#TBT: Photos of Shea Stadium from Sept. 1990

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: I found these pictures by photographer Jerry Reuss on Flickr of Shea Stadium, taken late September in 1990. I love these shots.

I love how pristine and quiet the ballpark looks, except for a few grounds crew people getting ready for that night’s game. To see the rest of Jerry’s photos from that afternoon, click here


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In case you missed it on MetsBlog…

The Mets began construction to move in the right-center field fence at Citi Field >> Read more at MetsBlog

Roughly 10 Mets will be arbitration-eligible this offseason >> Read more at MetsBlog

Matthew Cerrone wondered if Wilmer Flores is ready to be an ever-day shortstop >> Read more at MetsBlog

The MetsBlog staff opined on whether or not the Mets match up with the Cardinals via trade >> Read more at MetsBlog

Triple-A pitching coach Frank Viola discussed Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Rafael Montero, and other Mets prospects during the Mostly Mets podcast >> Listen here

Wednesday’s Arizona Fall League recap…

Mets shortstop prospect Matt Reynolds made his seventh AFL start Wednesday and was 1-for-5, with a double, rbi and two runs scored.

The double was his second in Arizona and fourth extra base hit. He’s hit safely in four of his last five games.

Read more at SNY’s Mets Minors…

The Mets have started work to bring in OF walls

The Mets have started construction to move in the right-center and right field fences at Citi Field.

“Work has begun,” the team tweeted earlier today, while posting the following pictures…



It was reported earlier this week that construction was expected to begin after the World Series, a team source said (Ackert, Oct. 14).

It will be the second time the Mets have moved the walls since the ballpark’s 2009 debut. In 2011, the left-field wall was reduced in height and brought in from 371 to 358 feet, right-center moved from 415 to 390 feet, and right field from 378 to 375 feet.


According to ESPN Stats & Information’s Mark Simon, had adjustments to this section been made prior to this season, the Mets would’ve hit seven additional home runs, while the opposition would have hit an additional four.

“It’s not about tailoring the ballpark to a particular player or a particular composition of team, it’s about making Citi Field as fan-friendly and as exciting as we can make it,” Sandy Alderson said last month. “I think they’ll be good for the game, good for the fans. I’m sure that one or two of our players will benefit as well.”

In a vote earlier this summer on MetsBlog, 67 percent of voters said the Mets should again bring in the outfield wall at Citi Field (MetsBlog, June. 9).

“It’ll help us, because we’ve got guys who hit the ball in that area,” Terry Collins said in early September, when asked about possible changes to right-center field. “I think it’s going to help us a little bit, confidence-wise. I think it would be great for us.”

Frank Viola talks Syndergaard, deGrom, Montero and other prospects

Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard is not quite ready to be on an Opening Day roster, though he should certainly be ready to make his big-league debut later in the season, his pitching coach Frank Viola told SNY.TV’s Mostly Mets Podcast.

Baseball America recently ranked Syndergaard the fifth-best prospect in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League this past season.

“He’s a bonafide No. 2 or 3 starter, there’s no question. The stuff is there, but you can’t rush experience,” Viola told the show’s hosts, Robert Brender and Toby Hyde.

That said, if the Mets do begin 2015 with their top pitching prospect on their 25-man roster, Viola says Syndergaard will need to be throwing to a veteran catcher to help guide and teach him along the way.


MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Atlanta Braves


“This past year at Triple-A was eye-opening for him,” Viola explained. “He’d get in a situation and grab back for that 98 mph fastball and in high school or Double-A it worked, but in Triple-A they’re waiting for it. He got hit with it. He has to learn to pitch. He’s got to learn when to throw his curve ball, he’s got to learn when to throw his change up, and not be afraid to throw it when he’s behind in the count. When he does that, when he has total confidence in that, you’ll see his career take off.”


Viola also talks with Brender and Hyde about several of the team’s top pitching prospects; Rafael Montero‘s development, how Jacob deGrom can be better in 2015 and the similarity between David Cone and Zack Wheeler, which you can listen to here:

taveras

Are the Mets a match with Cardinals, who may trade an OF?

The Cardinals may look to trade an outfielder this off season, with Oscar Taveras, Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos the likely targets, according to local reporter Joe Strauss (Post-Dispatch, Oct. 15).


maggieMaggie Wiggin: Any team looking to deal an outfielder or shortstop is going to have some intrigue for the Mets this offseason. However, despite interest, it’s hard to see a match with the Cardinals. Jay and Bourjos are both centerfielders; and, while Jay has played a bit in right field, his bat may not be what the Mets are looking for and he’s entering his age 30 season.

Taveras would be a huge get, but he’s one of the top prospects in the game and it would take a hefty package, even after his slow start in the majors. Factoring in that the Cardinals are a pitching-rich organization and there are a lot of hurdles for a potential trade here, I’m guessing Sandy makes some calls after the postseason but ultimately lands a deal somewhere else, most likely for a shortstop.


Small Berkon AvatarBen Berkon: In 2014, the Mets’ outfield blandly produced a park-adjusted 98 wRC+ (tied-18th in MLB) and 42 home runs (24th in MLB), per FanGraphs.com. Unfortunately, adding one of Jay, Bourjos, or Taveras wouldn’t really improve the Mets’ outfield situation in 2015.

Taveras, who ranked as the third best prospect in baseball by Baseball America, MLB.com, and BaseballProspectus.com prior to the season, looked overmatched in the majors. … Even though the 22-year-old could eventually mature into a distinguished major leaguer, the Mets need a more established power hitter to propel their tepid outfield offense next season.


mangan avatarBrian P. Mangan: Of these three, Jay presents the most interesting opportunity. He is an established major leaguer entering his second year of arbitration. He will be due a raise from the $3.25 million he earned this year, but will be under team control through through 2016 (and may earn $10-$12 million total over those two years). He’s averaged 2.6 WAR over the last four seasons with a .294/.359/.392 average slash line.  If the cost to acquire him is reasonable, he would make a fine stopgap solution for the Mets in right field.


baronavatarMichael Baron: The Mets should pursue experienced right-handed power, and none of the three players Strauss mentions fit any of that criteria. … Jay isn’t a fit here. He’s still young, a good outfielder, and gets on-base (thanks in part to his propensity to be hit by pitches), but his other qualities don’t really fill the need the Mets have in the outfield. It’s possible the Mets could pursue someone like Bourjos, as they really lack an experienced and competent righty outfield bat off the bench, but given the team’s current roster inflexibility, it’s difficult to envision this as a focus, certainly early on in the process this winter.

Opinion: The Mets have the right pitchers to go ‘bullpen-by-committee’

Small Berkon AvatarBen Berkon, MetsBlog Contributor: The Mets relievers finished the year with a collective 3.14 ERA, they stranded 78.8 percent of inherited runners and got ground balls 46.8 percent of the time, while opponents hit .234 against them.

In other words, for the first time during Sandy Alderson’s time as GM, he had a successful bullpen, despite losing Bobby Parnell and dealing with maligned veterans Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth.

Statistic Result MLB Ranking
ERA 3.14 8
LOB% 78.8% 2
GB% 46.8% 12
BAA 0.234 13

However, the most surprising storyline this year may have been Jenrry Mejia, whose emergence as a seemingly dependable closer. Mejia shut the door 28 times in 2014, boasting a 2.72 ERA and 3.39 xFIP when pitching in relief for the Mets.

Yet, with Jeurys Familia, Vic Black and Parnell as viable late-inning options, how should the Mets properly utilize their bullpen depth in 2015? To read more of this story, click here