Maggie Wiggin: It’s important to separate Jacob deGrom‘s numbers during his last two starts, because they tell two very different tales. His start on August 24, when he gave up seven runs (six earned) in under three innings, was the worst start of his career. It looked bad and it was bad. He didn’t throw strikes, he gave up hard contact and bad luck simply wasn’t a factor.
The good news for the Mets (though bad news for deGrom) was that he was ill during this start and a lot of the problems we saw during the night can be connected to general fatigue, sluggishness, and disorientation, all of which go along with food poisoning. He didn’t lack velocity, but his command was off and he shied away from some of his best pitches.
Even better news is that, while on the surface his most recent start of six innings and two earned runs against the Red Sox may not have been the dominant deGrom we’ve grown accustomed to, there were no red flags that might suggest he’s battling injury or long-term fatigue. He struck out 10, while walking only two batters. He minimized hard contact and kept the ball on the ground as he’s done all season. He didn’t go as deep in to the game as usual, likely because the 10 strikeouts drove up his pitch count, but all-in-all this was a solid start and Mets fans should hope for many more like it.
As the season wears on, even an ace like deGrom may get a little tired, so the move to the six-man rotation should benefit everyone. However, there’s no reason to worry right now that deGrom is showing any warning signs of falling apart in 2015.
The Mets acquired RH reliever Addison Reed from the D-Backs this past weekend.
He joined the Mets at Citi Field on Monday and told reporters that he’s excited to be pitching in a pennant race.
“I couldn’t come to a better ballclub right now,” Reed said before the game. “When I was told I was coming over here, I was real excited and ready to get here.”
In 38 appearances with Arizona, Reed was 2-2 with a 4.20 ERA. However, in the 11 games since returning to the D-Backs after being demoted to the minor leagues, he had 1.65 ERA in 16 1/3 innings.
“I went down and worked on location and consistency of the slider and – knock on wood – everything has felt good since I’ve come back,” he explained.
Terry Collins said this past weekend that he hopes Reed, who has experience as a closer, can thrive in the seventh inning, helping to set up Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia. Also, Sandy Alderson noted yesterday that the addition of Reed will help him and Collins to use Logan Verret as a spot starter instead of a reliever through September.
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Mets Single-A SS prospect Luis Guillorme has been named MVP of the South Atlantic League (Sept. 1, 2015).
“Guillorme receiving the MVP is well deserved,” Savannah Gnats manager Jose Leger told MiLB.com. “He has played well both defensively and with the bat. He has hit in the second spot of our lineup and has been driving in runs, getting on base, and bunting guys over when we need it. There is no doubt in my mind that he is our MVP.”
Guillorme, 20, leads the SAL with a .314 average and 136 hits in 112 games played. His .974 fielding percentage is also a league-high among shortstops.
The Mets drafted Guillorme in the 10th round of the 2013 amateur draft.
According to Conforto, he’s tried different breathing techniques to become more relaxed at the plate, which he said has helped him.
“Navy Seal snipers use the same thing to slow their heart rates,” Conforto said. “Obviously, it works. Their jobs come with much higher stakes than ours.”
Conforto’s approach, both at the plate and in the clubhouse, has garnered respect from captain David Wright, who told the New York Post: “If you were going to build a ballplayer with the right approach along with the right amount of talent, he’d be the guy. He’s not entitled.’’
Conforto, who’s hitting .458 over his last nine games and .381 since Aug. 13, broke a scoreless tie by lining Jerad Eickhoff’s 1-0 fastball over the left-centerfield fence for his fourth major-league home run. It gave them Mets a 1-0 lead.
“We continue to very quietly talk about what a good player this guy has a chance to become,” Collins said. “He’s an outstanding hitter. He’s got a great swing.”
Matthew Cerrone: I could watch him hit all day. He is so mechanically sound, so disciplined and controlled in his movement, it’s really special. The way he stays balanced, through the entire swing, keeping his eyes and head locked on the pitch, is a lesson in hitting. Little Leaguers should watch him on repeat, in hopes that muscle memory takes over. I see no way this kid isn’t hitting at least .280 with 30 doubles and 15 HR next season.
Rich Coutinho keeps mentioning Mike Greenwell as a comp. I can see that statistically. In terms of his swing, though, he’s more Mattingly-Beltran-Jefferies, because he keeps his hands on the bat, as opposed to Carlos Gonzalez, Robin Ventura, the Charley Lau style., or Ken Griffey Jr., who says has the best left-handed swing of all time. Anyway, it’s just so great to watch. I love the mechanics of the game, and he (like Matt Harvey‘s delivery) he is near-perfect. How he handles life when pitchers begin to adjust to him, when they start identifying holes, that remains to be seen. But, again, he’s so sound, that, for him, it will be all about getting mentally right and recognizing what is happening, and I think he’ll be fine…