Dillon Gee

ICYMI: Mets should keep their starting pitchers, create a new relief ace

This post was originally published Nov. 19, 2014

mangan avatarBrian P. Mangan: The Mets will field the strongest possible roster in 2015 by keeping all of their starting pitchers, rather than trading them away for small, marginal upgrades — and converting one or two of them to the bullpen.

Starting pitchers generally see an uptick in performance in relief. The average converted starter throws about 1 mph harder, strikes batters out 17 percent more often, and allows roughly 17 percent fewer home runs when pitching in relief. The net result of that is about one less run allowed per nine innings (Baseball Analysts, Nov. 2014).

Remember, Bobby ParnellJenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia were all starting pitchers that converted to the bullpen and have experienced great success there.  To read more of this story, click here


ICYMI: Thinking out loud about roster spots, winning and payroll

This post was originally published Nov. 20, 2014

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: Sandy Alderson is sounding more and more confident by the day…

“We think we’re on the way up,” he told WOR 710 AM on Tuesday, speaking about the direction of the Mets. “We’re as well-positioned for the next two or three years as anyone in the division.”

This makes sense, given David Wright‘s age and the contract status of Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom. However, I never expected to hear Alderson illustrate their window to win in such stark and immediate terms. I like it. And, I’d love to see him be equally bold with his roster and payroll to take full advantage of this opportunity…

The Mets have already given away their first-round pick in next year’s draft in return for signing Michael Cuddyer. So, at this point, if ever there was a year to sign another big free agent, this would be it, since they may as well give up their second-round pick as well…

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ICYMI: Alderson hopes to change the mindset, not just dimensions

This post was originally published Nov. 20, 2014

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: The Mets said Tuesday that the center to right field will be five to 10 feet closer to home plate from where it was last season. However, listening to Sandy Alderson, it’s clear this adjustment was as much about changing his team’s mindset as it was about increasing their home run production.

“We’re trying take the dimensions of the park out of the conversation so it’s not something that’s discussed in the clubhouse, in the media and among our fans,” he told WOR 710 AM, after saying nearly the exact same thing to reporters earlier in the day.

As an example, Alderson also pointed to how fans, media and players were obsessed with talking about the team’s lack of offense at Citi Field days after their offensive explosion in Yankee Stadium.

It’s not just the Mets, though. I’ve heard other players and agents comment on the ballpark’s distances and wind patterns (specifically right-center) and how it difficult it must be to play 81 games a year in Citi Field. For them, they shake it off, it’s a few games a year. However, for the Mets it’s A Thing, and hopefully this puts it to bed, as Alderson essentially said.

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Backman to manage winter-league

Wally Backman has been named manager for Licey of the Dominican Republic winter-league (Rubin, Nov. 22).

Mets prospects Dilson Herrera and Hansel Robles are part of the Licey team roster.

Although it has not been made official, Backman is expected to return as manager of Triple-A Las Vegas in 2015.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at New York Mets

ICYMI: The Mets could learn from the Royals on defense

This post was originally published Nov. 17, 2014

maggieMaggie Wiggin: It’s unlikely that the Mets will go into 2015 as an offensive juggernaut. Teams that are weak-to-average on offense need to produce in other ways and, as the AL pennant-winning Royals demonstrated, defense is a big part of the equation.

Kansas City’s offense in 2014 was middle-of-the-pack at best, certainly a level the Mets can achieve next year; and their pitching was good, not dominant. However, they were truly exceptional on the field, leading MLB in UZR by a significant margin. Similarly, the 2015 Mets have the potential for one of the best starting rotations in the game, bolstered by a young, hard-throwing bullpen. Unfortunately, as it stands, the Mets defense will fall short of Kansas City’s elite performance at almost every position…

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ICYMI: Relationship between Harvey and Mets management is extra important

This post was originally published Nov. 18, 2014

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com: Matt Harvey has an amazing amount of talent. He also has a powerful and attractive personality, which will continue to make for buzz-worthy moments when playing in New York City, the largest media market in the world.

Think about it, he has just 12 career wins, yet he’s already appeared naked in ESPN: The Magazine. He’s done a fashion spread the New York Post and Men’s Journal. He’s dated a super model. He regularly appears in Page Six. He’s talked publicly about wanting to be like Derek Jeter. His YouTube video for Jimmy Fallon has over 3 million views. And, he openly pushed the meme that he’s Batman, The Dark Knight, the hero Gotham deserves, in a cover story for Sports Illustrated.

Frankly, I love every second of it. The bigger and bolder he is, the better, so long as he’s also helping the team win.

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