The Mets, Phillies and Nationals lost last night, while the Marlins and Braves won.
To read about last night’s loss to Cincinnati, check out this post on MetsBlog, as well as beat reports from MLB.com, the Wall Street Journal, Star-Ledger, Bergen Record, Journal News,ESPN New York, Newsday, the Daily News and New York Post.
The Mets will look to even their series with the Reds tonight at Citi Field, with Jon Niese facing Mike Leake at 7:10 pm.
The Least You Should Know…
Shaun Marcum allowed four runs in six innings, three of which came in the first inning – he is now winless in his first five starts with the Mets.
Marcum allowed a go-ahead home run to Jay Bruce in the sixth inning.
The Mets bullpen combined for three innings of scoreless relief between LaTroy Hawkins, Brandon Lyon, and Greg Burke.
Marlon Byrd hit a three-run home run in the third inning – Byrd now has three home runs and 12 RBI in the month of May.
Ike Davis’ struggles continued with a costly error in the first and an 0-for-3 with two strikeouts at the plate.
Lucas Duda had two hits to the opposite field, but was left stranded on both occasions.
The Mets left six men on base, went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position, and only two men reached base after the third inning.
Following tonight’s game, Terry Collins said that sending Ike Davis down is something they have considered as they sit and talk about what’s best for Davis and the team; He also said it’s a bigger factor now because the Mets aren’t playing like they did last year at this time. Collins also stated they are trying to do something consistently with the line-up, because it is uneasy for Major League players to come in each day and not know where they’re hitting.
For a full recap and box score, check out SNY.TV.
Michael Baron, MetsBlog.com:
Marcum got off to a real slow start tonight, but bounced back nicely and kept the Mets in the game for six innings. Marcum was hurt by boneheaded play by Davis at first base – Davis was called for interference at first base as Joey Votto rounded the bag, and Votto was awarded second base as a result. Marcum couldn’t overcome that error, he ultimately allowed a crooked number and put the Mets behind early. He got more aggressive with his off-speed beginning in the second inning and settled into a nice groove before allowing a solo home run to Bruce in the sixth. Overall, not great, but not terrible for Marcum – he kept the Mets in the game, and that’s all that can be asked after a rough beginning.
It was another game the Mets had their chances, especially early in this game thanks to Johnny Cueto showing no command at all. But outside of really one swing of the bat by Marlon Byrd, the Mets did nothing offensively in general tonight. This struggle by the offense wasn’t unexpected this season, but that doesn’t make it any easier to watch and endure on a daily basis.
As for Ike, when it rains, it pours for him. He cost the Mets with a mental mistake in the first inning, and did nothing at the plate afterwards to make up for it. He had a two-out opportunity in the first inning with the bases loaded, hit the ball hard but did not produce. His night ended after striking out in the bottom of the sixth and Terry Collins double switching him out for Justin Turner. What more can you say at this point? It’s been a horrific season for him so far, and it’s starting to impact his entire game. If he’s not going to be productive on defense, either – which has been the case over the last few days – it’s hard to justify a place for him right now.
The Mets will look to even their series with the Reds tomorrow night at Citi Field, with Jon Niese facing Mike Leake at 7:10 pm.
The Good: The Mets have won three of their last four games after losing six straight. They begin a span of 10 straight games in New York.
The Mets improved to 6-7 in one-run decisions after yesterday’s win at Chicago. They started the season 1-6 in one-run games.
Daniel Murphy is 14-for-his-last-28 over his last seven games and he currently has an eight-game hitting streak.
The Bad: Mets starting pitchers are 3-7 with a 5.62 ERA this month.
The Game: Shaun Marcum starts for the Mets tonight. Marcum has received a loss in his first four decisions, and four of his first five appearances. He recorded his first quality start of the year against the Cardinals during his last start.
New York Mets
- Daniel Murphy – 2B
- Rick Ankiel – CF
- David Wright – 3B
- Lucas Duda – LF
- Marlon Byrd – RF
- Ike Davis – 1B
- John Buck – C
- Ruben Tejada – SS
- Shaun Marcum – RHP
- Shin-Soo Choo – CF
- Cesar Izturis – SS
- Joey Votto – 1B
- Brandon Phillips – 2B
- Jay Bruce – RF
- Todd Frazier – 3B
- Xavier Paul – LF
- Ryan Hanigan – C
- Johnny Cueto – RHP
Andrew Vazzano, SNY.tv
Note: The Reds originally sent out the wrong lineup. The lineup above now reflects the correct lineup, with Shin-Soo Choo starting in CF and leading off.
Maggie Wiggin, MetsBlog.com:
Though the team is stumbling these days, some statistics suggest that the rotation is due for improvement.
Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is a stat that measures a pitcher’s performance without interference from the fielders around him, using the same scale as ERA (3.00 is good and 5.00 is poor). FIP combines a pitcher’s strikeouts, walks, and home runs, which are the three events he has near-total control over. Because FIP is more stable and a better predictor for future outcomes, we can compare it to current ERA and see if their results will be sustainable for the rest of the season.
- Shaun Marcum (2013 ERA: 6.75, FIP: 3.69) Not surprisingly, Marcum is most likely to show major improvements going forward, with his current ERA nearly three full runs higher than his career ERA (3.83) and and his current FIP. These numbers indicate he’s given up lot of runs due to balls in play, where he has less control over the outcome. His strikeout, walk and home run rates are close to his career numbers, so we should expect Marcum’s results to improve considerably, with his FIP staying close to his career mark of 4.24.
- Dillon Gee (2013 ERA: 6.04, FIP: 5.00): Gee should expect better results going forward, as well. He is also taking a big hit this season from balls in play (like Marcum, he pitches to contact). His current ERA is about 1.5 runs higher than his career ERA and his FIP this year is about half a run higher; so, his ERA is projected to drop as the season progresses. If his HR/9 innings rate trends towards his lower career rate, he’ll likely improve his FIP over the season as well.
- Matt Harvey (2013 ERA: 1.55, FIP: 2.21): Unfortunately, he’s not likely to finish the year with an ERA as ridiculous as 1.55. His FIP agrees, putting his performance at a still-pretty-ridiculous 2.21. Harvey is a FIP fan’s dream — lots of Ks, few walks, even fewer home runs. His ERA is being bolstered by a minuscule batting average on balls in play (.199 BABIP) that will probably increase; but given Harvey’s attitude and general dominance, he may be the kind of rare talent that literally defies the odds.
- Jeremy Hefner (2013 ERA: 5.00, FIP: 5.61): Hefner is not projected to pitch much better or worse than we’re seeing right now. If Hefner’s home runs and walks slow down, which is possible, he should end up somewhere around his career FIP of 4.23. Interestingly, his ERA splits as a starter vs. reliever (6.51 vs. 3.55) are very extreme and also the opposite of his FIP splits (3.95 as a starter vs. 5.46 as a reliever). I have no idea what this means, and small samples abound, but it’s weird.
- Jon Niese (2013 ERA: 5.40, FIP: 5.00): He still could have a strong season, if the defense behind him can tighten up. He shows very little difference between his ERA and FIP, but this doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t see more progress from him. It’s likely that both will decrease as the season wears on. With his uncharacteristically poor strikeout and walk rates expected to improve to near his career rates, he’s projected to finish the year with a FIP close to his career mark of 3.88.
There’s reason to think we will get significant improvements from at least three (four if replacing Hefner with Zack Wheeler counts) of this team’s starting pitchers, despite early season struggles. Now the Mets just need hitters, fielders, and relievers and they’ll be all set.
The Mets have signed righthand pitcher David Aardsma to a minor-league deal.
Aardsma has played parts of seven seasons in the major leagues, with a career 4.22 ERA in 255 games (266.2 innings). He has posted a 1.433 WHIP overall, last appearing with the Yankees last year, appearing in only one inning and allowing a solo home run and one strikeout.
His best seasons cam in 2009 and 2010, where he saved a combined 69 games and posted a 2.90 ERA as the Seattle Mariners closer.
Aardsma had Tommy John surgery in July of 2011. He signed with the Yankees in 2012, who released him in early April of this year. The Miami Marlins signed Aardsma on April 13. They released him last week.
He will report to Triple-A Las Vegas.
In case you missed it, Mets C prospect Travis d’Arnaud was told by team doctors that he will need to continue wearing a protective boot on his broken toe for another two weeks, ESPN New York reported this past weekend.
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com:
The word around the team is to not expect d’Arnaud in Citi Field until after the All Star break, which is probably about the time he would have been promoted anyway (with or without this current injury). He needs to get the boot off, then rehab in St. Lucie, then return to Triple-A. It’s going to be at least four to six weeks before he gets to Vegas, assuming everything goes well.
Similarly, I no longer believe John Buck will be traded. It seems to me the coaching staff and front office think he’s worth more in leadership to this roster than he is in trade on the open market. In fact, if d’Arnaud comes up and hits, and if Harvey and Zack Wheeler pitch well, I actually think it increases the chances Buck is offered a one-year contract this winter to return as a back-up in 2014.
Zack Wheeler is scheduled to make his return to the Triple-A rotation this Wednesday.
Wheeler received a cortisone shot in the AC joint of his right shoulder at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan last week.
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com:
If asked, I’d say Wheeler makes his big-league debut just after June 10, after an off day, in the middle of the team’s nine-game home stand.
In talking to people close to the situation, I think the Mets would like Wheeler to get three or four more starts at Triple-A Las Vegas, to put this shoulder situation behind him, before having him join the big-league rotation. In addition, they’d like him to be pitching well, and be strong. They do not want to promote him just to promote him. They want it to feel like a seamless transition, keeping him on rhythm and healthy.
The point is, his promotion is getting closer than ever… and it’s about time.
Chris Walendin, Contributor: Technically, the 2013 Mets are a hundred million dollar team. In fact, the team’s current payroll (as of this morning) sat at $102.2M. But here’s how that $102.2M breaks down:
Infield, $24.6M – If you just looked at the Mets infield, you might think that maybe this franchise was investing in its on-field product like a young, big market team should. Nearly half of this money covers team captain David Wright’s $11M salary, with $6M going to Buck, about $3M apiece to Davis & Murphy, and a league minimum stipend of roughly $500K to Tejada.
Outfield, $3.2M – Aaaand now that illusion is gone. Veteran Marlon Byrd tops the much-maligned bunch at $700K, with Duda, Baxter, Valdespin, Lagares, and new Met (sigh) Rick Ankiel taking home about a half a million each.
Rotation, $8.6M – The Mets’ most expensive offseason acquisition, Shaun Marcum, makes $4M, Jon Niese gets $3M, and the trio of Gee, Hefner, and Batman, er, Harvey collect $500K apiece.
Bullpen, $5.5M – Closer and recent arbitration qualifier Bobby Parnell makes $1.7M, veteran free agent LaTroy Hawkins makes $1M, Lyon makes about three-quarters of a million, and Burke, Rice, Carson, and McHugh make do with $500K each.
In total, that’s $41.9M being spent on the players on the field. But wait, wasn’t this a $100M team?
Disabled List, $39.2M – The man who gave the Mets their first no hitter is costing them $31M this year, and doesn’t project to throw a single pitch. This happens to pitchers, but man is it a tough pill to swallow. The only good news here is that Santana’s contract expires at the end of the season. Former closer Frank Francisco’s collecting $6.5M on the shelf, Atchison’s getting $700K, and Mejia and Familia are making the league minimum.
Gone, $21.1M – Many Mets fans rejoiced when perennial disappointment Jason Bay finally got the ax last fall. Unfortunately, the Mets still have to pay him. Handsomely. For one more year.
To recap, as of today, the Mets are paying 25 guys $41.9M to play baseball for them, and 6 guys $60.3M to not play baseball for them. That is not an optimal allocation of resources. But it’s the result of mistakes made primarily several years in the past. So hopefully it’s a problem we as fans won’t have to deal with (at least not to this degree) past the 2013 season.
You can find more of Chris Walendin’s writings on his blog, or follow him on Twitter.
The Mets won two of three from the Cubs this past weekend, winning 3-2 on Friday; losing 8-2 on Saturday; and winning 4-3 yesterday.
In case you missed it, this past weekend, the Citi Field 2013 All-Star Batting Practice Jerseys were released on MLB.com, which you can check out here.
Also, Travis d’Arnaud will continue to wear a boot on his foot for the next two weeks, doctors told him last week, according to ESPN New York. D’Arnaud recently told MetsBlog he had hoped to shed the boot and begin rehabbing his broken toe this week.
Zack Wheeler received a cortisone shot in his right shoulder last week, he has rejoined Triple-A Las Vegas and will soon begin throwing.
Lastly, Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Mets might consider signing recently released A’s 1B Daric Barton, but only if they end up having to demote Ike Davis to Triple-A.
According to ESPN New York, the Mets have started talking internally about demoting Davis. However, Davis told reporters he has been assured by Sandy Alderson that a demotion is not imminent.
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com:
People close to the team told me last week that Davis could realistically be demoted by the end of June, not the end of May. They expect him to turn it around, because he’s done it before, and they’re willing to give him a chance to do it again. However, the way I understand it, while the Front Office will certainly give Davis until Memorial Day to turn things around, I sense they’re completely confortable with the idea of eventually sending him to Triple-A. It just won’t be today or tomorrow, despite lots of fans getting very anxious about the situation.
The Mets have promoted RHP Rafael Montero to Triple-A Las Vegas, according to the team’s beat reporters on Twitter.
According to Lynn Worthy of the Binghamton News, Montero is making a spot start for Las Vegas, and is expected to return to Binghamton afterwards.
In eight starts with Double-A Binghamton, Montero, 22, is 4-3 with a 3.47 ERA, having allowed 18 runs on 40 hits with just six walks and 54 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings.
Michael Baron, MetsBlog.com:
This is exciting news, even if it’s only for one start. Who knows? Maybe he sticks with Las Vegas, much like Collin McHugh stuck with Triple-A Buffalo a couple of years ago after making a spot start.
Montero has had only one bad outing but has been otherwise brilliant in the Eastern League this year. The organization has been so impressed with Montero’s command – especially that of his secondary pitches over the last year – and he really has put on a show while with Binghamton over the first two months of the season. He’s going to the Pacific Coast League where he will have to adjust to both better hitters and difficult elements, but if he sticks and continues along this path while in Vegas, there will be a lot of buzz about him getting a cup of coffee with the Mets come September.