Ten years ago today, David Wright made his major league debut. He went 0 for 4, but his team eked out a 5-4 victory after blowing an early 3-0 lead. His first big-league hit, a double, came the next day >> Watch here. He has since become the organization’s all-time leader in a number of offensive categories, including hits, doubles and RBI.
“Coming into the clubhouse and seeing your jersey hanging for the first time, it was pretty surreal,” Wright said of his debut (New York Post, July 15). “I probably tried my jersey on and stood in front of the mirror for quite some time that day soaking it all in.”
In 2004, when Wright first stepped on the field at Shea Stadium, the baseball world was pretty different. The Red Sox were still “cursed,” as were the Chicago White Sox. Barry Bonds was the offensive ruler of the National League, if not all of baseball. Roger Clemens won the National League Cy Young Award. And the Florida – not Miami – Marlins were the reigning World Series champs.
The National League East landscape looked a bit different back then, too…
21-year-old Mets RHP prospect Noah Syndergaard will remember 2014 as the year he learned to pitch, he told reporter Jared Diamond (Wall Street Journal, July 18).
“I feel like my stuff is there from the physical part of the game,” Syndergaard said, according to Diamond. “It’s just all about the mental aspect.”
He is 7-5 with a 5.74 ERA in 17 starts for Triple-A Las Vegas. He has thrown 84 2/3 innings, leaving him to make around 10-12 starts this year, given the innings limit the team set for him in Spring Training.
Syndergaard dropped from being the third best right-handed pitching prospect down to fifth on MLB.com’s recent mid-season top prospect list.
He said he was constantly thinking about the Super Two cut-off date earlier this summer, since it may have indicated a promotion to Queens sooner than later. However, so far, Syndergaard is still pitching in Las Vegas, unlike Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, who were promoted almost immediately during their first summer’s in Triple-A.
“They were older and more polished pitchers,” Syndergaard told Diamond. “They were ready at that point. And right now, I don’t think I’m ready.”
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
July 17: My hunch is that we’ll see Syndergaard starting for the Mets some time in August. I realize that in late June, Terry Collins told reporters it is possible Syndergaard may not see big-league action this year, despite starting the season ranked by MLB.com as the third-best right-handed pitching prospect in baseball >> Read more.
Sandy Alderson indicated that he has yet to have significant talks with other GMs about potential trades, he told reporters in San Diego on Friday.
“It’s hard to say exactly what will happen on the trade market,” he said. “Honestly, I haven’t had a lot of conversations. So it’s not clear to me what the opportunities will be. We’ll just have to wait and see. My hope is things pick up a little bit as we get into the schedule after the All-Star break, and maybe even after this weekend. But right now we’re just kind of canvassing the possibilities.”
Earlier in the day, he said the Mets will not trade prospects for players in the final year of their contracts at the trade deadline (NY Post, July 18).
That said, while it’s possible he could trade away a veteran player for another team’s young players, he added, “It wouldn’t be our first choice, I don’t think, but it’s a possibility.”
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
No doubt, most fans will freak out over this and see it as Sandy sitting on his hands. The reality is that most GMs are called in when a legitimate opportunity develops. The preliminary work is mostly done by his staff, specifically John Ricco and J.P. Ricciardi’s team of player development people. They have ‘low level talks,’ as people say, to start, and if a match starts to materialize, GMs get involved to close the deal. So, Sandy’s above quote likely indicates no deal is close in a market that has been slow to develop in a meaningful way – probably because so many teams remain on the fence between in and out of contention. And, I’m sure this is the case for most teams at this point…
According to Baseball Prospectus, the Mets have roughly a three percent chance of making the post-season, despite winning 9 of their last 11 games (BP, July 19).
“If you ask the guys on the field, they probably think we’ve got a little better chance than that,” Sandy Alderson said before Friday night’s game. “Sometimes, ‘Ya Gotta Believe,’ right? This is a time.”
Result: The Mets dropped their second straight Sunday, 2-1, to the Padres at PETCO Park.
Need to Know: Mets starterZack Wheelerwas sharp again, striking out seven and surrendering only Yasmani Grandal’s fourth-inning solo homer. But Wheeler exited on the wrong end of a 1-0 deficit because San Diego starter Odrisamer Despaigne flirted with the franchise’s first-ever no-hitter, baffling the Mets for 7 2/3 innings.
The Mets rallied in the eighth. Daniel Murphy’s two-out double broke up the no-hitter, and David Wright followed with a single that tied the game at 1. Jeurys Familia worked into and out of trouble in the eighth inning, but Vic Black’s ninth-inning misplay cost the Mets an out. Seth Smith’s infield single, which eluded Josh Edgin, pushed home Cameron Maybin for the winning run of the Padres’ 2-1 victory.
Game Ball: To Despaigne, who mastered the Mets, surrendering just two hits and one run in 7 2/3 innings. The righty was one strike from taking a no-hitter to the ninth inning in his fifth career start.
What’s Next: The Mets venture up the coast to Seattle to take on the Mariners. Jon Niese (5-4, 2.96 ERA) will make his return from the disabled list and will be opposed by Seattle’s Roenis Elias (7-8. 4.54).
Sunday’s minor league recaps…
Las Vegas infielder Wilmer Flores extended his Triple-A hitting streak to 21 games with another single Sunday afternoon. The last time he failed to get a hit was June 26, his first day back in 3A after being demoted.