Spring Training Game Preview: Nationals vs Mets

We are so close to the regular season! The Mets have two spring training games left, one today against the Nationals and one tomorrow against the Orioles. But today is the last home game which means the line up, minus the pitching, will look a lot like the players that will see the Nationals on Thursday to open the season!

After a disappointing Friday, the Mets stomped on the Braves yesterday 12-2 with three hit games from Alonso and Rosario, two hit games from Nido, Broxton, Krizan and most notably Mauricio. The latter has had a lot of success the last two days against major league hitting. He’s definitely the prospect to be watching right now. On the mound deGrom had a solid day with 3.0 clean innings (and then rocked all the back pages expressing his disappointment in not having an extension yet), Lugo had a clean inning and Dowdy had his best outing yet allowing 1 run over 4.0 innings as he tries to break through to the roster.

Mets Lineup:

  1. Brandon Nimmo (LF)
  2. Jeff McNeil (3B)
  3. Robinson Cano (2B)
  4. Pete Alonso (DH)
  5. Michael Conforto (RF)
  6. Wilson Ramos (C)
  7. Amed Rosario (SS)
  8. Dominic Smith (1B)
  9. Juan Lagares (CF)

Starting Pitcher: Tim Peterson

Things To Watch For:

  1. The most exciting thing about today’s lineup card: Woods-Richardson who the Mets drafted in the 2nd round last year is listed as an available pitcher. Hopefully he gets some action today.
  2. Today’s lineup is awfully close to what it could be opening day. Most likely Pete Alonso is at first, not Smith (barring some major roster thing the Mets do) and there is still a possibility that Broxton starts in center not Lagares.
  3. The players in the lineup seem like the starting lineup, but is this going to be the order they are in? If so, I really don’t remember the last time I saw a player make their major league debut in the 4th spot. I’m not sure yet if I disagree with it (I generally go with the idea of putting your players who get on base the most as close to the top of the lineup as possible).
  4. Tim Peterson has pitched 8.1 major league spring training innings over 9 games and has allowed 5 runs off 7 hits, and 2 walks. I’m hoping in our last look at him he ends on a high note as he is trying move himself up the arm-depth chart.

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

2019 Mets Conglomerate Projections: Drew Smith

I debated about writing this article, but decided to do what I do most years and write it anyway. Drew Smith had Tommy John surgery about 10 days ago and won’t pitch at all this season. I had already pulled all the numbers for Smith before the injury (I pull everyone’s numbers over the same 3-day span, it’s hectic).

Ultimately I decided to write this projection article because the Mets operated this off-season as if Drew Smith was going to be a part of this team, which informed the decisions they made on who to pursue and who to not pursue to some degree.

Drew Smith was acquired in the trade with the Rays that sent Lucas Duda south. Smith made his debut last year and unlike a lot of other pitchers who debuted out of the pen last season, Smith was successful:

2018: 28 IP, 3.54 ERA, 3.66 FIP, 1.429 WHIP, 5.8 K/9, 0.5 WAR, 3.62 DRA

He had an opposite K/9 for what you would expect in this era of baseball (but one that matched his WHIP) yet he was still able to get hitters out and keep the run damage low. Computers thought he would have done this in 2019:

(Citations: ESPN projections can be found here. ZiPS can be found here. Steamer can be found here. Baseball Reference projections (BR) can found on the players BR page which linked elsewhere on this article. )

For the most part the projections saw a little regression, (outside of Steamer who saw more than a bit) which is normal. This would have been his second season so only a small amount of regression from projections, especially out of the pen, is unusual. Usually if a player has a cup of coffee and is successful, the next year stats project out much worse (which seems to be what happens to Lugo every year we do this article series).

Alas Smith won’t get a chance to show us his stuff this year. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope he comes back stronger in 2020 (and probably mid-2020 at that).

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

2019 Mets Conglomerate Projections: Jacob Rhame

Mets spring training is winding down and so is our projection series (well – sorta. We still have like 10 players left to project). Jacob Rhame got another look in the majors last year and will be starting this year off in the minors. With the Mets triple A team now in Syracuse, and with two cups of coffee already, Rhame will be near the top of the list for when the Mets need an extra arm in the the pen.

2018: 32.1 IP, 5.85 ERA, 5.48 FIP, 1.423 WHIP, 7.8 K/9, -0.2 WAR, 4.84 DRA
Career: 6.53 ERA, 5.77 FIP, 1.573 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, 5.39 DRA

Last year was definitely an improvement over 2017 in every single category listed above. It just wasn’t enough to become a regular yet, which is why the Mets needed to rework the bullpen this off-season (obviously not just because of Rhame, but his situation is the same as so many other pitchers in the Mets organization).

Lets take a look as to what Mets computers think he will do next season:

(Citations: ESPN projections can be found here. ZiPS can be found here. Steamer can be found here. Baseball Reference projections (BR) can found on the players BR page which linked elsewhere on this article. )

Not looking at ZiPS, since they don’t factor in playing time, there is a disagreement for how much time on the mound projections see Rhame getting. Baseball Reference thinks he’ll be up earlier or more often than last year, with making some major improvements. Everyone else agrees on improvements but sees him as a September call-up. If things go right for the Mets this year, or by the plan, he should be a September call-up.

No matter what, at least he’ll be closer this year if the Mets ever need him.

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Spring Training Game Preview: Mets @ Braves

If you like the Mets winning games that have no meaning, yesterday wasn’t a great day. The Mets lost at home in the early afternoon to the Cardinals 15-5 and then at night they lost to Astros 7-3. Playing so much baseball yesterday, there are positive and negative things to note. In the afternoon Jeff McNeil had 3 hits as a third basemen and Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano and Carlos Gomez each had two. O’Rourke pitched another clean inning basically forcing the Mets into a decision where they keep Dowdy because he’s a rule 5 pick or they keep their promise of taking the best 25 players and take O’Rourke. Hector Santiago started the game and allowed 5 runs off 7 hits and 3 walks over 3.0 innings in probably his final appearance before his upward mobility clause kicks in.

In the evening Dominic Smith and Luis Guillorme had two hits each. Dominic Smith raised his batting average to .362 as he and Alonso have had amazing springs. Guillorme is going to make the Mets make a tough decision between him and Hechavarria. Good news on the pitching front, Vargas pitched into the 6th inning. Bad news is his line looked bad, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. Even worse news, Edwin Diaz allowed 3 runs on 4 hits in 0.1 innings and now has a Spring ERA of 8.53. Callaway is not concerned.

Caught up? Good. Let’s jump to today:

Mets Lineup:

  1. Jeff McNeil (LF)
  2. Pete Alonso (3B)
  3. Robinson Cano (2B)
  4. Keon Broxton (CF)
  5. Carlos Gomez (RF)
  6. Amed Rosario (SS)
  7. Tomas Nido (C)
  8. Will Toffey (3B)
  9. Ronny Mauricio (DH)

Starting Pitcher:

Things To Watch For:

  1. Ronny Mauricio got his first hit in a major league spring training game yesterday afternoon and is rewarded with a DH spot today. He is currently high on a list of players who could become the next top prospect in the Mets organization.
  2. Toffey has seen limited action in major camp getting only 4 PAs and getting one hit so far. Players yesterday pretty much played the entire game they started so Toffey gets a start today! He was traded with Wahl from the Athletics for Familia last summer.
  3. Keon Broxton has 16 dogs. That has nothing to do with him starting in the outfield today. I just find this fascinating. I can barely keep 3 succulents alive and healthy.
  4. Carlos Gomez gets another start today! He went 2-4 yesterday will provide pressure on all of the outfielders trying to break into the roster.
  5. Happy deGrom day! Jacob didn’t make his last start in major league camp due to overexposure to the Marlins/Nationals. I’ll be surprised if he goes super deep into today’s game as it’s probably a tune up for Thursday. His last start was against Noah Syndergaard.

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Spring Training Game Preview: Cardinals vs Mets AND Mets @ Astros

After not playing a split squad game for weeks, the Mets will play their last split squad today sending have their squad to the Astros and keeping another half at home vs the Cardinals.

Yesterday the Mets returned to competitive baseball for the first time since Monday as they beat the Marlins 6-0 largely due to the bats of Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto. The former who two homers, his first two of spring. The latter hit his 4th homer in his 4th game in a row leading the Mets Twitter account to call him Michael ConFOURto.

Hector Santiago makes the start at home against the Cardinals. Santiago has an upward mobility clause that kicks in next week so this start isn’t only for the Mets. If any other team likes what they see and thinks he can be on their 25-man, Santiago might be gone. During Spring Training he has pitched 5 major league games totaling 6.2 innings allowing 7 runs from 11 hits and a walk while striking out 12.

Jason Vargas makes road start against the Astros. He faced his first bump in the road in his last start where he allowed 4 runs towards the end of his outing. Before he did that though, his ERA for the spring dipped down to a 0.75. Overall this spring he has allowed 5 runs over 12.1 innings, a 3.65 ERA.

Things To Watch For Today:

  1. Michael Conforto’s very good week of baseball has raised his spring slash line considerably. At the start of the week, it read “slow start” now it’s at .265/.321/.531 and it says “bring me all your hopes and dreams Mets fans”
  2. Yesterday the bases were loaded for the Marlins in the top of the 9th. They had two outs and were down by 6. A ball was struck to right field that had 1, 2 runs written all over it but Keon Broxton made an excellent diving catch which is a huge reason why the Mets sought him out this off-season.
  3. Matz only pitching 5.0 innings yesterday allowed a whole bunch of other Mets to get some game action in. Bashlor had a good bounce back outing tossing a scoreless, hitless 1.0 innings. So far this spring it feels like he’s terrific or terrible.
  4. O’Rourke had an interesting outing where he got himself into and out of trouble walking 2 in an inning but not allowing a hit or a run. He dropped is ERA to 1.93.
Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

2019 Mets Conglomerate Projections: Tim Peterson

Tim Peterson has put up some eye-popping ERA’s in the minor leagues. In 2015, he posted a 1.69 over 21.1 innings in low A ball. The next year he posted a 3.03 between high A and AA. The following year he posted a 1.86 ERA over 58.0 innings across AA and AAA and last year in 38.2 innings in Las Vegas he posted a 3.49 which was among the team’s best. His major league debut stats weren’t the best:

2018: 27.2 IP, 6.18 ERA 5.76 FIP, 1.229 WHIP, 8.1 K/9, -0.4 WAR

If the Mets didn’t make any changes to their bullpen this off-season, Tim Peterson would either be starting the season in Queens or competing for a spot. He was lightly competing for a spot this year but really jockeying for a position on the depth chart. I would put him on a short list of players who could get called up whenever the Mets need a fresh arm. Here’s what computers think he’ll do:

(Citations: Baseball Prospectus (BP) projections are from the Baseball Prospectus annual which can you can get here. It’s highly recommended. ESPN projections can be found here. ZiPS can be found here. Steamer can be found here. Baseball Reference projections (BR) can found on the players BR page which linked elsewhere on this article. )

It’s interesting that there’s less variance in Peterson’s projections then Oswalt’s projections we looked at yesterday despite Oswalt having about 3x the amount of innings logged. The projections all saw Peterson will be better and if given a longer look last year his numbers would probably be close to the projected numbers above.

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Game Preview: Marlins vs Mets

Hello! It’s been a while! The Mets last played on Monday and on Tuesday Wheeler was supposed to get a final tune-up against the Marlins. The rain came instead and the Mets/Marlins like three other games in Florida were cancelled. Then the Mets had a scheduled off-day.

Let’s Recap: Monday there was a rain threat and they wanted to get Familia into the game early, so Familia started over Dowdy. Dowdy was the pitcher to watch on Monday and he helped his chances pitching 3.0 innings allowing 3 hit sand 2 walks and allowing no runs. He got into trouble early but was able to get out of it. The advantage he has going into the final roster push – if the Mets don’t give him a spot, they’ll lose him. Meanwhile, in the minor league game yesterday, Wheeler tossed 7.0 innings and looked good.

Also on deck for the Mets: Adeiny Hechavarria, Devin Mesoraco and Rajai Davis have all triggered their upward mobility clauses, so the Mets need to make them available to other teams that may want to add them to active rosters. If that does happen, the Mets will have 48 hours to figure out if they themselves can add them to 25 man or if they have to let them go.

Mets Lineup:

  1. Brandon Nimmo (CF)
  2. Pete Alonso (1B)
  3. Robinson Cano (2B)
  4. Wilson Ramos (C)
  5. Michael Conforto (RF)
  6. JD Davis (3B)
  7. Jeff McNeil (LF)
  8. Amed Rosaro (SS)
  9. Steven Matz (P)

Game Notes:

  1. Michael Conforto hit a homer in his third straight game on Monday. His 4th of the spring now brings his spring training line to .255/.314/.468 in 51 PA’s.
  2. Big start for Steven Matz today. So far this spring he has allowed 13 runs, all earned over 10.2 innings in 4 games. Here’s hoping he can put himself back on the right path.
  3. JD Davis gets another infield start as he tries to make a case to open the season at third, putting McNeil in the outfield and Lagares on the bench. Davis is hitting .298/.340/.447 in 50 spring PAs right now
  4. Two of the Mets new additions are having terrific springs. Wilson Ramos is hitting .321/.367/.429 and Robinson Cano is hitting .475/.512/.700 over 43 PAs.
  5. All of the players with upward mobility clauses are sitting on the bench right now but are still listed as available. This could be an interesting development or a non-development throughout the day.

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

2019 Mets Conglomerate Projections: Corey Oswalt

Corey Oswalt is on the short list to replace a starting pitcher this season if any pitcher needs it, which is why we are writing a 2019 stats projection article for him. He’s already been assigned to minor league camp, although in the last couple of days we may see a return of Oswalt as the regulars limit their work load in their final tuneups, throw on the backfields, etc.

2018: 64.7 IP, 5.85 ERA, 5.70 FIP, 1.376 WHIP, 6.3 K/9, 5.73 DRA
2019 Spring Training: 3 G, 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 7 K, 1.69 ERA, 0.750 WHIP

His numbers weren’t terribly impressive last year but the Mets quite literally jerked him around and over the country between Las Vegas and Queens using him in emergency situations and constantly changing his role with the club. With the way the Mets built the pen this year, he shouldn’t even be considered as a bullpen injury replacement so this should at least keep him in one role. The AAA club in Syracuse should also keep him generally in the same time zone as the Mets. Computers think he’ll put up the following numbers this year:

(Citations: Baseball Prospectus (BP) projections are from the Baseball Prospectus annual which can you can get here. It’s highly recommended. ESPN projections can be found here. ZiPS can be found here. Steamer can be found here. Baseball Reference projections (BR) can found on the players BR page which linked elsewhere on this article. )

ZiPS and ESPN (quite surprising to see him in agreement), see Oswalt as improving but not by much. Everyone else sees him becoming an average 5th starter with irregular playing time if he gets it and that seems like a fair hope for Oswalt this season.

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

2019 Mets Conglomerate Projections: Steven Matz

Last year the Mets saw Zack Wheeler turn a corner and become that top tier pitcher they always thought they could be. The hope is the same thing happens to Steven Matz this year. The Mets already have one of the best 1-3 rotations in baseball and a slightly improved Matz would elevate them to one of the best 1-4’s in baseball.

2018: 154 IP, 3.97 ERA, 4.62 FIP, 1.247 WHIP, 8.9 K/9, 1.5 WAR, 3.62 DRA
Career: 3.98 ERA, 4.18 FIP, 1.281 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, 3.94 DRA

Last year was a solid year for Matz. There were times where it felt like he was pitching worse than he was (FIP shows that) but compared to over pitchers (DRA) he had a successful year. What do computers think he’ll do this year?

(Citations: Baseball Prospectus (BP) projections are from the Baseball Prospectus annual which can you can get here. It’s highly recommended. ESPN projections can be found here. ZiPS can be found here. Steamer can be found here. Baseball Reference projections (BR) can found on the players BR page which linked elsewhere on this article. )

With two exceptions, most projections have Steven Matz slightly worse in ERA, better in FIP abut the same in WHIP so he’ll be the same player in 2019 that he was in 2018. THere are two exceptions. Baseball Reference is quite down on Matz for the upcoming year. Baseball Prospectus, who is usually the most conservative, is quite up on Matz this year. 3.74 ERA / 1.18 WHIP would be a significant improvement.

What’s going to happen? We’ll find out in a little over a week!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

2019 Mets Non-Roster Invitee Preview: Carlos Gomez

Poetic Justice! Carlos Gomez is back in a Mets uniform.

The Mets signed Carlos Gomez way back in 2002 and as he was coming up through the system, he was lauded for his speed and his ability to possibly beat Jose Reyes in a foot race. It was an exciting time for thinking about Mets prospects. There was the speed Carlos Gomez, the hitting machine Fernando Martinez and David Wright / Jose Reyes were becoming stars in Citi Field.

The Mets traded Gomez in 2008 for Johan Santana in a critical trade that changed the Mets history. Gomez was traded with Deolis Guerra, Phillip Humber and Kevin Mulvey, but only Gomez would eventually become a star.

But not for the Twins. The following year he was traded to the Brewers for J.J. Hardy. Gomez would become a fan favorite over the next 6 years in Milwaukee.

Until the trade deadline 2015. The Mets traded for a Gomez homecoming for Wilmer Flores. Flores showed his heart. The trade fell apart, Flores would then hit walk-off later in the week, starting a massive month long rally. The Mets would acquire Cespedes and go to the World Series.

The Gomez side of the story was different. He was traded to Astros where he struggled and was released at the end of the year before they became the Astros powerhouse. Gomez would sign with the Rangers in 2016 and then later with the Rays on a March contract from the 2018 season. And now he’s a Met!

Over his career he has hit .253/.313/.412 and if he makes it to the team this year we should expect anything like, we should expect something like he did for the Rays last year hitting .208/.298/.336 over 408 PA’s. What Gomez gives the Mets is outfield depth. Originally, the Mets were going to start with McNeil/Nimmo/Conforto until Cespedes got back. Injuries to Frazier and Lowrie and forcing McNeil back into the infield which means Lagares/Broxton step up as the next outfielder. They’re fine but after them the Mets have Liriano/Rajai Davis/ Gregor Blanco. Carlos Gomez is a better option than all three of them.

This article was written on Sunday 3/17. As of this morning, Gomez has yet to appear in a Spring Training game but it should happen soon. His arrival in camp was delayed by a visa issue and he is now getting back into the swing of things. The injuries on this squad right now are giving him an opportunity to rejoin this team, so lets get ready to open our arms and welcome an old friend back.

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment