeGrom's last two starts haven't seen his normal dominance on the bump. After throwing a six-run dud to the Twins back on April 9, deGrom allowed three runs on five hits (two homers) over five innings of work.
But deGrom must worry about his health before focusing on reversing the outcome of his last two outings.
It was a thriller in Philadelphia this afternoon, but the Mets came out on the losing end, 3-2, as the Phillies took the series. >> Box score
Six things to know about Wednesday's game...
1) Zack Wheeler started off the day cruising out in Philadelphia, but the long ball got to him later in the game. Holding on to a 1-0 deficit, Scott Kingery launched an opposite field homer in the fifth inning for his second of the series to make it 2-0. Then, one inning later, Cesar Hernandez took Wheeler deep as well to push the lead to three. Overall, Wheeler finished the day allowing three earned on five hits with five strikeouts and three walks as well.
Manager Mickey Callaway said he isn't too worried at this point about Nimmo -- who is sitting on Wednesday and will get an extra day of rest with the Mets off on Thursday. And Nimmo doesn't think the neck issue will lead to a stint on the injured list.
When the Mets took Steven Matz out of the game in the first inning on Tuesday night, Nimmo left with him -- walking to the dugout with Mets head trainer Brian Chicklo.
Jeff McNeil leads off as Mets face Phillies, Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. on SNY
Zack Wheeler takes the mound
Apr 17 | 11:35AM
The Mets (10-7, second place in NL East) face the Phillies (10-6, first place in NL East) on Wednesday in Philadelphia at 1:05 p.m. on SNY.
In the rubber game of this three-game set, the Mets will try to win their first series since April 1-3, when they swept the Marlins. Since then, they lost a series to the Nationals and split series with the Twins and Braves. ... Jeff McNeil takes the leadoff spot with Brandon Nimmo sitting because of a stiff neck. Keon Broxton draws the start in center. ... Travis d'Arnaud is behind the plate for the matinee after Wilson Ramos caught Tuesday night. ... The Mets' eight road wins are tied with Seattle for most in the majors.
Mets infielder Jed Lowrie taking next step toward return
Lowrie has been dealing with a capsule sprain in his left knee
Apr 17 | 10:40AM
Jed Lowrie, who has been out with a capsule sprain in his left knee since the start of Spring Training, is heading down to Port St. Lucie to go through the next step in his rehab process, Mickey Callaway said Wednesday.
Lowrie will take live batting practice on Friday and Saturday, according to Callaway. There's no schedule yet regarding when Lowrie will be able to go on a rehab assignment since he essentially didn't have a Spring Training.
Mets send Drew Gagnon to Triple-A, call up bullpen help
Gagnon helped bail the Mets out Tuesday night after Steven Matz imploded
Drew Gagnon, who was on short rest, came in to Tuesday night's game after Steven Matz failed to get an out. Gagnon allowed five runs, but saved the Mets' bullpen by eating up 5.1 innings. His reward? A demotion to Triple-A Syracuse.
The demotion isn't an indictment on Gagnon, though. It's a move being made out of necessity in order for the Mets to add a fresh arm to the bullpen. And that fresh arm is Jacob Rhame.
Rhame, 26, has struggled so far this season for Syracuse, posting a 9.53 ERA and 1.58 WHIP while walking five and striking out seven in 5.2 innings (six appearances).
Mets takeaways from Tuesday's 14-3 loss to Phillies, including Matz's meltdown
Steven Matz puts Mets in early hole with messy first inning
Apr 17 | 12:19AM
Absolutely nothing went right for the Mets on Tuesday. Steven Matz was roughed up for eight runs before he could even record an out as the Mets fell to the Phillies in a 14-3 loss on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park. >> Box score
Six things to know about Tuesday's game
1) Matz had nothing going for him, allowing eight runs, six earned, on four hits, a walk and hit batsman, including two home runs without getting a single out before he was pulled from the game. The Phillies tacked on two more against Drew Gagnon in relief before the inning finally ended with the Mets in a 10-0 hole.
Steven Matz looks to keep rolling as Mets take on Phillies, Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. on SNY
Mets have tough matchup vs. Aaron Nola after splitting series vs. Braves
Apr 16 | 4:11PM
The Mets (10-6, first place in NL East) face the Phillies (9-6, second place in NL East) open up a three-game set Monday at 7:05 p.m.
The Mets picked up a big extra-inning win last night in Philadelphia. They have now won four of their last six games. ...The Mets have 10 or more hits in each of their last four games. ...Edwin Diaz collected his sixth save of the season, which ranks fourth in the MLB and second in the National League. ...Michael Conforto has gone deep in three of his last six games. ...Pete Alonso has reached base safely in eight straight starts.
If the Mets are going to be this careful about protecting Edwin Diaz, refusing to use him in the highest of high-leverage eighth-inning spots Monday night against the Phillies, then there's only one way to justify such caution:
Go sign Craig Kimbrel. And do it quickly before someone else does.
It's the obvious take, I know, and it might make for a touchy situation as to who gets the ninth inning if the Mets actually were to sign him.
Mets' Mickey Callaway defends decision to not use Edwin Diaz in eighth
Gsellman walks in game-tying run while Diaz sits
Apr 16 | 12:14AM
Mets manager Mickey Callaway defended his decision not to use Edwin Diaz in a pivotal eighth-inning spot after Monday's 11-inning win over the Phillies, saying he wouldn't use his closer for a four-out save unless it was the playoffs.
Callaway said the Mets wouldn't have Diaz, who has a 1.35 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings this season, pitch more than one inning or enter in a tie game on the road.
After Jeurys Familia pitched into a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the bottom of the eighth in a 6-5 game, Callaway turned to Robert Gsellman instead of Diaz to try to escape the jam. Gsellman then walked in the game-tying run on four pitches to blow the save.
Mets takeaways from Monday's 7-6 win over the Phillies
Conforto drives in winning run after Mets' bullpen blows lead
Apr 15 | 11:37PM
Michael Conforto drove in the game-winning run on an error in the 11th inning as the Mets overcame a blown eighth-inning lead to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-6 on Monday at Citizens Bank Park. >> Box score
Seven things to know about Monday's game
1) Conforto's two-out liner off Rhys Hoskins' glove trickled into shallow right field, allowing Juan Lagares to score from second base ahead of Cesar Hernandez's off-line throw to break a 6-6 tie.
2)Edwin Diaz, who did not enter the game for a four-out save in the eighth inning, struck out the side in the bottom of the 11th as the Mets snapped a two-game losing streak.
As someone who was forced to retire from his sport while still an elite athlete due to spine-related injuries, few people in the universe could relate to Tiger Woods' winning the Masters on Sunday quite like David Wright.
As such Wright had planned his Sunday afternoon/evening to make sure he was in front of his TV at home in Virginia.
Only he hadn't planned on the tournament organizers moving tee times up several hours to avoid late-day rain. So as Tiger was teeing off at 9:20 a.m., Wright and his wife, Molly, were getting ready to take their two young daughters to see Paw Patrol Live, a sold-out event the girls had been talking about for weeks.
Noah Syndergaard looks to end skid as Mets face Phillies, Monday at 7:05 p.m. on SNY
Mets have tough matchup vs. Aaron Nola after splitting series vs. Braves
Apr 15 | 5:30PM
The Mets (9-6, second place in NL East) face the Phillies (9-5, first place in NL East) open up a three-game set Monday at 7:05 p.m.
The Mets, along with the rest of MLB, will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on Monday by having every player and coach wear No. 42. ... Michael Conforto, batting cleanup, has reached base safely at least twice in 12 games this season -- second-best in the majors -- and faces a Phillies team whom he has homered in three of his last five games against. ... Brandon Nimmo is again in the leadoff spot as he enters the game having reached base safely in the last seven straight games.
Providing an alternate reason for deGrom's struggles, talking Keuchel and Kimbrel, and more
Apr 15 | 4:00PM
Doug Williams and Andy Martino "Make your Monday" with an all-new Shea Anything podcast -- the first of a new regular weekly delivery every Monday from now on!
This week, they provide an alternate reason for Jacob deGrom's recent struggles, you'll know all about speed variance by the end of the show. They also drop updates on starting rotation options for the Mets, and the ongoing mystery of where Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel will eventually pitch this season.