Saturday, November 30, 2013

Holiday shopping season has officially started, what do you say Mr Alderson?

David Wright wearing the Mets' alternate colors
David Wright wearing the Mets' alternate colors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
New York Mets 3B David Wright
New York Mets 3B David Wright (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: NY Mets GM Sandy Alderson with sports...
English: NY Mets GM Sandy Alderson with sportswriter Tom Verducci in 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Wendy Adair

Well the holiday season has officially started, and Christmas is only a few weeks away. 

Sandy Alderson has promised time and time again that this winter will be different, in his words "i have to watch these games too" so it is clearly in everyone's best interest that he be active, both in the Free Agent Market and looking for trade partners.

The Winter Meetings will begin later this week and that will be a sure measure of how active the Mets management will be this winter.  A few weeks ago, the GM meetings were held and there has been conversations with different GMs regarding players that would help the Mets have a relevant 2014 season.

While many fans want spending to be excessive, Alderson knows that the spending needs to be smart and long term based, not the instant gratification purchasing that may help in 2014 but would be detrimental within five years with bad contracts.

Last season, the priority was David Wright, as was prudent, he is clearly the face and voice of the team, and is very well respected by fans, players, managers, coaches and even media outlets throughout the country.  Alderson has said repeatedly that Wright's contract of 8 years for $138 Million will not be repeated, but knew that investing in Wright for several years is in the best interest of the Mets and all of New York.

Before Wright signed last winter, he was assured by management that the team's finances would have greater flexibility this year.  He was also sold on the fact that there is a solid plan in place by management.

Well Mr Alderson, your shopping season has started, how will you spend and on whom?

Fans and your team's Captain are anxiously waiting for answers and solutions.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Baseball is a year round event, just ask Mets Captain, David Wright

Sandy Alderson
Sandy Alderson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Wendy Adair

The GM Meetings are being held this week and there is no question that Sandy Alderson has a major shopping list for this fall and winter.

Many Mets fans are speculating who will be wearing Mets blue and orange in 2014, that remains a mystery but the one thing you can depend on is David Wright being a major force even this offrseason.

His hamstring injury was devastating in the second half of 2013, and true fans admire his determination to rejoin the team for the last ten games of the season and show his teammates how to rehab from injury.

He is an incredible example of how the game should be played and how to handle yourself on and off the field.

Wright is making recruiting phone calls and texts to free agents, trying his best to convince them to be his teammates and get the Mets fans a contending team next summer.

The best selling point would be the talent on the field but having an ambassador in David Wright is the next best thing.

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Friday, October 4, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Matt Harvey Will Have Tommy John Surgery and Miss the 2014 Season

The Mets' offseason should become even more eventful now that Matt Harvey will not be a part of the team in 2014.

Shale Briskin
MM Assistant Editor

The Mets have just learned that their star ace pitcher Matt Harvey has decided to go under the knife and have Tommy John surgery on his right elbow after further discussions with his doctors. Harvey was originally going to do a 6-8 week throwing program to see the condition his elbow was in, but apparently, he has decided to just have the surgery and prepare for 2015.

The typical time frame for recovery from Tommy John surgery takes a full year, which should put Harvey in great shape to be ready for Spring Training in 2015. This is obviously a huge blow to the Mets, who are primed to have a big offseason and turn the team into a winning ballclub in 2014. The Mets are already in need of a new shortstop and one or two new outfielders. But now, a veteran starting pitcher has become an even greater need than before.

Fans should not worry too much about the Mets' pitching for 2014. Harvey may have been their best pitcher in 2013, but the Mets are fortunate to have a lot of young pitching depth. Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese and Dillon Gee will lead the rotation. The other two spots could be filled by free agents, or internally by pitchers like Carlos Torres or Jenrry Mejia, among others.

Furthermore, the Mets' top two pitching prospects Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero could both be major league ready sometime in 2014. The safe bet is that they will both make their major league debuts in June 2014 or later, as evidenced by the way the Mets transitioned Wheeler to the major leagues this season. Jacob deGrom is another option, but does not present as much potential as Syndergaard or Montero.

All in all, don't hit the panic button just yet! Losing Matt Harvey for 2014 is obviously terrible for the Mets, but even if he was healthy, the Mets still have a lot of work to do in order to have a better team next season. There are still issues at first base, shortstop, in the outfield and in the bullpen that would still be pressing issues regardless of Harvey's status. One player does not represent an entire team. There are 25 players on a roster and each and every one of them is important to a team's overall success. Let's hope Sandy Alderson and his assistants can use this offseason to put together a winning Mets team for 2014 and beyond!

For more on Harvey's injury, please click on the following link:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Why Mets Fans Should Be Excited for the Offseason

General manager Sandy Alderson has a big offseason ahead of him.
Shale Briskin
MM Assistant Editor
As the Mets' 2013 season comes to an end, they will be nearing what could be a fascinating offseason. The Mets have not had a winning season since 2008, but after rebuilding for the past five seasons, the Mets could be ready for a transition season in 2014.
To put together a winning team, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson and his assistants will have to decide which players could be part of the solution, and which players could be traded in exchange for solutions in other areas.
The Mets have a good number of pieces to build on for the future, but there is also a lot of work to be done in certain areas. Here are six reasons why Mets fans should expect big changes to occur this offseason.
1. The Mets Will Have More Money to Work With
The Mets' finances in recent times have not been particularly good at all. For a few too many seasons, the Mets made poor financial decisions with the contracts they gave to certain players.
Most of the mess, though, should fall on former Mets general manager Omar Minaya, who during his six-year tenure signed quite a few bad contracts. Pedro Martinez, Luis Castillo, Francisco Rodriguez and Oliver Perez are all good examples of lucrative contracts given by the Mets that did not end up paying off too well.
Two more big contracts, though, have remained through this current season.
Former two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, who has not pitched all season, is on the final year of a six-year $137.5 million contract. Santana has a $25 million option for 2014, but it would make no sense at this point for the Mets to keep him for another season.
The other large contract was that of Jason Bay, the former Mets outfielder. Bay had signed a four-year $66 million contract prior to the 2010 season, but performed so poorly for the Mets from 2010-2012 that both sides mutually agreed to end his contract a year early and make him a free agent.
The good news is that both Santana's and Bay's contracts will be off the books after the end of the 2013 season. That will be around $41.5 million that the Mets will save in 2014. This means the Mets could use this money to improve other areas of the team. The Mets were not really able to do this for years while the bad contracts existed.
Going forward, David Wright's contract will be the only particularly large contract the Mets will have. More financial flexibility is always good for a team to have, and hopefully the Mets will be able to take advantage of this.
2. The Mets Should Be Closer to Contention
The Mets have not had a winning season since 2008. Ever since Sandy Alderson became the Mets general manager, the Mets have clearly been on a rebuilding path to success. For the past five years, the Mets have not had much financial flexibility, so they have used that time to develop young talent in the minor leagues.
With the 2013 season nearly over, the Mets' top prospects are getting closer and closer to being ready for the major leagues. Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler are both mainstays in the pitching rotation for the future, along with the veteran southpaw Jon Niese.
Prospects such as Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero could make their major league debuts sometime in 2014. Syndergaard split 2013 with Single-A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton, while Montero was with Binghamton and later Triple-A Las Vegas. Montero has a chance to make the Opening Day 2014 roster.
As for Syndergaard, the Mets may bring him up next June—similar to what they did this season with Wheeler.
With rising pitching stars in Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard and Montero, plus veteran presences in Niese and Dillon Gee, the Mets' future pitching should not be too much of a concern as long as everyone stays healthy. The bullpen should continue to be anchored by Bobby Parnell as the closer, with Jeurys Familia and Josh Edgin expected to be among the young arms in the bullpen.
Offensively, the Mets as an organization are not as strong. They have a third baseman in David Wright, a young catcher in Travis d'Arnaud and a second baseman in Daniel Murphy. Beyond those three players, the other infield and outfield positions could all be up for grabs.
Now that the Mets will have more money to work with in free agency, they could go and sign a slugging outfielder to protect Wright in the lineup, or find a shortstop that can play reasonably well.
The Mets should be expected to bring in at least one notable hitter from free agency this offseason. A second notable hitter would be a bonus. The Mets could also use the trade market to acquire the offensive talent that they could really use. Time will tell how Alderson goes about putting together a winning team in 2014.
All in all, the Mets have young talent that is either on the major league roster or very close to being on the major league roster. They will need to use free agency and/or the trade market to fill in the remaining holes. After doing so, competing with the Braves and Nationals in the future could become more and more of a reality.

Matt Harvey's elbow injury could have significant effect on the Mets' 2014 plans.
3. The Need of Pitching Depth in Light of Matt Harvey's Injury
After Matt Harvey ended up suffering an elbow injury in late August, he was shut down for the season and facing the possibility of missing the entire 2014 season if he decided to have Tommy John surgery. However, on September 17, Harvey decided that he will avoid surgery—at least for now—and opt for a six to eight week throwing program to hopefully rehabilitate his elbow.
In case the program does not work out and Harvey will get surgery later, this would open a huge gap in the Mets starting rotation. The Mets could be forced to sign or trade for a veteran starting pitcher in the offseason because of Harvey's injury. It is a possibility that Sandy Alderson will probably explore.
With Wheeler, Niese and Gee all expected to be in the 2014 rotation, this would mean that the Mets may need to find two more starting pitchers in the offseason instead of one, depending on Harvey's status. Jenrry Mejia could be an option, but has yet to pitch in the major leagues for a full season. If the Mets keep Carlos Torres, he could be another possibility. Beyond that, the Mets do not have another proven major league starter in the organization.
It will be interesting to whether or not Harvey will end up having surgery in the winter, and if so how it will affect the Mets offseason and future plans.

Could this be the end of Ike Davis at first base for the Mets?
4. The Conundrum at First Base
First base is a position that was supposed to become a strength for the Mets, but has ended up as a weakness this year. Ike Davis hit 32 home runs and drove in 90 RBI in 2012 with a strong second half, but struggled mightily for much of this season and may not even be the Mets first baseman in 2014.
Despite his poor performance, Davis should be in line for a raise through arbitration. The Mets could give him that new salary or elect to non-tender him, making him a free agent. This will definitely be one of Alderson's toughest decisions to make this offseason. Will Davis get back to hitting the way he did in the second half of 2012? Or will he struggle as badly as he has in the first halves of each of the last two seasons?
Davis, though, is not the only piece to the puzzle at first base. There is also Lucas Duda, whose days in the outfield appear to be numbered. If that is the case, the Mets will have to trade or release one of Davis or Duda.
Despite his struggles, Davis is the more proven player and has usually provided good defense at first base, as well. Duda has not had as many opportunities at first base and is certainly not as proven offensively. But if the Mets simply get tired of Davis and want to try a full season of Duda at first base, they could very well take that route.
Duda, though, would probably be best off playing first base or being the designated hitter for an American League team.
Other internal options include Josh Satin and Wilmer Flores. There is the possibility that both Davis and Duda get traded and/or released, which would leave Satin or Flores to compete for the starting job at first base.
Satin is more likely to be a platoon candidate, while Flores is not a natural first baseman. That would be another interesting development in itself. The Mets could also bring in a first baseman from free agency or the trade market, but with so many internal options, that probably is not as likely to occur.
The Mets will have to figure out what to do at first base with all the options they have. It is too difficult to predict an outcome right now.

Ruben Tejada played well in 2012, but after a very poor 2013 season, the Mets may need to rethink what to do at shortstop.
5. The Mets Could Use a Better Shortstop
First base is not the Mets' only offensive position of concern. Shortstop has become another problem as well.
At shortstop, it seems like the Mets' plan was to have Ruben Tejada as the shortstop of the future after the departure of Jose Reyes following the 2011 season.
Tejada had a solid season in 2012, but really struggled early this season. He was batting .209 with 10 RBI, a .267 OBP and a .262 slugging percentage before being demoted to the minor leagues after being activated from the disabled list. Tejada was recently called back up and should get the bulk of the playing time at shortstop for the last two weeks of the season. 
In Tejada's absence, journeyman infielder Omar Quintanilla filled in at shortstop for well over three months. Quintanilla is batting .226 with two home runs, 21 RBI, a .313 OBP and a .291 slugging percentage for the season. Quintanilla has done well as a fill-in starter and regular backup, but he should not be the long-term solution at shortstop.
With Gavin Cecchini still years away from being in the major leagues, it is important for the Mets to address the state of their shortstop position for at least the next few seasons. Signing a free agent could be a short-term option, while the Mets could also choose to stick with the young Tejada for another season and hope that it works out better.

Juan Lagares should be the one safe bet among current Mets outfielders that could start in 2014.
6. The Outfield Needs a Big Makeover
The outfield is the Mets' most pressing issue offensively. Juan Lagares could very well be the Mets center fielder of the future, but left field and right field are both still up for grabs.
Lagares was initially a platoon center fielder, but with improved hitting and breathtaking defense, he has certainly earned the starting job he now has. If any current Mets outfielder could be a lock to start in 2014, it would be Lagares.
Lagares' defense is already above average. If his hitting continues to improve, the Mets could have a very solid role player anchoring the outfield. For the season, Lagares is batting .256 with four home runs, 30 RBI, a .295 OBP and a .371 slugging percentage.
The other two outfield positions are now the larger concerns. Eric Young Jr. has played reasonably well as the Mets left fielder since June with a .256 average, one home run, 21 RBI, a .331 OBP and a .338 slugging percentage since being acquired from the Rockies. He has also brought some much needed speed with 38 stolen bases this season (30 as a Met).
The Mets did not have this kind of speed at all in 2012, so that has been one upgrade this season. Young could be better off as a fourth outfielder on a more elite team and if the Mets can find an upgrade at left field, Young could be sent to the bench.
Right field this season was mostly handled by Marlon Byrd until his trade to the Pirates in August.
Going forward, none of the Mets' right field options look particularly promising. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mike Baxter and Andrew Brown all do not have significant experience as everyday players. The Mets could also choose to go with a more defensive oriented outfield if they feel like Matt den Dekker's defense would be good enough to make up for his weaker bat. Being that Lagares has a very good and accurate outfield arm, the Mets could put him in right field and den Dekker in center field if both are in the outfield.
In the minor leagues, most of the Mets' remaining outfield prospects, aside from den Dekker, are not close to being major league ready. Such outfield prospects would include Cesar Puello, Cory Vaughn and Brandon Nimmo, among others.
Nonetheless, the Mets could really use a significant upgrade in the outfield this offseason, and if any outfield position is most likely to look different in 2014, it would probably be right field. Lagares has proven himself to be an everyday center fielder and Eric Young Jr.'s speed could be enough to keep him in left field.
There is no clear cut starter right now in right field for 2014, so look for the Mets to find an answer there.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Scenario for Mets 2014 Pitching Rotation

English: Johan Santana
English: Johan Santana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dillon Gee - New York NL - 2011 Blue
Dillon Gee - New York NL - 2011 Blue (Photo credit: BaseballBacks)
Zach Wheeler
Zach Wheeler (Photo credit: OneTigerFan)
Jon Niese 12:58, 29 January 2009 . . Officerfr...
Jon Niese 12:58, 29 January 2009 . . Officerfrank . . 375×500 (128 KB) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Wendy Adair
MM Contributor/Editor

The Mets will likely be a very different team in 2014, Sandy Alderson has a lot of deals to make, both via trade and Free Agency.

It is all but certain that Matt Harvey will not be in the starting rotation in 2014 and the Mets will have moved past Johan Santana.

Here are my thoughts on how the starting rotation may look like on Opening Day, this is in no particular order but just who I think will be in the rotation:

1) Jon Niese: He is under contract and is not likely to be moved, I see him as a long term solution.

2) Zach Wheeler: This kid is the real deal, I look for him to be part of the rotation for many years.

3) Dillon Gee: He has been as reliable as any other pitcher, other than his giving up a lot of Home Runs (22 in 2013 alone, 54 for his career, if he keeps the ball down, he induces ground balls as well as anyone else in the Major Leagues.

The other two starters I believe will be done via Free Agency and Trades, who would you like to see in the starting rotation in 2014?
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Friday, August 30, 2013

The State of the Mets Part 1: Infield Hits & Misses

David Wright seems to be the only sure thing about the Mets' future infield.

Shale Briskin
MM Assistant Editor

With the final month of the 2013 season approaching, the Mets will likely spend the rest of their games evaluating some of their young talented players, while trying to make the most of the season. Now would also be a good time to not only review the 2013 season thus far, but also evaluate what the 2014 and future rosters could look like going forward.

Here is the first of a four-part series that analyzes the Mets' present and future by each position. We will start with catching and the infield


The Present:

John Buck had been starting for most of the season, but recently, top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud was called up and shortly afterward, Buck, who hit 15 home runs and drove in 60 RBI with the Mets, was placed on waivers and was subsequently traded to the Pirates.

d'Arnaud is now the Mets' everyday catcher and will very likely hold that title for the rest of the season. d'Arnaud has struggled at the plate since his promotion, with a .107 average, one home run and three RBI. Nonetheless, he is clearly the Mets' catcher of the future and his presence is definitely one of the most stable across the entire Mets' lineup. In other words, there isn't much of a question mark at catcher because d'Arnaud is expected to be there for the Mets for many years.

Anthony Recker has been a very solid backup catcher all season. Despite a .198 average, he has six home runs and 18 RBI, which is not bad for a backup. Recker's opportunities were limited early in the season thanks to Buck's hot start, but his playing time has increased as the season has progressed.

d'Arnaud will almost certainly be the Mets' starting catcher in 2014, and there is a good chance Recker will return as his backup. The only thing that could change this is if d'Arnaud is injured.

The Future:

Barring any injuries or unforeseen trades, d'Arnaud will be the Mets' catcher of the future. This position is as stable as any for the future. Time will tell how long Recker lasts as the backup, but he could join the Mets' lineage of long-time backups, which includes catchers like Duffy Dyer, Ron Hodges, Todd Pratt and Vance Wilson.

The Mets have another notable catching prospect in Kevin Plawecki. Plawecki though is playing for Single A St. Lucie and is probably not going to be major league ready for a few seasons at least. The likelihood of Plawecki one day overtaking d'Arnaud is unlikely, but it's always nice to have additional depth at a position such as catcher.

First Base

The Present:

First base has been a logjam for the Mets all season. Ike Davis for the most part has been the starting first baseman, but after a long slump for most of the first half, Davis was demoted to the minor leagues in mid-June. He was called back up in early July and has hit better in the second half, although not as well as he did in the second half of the 2012 season. Davis is currently batting .204 with just eight home runs and 30 RBI.

While Davis was in the minor leagues, Josh Satin got his first big opportunity to play every day and was the Mets' primary first baseman in Davis' absence. Satin is batting .280 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 132 at-bats. Since Davis was brought back up, Satin has gotten starts at first base usually against a left-handed starting pitcher, in what has turned into more or less, a platoon.


In 2014, the Mets could decide to non-tender Davis, which would make him a free agent. Davis is currently under team control through 2017, but after an inconsistent season in 2012 and a lost season this year, the Mets could decide to go in a different direction at the position. However, Davis still seems to have the most potential among all of the Mets' internal options.
Satin may not necessarily be the answer at first base. He will probably not provide the power and run production that Davis is capable of doing. Satin is better off as a utility infielder off the bench, being that he can also play second base and third base. Nonetheless, he is definitely in the mix next season to be the starting first baseman.

Another option at the position is Lucas Duda. Duda (.235 average, 11 home runs, 23 RBI in 230 at-bats) was the Mets' Opening Day left fielder, but after suffering an intercostal injury in mid-June, Duda went on the disabled list and ultimately lost his left field job to the speedy Eric Young Jr. Now that Duda is back on the roster, he will very likely be only playing first base for the rest of the season.
Unless the Mets decide to cut Davis loose, it seems inevitable that Duda's time with the Mets is all but over. The Mets will have to choose who to keep between the two and will likely trade one of them away. With Davis being better defensively and having proven more at the major league level, Duda seems more likely to be dealt away in the offseason. Duda never seemed like a particularly great fit for the Mets. He has the power potential to be a feared slugger, but he just has not put it all together yet. Furthermore, his defense has not been good in the outfield and probably is not as good as Davis' at first base. Hence, a trade to an American League team in need of a first baseman or designated hitter would be best for Duda in the long run.

A fourth option is the young right-handed hitting Wilmer Flores. Flores has been playing third base since his August promotion, due to David Wright's hamstring injury. However, once Wright is healthy again, the Mets will need to either find a spot in the infield for Flores, or trade him away. Flores can play first base and second base adequately. He would be an outside chance to become the Mets' starting first baseman and is more likely to be a second baseman, simply because the Mets have more first base depth.

In the end, unless the Mets decide to not offer Davis a contract, Davis will likely be the Mets' 2014 Opening Day first baseman.

The Future:

The Mets' long-term future at first base is one of the team's biggest question marks. Can Ike Davis become a more consistent hitter and avoid another first-half slump? Will Lucas Duda ever get an opportunity to play first base regularly? Where do Josh Satin and Wilmer Flores fit in? Will any of these players end up getting traded? So much is unknown right now, but general manager Sandy Alderson will probably have to think a lot about what to do at this position

Yet another factor is Dominic Smith, the Mets' first round pick in the 2013 draft. Like Davis, Smith is a left-handed hitting first baseman with power, but he will not be major league-ready for years. As a result, the Mets need to figure out what to do at first base for the next few seasons before Smith is even considered an option. The Mets could also sign or trade for another player to play first base. Time will tell what ends up happening.

Could Lucas Duda be on his way out after this season? GM Sandy Alderson will have a lot of things to figure out in the offseason.

Second Base

The Present:

For the third consecutive season, Daniel Murphy has been the Mets' everyday second baseman. Murphy is batting .277 with 10 home runs, 61 RBI and 18 stolen bases. He leads the Mets this year in hits, runs scored and doubles as well. Murphy's 2013 season has been great in every aspect except walks. In 570 plate appearances, Murphy has drawn just 24 walks all season, which is why his .309 OBP is as low as it is. Murphy is a pure hitter and has never been particularly patient at the plate, but if he can start to draw more walks, his value will increase that much more.

Murphy has started in all but seven games this season, which is great to see. Justin Turner and Jordany Valdespin have gotten very little time at second base because Murphy has been healthy and dependable at the plate. His defense has also kept improving from one year to another.


It may seem as if Murphy will continue to be the Mets' starting second baseman in 2014, but with the presence of Wilmer Flores, Murphy's job is no longer a lock. The Mets in the offseason will have to decide between trading one of Murphy or Flores. Being that neither of the two can really play shortstop, David Wright entrenched at third base and the presence of a bigger logjam at first base, the chances of seeing Murphy and Flores on the same roster next season is very slim.
Both Murphy and Flores could be useful trade chips that the Mets could use to acquire an outfield bat that they desperately need. Flores' potential could very well be greater than that of Murphy, but because of that, Flores would likely bring in better players because his value on the trade market would be greater.

With this being said, it would be smarter for the Mets to trade away Flores and keep Murphy at second base, just so that the outfield could get upgraded that much more. The Mets know what they will get from Murphy each season, and if the walks ever increase, that would be even better.

The Future:

The Mets don't really have any other major prospects at second base now that Flores is on the major league roster. As a result, whoever does not get traded this offseason between Murphy and Flores will likely remain the Mets' starting second baseman for a good number of years to come. The Mets could always try to find a better second baseman on the open market, but with other issues looming large, don't count on it to happen any time soon.


The Present:

With the Mets' first base logjam and all their woes in the outfield, it could be easy to forget that shortstop is now a big concern for the team. Ruben Tejada was the Opening Day shortstop this year, but after 50 games and 187 at-bats, Tejada was batting .209 with no home runs, 10 RBI and a very low .267 OBP. Tejada first went on the disabled list with a quadriceps injury, but after being activated, was demoted to Triple A Las Vegas. Tejada will probably get called back up in September when the rosters expand, but it's no longer a guarantee that Tejada will be the Mets' Opening Day shortstop in 2014.

In Tejada's absence, Omar Quintanilla has been the Mets' shortstop and has played in nearly every game since his arrival. Quintanilla is batting just .221 with two home runs and 19 RBI, but has been very reliable defensively. Quintanilla is not a long-term solution at shortstop, but he has done well for a fill-in shortstop. His best value is that of a backup middle infielder.


The Mets' 2014 plans at shortstop all depend on whether they decide to believe in Tejada again or feel that he needs more time in the minor leagues to work on his hitting. The Mets could keep Quintanilla around as a backup middle infielder and then try to sign a free agent shortstop for one or two seasons. That would likely be the safest bet at this point unless Tejada gets a lot of playing time in September and hits very well.

The Future:

The Mets' long-term future is not particularly set for next two or three seasons. 2012 1st round draft pick Gavin Cecchini has spent this season with the Brooklyn Cyclones in Single A. Cecchini has the potential to be a good shortstop, but may not be major-league ready until at least 2016. Filling the hole at shortstop until then could be a difficult task, but hopefully, the Mets will find a solution that works, whether it includes Tejada or not.

Ruben Tejada's future with the Mets is not particularly certain right now.

Third Base

The Present:

With David Wright currently on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, Wilmer Flores has gotten an opportunity to play third base until Wright is healthy enough to return. Josh Satin and Justin Turner have both filled in at third base occasionally as well.

Despite Flores being a notable prospect and doing relatively well since his promotion (.250 average, one home run, 11 RBI), third base is Wright's position and almost certainly will be for the rest of his career. Wright is the face of the Mets' franchise and is likely to spend his entire career with the Mets.


Barring any injuries, Wright will be the Mets' third baseman in 2014. Flores' destiny is either at second base or on another team if he gets traded away.

The Future:

With Wright under contract through 2020, he will continue to be the Mets' third baseman for all those years. After everything he has done for the Mets since 2004, there is no one that would replace him at third base while he is around.

Conclusions & Predictions

Present Starters:

Catcher: Travis d'Arnaud
First Base: Ike Davis
Second Base: Daniel Murphy
Shortstop: Omar Quintanilla
Third Base: Wilmer Flores (until David Wright is healthy)

2014 Predictions:

Catcher: Travis d'Arnaud
First Base: Ike Davis
Second Base: Daniel Murphy
Shortstop: Free Agent Signing
Third Base: David Wright

Long-Term Future Predictions (by 2016 or 2017):

Catcher: Travis d'Arnaud
First Base: Dominic Smith
Second Base: Daniel Murphy
Shortstop: Gavin Cecchini
Third Base: David Wright

To summarize, it looks like third base is set for years with Wright leading the way. Catcher is all but set with d'Arnaud now having inherited the position. Second base could very likely belong to Daniel Murphy for a long time unless the Mets decide to go in a different direction. First base is a logjam and will require possibly two offseason trades to really sort out. Shortstop is the biggest question mark because neither Ruben Tejada or Omar Quintanilla are particularly fit to be an everyday shortstop.

For more on this topic, please visit the following link:

And for more on my work on Bleacher Report, please visit this link:

Monday, August 5, 2013

Former Mets catcher Todd Pratt has been battling cancer

Todd Pratt may have been Todd Hundley and Mike Piazza's understudy from 1997-2001, but Mets fans will never forget the series-ending walk-off home run he hit to end the 1999 NLDS against the Diamondbacks.

Shale Briskin
MM Assistant Editor

First off, my apologies for not finishing up the "Mets in All-Star Games" series. It is well past the All-Star Game itself, but I will still get it up to finish it off properly. This piece here though really caught my attention today.

Former Mets catcher Todd Pratt has apparently been battling head and neck cancer, but is doing better now. He was with the Mets from 1997-2001. In those five seasons, Pratt hit .265 with 17 home runs and 87 RBI.

I remember when I was younger, I didn't particularly enjoy seeing Pratt play because that meant my favorite player, Mike Piazza was on the bench. However, in recent time, I have gotten to really appreciate what Pratt did as a backup. In my opinion, he was the best backup catcher the Mets ever had. He had clutch hits when needed, was a great defensive catcher and was certainly a great presence in the Mets' clubhouse. No one in the late 1990s and early 2000s was as excited as Pratt when a big moment occurred. If you look in any video clips of highlights from those years, there is always a good chance you will see Pratt screaming like there was no tomorrow.

With all that said, please keep Todd Pratt and his family in your prayers!

Thanks to for the link. For more information on Pratt, please visit this link:

Sunday, July 28, 2013

2013 - Another year of missed chances and drama for the Mets

Wendy Adair

David Wright has plenty of reasons to rub his head these days as Captain of the Mets. This guy has been as consistent this year as anyone could hope and has toughed out some nagging injuries, along with having to duck up and in pitches on a regular basis.

Well the Mets have 60 games remaining in 2013 and barring a miracle, will end up no better than third place in the National League East.   The Atlanta Braves are all but running away with the division, the Phillies are in a major downward spiral, the Mets are fading fast and the Washington Nationals have not fared much better.

This season has had its fair share of drama and suspense, both on and off the field.  Number one has been Jordany Valdespin, clutch hitter but problematic in the clubhouse and to management, never a good thing, he may be talented but there is no question he has a lot of growing up to do before he will be taken seriously in the Major Leagues.

Ruben Tejada and Lucas Duda went on on the Disabled List and neither are likely to return, except perhaps when the rosters expand in September, but there is no guarantee of either of them being part of the Mets plans in 2014 and in the future.

Matt Harvey, what can I say? the man has been nothing short of incredible, its a shame that his record does not reflect his efforts, but that seems to be a growing trend in baseball these days, no run support.  I for one do not miss Johan Santana in the least this year.  Yes I know he gave us our first no-hitter, last year... and is proving to be among the biggest contract busts, only to be rivaled by Jason Bay, ouch!!

Ike Davis was demoted in early June and recalled a few weeks ago and  really has not done much to prove that he has been "fixed" by Wally Backman and his coaching staff in Las Vegas.  He is arguing with the umpires on ball/strike calls, never a smart idea, he has not caught on to the fact that these umpires will not give him a break on these calls if he continues to whine and complain about every call against him.

The trade deadline is this Wednesday, should the Mets be buyers or sellers, please give me your opinion on any of these topics in the comments section.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Mets in All-Star Games Part 3: The 1990s

Two-time Mets All-Star catcher Todd Hundley was one of the few offensive bright spots for most of the 1990s.
Shale Briskin
MM Assistant Editor
First off, my apologies for not getting this done before the All-Star Game last night. I was already spending a lot of time at Fan Fest this past weekend, but at the last minute yesterday, I was able to get tickets to the All-Star Game and it was a great time! I hope anyone else that went had a blast well. With that being said I will complete the rest of the series shortly. Onto the 1990s!
As the Mets entered the 1990s, they were coming off six consecutive winning seasons and the best six year stretch in team history. They started the decade well by winning 91 games in 1990. However, beginning in 1991, the Mets went through a down cycle that lasted through 1996. In 1997, the Mets surprised many by winning 88 games despite lacking a genuine superstar. They finished with the exact same record in 1998, but made some critical moves for the future. Finally, in 1999, the Mets won the NL Wild Card and got back to the postseason for the first time since 1988.

1990: The 1990 Mets featured three All-Stars in Darryl Strawberry, Frank Viola and John Franco.
 In what ended up being his final season as a Met, Strawberry batted .277 with 37 home runs and a career high 108 RBI. 1990 was also the final season in which Strawberry was an All-Star. He struck out in his only at-bat at the All-Star Game that year.

The 1988 AL Cy Young Award winner with the Twins, Frank Viola was traded to the Mets in 1989 and had a great season in 1990. His year included a 20-12 record, a 2.67 ERA and 182 strikeouts. Viola threw a scoreless inning in the All-Star Game and allowed one hit.

New closer and Brooklyn native John Franco was traded prior to the 1990 season in exchange for fellow southpaw closer Randy Myers. Myers may have won a World Series in 1990 with the Reds, but Franco ended up having a very successful career himself as a Met.

Franco was 5-3 with a 2.53 ERA and 33 saves that season. He would go on to have even better seasons with the Mets later in his career, but this was the only year in which he appeared in an All-Star Game as a Met. Franco threw a scoreless inning himself at the Midsummer Classic.

1991: As the Mets began to decline in 1991, they only had two representatives at the All-Star Game. Viola was joined by third baseman Howard Johnson at the Midsummer Classic, which was the second appearance for each as a Met.

Viola had been 10-5 at the All-Star break with a 2.80 ERA. However, his poor second half resulted in a 13-15 record and a 3.97 ERA. At the All-Star Game, Viola pitched a scoreless inning and allowed one walk.

Johnson on the other hand had one of the best seasons in his career with a .259 average, 38 home runs and a Mets single season record (which was later tied by Bernard Gilkey in 1996 and broken by both Mike Piazza and Robin Ventura in 1999) 117 RBI. He was hitless in two at-bats at the All-Star Game that year.

1992: The "Worst Team Money Could Buy" in 1992 greatly underachieved, as the Mets spent a lot of money on veteran free agent signings. By Opening Day, veteran stars like Bobby Bonilla, Eddie Murray and Bret Saberhagen were all Mets.
With almost the entire team underachieving, the only Mets' All-Star in 1992 was David Cone. Cone was 13-7 with a 2.88 ERA and 214 strikeouts before getting traded to the Blue Jays at the end of August for Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson. Cone pitched a scoreless inning in the All-Star Game with one strikeout.

1993: If Mets fans were already fed up with how bad the 1992 team was, it ended up being a mere preview for 1993. The Mets lost over 100 games in 1993 for the first time since 1967. The only All-Star for the Mets that year was Bobby Bonilla, who hit .265 with 34 home runs and 87 RBI in his best seasons as a Met. Bonilla got a single in his only at-bat in the All-Star Game.
1994: In what ended up being a strike-shortened season, the 1994 Mets began to retool and build talent from within. When the season ended on August 11, the Mets nearly as many wins (55) as they did a year ago (59).

One bright spot on the rather mediocre team was former two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Bret Saberhagen, who pitched like he did with the Royals in the 1980s. He was also the Mets' lone All-Star in 1994. Saberhagen went 14-4 in 24 starts with a 2.74 ERA, 143 strikeouts and just 13 walks, which was amazing in itself. Saberhagen though did not pitch in the All-Star Game.

1995: The 1995 Mets continued to get younger as up and coming talent such as Edgardo Alfonzo, Jeff Kent, Rico Brogna, Carl Everett and Todd Hundley began to really develop in the lineup, while Bill Pulsipher and Jason Isringhausen both came up midseason to boost the starting rotation.
However, the Mets' only All-Star in 1995 was Bobby Bonilla, who was playing third base that year. Bonilla was hitting .325 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI before finally getting traded to the Orioles for Alex Ochoa and Damon Buford. He struck out in his only at-bat in the All-Star Game.
 Lance Johnson had one of the Mets' best All-Star Game performances in 1996.

1996: The 1996 Mets were best remembered for having three hitters with amazing individual seasons. Unfortunately, only two of them ended up being All-Stars. The player that got snubbed was left fielder Bernard Gilkey, who hit .317 with 30 home runs, 117 RBI, 108 runs scored and 44 doubles. It was certainly one of the worst snubs in Mets history.
The ones that did make it though had two of the best seasons in team history. Center fielder Lance Johnson signed a two-year contract with the Mets and immediately put his name in the record books. Johnson hit .333 with 9 home runs, 69 RBI, 117 runs scored, 227 hits, 31 doubles, 21 triples, 50 stolen bases and 327 total bases. With those numbers, Johnson set single season team records in runs scored, hits, triples and total bases. The hits and triples records still stand today.

At the 1996 All-Star Game, Johnson made quite a case to be the All-Star Game MVP with three hits, including a double, plus one run scored and one stolen base in four at-bats. Johnson got the start in center field due to an injury to Tony Gwynn. Dodgers catcher and future Met Mike Piazza though ended up winning the award.

The other Mets All-Star was catcher Todd Hundley, who had been the Mets' starting catcher since 1992. Hundley had a career season himself with a .259 average, 41 home runs, 112 RBI and 32 doubles. Hundley's 41 home runs set a new Mets single season record and also set a new single season record among catchers, which Javy Lopez would break in 2003. Carlos Beltran would tie Hundley's team record in 2006.

Hundley did not reach base in his only at-bat in the 1996 All-Star Game.

1997: The Mets were not particularly expected to contend in 1997, but ended up winning 88 games, despite not having a genuine superstar on the team. One big reason why the Mets became more successful was thanks to Hundley's leadership as he had another great season.

Hundley raised his average to .273 and had 30 home runs, 86 RBI and a .394 OBP. However, by midseason, Hundley developed an elbow problem that eventually required surgery. He did not participate in the All-Star Game because of it and the injury limited his playing time in much of the second half of the season.
The other Mets' All-Star in 1997 was starting pitcher Bobby Jones, who had a career season that year. Jones went 15-9 with a 3.63 ERA. Jones pitched a scoreless inning in the All-Star Game and struck out both Ken Griffey Jr and Mark McGwire in the only All-Star Game appearance of his career.
1998: With Hundley recovering from elbow surgery throughout the first half of the 1998 season, the Mets felt they needed to make a big move to upgrade their depth at catcher. In May, they ended up pulling off a blockbuster trade in which superstar catcher Mike Piazza was traded from the Marlins for three prospects, including Preston Wilson, who is the son of former Mets outfielder Mookie Wilson.
Piazza gave the Mets a face of the franchise that they desperately needed. As a Met, Piazza hit .348 with 23 home runs and 76 RBI in 109 games. Altogether, Piazza batted .328 with 32 home runs and 111 RBI for the entire season. Piazza had one hit in three at-bats as the National League's starting catcher in the 1998 All-Star Game. It was a spot Piazza would hold for quite some time.
Piazza was joined that year by starting pitcher Rick Reed, who had one heck of a journey to becoming an All-Star. A former replacement player, Reed was given a chance by the Mets in 1997 to really establish himself as a great pitcher. After winning 13 games in 1997 with a 2.89 ERA, Reed had another great season in 1998 with a 16-11 record and a 3.48 ERA. Reed though did not end up pitching in the 1998 All-Star Game.
1999: To close out not just the decade, but also the century and millennium, the 1999 Mets finally put together a season that resulted in a postseason berth. They would advance to the NLCS against the Braves, but lost the series in six games.
Despite having such a great team, Piazza was the Mets' only All-Star in 1999. Piazza had one of his two best seasons as a Met that year with a .303 average, 40 home runs and 124 RBI. The latter two of the stats tied career highs he set in 1997. Piazza had one hit in two at-bats in the All-Star Game.

Stay tuned for the final installment, in which we recap the Mets' All-Star Game performances from 2000-2013.