2013 NY Mets Mid-Season Report Card Pitchers Edition

 

A day later than promised, sorry about that, so here is the 2013 NY Mets pitching staff mid-season report card.

Matt Harvey Grade A+

Matt Harvey is sensational, dominating, fearless, overpowering, handsome, intimidating, charismatic, ours.

Dillon Gee Grade C

Was close to going with a B for Gee since he has pitched very well of late but his overall body of work so far had me go with the C. Gee is a solid starting pitcher who in good health will give you 6 to 7 good innings which is fantastic for a #4 starter.

Jeremy Hefner Grade B

Who’d a thunk it? Hefner has been the best pitcher on the Mets not named Matt Harvey. Last year I was ready to say bye-bye to Hefner but now I find myself rooting hard for him to continue his success.  Puts ball in play but home run rate is up. Gave a B because Hefner is developing a strong dose of TWTW.

Jon Niese Grade C

Hope he gets healthy and pitches well in the second half so Mets can trade him and his team friendly contract for an outfield bat.

Shaun Marcum Grade F

Sorry he got injured and needed surgery but I’m not sorry he’ll never pitch for the Mets again

Zack Wheeler Grade Incomplete

Let him learn he’ll be fine if you think otherwise you’re an idiot

Bobby Parnell Grade A

FINALLY!!!! Parnell has emerged as the reliever we all hoped he’d be. Confidence in himself and his ability has fueled Parnell to could have been an All Star status. Still throws hard but isn’t of throwing; he’s pitching this year with pin point command. Sure it’s tempting to trade him but as Sandy Alderson said he’d have to be bowled over to deal him. Make your move Dave Dombrowski

LaTroy Hawkins Grade C

Has pitched much better than I’ve given him credit. Terrific BB/K ratio of 3.78 but he is hittable. His LOB % of 74 % has made Hawkins a go to guy for Terry Collins late in games.

Scott Rice Grade C

Seems like Rice pitches everyday not quite but I’m sure he warms up every game. The career minor leaguer walks way too many batters but he is able to get tons of ground ball outs. A classic LOOGY.  Got to give the guy props for toiling in the bushes for so long to finally make it to The Show. A Collins favorite.   

Brandon Lyon Grade F

F as in Farewell

Josh Edgin Grade D

Still waiting for Edgin to emerge as an effective late inning reliever but he needs better command of his slider to compliment his 90+ fastball. The second half of the season is Edgin’s audition to remain a Met in the future.

Greg Burke Grade D

Burke pitches from the mound down under and isn’t very effective he’s a JAG (just another guy)

David Aardsma Grade C

Was on the fence here with the C or B grade as Aardsma has only gone 17 IP he has looked like a guy who can be a good set up man to Parnell

Scott Atchinson Grade D

Suffered an arm injury that set him back a month and now he’s back and if he can get back what he had with the Red Sox and stay healthy add him to Hawkins, Aardsma and Parnell, that’s a pretty good back of the pen with Rice to get a lefty out.

Carlos Torres Grade Incomplete

Torres has only pitched in 10 games but he’s been very effective. Torres is now going into the starting rotation to replace Marcum hopefully he can stretch his arm out enough to give the innings needed.

 

 

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Betting on the New York Mets

During the summer months, one of the most watched sports would be that of Major League Baseball. Today, many people around the world watch the sport as it is broadcast internationally. One team that has quite a following is the New York Mets. Fans for this team are very loyal, sticking by their team through the thick and thin. Another way these fans express themselves is by placing sports bets on their team’s games.

Fans have many different kinds of baseball bets they can make. Some will stick with one type while others may place multiple bets of different types. One of these includes over and under betting. This particular bet isn’t dependent upon which team wins but rather what the combined final score is. Bookmakers will set a total prior to the game. This number will always include a decimal to prevent any bets needing to be cancelled. An upcoming game between the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals may have the total set at 7.5. An over bet would win if the total score is 8 or higher. On the flip side, an under bet would win if the total score is 7 or less.

After sports bets have been made, if fans want some more baseball related fun they should try out one of the many baseball themed slot machines that can be found at online casinos like Lucky Nugget. A popular one is the King of Swing. This slot machine game actually lets players have a turn at bat when they get to the homerun derby bonus round. Nine pitches are thrown and depending upon the result of each hit, free spins and bonus multipliers may be awarded. With many successful hits, the rewards could pile up fast. The homerun derby is triggered with pitcher symbols appearing on the reels.

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Could Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan Reunite In Flushing?

 

Welcome to July. Time for some Mets-cellaneous views and opinions as our favorite baseball team closes out yet another losing month:

The angst expressed by some Mets fans and know nothings in the media over Zack Wheelers start yesterday was stunning.  It wasn’t a great start for Wheeler but his problems came from lack of command and poor choice of pitches, two things that can be fixed. Wheeler also altered his delivery which I’m not a big fan of doing this between starts as I’m starting to think there is too much information overload given to Wheeler than just letting him go out there and pitch comfortably.

If you watched Wheeler pitch yesterday and think he’s a bust then you need to stop watching baseball and also stop going on social media with your dumb ass opinions because all you do is embarrass yourself.  Pitchers like Matt Harvey come around once generations so just enjoy watching him pitch and enjoy watching him wear a Mets uniform and stop comparing every young pitcher in the Mets system to him.

My only concerned with Wheeler is that he gets his instructions from Dan Warthen. If Wheeler and the rest of the Mets pitchers can survive the next 3 months of Dandy Dan’s Guide to Pitching, next season should bring a new voice to the Mets pitching staff. I’d have to think that there will be a new manager and coaching staff installed for the Mets 2014 season, and those hiring’s could be the most important free agent hiring’s of the Mets off season.

Last Friday I saw a tweet from 95.7 The Game in San Francisco that Dave Duncan was going to be a guest on their morning show. You can listen to the interview here. As I listened to Duncan speak about pitching I went into full J. Peterman mode, screaming at my computer screen, “NAME YOU’RE PRICE, MAN”!!!!!!!!

Duncan left the Cardinals in 2012 to care for his ailing wife who unfortunately lost her fight with cancer in early June.  From listening to Duncan in that interview it’s clear he still watched what’s going on in MLB and it would not be a reach to say he’d like to get back into the game.

Sandy Alderson had a very successful relationship with Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan back in the late 80’s when Alderson ran the Oakland A’s, winning a World Series title in 1989. Could Alderson place a call to LaRussa and Duncan offering them to get the band back together? As much as LaRussa annoyed me during his St Louis Cardinal days, I would be totally on board bringing LaRusa and Dave Duncan to the Mets. Mets fans have discussed and debated who could be the next Keith Hernandez or the Gary Carter, the player who would bring the Mets back to prominence, maybe Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan in Mets uni’s fit that bill in a supervisory position?

Now I know my whole scenario is pretty much a pipe dream, I mean who am I kidding, Freddy & Jeffy Skill Sets own this team not Mikhail Prokhorov SIGH!

 

Anyone miss Ike Davis? Would a Lucas Duda/Josh Satin platoon at 1B be more productive than trotting out Ike every game? What happens when Ike returns or better yet does Ike return?

A big THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! To David Aardsma for hitting Ian Desmond to lead off the 6th inning yesterday.  Finally a pitcher with onions!

And so it goes and so it goes and so it goes and so it goes

Where it’s going no one knows:

The Mets have not had a winning month since June of last year. Here is the W/L record for the Amazin’s from July 201 to June 2013:

July 2012 7-18

Aug 2012 12-16

Sept 2012 11-16

Oct 2012 1-2

Apr 2013 10-15

May 2013 12-15

June 2013 11-15

That comes out to a grand total of 161 games and a 64-97 .397 winning percentage.

Enjoy your Monday!

 

 

 

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Will 2013 Be The Summer of Lucas Duda ?

 
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Lucas Duda is one very large enigma to Mets fans. We see a strapping young man who stands 6’4” 250+ lbs and wonder, when will it all come together for Duda, when will we see 30+ HR’s and 90+ RBI. Well at 27 years old if it doesn’t come this year it mostly likely will never happen for Duda.

27 years of age is a great age to be unless you are an unproven big league baseball player. It’s an age where you are hitting your playing prime, where if you are a quality baseball player, everything comes together, it all starts to click, you have a good read on the opposing pitching staffs, you have a good idea of your hitting zone, you know when to be aggressive and when to lay off the breaking balls you chased as a greenhorn. It’s when the game starts to slow down just a bit for you to manage it effectively.  This is the season for all of this to come to Lucas Duda at the plate, if it doesn’t the Mets are in for a long season and Duda could be one in a long line of young Mets outfielders to be discarded on the side of the road.

I’ve looked a few of the projections for Duda for the coming season and while there seems to be a bit of an uptick in his power numbers by some, is it enough t to keep him as a big league starter?:

PECOTA .251/.333/.430  15 HR 54 RBI

ZiPS  .248/.330/.418  18HR  74 RBI

Bill James  .268/.356/.454   18HR  69 RBI

 

James projects Duda with a better on base and slugging percentage and I kind of agree with that. Duda has improved his eye at the plate, swinging at fewer pitches outside the strike zone (30.1, 29.8 and 35.3 last season) and his base on balls rate has gone up each season as well. But it’s the power numbers that give me pause on Duda as his Isolated Power Average dropped from .189 in 2011 to a pedestrian .150 last season. Being that the Mets lineup is still in flux-I don’t think Terry Collins knows who will be his 1-2 in the lineup yet-where Duda bats will determine how many RBI opportunities he gets, I figure Duda to bat 6th so the opportunity to drive in runs will be there for him.

Hitting just 15-18 home runs will not be acceptable this season from Duda, the Mets have to see an increase to at least mid-twenty’s if the team is going to make any noise this season and again at 27 years old, it’s time for Lucas to bust out.

The dilemma is for Duda to stay in the lineup he has got to hit and be a run producer as his defense is, and there is no way to sugar coat it,dreadful. The Mets do not need Duda to be Barry Bonds-like in left field but he needs to be able to get a good initial jump on balls and just make the routine play. In Duda’s defense (no pun intended) he is a first baseman by trade who is still learning a new position, so I have to cut him some slack.

The intangible in the whole Lucas Duda equation is his mind set. When Duda first came up to the Mets, it took a while for him to become comfortable in the major league/NYC setting. Terry Collins has mentioned that Duda has to get a grasp of being a big leaguer and now as one of the young vets on this Mets team, he has to be a leader. That doesn’t mean he has to be vocal or a rah-rah type, which is not his nature but Duda has to step up this season and be a difference maker so the club and Mets fans don’t have to suffer through another disappointing season.

Let’s all hope that 2013 becomes The Summer of Duda.      

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PAYBACK

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Sorry NY Highlander fans you lost your right to bitch and moan about bad umpire calls 16 years ago

So Chipper Jones will sit out todays finale at Citi Field, I guess even Jones is suffering from Chipper-Fatigue as much as we are but what is Ruben Tejada suffering from?

Tejada is sitting out again today and I’m not buying Terry Collins line of “he’s tired” either, Tejada has to be nursing some sort of injury that the Mets are not letting on.

I’m still trying to figure out the reasoning behind having Jureys Familia warm up then sit for an hour then warm-up again to come into to pitch and guess what? He had no commanded of his pitches and got behind and threw fastballs right down the middle of the plate. Who didn’t see that coming?

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Optimism, Thy Name Is Matt Harvey

Yeah, I’m excited when Big Hoss’ takes the mound!

Could it be? Four wins in a row? Hell yeah! What makes the wins even sweeter, the last two were against the Phuck Phaces with Jon Niese on the mound for the sweep, yeah that’s right THE SWEEP!!!  

Back on August 5th Matt Harvey threw a lot of breaking balls in his start against the Padres. I’ll take a wild guess that Dan Warthen ordered him to go with that many breaking balls. Harvey lasted 5 innings and gave up 5 runs in what became a 7-3 Padres win.

Something good came of that loss; Matt Harvey went back to being what he is, a power pitcher. No more following the Warthen Doctrine of nibble the corners and pitch passively. From watching the last 2-3 Harvey starts, there is nothing passive about him and it seems the message has been sent to the Mets pitching coach, leave Harvey alone. Of Harvey’s 98 pitches last night, 63 were fastballs that averaged 95 mph, that’s power pitching.

Is it a coincidence that the Mets have won 4 in a row and the bullpen has been solid? The pen has not allowed a run in its last 13.1 innings pitched, spanning over 5 games and is 7 for 7 in saves for the month of August. The Mets relievers have even improved bit in stranding inherited runners as they are up to 70 % LOB up from the mid 60 % range they have been at most of the season.

There has been lots of talk about the way Terry Collins has used Josh (Everyday) Edgin lately but the fact is Edgin has been a bullpen revelation.  Edgin has stranded 11 of the 14 runners he’s inherited as well as striking out 24 batters in 19.1 innings pitched. I can see the concern about going to the whip to often with Edgin especially getting him up multiple times during a game to warm-up , that’s where the wear and tear takes its toll, so it may be a good idea for Collins to take his foot off the gas a bit the last month of the season with Edgin.

Jon Niese is pitching with an extra days rest today. When Niese has an extra day off he is 6-3 with a 2.29 ERA as this covers 15 starts.

One thing to watch for today at the launching pad known as Citizen Bank Park, Niese has given up the long ball a lot this season, a career high 20 home run so far this season.

Niese has a better day time record than night. He’s 4-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 10 starts in the sunshine and in 15 starts under the lights he’s 6-6 with a 3.98 ERA.

 

 

 

 

 

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I Leave For A Half Hour and Stuff Happens In Flushing

Seems this play is the root of Johan Santana’s problems and will force him to the DL “Paging Matt Harvey, Mr. Matt Harvey…………”

 

I think we all agree that there is something not right with Johan Santana, the question is what’s wrong?

It doesn’t seem it’s a physical problem as Santana said he feels fine but know Johan, he’ll tell you he’s fine as the prep him for surgery, but again I don’t think this is a physical problem. It could be he has hit a wall. Being that Santana has said he has lost the feel for his pitches and it shows in his lack of command. Some are pointing to the no hitter of June 1st and the subsequent handling of Santana by the Mets after that, I guess that’s the easy way to look at and as we all know the favorite past time of Mets beat writers is to point their mocking fingers at the Mets.  The problem with Johan could simply be that after missing a year of pitching, he’s tired.

What would be the crime of putting Santana on the DL where he’ll miss two starts and then bring him back with limited innings or pitches? If Santana’s problems are fatigue and not structural, then the Mets are ahead of the game, beside we’re all dying to see Matt Harvey pitch aren’t we?

(UPDATE: while I was out checking the field at SI Tech to make sure it was in game shape for our 3PM playoff game , I come back to find out Santana has been placed on the DL due to the ankle injury he suffered that made him use more arm that lower body while pitching hence a fatigued arm. Carry on)

Jeremy Hefner has been recalled for today’s game as a safety net for Miguel Batista so that means someone has got to go and that someone looks to be Kirk Nieuwenhuis. It makes sense for Kirk to go to Buffalo since  he has slumped to the point Terry Collins would rather go with Andres Torres than him and when Nieuwenhuis did play he was striking out at an alarming rate. Kirk seems to have a good head on his shoulders and a trip to Buffalo won’t devastate him, I’m sure he’ll work on his game and will be back in the big leagues soon.(UPDATE PART 2 Looks Kirk gets reprieve from Buffalo with Johan on DL wish the Mets would have done this sooner and saved me the time it took to do this post)  With that said if I’m Sandy Alderson I’d have released Andres Torres and that might just happen when Mike Baxter gets back. If Baxter when healthy, is not brought right up to Queens there will be hell to pay believe me.

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Hey Sandy Alderson Go Get Your Friend Harvey

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So our All Star break was thrown into chaos yesterday and we can’t even blame this one on Tony LaRussa. When the news broke about Dillon Gee going to the hospital with a shoulder problem, I knew that it wasn’t a structural injury because we saw no sign of anything of that nature in his start on Sunday plus he would not have gone to the ER for that.  What popped into my head first was David Cone and his suffering of an aneurysm in his arm back in 1996. It seems Gee’s blood clot is not as severe as what Cone suffered but because they had to perform a cauterization to break up the clot and not just give him blood thinners gives me the idea that this is still very serious and could be a season ending event for Gee.

Forget the baseball part of this for a moment, how scary it must have been for Gee and his wife that not only did he have to head to the ER to get checked out but to have it happen at the All Star break with most of the Mets brassi n KC and teammates off on their own.  Hopefully Gee will be ok and between the procedure and medication this will be a onetime freak occurrence.

So what do the Mets do if Gee is out for longer than 1 or 2 starts? The first out cry from the fan base was to scream for Sandy Alderson to bring up Matt Harvey and while Harvey has shown some improvement with his command of pitches and has improved his strikeout rate, his walks per 9 innings is still close to 4 and the Mets would love to see him get more experience in Buffalo.

If Gee misses a start or three the team can survive with Jeremy Heftner and a few strategic off days but if this is a situation where Gee needs further surgery, the Mets may not have a choice but to bring up Matt Harvey to take Gee’s spot.

I don’t worry about Harvey handling the pressure of joining the big league club as it fights for a post season spot. From what we saw and heard of Harvey in spring training, he seems to be a real confident guy and a young guy who asks a lot of questions and absorbs information like a sponge.

When you look at Harvey and compare him to Dillon Gee, I think Harvey can pitch as well as Gee, if not better right now, so if this is going to be a sustained absence by Gee, the Mets best and maybe only option is Matt Harvey.

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I’m Still Mad R.A. Dickey Is Not Starting The All Star Game And I’m Not To Affraid To Say It

I got myself in a bit of a Twitter pissing match today over the news that R.A. Dickey was not picked by Tony LaRussa to start the All Star Game tomorrow night. I, like the majority of Mets fans, are totally piss off that Dickey is not starting the game. I made it known on Twitter how pissed I am and how wrong it is that Dickley will not be on the bump for the bottom of the first inning tomorrow night.

I’m not a fan of Tony LaRussa who I’ve always felt is a self-important prick and his decision to start Matt Cain over Dickey just solidified that opinion of the so called genius. I have many reasons why I feel so strongly about Dickey starting the game tomorrow night, he’s earned it with a tremendous first half, his story is one of the most compelling in sports and is a lesson in perseverance and verifying that hard work pays off and he plays for the NY Mets.

Part of the nastiness of my Twit fit was being called out for getting too emotional about Dickey not getting the start and then I was hit with the always clever “who gives a shit who starts the game” I do. I care for the reasons I mention and the fact that he is a NY Met, the baseball team I live and die with. I don’t give a rats ass about any other player who was snubed by not being named to the team or the fact that Matt Cain has pitched well this season, all I care about is a guy writing one of the best rags to riches story is not in the spotlight because of a retired manager who had to have his final “look at me moment” didn’t do the right thing by giving the All Star Game,  a game most baseball fans have grown tired of, a reason to tune in to see the best that the American League has to offer try to hit that mysterious of pitches, the knuckleball and not just any knuckleball but an Angry Knuckleball.

The same folks who took me to task about my “emotional outburst” over Dickey not getting the start are folks I’ve had a bit of trouble understanding most recently.   I’ve tried to explain that the word fan comes from fanatic and when it comes to the teams I root for especially the NY Mets I am proud to say I’m a fanatic, and when I feel the Mets or a Mets player is unjustly treated I react and I’ll never apologize for that.

What’s makes the, I don’t want to say attack as that’s a bit strong but the nasty tone of the tweets is one of the tweeters who claims to be a big NY Rangers fan but felt it would be a shame if Martin Broduer left the NJ Devils. I tweeted back” fuck Marty Broduer, the Devils and Newark NJ”. I mean if you are a true Blue Rangers fan why would you give a rat’s ass if Broduer left Newark for say Toronto or Montreal? Fuck ‘em. Henrik Lundqvist is better any way.

This would be like saying it would be a shame if Jimmy Rollins went to an American League team, are you fucking kidding?

R.A. Dickey is too classy to rip the Genius for not starting him and he doesn’t have to , as R.A. has enough Mets fanatics to handle this injustice for him.

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A Fired Up David Wright, What’s Not To Like ?

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So much has been made of the DJ Carrasco-Ryan Braun-Terry Collins-David Wright spectacle from last night, it taken the focus off of Dillion Gee and the second straight start that he was a very hittable pitcher. Gee has had a problem this year making fat pitches to batters, he’s throwing strikes but they are very hittable strikes as his .346 BAP will attest to.  Gee’s ground ball to fly ball rate has jumped to 2.14,much higher than any time in his three year big league career so you could say with the lack of range in the middle infield with Rony Cedeno and Daniel Murphy has hurt him in his last two starts.

When was the last time we saw David Wright get all worked up like he was last night after Terry Collins lifted him in the 7th inning ? I was happy to see that from Wright and I was glad that after he blew up, he came back to the dugout and went over to Terry Collins to explain his side of being pulled. What we are seeing is Wright not only showing leadership with this club but finally being comfortable in that role. I also like that Collins made his decision to take both Wright and Murphy (who also was pissed to be lifted) and let both guys vent and then explained why he made the move he did.

I agreed with Gary Cohen’ take on Carrasco hitting Braun , no one knows what was in his heart if he was throwing at him on purpose or if the pitch just got away from him but to think that Carrasco, a guy whose job is on shaky ground, would just  throw at player and get kicked out of a game in which he needed to show that he can pitch effectively, makes no sense. I’m sure Collins will talk to Carrasco today and let him know that if he was throwing at Braun on purpose it was a stupid move. I’m sure David Wright will let Carrasco know it as well.

So something we knew would happen was officially announced today that the NY Mets will host the 2013 All Star Game at Citi Field in 2013. I am looking forward to this event and all the festivities that surround the Game. I’ve been to one All Star game in my life, in 1977 at Highlander Stadium and I missed the 2008 one as I was on a camping trip, I’m more excited for the Fan Fest at the Javits Center and all the pomp and circumstance that will surround the city than I am for the actual game.

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Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

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