MetsJunkies Sunday Recap

Syndergaard hit the mound like a man on a mission. The 6’7″ right hander pitched 7 innings while giving up 2 runs on 5 hits, striking out 3. Syndergaard now has an ERA of 4.50 and a 3-4 win/loss record.

J.D. Davis has a multi-hit game, going 2-3 and is now batting .287 on the season.


Syracuse Mets

Tim Tebow hit his first home run of the season. The former NFL quarterback is now batting .157 after going 1-4.

Rajai Davis reached base twice, going 1-3 with a walk. Davis is now batting .281 in 36 games.

Reliever Cory Taylor pitched a scoreless 1-2-3 inning, lowering his ERA to 2.04.


  • Binghamton Rumble Ponies

  • Catcher Ali Sanchez picked up a multi-hit game by going 2-5 with an RBI.

    Third baseman Will Toffey also had a multi-hit game, going 2-3 with a walk and run scored.

    Luis Carpio is making his second start for Binghamton since being promoted and went 2-3, hitting his first home run of the season. The infielder drove in 2 runs as well as scored 2 runs, his average is now .

    Jason Vargas took the mound for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies as part of his rehab assignment. The veteran lefty pitched 4 innings, giving up 1 run on 2 hits, while striking out 5 and walking 3, he has an ERA of 2.25 with the Rumble Ponies.


    St. Lucie Mets

    Shortstop Manny Rodriguez had a multi-hit game by going 2-3 with an RBI double.

    Quinn Brodey had a 2-5 afternoon with an RBI and run scored.

    Takeaways from tonight’s win

  • 1. Amed Rosario showed “lead off” discipline at the plate as he drew two walks.
  • 2. Conforto is proving himself to be an elite number three hitter. He’s shown a great eye at the plate while providing power behind his cut. He drove in three runs.
  • 3. Jeff McNeil continues to rake as he starts rallies as well as capitalize in the clutch in another multi-hit game.
  • 4. While in the game, Syndergaard was sharp. He pitched seven plus innings, he gave up 5 hits and four runs while striking out seven. He only gave up one run in the 1st seven innings.
  • 5. Wilson “The Buffalo” Ramos went opposite field with the bases loaded to drive in two with a single.
  • 6. Edwin Diaz would come on in the ninth and give up home run and a single, but his four seam fastball and slider were on point as he ended the game with three strikeouts.
  • Syndergaard & Strasburg go toe to toe in a heavyweight exchange.

    The Mets host the Nationals at CitiField today after sweeping the Marlins in Miami, then traveling up to New York for a 1:10 PM to play two games within 24 hours.

    While Syndergaard hasn’t given up a hit yet, he did give up a run early when Wilmer Difo laid down a safety squeeze in the second, putting the Nationals up by one.

    Noah only gave up two runs on one hit, however he struggled to find his command and just wasn’t as sharp as we’re accustomed to seeing while still retiring 12 in a row at one point.

    Wilson Ramos would get the first hit of the game for either side to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. After McNeil grounded into a force out, Rosario would reach on an error committed by Anthony Rendon at third.

    Unfortunately, Strasburg would strike out both Juan Lagares and Noah Syndergaard to end the fifth.

    Syndergaard, who gives up a home run 1 every 68 at-bats, which is the best in the Majors, would give up a lead off homer in the sixth to rookie centerfielder Victor Robles. The home run would give Washington the 2-0 lead in the middle innings.

    Syndergaard would end up pitching 6 innings, giving up 1 hit, 2 runs, walking two and striking out six.

    McNeil and Rosario would both strike two-out singles in the seventh, forcing Strasburg out of the game for the match up of Nationals reliever Matt Grace and Pinch Hitter J.D. Davis. However, Davis would get caught looking to end the inning.

    The Nationals relief core would shut the Mets down the rest of the way, unfortunately. Nationals closer Sean Doolittle would come on in the bottom of the ninth to close the game with the Nationals winning 4-0.

    The Mets will send Steven Matz to the mound on Saturday after a day off on Friday, Matz will go head to head with fellow left handed pitcher Patrick Corbin at 1:10 PM.

    New York Mets or the Flushing Zoo?

    In a hilarious interview with the media after Saturday’s win over the Nationals, Syndergaard said that he referred to Pete Alonso as the “Polar Bear”, Wilson Ramos “The Buffalo”, Jeff McNeil as “The Squirrel” and himself as “The Cat”.

    McNeil now has “Flying Squirrel” stitched into one of his many gloves.

    Source: @AnthonyDiComo

    Syndergaard struggles to find his rhythm

    Noah Syndergaard went 4.0 innings against the Marlins on Friday and gave up four runs, three of which were earned. The Texas born righty served up two home runs, one being hit by former Mets IF Neil Walker. Syndergaard didn’t walk a batter and miraculously enough, the Ace struck out eight Marlins on the afternoon.

  • Side Notes:
    • Jeff McNeil lead the game off with a home run.
      Robinson Cano is 2-2 with a home run & R.B.I.

    Noah loves Wilson

    🎨: @AthleteLogos

    … oh, and the fans love “The Buffalo”, well.

    Noah Syndergaard was asked about the newly acquired backstop and had this to say about the right handed Buffalo, “Ramos behind the plate is a guy who can control the running game”. Syndergaard has had issues in the past with holding runners on, which has been somewhat of a detriment to his windup.

    He also went on to say that “he really adapts to his pitchers, and he also can mash the baseball… I think the lineup is going to be a force”. Something the Mets haven’t had coming from behind the dish in a hot minute.

    Ramos is expected to bat in the middle of the lineup, probably in the cleanup spot if all goes accordingly. Most importantly, Wilson needs to stay healthy for at least 110 games, more would be ideal.

    This story was reported by “The New York Post”.

    #LGM

    The Mets Starting Pitching depth?

    By Corné Hogeveen

    The Mets are having a great off-season under the wings of new GM Brodie van Wagenen. Something the new GM has addressed big time is Depth. With the additions of Lowrie, Broxton and JD Davis, they have improved our MLB depth with good and versatile players. The bullpen has improved drastically with the additions of Diaz, Wilson and Avilan and the return of Familia. But there is one spot on the roster which the Mets haven’t addressed as much so far this off-season, and in my opinion that’s the area van Wagenen should be looking to add depth: Starting pitching.

    Current Rotation:

    The Mets rotation at the moment is Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz and Jason Vargas. To me this is a very good rotation, as I believe Vargas will be close to his career norm, sporting an ERA around the 4.20. Which is solid as a fifth starter. That being said the Mets starters have injury history. We saw a health improvement from all the starter, besides ironically Jason Vargas, who was hurt parts of the first half. So what do the Mets have behind the rotation now?

    Seth Lugo:

    Yes the Mets still have Seth Lugo, a very reliable starting pitching option. We all remember Lugo dominating the Yankees at Citi Field last season, as it shows that Lugo is capable to provide a solid spot start if needed. But with that being said, Lugo has shown he is way more important as a bullpen piece. A guy who can give you innings out there with more dominance than when he starts.

    Career numbers:

    Starting pitcher: 4.06 ERA, 1.30 WHIP

    Relief pitcher: 2.38 ERA, 0.99 WHIP

    That’s a pretty big difference from a dominant reliever to a so-so starter. To me Lugo needs to be in the pen and provide depth and innings in that role. If you need a starter for one game, I wouldn’t mind Lugo to make the start, but if you need a starter for a longer period of time I would rather keep him in the role he excels in.

    Hector Santiago:

    The Mets lone minor league starting pitching signing this off-season so far is Hector Santiago. The former all-star has been in steep decline after his 2015 all-star season. Over the last 3 seasons Santiago didn’t have an ERA under 4.50. Last season Santiago was awful as a starter with a 6.12 ERA. He fared far better as a reliever owning a 3.87 ERA in that role. I believe the Mets will give him a look in Spring as he might provide innings out of the pen, more than been seen as a starting option. Just like with Lugo.

    Corey Oswalt:

    We have seen Corey Oswalt pitch for the Mets in the Majors. He did make some solid starts, but even in those he was pretty lucky allowing some hard hit balls, that landed in gloves of the fielders. Oswalt sported a 5.85 ERA with a 1.37 WHIP for the Mets in 2018, not something you want pitching a lot. And at this moment you can argue that Oswalt is next in line to make multiple starts if needed, which to me is scary bad. Oswalt is just one season removed from being the Eastern League pitcher of the year for the Binghamton Mets (now Rumble Ponies). But still don’t see that much upside for the 25 year old, as his stuff is below average in my opinion.

    Walker Lockett:

    The Mets traded for Walker Lockett in the Kevin Plawecki trade with the Indians this off-season. Lockett has more upside than Oswalt in my opinion as he features a heavy sinking fastball with a solid curve and change. His sinking fastball is his main weapon as it features good movement. Lockett has pitched just 15 innings in the majors, but they weren’t pretty, as he allowed 16 earned runs in those innings. Still Lockett had a solid season in the difficult PCL with a 4.73 ERA (which is solid in the PCL) for EL Paso. If Lockett outperforms Oswalt in Syracuse, he can be next up if the Mets need a starter.

    Kyle Dowdy:

    The Mets selected Dowdy in the Rule 5 draft this off-season, so he needs to be on the 25 man roster or MLB DL all season for the Mets to keep his services. That will give Dowdy an edge over guys like Bashlor, Smith and Hanhold to make the big league pen out of spring training. If Dowdy makes the squad, after a solid spring, he will likely be an eight man out of the pen who will pitch in long relief. That will include spot starting if needed. Dowdy had a down year in 2018 as a starter in the minors for the Indians and Tigers, but the Mets clearly see him as a relief option to take a look at this spring. Over 124 innings, Dowdy pitched to a 5.15 ERA combined in 2018. Here is something I found via Metsminors.net.

    In a July scouting report from 2080 Baseball, Dowdy received the following comments:

    Ceiling of low-leverage middle reliever if he takes to a ‘pen role and finds a more consistent off-speed pitch. If he can’t do those things, will be a 4A guy lacking another speed to pair with his high-velo fastball. OFP 40.

    Dowdy needs to take a bullpen role if he wants to have a shot at the MLB roster, so don’t see a problem here. If he doesn’t make the team he will need to be send back to Cleveland, and in my opinion there is definitely a possibility that happens.

    Chris Flexen:

    Chris Flexen showed off that he is in better shape working out with the Barwis program last week. Lets hope that something will get out of it with him being in better shape. Flexen had a lot of issues in the bigs in his stints in ‘17 and ‘18. His big league career ERA is 8.45 with a WHIP over 2. Again not something you want to see a lot if you are a Mets fan. But Flexen still has some promise, as he features a plus curve ball with a solid change. If he can add some mph on his FB there is still some promise for him being a solid depth piece, but we can’t count on that.

    Drew Gagnon:

    The Mets still have Drew Gagnon on their 40 man roster, which probably won’t be the case this spring. But since he is still on the roster he is still starting pitching depth. Gagnon actually had the best season out of the mentioned depth (besides Lugo/Santiago) in the minors. He pitched to a 4.40 ERA in 163.2 innings between AA and AAA, with most of his work in the PCL. Gagnon led the PCL with strikeouts in 2018, striking out 167 in AAA. In the majors Gagnon pitched to a 5.25 ERA in 12 innings of work. His strikeouts per nine was just 6 showing that Gagnon is most likely being a AAAA starter type without much upside for the MLB level. At 29 years old I won’t expect any improvement.

    When you look at all of these options you can’t deny we can use additional starting pitching depth. With the injury history of most starters and ineffectiveness from Vargas in 2018, you still need more depth. As I do believe in Vargas to return to his career norm, you still need back-up if that isn’t the case. The Mets have talked with Gio Gonzalez as he could become the fifth starter with Vargas getting moved to the pen. That will provide Vargas as more of a depth starter behind the very strong starting five. Mets could also look at depth options like Ervin Santana, who is coming off an injury riddled-down year, if he takes a milb deal. Still with the Mets being constructed like it is right now, my main attention will be adding starting pitching. And with the Gio reports it seems like that what BVW is aiming for.

    Syndergaard dominates in Mets opener

    If the first inning on the mound is any indicator of what Noah Syndergaard has in store for his opponents in this upcoming season, the Mets & the “Mets Junkies” should have a lot to look forward to.

    Syndergaard had a strong outing while uncharacteristically giving up 4 runs in the six innings he occupied the mound. However, the 6’6″ powerhouse also struck out ten Cardinals & giving up no free passes in a 9 – 4 win. His fastball was hitting 98 – 100 MPH with ease while his slider was touching 92 MPH.

    Syndergaard picks up his first win of the 2018 season, in which he is a top candidate & possibly the front runner for the highly esteemed Cy Young award, if the Texas native can remain healthy of course.

    Is There Room for Optimism in 2018?

    By David Weiss

    Metsland is pretty depressing place right now. Fans are not looking forward to 2018. After a few years of optimism, we have reverted back to masochism. Is it possible that the Mets might shock us? If a few things fall into place, maybe the Mets could stun the baseball world. Even if the Mets make no more offseason moves, they could possibly be the Cinderella team. After all, every season has its share of surprises. Last year the Twins went to the playoffs after losing 103 games in 2016. The Diamondbacks lost 93 in 2016 and followed by winning 93 in 2017. Every team has its ups and downs. With the current playoff format in which each league has two wild card teams, anything is possible.

    For the Mets to have a good season, several things need to go right. To start, the Mets need to be healthy. There is no way around this one. Fans got a crash course in anatomy. The 2017 Mets injuries were of epic proportions. Thor refused the MRI. Harvey hasn’t been healthy since game 5 of the World Series. Familia had a serious blood clot after his suspension. Lugo and Nimmo got injured during the WBC. Cesp couldn’t keep his hammy healthy. Flores and Lagares each had a couple of trips to the DL. Conforto and TJ had such bad injuries they may not be ready for opening day… and the list goes on and on. One can only wonder what the 2017 Mets would have done if they had stayed healthy. The Mets have fired head trainer Ray Ramirez and players have discussed taking their training more seriously this offseason. Juan Lagares has changed his swing and hopes it can keep him healthier. If the pitching staff can stay healthy enough this season, that would be a huge improvement. It is reasonable to say that if the Mets can stay healthy they should at least be a .500 team.

    Thor injury

    After refusing an MRI, Noah Syndergaard left his next start with a torn lat muscle. (April 30th 2017)

    The other big advantage the Mets have is a weak division. While the Nationals are clearly the favorites to win the NL East, the rest of the division is mediocre. The Marlins are in a fire sale of Marlinian proportion. They do this about once a decade. The Braves and Phillies have potential but their rotation depth must shape up before being taken seriously. By the time March comes around, it is fair to assume that the Mets will be predicted to be the second place team in this division by most experts.

    As of now, the Mets have a lot of youngsters who will be expected to step up. Rosario and Smith are the ones on everyone’s mind. However, Nimmo and Plawecki are guys who were high draft picks who had some decent numbers in 2017. They had an OBP of .379 and .364 respectively, which is very solid. If they Mets can maximize the potential of these sleepers, they can make things a lot of fun and be the team breakout players of the year.

    Nimmo Smile

    Always smiling, Brandon Nimmo could be a pleasant surprise in 2018.

    It looks like this will be the year many have waited for. Wilmer Flores, will finally get his shot as an everyday player. He is currently the Mets second baseman. While he has been justifiably criticized for very poor defense, it should be pointed out that it is almost always for his play at third. At second, his defensive stats are better. He is no gold glover but he is tolerable. If Rosario’s defense at short is as good as advertised, it can make up for Wilmer’s lack of rabge. In 2017, Wilmer showed he can hit righties well and had an OPS of .765 against them. Give him a full season and he could be a 20-25 homer guy.

    Wilmer

    Wilmer Flores hitting a game winning… against a righty (July 22nd 2017)

    Most projections have Thor and deGrom pitching well in 2018. The rest of the rotation is a big question mark. Wheeler, Matz, Lugo and Gsellman all have shown that they have star potential. All have shown that they can find the DL on a map. All of them will be fighting for a spot in the Mets rotation. We can only hope that at any given time at least two will be healthy and effective pitchers. Harvey is of course the biggest mystery. He has gone from being the Dark Knight of Gotham to Hurricane Harvey. The past two years have been a nightmare. There is one thing to remember. Harvey wants a big payday after this season. If he can return even close to his old self, he could get that. Many have questioned how motivated Harvey still is. Perhaps a nine figure paycheck could inspire him to shape up.

    Harvey

    The Dark Knight Returns- What does the future hold for Matt Harvey?

    The rotation is still potentially great. With some health and luck, they can be fantastic. Additionally, the bullpen seems to be very deep. With Familia, Ramos, Swarzak and Blevins the Mets have four really solid guys. If Robles can bounce back, the bullpen could be lights out. Toss in pitchers like Smoker and Sewald who have could be back end of the pen guys and the talent is there. Never forget that in October the team with better relief pitching usually wins in any given series.

    For the Mets to make the playoffs in 2018 will require a lot to fall in line. The website fangraphs.com projects the Mets to win 80 games and miss the playoffs by only 4 games. Who knows? Maybe this season the Mets will surprise us.

    (David Weiss is a lifelong Mets fan. He has lived in Israel since 2008 and runs the Facebook page ‘Jewish Mets Fans’.)