Travesty Of Reducing Minor League Teams

Like many people who watch baseball who have a heart, we have been dismayed at worker compensation for minor league baseball teams. For a league with profit margins as large as Major League Baseball and for a league where the most exciting players are not even arbritation elgible yet, it seems like a no brainer to treat the kids well.

And by well we mean – a living wage, housing a meals to essentially not quite adult yet bseball players who are trying to become fit whiel surving on whatever they can get. While MLB players at the minimum make salaries 10x the average first year teaching salary in New Jersey, minor league players are lucky if they can break 10k over the course of the year.

This issue was made worse by Baseball baking into the Tax Code the “Protect America’s Past Time Act” which allows baseball to pay MiLB’ers as apprentices to avoid lawsuits overwages.

Now the MLB is taking another drastic step. Manfred is planning on eliminating 42 minor league teams, including entire short season leagues. Two Mets teams are on the chopping block – Binghamton and Kingsports. So in addition hurting individual players, the league is now going to hurt cities and taxpayers.

Not all MiLB teams are profitable but cities have poured tax breaks into stadiums and deals that are now threatened by this move. Teams also support dozens of local jobs in their individual townships.

To get more specific, I’ve been to 6 teams that are set to be eliminated: Binghamton, Vermont Lake Monsters (Burlington), Bristol (TN/VA), Frederick, Hagerstown and Mahoning Valley. The new ownership in Binghamton has spent the last couple of years spending a lot of money to upgrade the ballpark and it looks great. I’ve been there three times now in the last decade and the last time was by far the best and the most packed. Frederick has been part of the Maryland community for years. Hagerstown even longer, playing in an incredibly historic stadium. Bristol uses a high school stadium. Burlington uses a college stadium that has also been around for forever. For Bristol and Burlington – they do the rare thing in sports where a field is being used by multiple teams to make it worth upkeeping.

I’m already bracing myself for this elimination to happen. It’s a shame though, driving around to different cities to watch Minor League Baseball is the best and now dozens of cities are in jeopardy of having abandoned stadiums as monuments to major league baseball’s greed.

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Game Preview: Braves vs Mets

The 2019 season is finally over. A season marred with trades that didn’t pan out, a bullpen that under performed and an offense that went missing for a better part of the month. A season that saw a team go from 11 games under .500 to almost getting a post-season berth via the Wild Card. A season that saw new rookie home run record holder in Pete Alonso. A season that saw another dominant, possibly Cy Young level, campaign from Jacob deGrom. Personally, this may be one of the more memorable Mets seasons in my lifetime. Today they put on the cleats one more time and then we’ll just have to wait for next year.

Noah Syndergaard takes the mound for what could be, but most likely won’t be, his last start as a Met. He is 10-8 over 31 starts and 190.2 innings with a 4.30 ERA, 3.61 FIP, 1.243 WHIP and a 94 ERA+. He pitched more innings this year than he ever has and stats are generally the worst in his career. For four consecutive starts he has allowed 4 earned runs over 5.0 to 5.2 innings from 6-10 hits per start raising his ERA from 3.97 to 4.30. In his one start against the Braves this year he allowed 3 runs over 5.2 innings in a game the Mets won 8-5. The Braves have the following numbers against Noah:

The Mets bats will end the season against the young stud pitcher for the Braves, Mike Soroka who is 13-4 over 28 games and 169.2 innings making his last warm-up for the post-season. He has a 2.60 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 1.090 WHIP and 177 ERA+ this season. His 0.7 HR/9 is the lowest in the league. That being said, he’s been more human the last two months posting an ERA of 3.46 over his last 7 starts and 41.2 innings of work. And although he beat the Mets both times he played them, he didn’t dominate them like he has to other teams. He first beat the Mets after allowing 3 runs over 6.0 innings, a game that rose his ERA from 1.92 to 2.12 in the middle of June. A week later he beat the Mets despite allowing 2 runs from 7 hits over 6.1 innings. In both games the Mets homered. The Mets have the following numbers against Soroka:

Let’s Go Mets!

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Game Preview: Braves vs Mets

Yesterday Pete Alonso tied Aaron Judge for the rookie home run record at 52 bombs. Now Pete has two more games this season to break the record. Besides that, 2019 continues to wind down at Citi Field as Marcus Stroman made his last start last night, capping off a successful month of September after a lack luster month of August. Tonight Steven Matz makes his last start of 2019 as we continue to say good bye to Mets baseball.

Steven Matz is 101-10 over 31 game sand 21 starts logging 154.1 innings with a 4.37 ERA, 4.64 FIP, 1.348 WHIP and a 93 ERA+. Last year he finished at exactly 154 innings, so its already the first time in his career that the has had back to back years of 150+ innings of work. Although his season ERA jumped (4.37 this year compared to 3.97 last year) some of his peripherals stayed practically the same (94 vs 93 ERA+, 4.62 vs 4.64 FIP). His WHIP did jump a full tenth of a point. Anyway the last two starts tanked his ability to finish the season at a sub 4.00 ERA, he’s allowed 13 runs over 9.0 innings so it would be nice if he can finish on a high note. He is 1-2 in 5 starts against the Braves this year allowing 11 runs in 25.0 innings, a 3.96 ERA. The Braves have the following numbers against him:

  • Freddie Freeman 7-28, 2 2B, HR, BB, 4 K
  • Tyler Flowers 2-17, 2B, 3 BB, 6 K
  • Nick Markakis 3-18, 2B, BB, 4 K
  • Ozzie Albies 3-15, 2B, 3 K
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. 3-12, 3B, BB, 3 K
  • Josh Donaldson 3-9, 2 HR
  • Adeiny Hechavarria 2-11, K
  • Dansby Swanson 3-9, 2B, BB, K

The Mets bats will get another look at Mike Folynewicz who is 8-5 over 20 starts and 113.0 innings with a 4.46 ERA, 4.88 FIP, 1.257 WHIP and 102 ERA+. In his last 6 starts and 37.2 innings he has allowed only 6 runs, 5 earned, which translates into a 1.19 ERA as opponents have batted .167/ .220/.258 against him. That stretch started against the Mets where he held them to 1 run over 7.0 innings from 2 hits and 2 walks. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

  • Joe Panik 2-15, 3 K
  • Todd Frazier 1-13, HR, BB, 7 K
  • Michael Conforto 1-9, BB, 3 K
  • Wilson Ramos 1-8, 2B, BB, K
  • Juan Lagares 1-6, K
  • Brandon Nimmo 1-5, HR, K
  • Amed Rosario 0-5, 2 K
  • Pete Alonso 0-3, K
  • Jacob deGrom 1-2, HR (and not playing)

Let’s Go Mets!

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Game Preview: Braves vs Mets

Wheeler pitched eight innings last night, but it wasn’t enough as the Marlins were able to power past the Mets on 3 homers and beat them 4-2. TOnight the Mets will open their last series of the 2019 season against the Atlanta Braves who are doing their last tune up before the NLDS. For the Mets, the most exciting event this weekend will be Pete Alonso, still chasing the rookie record for homers.

Marcus Stroman makes his final start for the Mets in 2019. He went 3-2 over 10 starts and 53.2 innings as a Met so far posting a 3.86 ERA, 4.45 FIP, 1.509 WHIP and 106 ERA+. After allowing only 1 run over 13.1 innings in two starts, he stumbled a bit in his last start, allowing 2 runs over 4.2 innings from 3 hits and 3 walks. He was also battling a stomach bug which contributed to both his performance and his early exit. When he faced Atlanta earlier this season he allowed 3 runs, 2 earned over 5.1 innings from 4 hits and 4 walks. The Braves have the following numbers against him:

The Mets get one last look at Dallas Keuchel who could be a New York Met in another universe. Who knows. He’s 8-7 over 18 starts and 107.2 innings with a 3.59 ERA, 4.49 FIP, 1.328 WHIP and 127 ERA+. He’s 5-2 and the team is 6-2 in his last 8 starts where he pitched 48.0 innings posting a very nice 2.06 ERA. This stretch was jump started by a 6.0 inning shutout performance against the New York Mets on August 14th and then reinforced two starts later against the New York Mets with a 7.0 inning shut out performance. The Mets have the following numbers against Dallas:

Let’s Go Mets!

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Game Preview: Marlins vs Mets

At least the Mets were eliminated because the Brewers won, not because the Mets lost. The Mets came out swinging last night like it was their final shot at a postseason bid – scoring 9 runs in the first three innings including Alonso’s 51st homer of the year. Jacob deGrom tossed another amazing start, going 7.0 scoreless innings padding his resume for a second consecutive Cy Young award. But, the Brewers won and now as Mets fans we have to switch gears and root for either them or the Cardinals against the Nationals in a Wild Card game at the end of the season.

The Mets still have a few story lines to play out. First, the Mets lost Jeff McNeil to a fractured wrist in last night’s game. Alonso still has a chance to tie and overtake the rookie home run record. Tonight is potentially Wheeler’s last start. Michael Conforto and Amed Rosario have excellent seasons to wrap up. With the pressure being off for winnings (and a winning season already wrapped up), it’s probably a good time to tinker with Edwin Diaz. Still a lot of things to look at in this final week of the season, even if they are the smallest of silver linings.

Zack Wheeler, rumored in trades in both the 2018 and 2019 deadlines, acquired in a trade deadline deal for Carlos Beltran in 2011 could be making his last Mets start tonight. He is 11-7 over 30 starts and 187.0 innings with a 3.99 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 1.286 WHIP and 102 ERA+. In his last five starts he has pitched 32.0 innings with a 1.41 ERA. He is 2-0 against the Marlins this year over 15.0 innings allowing only 2 runs on 17 hits and 2 walks while striking out 16. The Marlins have the following numbers against him:

The Mets bats will close our their last game in 2019 against the Marlins facing rookie pitcher Jordan Yamamoto. Yamamoto is 4-5 over 14 starts and 72.2 innings with a 4.83 ERA, 4.78 FIP, 1.183 WHIP and 88 ERA+. In his last 8 starts he is 0-5, pitching 38.2 innings with a 7.68 ERA. This includes a start on August 7th against the Mets where he allowed 4 runs from 5 hits and a walk in 6.0 innings of work. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

Let’s Go Mets!

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Game Preview: Marlins vs Mets

The Mets are down to their last hope! Last night they squeaked out a win in extra innings after a less-than stellar start by Noah Syndergaard. But the Nationals and Brewers both won (with the former clinching a playoff berth) so now the Mets have to hope for the Brewers to lose the rest of the week while the Mets go on a winning streak. Highly unlikely but still mathematically possible.

Jacob deGrom will take the mound for the Mets. He is 10-8 over 31 starts and 197.0 innings with a 2.51 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 0.990 WHIP (league leading) and a 162 ERA+ (his second highest in his career next to last year’s absurd 218). Jacob also leads the league in strikeouts at 248. Since May 22nd deGrom has pitched 22 games and 145.0 innings with a 1.99 ERA. In his last three starts he has allowed 1 earned run over 21.0 innings from 10 hits and a walk while striking out 28. Opponents are hitting .139/.162/.181 against him in this stretch. In 5 starts already against the Marlins this season he has allowed 11 runs, 10 earned over 31.0 innings, a 2.90 ERA. The Marlins have the following numbers against him:

The Mets bats will try to keep their season alive against Robert Dugger who is in his rookie season. He is 0-3 over 6 starts and 32.1 innings with a 4.45 ERA, 5.72 FIP, 1.299 WHIP and a 96 ERA+. He’s coming off of his second worst start of his career, where he allowed 4 runs over 5.0 innings from 3 hits and 2 walks. His worst start was his major league debut against the Mets. The Mets tagged him for 6 runs over 5.0 innings from 5 hits and 4 walks including 2 homers. The Mets have the following batting lines from that game:

Let’s Go Mets!

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Game Preview: Marlins vs Mets

The Mets really put themselves in a tough spot. They dropped the first game of the series against the Marlins last night, which lowered their elimination number to 2. The Mets loaded the bases in the first inning, but couldn’t bring anyone home. In the next few innings they allowed 2 runs before Matz allowed his first career grand slam in the 6th inning making it 6-0 Marlins. Amed Rosario responded with a grand slam of his own but a defensive miscue by the Mets in the next frame made it 8-4 and the Mets would never recover.

So Noah Syndergaard has to put the team on his back tonight. He is 10-8 over 30 starts and 185.2 innings with a 4.22 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 1.223 WHIP and a 96 ERA+. The last three starts have not gone well for Noah – he’s allowed exactly 4 earned runs in each start. In his last 5 games, which includes a 7.0 inning shutout performance, he has allowed 22 runs over 25.2 innings. In two starts against the Marlins this season he has allowed 4 runs over 14.0 innings from 10 hits and a walk while striking out 12. The Marlins have the following numbers against him:

The Mets bats draw a Marlins 2019 All Star tonight – Sandy Alcantara who is 5-14 over 30 starts and 184.1 innings with a 4.00 ERA, 4.61 FIP, 1.329 WHIP and 106 ERA+. September has been an interesting month for Sandy. His first and last start were rough, allowing a combined 9 runs over 14.0 innings. Between those two starts he threw a complete game shutout and had an outing where he allowed 1 run over 7.0 innings. He is 1-2 over 4 starts against the Mets this year posting a 3.51 ERA from allowing 10 runs from 22 hits and 8 walks in 25.2 innings of work. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

Let’s Go Mets!

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Game Preview: Marlins vs Mets

The Mets won yesterday, but so did the Brewers therefore the Mets’ elimination number dropped down to 3. The Mets window is continuing to shrink but if they win tonight, a new opportunity could open – while the Brewers have gone a 4 game winning streak, winning 8-2 of their last 10, the Nationals have gone 5-5 in their last ten. The Nationals have played two less games than the Brewers and if they lose today, they become the team that the Mets end up chasing.

None of this matters if the Mets don’t win though. Steven Matz takes the mound tonight and he is 10-9 over 30 games and 28 starts with 149.1 innings and a 4.16 ERA, 4.55 FIP, 1.333 WHIP and a 98 ERA+. He’s coming off a rough start against the Rockies where he allowed 7 runs from 6 hits and 2 walks (and 2 homers) in 4.0 innings. He has a 2.87 ERA in three starts and 15.2 innings against the Marlins allowing 7 runs, 5 earned over 15.2 innings from 18 hits and 4 walks. The Marlins have the following stat lines against him:

The Mets bats will get a look at Caleb Smith who is 9-10 over 26 starts and 144.1 innings with a 4.24 ERA, 4.86 FIP, 1.164 WHIP and a 100 ERA+. September hasn’t been the kindest month to Caleb – he’s allowed 14 runs, 13 earned, over 22.0 innings (5.32 ERA) in 4 starts and that includes a start where he tossed 6.0 scoreless innings. In two starts against the Mets he allowed 4 runs from 7 hits and 6 walks in 11.0 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

Let’s Go Mets!

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Game Preview: Mets @ Reds

Yesterday was not a good day for the Mets. They lost to the Reds 3-2, the Nationals and the Brewers both won dropping the Mets to 4.5 games out and their elimination number to 4. Things aren’t over yet but now the Mets have a very small window to make the playoffs. The only thing the Mets can do is keep winning and see what happens in other games.

Marcus Stroman was Marcus Stroman his last time out. More of that please! On the season with the Mets he is 3-2 over 9 starts and 49.0 innings with a 3.86 ERA, 4.20 FIP, 1.531 WHIP and 106 ERA+. In his last two starts he has allowed 1 run over 13.1 innings from 8 hits and 5 walks while striking out 13. In his last start he tossed 7.0 scoreless innings. Interestingly, he has faced the Diamondbacks and Rockies already this season when he was a member of the Blue Jays before his last two starts. This pattern holds true when you consider that the only other start he allowed 1 run in prior to his last two, his 4.0 innings against the Indians, he faced them earlier in the season also. Maybe he completely rebounds and is dominate next season playing teams he’s faced again as a National League pitcher? Anyway he hasn’t faced the Reds yet this year and they have the following numbers against him:

Trevor Bauer had a 3.79 ERA over 24 starts and 156.2 innings before being traded to the Reds. Since the trade, he is 2-4 over 9 starts and 49.1 innings with a 6.39 ERA, 4.76 FIP, 1.419 WHIP and 72 ERA+. But his last two starts have been different. He’s allowed a combined 3 runs over 14.1 innings, mostly helped by a 1 run, 8.0 inning start against the Diamondbacks last week. The Mets have the following stats against him:

Let’s Go Mets!

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Game Preview: Mets @ Reds

The Mets did everything they had to do yesterday, but so did several teams so stress level for the Mets got a bit higher. The Cubs and Phillies both lost, bringing the former closer to the Mets and pushing the latter farther behind but the Brewers and Nationals both won, causing the Mets elimination number to drop. The Mets though had an excellent game. Jacob deGrom further padded a resume for a second consecutive Cy Young award, Alonso hit his 50th homer of the season and the Mets won decisively by a score of 8-1. Everyday is a “must win” day so they have to rev it up again.

Zack Wheeler is 11-7 over 29 starts and 180.1 innings with a 4.09 ERA, 3.50 FIP, 1.292 WHIP and 100 ERA+. In his last four starts he has allowed 4 runs over 25.0 innings from 27 hits and 7 walks which has led to some interesting stat line combinations: a 1.44 ERA with opponents hitting .276/.324/.330 against him. He’s looking to fare better against the Reds then he did earlier this season where he allowed 4 runs over 6.0 innings from 7 hits and 3 walks. The Reads have the following numbers against him:

The Mets draw New Jersey native Anthony DeSclafani who is 9-9 over 29 starts and 155.2 innings this season posting a 3.93 ERA, 4.53 FIP, 1.201 WHIP and 116 ERA+. After allowing 7 runs, 6 earned in 13.0 innings across his first two September starts, he rebounded in his last start, holding the Diamondbacks to 1 run over 7.0 innings. Earlier this season against the Mets he allowed no runs over 5.2 innings in a game the Reds eventually won 1-0. The Mets have the following numbers against Anthony:

Let’s Go Mets!

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