Mets hope to hire another coach by end of this week

The Mets hope to hire a new assistant hitting coach before the end of this week, Sandy Alderson said Tuesday.

The Mets added the assistant hitting coach position during spring training last season. Luis Natera occupied the role until he and Dave Hudgens were fired in late May, after which the position remained vacant.

Former Yankees director of player development Pat Roessler did well in his interview for the position last week (Waldstein, Nov. 11). He will be the only external candidate to be interviewed, with all other candidates coming from inside the organization (Rubin, Nov. 12).

The Mets may also be considering filling their assistant hitting coach position with a more general coach (Puma, Nov. 4).

To read more of this story, click here


In case you missed it on MetsBlog…

The new dimensions at Citi Field, with right-center field moved in a small amount, were revealed >> Read more

In advance of the Rule 5 draft, Sandy Alderson said the Mets would likely add five to six prospects to the 40-man roster on Thursday >> Read more

Wilmer Flores continues to impress Mets officials with his work ethic >> Read more

Matthew Cerrone wrote that the relationship between the Mets and Matt Harvey >> Read more

outfield wall dimensions

Mets announce new Citi Field dimensions

The Mets announced their latest changes to the Citi Field outfield wall on Tuesday.

The changes affected are located in center to right field ranging from three to 11 feet, the team said. The right-center field fence will move from 390 feet to 380 feet, while the area near the bullpen will move from 375 to 370 feet.

“These modifications are a refinement of previous changes made to the Citi Field fences and continue to be fair to both pitchers and hitters,” General Manager Sandy Alderson said in a release. “A lot of analysis went into this decision. We believe these modifications will increase the number of home runs without adversely affecting our pitchers.”

The new dimensions should resemble Shea Stadium, Alderson told reporters at the GM Meetings in Arizona.

“It’s all about how our hitters feel comfortable, I think that’s more important,” Jon Niese told MLB Network Radio on Monday. “Us, as a pitching staff, I think we can figure out how to get outs.”

According to Alderson’s research, had the new dimensions existed last season, his team would have hit an additional 17 home runs, while opponents would have hit an extra 10.

Alderson shows the media the changes currently underway to the right-field dimensions at Citi Field…

To read more of this story, click here

Matt Harvey

Sandy Alderson wants Harvey to be available in September

Sandy Alderson made it sound like he does not intend to handle Matt Harvey‘s first year back from Tommy John surgery in the same way the Nationals handled Stephen Strasburg.

“The key for us is figuring out a way to manage his season so that he’s available to us if or when we get to the postseason,” Alderson told WNBC’s Bruce Beck on Sunday night.

Update: Alderson said that Harvey will likely start the season in the rotation and will have his early starts monitored to shave innings off earlier, instead of later (Carig, Nov. 18).

In 2012, the Nationals ended Strasburg’s season the first week of September, ruling out the 24-year-old star from pitching during the franchise’s first-ever post season run.

The Mets have not ruled out a similar shutdown, they could could also rest him for 2-3 weeks earlier in the season or simply limit the length of his early-season starts (Daily News, Nov. 12). To read more of this story, click here


Relationship between Harvey and Mets management is important

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com: Matt Harvey has an amazing amount of talent. He also has a powerful and attractive personality, which will continue to make for buzz-worthy moments when playing in New York City, the largest media market in the world.

Think about it, he has just 12 career wins, yet he’s already appeared naked in ESPN: The Magazine. He’s done a fashion spread the New York Post and Men’s Journal. He’s dated a super model. He regularly appears in Page Six. He’s talked publicly about wanting to be like Derek Jeter. His YouTube video for Jimmy Fallon has over 3 million views. And, he openly pushed the meme that he’s Batman, The Dark Knight, the hero Gotham deserves, in a cover story for Sports Illustrated.

Frankly, I love every second of it. The bigger and bolder he is, the better, so long as he’s also helping the team win. This is an entertainment business and, when at his best, Harvey is awesome and entertaining. He makes the game more fun and interesting for me as a fan. His intensity and expectations are addictive. I’m locked in when he’s on the mound. And, he has the same impact on his teammates, who admittedly feed off his aggressive, pit bull mentality.

070213Harvey48TB200037--500x380The thing is, baseball clubhouses do not like when a player rises above the crowd in a way that make the rest of the room look less important. R.A. Dickey had teammates in Queens who felt this way, specifically when Dickey went on late-night talk shows during the season to promote a book about his story that had nothing to do with the Mets. And, from what I can gather, Harvey ruffles feathers in a similar way…

For instance, according to several people in the organization, despite what they said in public, prominent Mets players, coaches and people in the front office were not happy, while the Mets were playing the Nationals in DC, Harvey was at a Yankee Stadium watching Jeter’s last game. I wouldn’t say they were ‘angry,’ it wasn’t an ‘issue,’ but they didn’t like that it happened. They had a similar reaction when he requested time off from his rehab, then turned up in New England hanging out with friends. The same can be said about how they’ve reacted to his rogue magazine features, his endorsements, use of social media and how he’s expressed dissatisfaction in public about his rehab,

At the same time, these same Mets people know his big, aggressive personality and high expectations off the field are the same qualities that make him great on it. The Mets know the success of their relationship with Harvey will come down to how they collectively manage him and whether or not they’re winning. Otherwise, if he’s pitching well and having fun, and the Mets are losing, the relationship could go from awkward to contentious very quick…

The first step in that process will be how they restrain him, yet encourage him, during Spring Training and the regular season next year, his first on a mound since Tommy John surgery. Sandy Alderson has said he hopes to contain Harvey earlier in the year so his ace can be available to pitch during a potential pennant race. I’m sure they see eye-to-eye on the end game, especially if it means starting a playoff game. However, how they get to that point is where the awkwardness may be…


Noah Syndergaard will be next year’s ROY

MLB.com’s prospect insider Jim Callis believes Noah Syndergaard will win next year’s NL Rookie of the Year (MLB.com, Nov. 18).

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom won the award this past season.

“Unlike most young pitchers his size, the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Syndergaard repeats his delivery easily,” according to Callis. “That gives him better command than most 22-year-olds, enhancing his premium stuff. Syndergaard regularly pitches at 95-97 mph with his fastball and can crank it up into triple digits, and the run and sink on his heater make it even more effective.”

According to Baseball America, despite a 4.60 ERA in 26 starts, Syndergaard was the fifth-best prospect in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League this past season.

syndegaard and warthenCallis points out that, like Syndegraard, deGrom had a high ERA in his first stint in Triple-A. However, deGrom rebounded well in Las Vegas to start 2014, after which he got to the big leagues and cruised to a Rookie of the Year award. Callis expects Syndergaard to do the same next season.

To get to the big leagues, Syndergaard says he needs to be more consistent with his off speed pitches and he must learn to avoid the big inning, he recently told SNY.TV’s Robert Brender >> Read Syndergaard’s full Q&A.

Similarly, Triple-A pitching coach Frank Viola has said Syndergaard is not quite ready to be on an Opening Day roster, though he should be ready to make his big-league debut later next season >> Listen to Viola.

Duda goes 1-3 in Japan…

Lucas Duda went 1-3 with a double and a run scored as the MLB All-Stars beat the Japan Samurai on Tuesday. Duda played left field and scored on a passed ball.

For the boxscore >> Read more