Mets to interview former Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long

The Mets will formally interview former Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long for their vacant hitting coach position on Wednesday.1,2,3

Long was the hitting coach for the Yankees for seven seasons before being fired by the team at the end of the season.

The Mets, Blue Jays and Braves reached out to Long shortly after his dismissal.5 He was also drawn interest from the Red Sox, Brewers, Pirates and D-Backs.4

The Mets fired hitting coach Dave Hudgens in May. Lamar Johnson was named interim coach, dismissed at the end of the season and offered a different job in the organization.

Sandy Alderson is working from a short list that contains no more than three-to-four names, according to a source.7

It was reported in May that Curtis Granderson, who played four years under Long, and several teammates were using Long’s infamous Home Run Drill during pre-game warm ups. 6

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: It’s sounding like Long is the front runner. He is the first person they’re bringing in for an interview, he applies the same principles as Sandy Alderson, he lives in New York, knows the market, knows how to handle local media and has a fan in Granderson. Dave Magadan makes sense to some extent, but I keep hearing if he’s going to leave Texas, he wants to go to a team with a top offense and a good chance of winning next year. Also, this will be the second time in a few years that he left a situation early to go to greener pastures, and that has to be somewhat of a concern, I would think.

1. Nick Cafardo, Oct. 21 | 2. Marc Carig, Oct. 21 | 3. Joel Sherman, Oct. 21 | 4. Feinsand, Oct. 13 | 5. Ehalt, Oct. 10 | 6. MetsBlog, May 19 | 7. Mike Puma, Oct. 22

Tuesday’s Arizona Fall League recap…

Mets shortstop prospect Matt Reynolds reached base twice on a pair of walks Tuesday, but was hitless in three at-bats.

He’s reached base via hit or walk in seven of his eight AFL games.

Read more at SNY’s Mets Minors…

Mostly Mets, pres. by Caesars AC: Getting to the World Series the Royal Way

Toby Hyde and Robert Brender are joined by former Royals broadcaster Rob Ford, to see how they built a World Series team from the ashes, and if that way can work for the Mets.  Plus, the guys check in on the Mets prospects in the Arizona Fall League.

(Link to Subscribe)

For the show rundown, click here...

  • Intro
  • World Series chat with Rob Ford
    • Can the Royals way work for the Mets?
  • Discussion Download and WS Predictions (17:55)
  • AFL Check In (26:40)
    • Brandon Nimmo, Matt Reynolds, LJ Mazzilli, and more
  • One Good Thing, One Bad Thing (35:30)

Lucas Duda rounds third

Mets should look to platoon Lucas Duda

maggieMaggie Wiggin: Lucas Duda had a breakout season in 2014. However, despite a solid overall performance, he still hasn’t shown he can hit left-handed pitching.

This past season, Duda faced left-handed pitchers in 20 percent of his plate appearances and hit just .180, while striking out over 30 percent of the time. He has a similar .186 average against left-handed pitchers in over 1,000 career plate appearances in the minor and major leagues. He faced more lefties late this past season, but more exposure did little to improve his performance.

Duda is 29-years-old, so it’s time to accept him for who he is, which is a powerful weapon against right-handed pitchers, but a liability against the Cole Hamels and Gio Gonzalezes of the NL East.

The Mets are not going to be an offensive juggernaut in 2015, regardless of what additions they make this winter. Thankfully, we’ve seen a lot of offense-light teams succeed in recent years by using creative methods and construction to maximize run scoring from their players. A platoon partner for Duda is one way the Mets can do this.

Michael CuddyerThe key to a successful platoon is that the platoon partner must put up numbers at least as good as the primary starter. Finding a right-handed bat who can outhit Duda against lefties and play first base should be doable for the Mets.

The In-House Option

Eric Campbell is the best in-house candidate. For a league-minimum salary, he should be capable of average offensive production against lefties, which would be a marked improvement from what we would expect from Duda. Additionally, his positional flexibility makes him a useful role player and a prudent use of a roster spot.

The Outside Option

Michael Cuddyer is a potentially promising free-agent target. While there is plenty of debate to be had about his injury history and probable contract to warrant its own post, it’s reasonable to consider a scenario in which Cuddyer, who can still produce well against right-handed pitching, plays right field most of the time and slots into first base against tougher lefties. This arrangement (which also assumes Curtis Granderson moves to left, where his defense plays better) would likely result in excellent production from first base and, at worst, league-average production from right field, which would still be a marked improvement from the offensive struggles of the 2014 outfield.

What are the chances the Mets trade this guy this winter?

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: I get asked a similar question everyday, which goes something like: “What are the chances the Mets trade so-and-so this winter?” I try to always give a semi-educated, mostly guesswork answer, based on the market, the team’s needs, how they talk about specific players, how other teams talk about that player, contract status, hype, hunch, etc.

I’ll try to update this once a month, but here’s where I stand today if asked what percentage chance I think exists that these specific players might get traded this off-season:

Player  Percent  Trend Last Guess
Daniel Murphy 50% - Oct. 21
Jon Niese 50% - Oct. 21
Dillon Gee 50% - Oct. 21
Bartolo Colon 40% - Oct. 21
Rafael Montero 40% - Oct. 21
Zack Wheeler 30% - Oct. 21
Kevin Plawecki 30% - Oct. 21
Travis d’Arnaud 30% - Oct. 21
Steven Matz 20% - Oct. 21
Noah Syndergaard 10% - Oct. 21
Wilmer Flores 10% - Oct. 21
Juan Lagares 0% - Oct. 21
Jacob deGrom 0% - Oct. 21


Brandon Nimmo cuts 2

Nimmo and LJ Mazzilli are making an impression in AFL

Mets prospects OF Brandon Nimmo and 2B L.J. Mazzilli drew the attention of minor league reporter Jessica Quiroli, who recently spent time taking notes at the Arizona Fall League (Minor League Ball, Oct. 21).

“Nimmo is that rare breed of focused aggression and intensity, mixed with patience and teachability,” she wrote. “And, while Mazzilli has the same kind of professionalism and maturity as Nimmo, Mazzilli’s is all pedigree, as the son of former major leaguer Lee.”

Nimmo, who ended his year in Double-A, is hitting .323 with a .447 OBP and three extra base hits in 31 at bats in the AFL.

MazzilliLJMazzilli, who ended his year in Triple-A, is batting .250, but with a .400 OBP in just 20 at bats.

Earlier this week, Mazzilli talked with SNY.TV’s Rob Brender for a Q&A about his time in the AFL, what he’s working on, where he expects to begin 2015 and being Lee’s son.

Robert Brender: What did you get out of the experience of spending the final couple of weeks of the season in Triple-A?

Lee Mazzilli Jr.: I noticed that everyone there was professional and they’re always talking about the game, whether it be in the clubhouse, on the bench or on the field. Everyone had an approach offensively. They always talked about the opposing pitchers, helping each other out. The biggest thing is really just executing in situations and slowing the game down, making it very simple. I also noticed that I belonged, too. I didn’t think I was overmatched at all or not ready. I definitely thought that, ‘Hey, this is what I’ve always set out to do.’ I realized I can handle it. Just have to keep working.

Robert Brender: Do you feel your best position is second base and what are you working on to improve your game defensively?

Lee Mazzilli, Jr.: Absolutely. I feel I can be a very good second baseman. I know the wrap on me is whether I can be a plus defender. For me, really, it’s just a matter of being consistent. I’ll have days where I’ll show I can possibly be a Gold Glover and then I’ll have days where people question if I can play second base. I just have to find a way to slow things down, which I did this year, and stay consistent. I think next year, knowing when to eat some throws, try to force a play, a double play, knowing a situation with a runner whose trying to come into the bag, little things like that will help me >> Read the full Q&A at Mets Minor League Blog.