Minor League Q&A: Triple-A RHP Vic Black talks switching mechanics

The Mets had been counting on RHP Vic Black to be a key piece of their bullpen in 2014. However, after walking 10 batters and allowing 13 hits in 9.1 innings during Spring Training, he was demoted and started his with Triple-A Las Vegas.

According to Black, he widened his stance and dropped his hands during his delivery, which quickly got him back to a high 90s fastball, he told MetsBlog’s Robert Brender >> Read more of Brender’s Q&A with Black at Mets Minor League Blog.

Shea Stadium opened 50 years ago today

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Shea Stadium would have turned 50 years old today.

Here is a photo gallery of images I took toward the end of 2008, when the team allowed me to wander the ballpark for an hour. I went through the dugout, beyond the bullpens, out next to Apple, on the warning track and any place I could get to in the team they gave me. It was a great, surreal, sad day. I miss Shea…

Curtis Granderson swings

Q&A with Curtis Granderson from Vues Online

Here is a quick Q&A with Mets OF Curtis Granderson, courtesy of Ephraim Fischbein of the Vues Online…

What is your nickname: “The big one that my teammates call me is “Grandy.” That’s a baseball thing, I think, because you know everyone’s last name. I think Granderson’s too long to say. Others call me “Grandyman.”

What is your favorite thing to do on an off day: “I enjoy the food in every city, I look forward to KC for the ribs, Seattle for the fish and chips. Chicago for the pizza and Baltimore for the crab cakes. I like getting the food that a city is known for. I love to eat.”

What is your typical routine before a game: “I try to wake up around 10 am and get breakfast. After I get back I watch some TV, check e-mail, and take a nap. I usually head to the field around 3 pm.”

Who were your idols growing up: “For baseball, Ken Griffey Jr. and Jackie Robinson. For basketball, Michael Jordan. For football, Jerry Rice and Thurman Thomas.”

What will you do after baseball: “I have been involved in the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) since 2006 and taken part in negotiations of the latest labor contract, so I see myself in that area of the game. In addition I may also do something in education or in the broadcasting field.”

To learn about Granderson’s favorite stadium, favorite city to visit, his favorite teams growing up, influences and other things, check out Ephraim’s full Q&A here.

MetsBlog Q&ACast, pres. by Verizon: AJ Mass talks mascots, Mr. Met

In this week’s MetsBlog Q&ACast, presented by Verizon, Matthew Cerrone talks with ESPN.com’s A.J. Mass. In his new book, “Yes, It’s Hot in Here,” Mass details the crazy history of the sports mascot, including Mr. Met, who he played at Shea Stadium from 1994 to 1997.

Mass talks with Cerrone about his time as Mr. Met, after the mascot had not been in the public eye for  more than a decade; A.J. also gives his thoughts on other sports mascots, including the controversial behavior of the Phillie Phanatic; and the guys discuss whether whether Mr. Met should have a Twitter account…

Listen in separate window | Subscribe with iTunes | RSS

To learn more about A.J.’s book, check out this link to Amazon.com


Dillon Gee has been rock solid the last 11 months

Dillon Gee is 14-9 with a 2.86 ERA in his last 26 starts, during which he has 122 strike outs in 176 innings.

He struck out three and held the D-Backs to three hits through seven shutout innings in a win over Arizona on Wednesday.

He retired the first 14 batters he faced.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

It’s easy to forget Gee, given hype around Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and others. Yes, he’s kind of vanilla. He’s quiet and mild. He’s not great at any one thing. However, he’s been effective and super consistent. He’s the perfect mid-rotation guy, under contract through 2016, earning half of what he’d probably get on the open market. He has an ERA under 4.00 through more than 500 career innings, yet he is often overlooked. He may not be a diamond, but there’s value in him being just a really good rock.


Video highlights from Wednesday’s win against D-Backs

Anthony Recker hits a solo home run to left to give the Mets a 1-0 lead >> Watch Here.

Dillion Gee makes a heads-up play by covering second base to tag out Gerardo Parra to end the bottom of the sixth inning >> Watch Here.

Daniel Murphy records his fifth RBI of the season, knocking in Eric Young to give the Mets a 4-0 lead >> Watch Here.

The Mets are not what I thought they’d be, but I’ll take it

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I’m surprised. The Mets started 0-3, at which point I feared a difficult schedule in April could leave them 10-17 to start May. Instead, they went 6-3 on a road trip through Atlanta, Los Angeles and Arizona and find themselves above .500 for the first time since April 2013.

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The team returns home for a 10-game home stand that starts Friday. They’ll face the Braves, Cardinals and Marlins.

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For most teams, 10 games at home would be are source of confidence. However, for the Mets, who have struggled to play in Citi Field for the last two and a half years, it’s more of a concern.

Similarly, Sandy Alderson’s roster will enter Friday with the fifth-most runs scored in the National League, despite David Wright hitting just .258. However, Alderson’s starting pitching and bullpen are toward the back of the pack in runs allowed. In other words, 15 games in to the season, Alderson has the opposite team he probably expected. Instead of one that hits for power, pitches well and plays better at home. He has a team that scores runs with singles and doesn’t walk very much, as they struggle to pitch and play poorly at home. Yet, they’re 8-7.

I’ll take it, especially knowing that Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Wilmer Flores can help later this summer, while trusting Wright and Curtis Granderson will eventually find a hot streak. 8-7 is good, though, it means 13-14, or around .500, is realistic for May 1, which sets up what can certainly be a fun summer.


Valverde is still the closer

Jose Valverde allowed two home runs in the ninth inning Wednesday against the D-Backs.

Terry Collins later said Valverde will continue to be his closer.

Valverde let up three earned runs in his previous start, blowing a save opportunity against the Angels.

What’s on Tap: Mets are off, will attend Joel Hanrahan’s showcase

The Mets defeated the Diamondbacks, 5-2, on Wednesday afternoon to complete a three-game sweep >> Read more from MLB.com, ESPN New York, New York Post, and the Daily News.

The win moved the Mets to above .500 at 8-7…

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The Mets are off on Thursday.

Team representatives will attend a showcase for free agent reliever Joel Hanrahan. Hanrahan, 32, had Tommy John surgery last May.

The Mets open a three-game set against the Braves on Friday at Citi Field at 7:10 p.m.

News: In case you missed it…

The Mets outrighted reliever John Lannan, who now has 72 hours to decide whether he’ll report to Triple-A Las Vegas or become a free agent.

The Mets promoted Daisuke Matsuzaka from Triple-A Las Vegas. Sandy Alderson said Matsuzaka will work out of the bullpen, while also serving as insurance in the event the Mets need a spot-starter.

Jenrry Mejia‘s next start is contingent on how his bullpen session goes on Friday. Mejia left his start Tuesday with a torn blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand.

Bartolo Colon has been getting treatment for a stiff back, but the Terry Collins said he’s on track to make his next start on Saturday at Citi Field.

Chris Young will be activated from the disabled list prior to Friday night’s game against Atlanta at Citi Field.

Juan Lagares, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a pulled right hamstring, got his MRI results on Wednesday. Lagares said that he should be at full strength in one to two weeks.

Game Recap: Mets 5 – Diamondbacks 2

The Mets completed the sweep of the Diamondbacks, despite Jose Valverde serving up two home runs in the ninth inning, 5-2 on Wednesday afternoon.

Need to Know: Dillon Gee was perfect through 4 2/3 innings before giving up a double. Gee pitched seven strong, allowing just three hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out three. He needed only 72 pitches to get through his seven. At the end of the sixth inning, Gee rushed to cover second base and collided with Gerardo Parra.

Valverde entered in a non-save situation and promptly gave up back-to-back home runs in the ninth. He closed it down though, to secure the sweep.

The Mets picked up 10 hits, including a solo home run from Anthony Recker, who put the Mets on the board in the second inning.

The Mets added two runs in the top of the ninth inning, one due to a throwing error by Addison Reed, allowing Eric Young Jr. to get to third base. Young later scored on a Daniel Murphy single. Murphy later advanced to third after a throwing error by Miguel Montero as he swiped second base. David Wright drove him in with a single.

The Mets swiped four bases, two by Eric Young Jr., and one each by Murphy and Wright.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a sac-fly in the fourth to drive in the Mets second run.

Gee hit into a fielder’s choice, that had a chance to be a double play, allowing the Mets to add a run in the sixth inning.

The win moved the Mets to 8-7 on the season.

What’s Next: The Mets return home to start a series against the Braves on Friday night.