David Wright takes a swing 1f

What happened to David Wright in 2014?

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: He’s only 31-years-old, so I know I shouldn’t be worried about David Wright. Also, it’s easy to assume his poor production in 2014 is a direct result of shoulder pain. However, he repeatedly told reporters¬†one had nothing to do with the other. And, he may be right.

Through the first 66 games of the year, Wright was on pace to finish the season hitting around .270 with a .330 OBP, 10 HR, 35 doubles, 80 RBI and roughly 2.0 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference.

He injured his shoulder on June 12, he has said. In the 68 games that followed, he received a cortisone shot, missed time, hit by a pitch in the sore shoulder, missed more time, but hit more or less the same as he did before the injury, finishing 2014 batting .268 with a .324 OBP, 8 HR, 30 doubles, 63 RBI and a 1.9 WAR Рor, approximately what he was on pace to do before the injury.

David Wright shares a pre-game laughIn other words, even before the documented injury, he was on pace for the worst year of his career.

So, if that’s the case, and Wright is right about his shoulder not being an issue, then what happened?

In any case, Wright is in the process of strengthening the shoulder. In the event it’s still weak in November, Wright will need to consider off-season surgery, which will require a three to three and a half-month rehab process (Rubin, Sept. 25).

FanGraphs’s Steamer projection puts Wright at a 4.0 WAR in 2015, likely hitting around .275 with 18 HR, 33 doubles and 85 RBI, which would not be his best season, but also not his worst. It would, however, drop him out of the five most productive third baseman¬†at time when he’ll be the highest paid third baseman in the National League.

In the end, though, I’m hoping¬†Sandy Alderson’s offense will need to¬†lean less on Wright next season anyway. In the event Alderson acquires a reliable outfielder, plus gets¬†a slight bounce from Curtis Granderson and some growth from¬†Travis d’Arnaud, Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores, Wright’s projections can¬†work. He doesn’t have to return to being an elite player, like he was in 2012 and 2013, but something between that and last year should be fine.


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.