By Paul DiSclafani
Tim Tebow has hit in 11 straight games since his promotion to Single “A” St. Lucie. He just hit his first ever walk-off home run on Thursday after hearing many of major leaguers throw him compliments at the All-Star game on Tuesday.
This is not one of those “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once and a while” stories anymore. Unlike basketball great Michael Jordan, who tried baseball for a year and gave up after hitting just .202 with 114K in 436 AB’s, Tebow is – dare I say it? – actually getting better.
In a small sample of 16 games in St. Lucie, Tebow is hitting .327 with 2 2B, 3 HR and 10 RBI. His OBP of .421 is not bad at all. But the most surprising statistic is he has just 9K in 49 AB’s.
Understand that the Mets are not going to be promoting Tebow in September this year. In order to be promoted to the Majors after the rosters expand, the player must be on the 40-man roster. Tebow is currently NOT on the Mets 40-man roster and knowing how Sandy Alderson operates, he is not removing anyone anytime soon to accommodate Tebow. We can’t even get him to promote Amed Rosario who IS on the 40-man roster.
But what happens if Tebow continues to improve in Class “A”? What happens if he gets another promotion before the season is over to “AA”?
He’s no spring chicken, you know. The Mets need to consider accelerating his progress through the different levels of their organization if they feel he has a chance to make it to The Show before he retires.
Tebow was given a chance many minor leaguers don’t get when he appeared in a few games with the Big Club during Spring training. Now he has continued to reward the Mets organization as a model player who is beloved by teammates and fans alike, while showing actual improvement on the field.
By Paul DiSclafani
First the Mets placed 2B-Neil Walker on the 10-Day DL with a partially torn left hamstring. No surprise there if you saw Walker pull up lame running down to first last night against the Cubs. Also, no chance he is back after 10 days.
When Matt Harvey left the game after throwing just 58 pitches, one of them landing over the Shea Bridge courtesy of Kyle Schwarber, you knew something was wrong, it was just a matter of what. Arm fatigue? Soreness? Hang-Nail?
Following the game, Harvey lamented that “My arm was just not working at all. I think the last time I threw an 87 mph fast ball was in high school.”
Sure enough, turns out after an MRI and a CAT SCAN, he has a stress injury to the scapula bone in his right shoulder. He is going to miss several weeks. Hope the Mets don’t have one of those Obama Exchange plans because these tests must be costing them a fortune.
The Mets said that both Harvey and Walker received a PRP injection. Walker can begin rehab immediately after receiving the injection, but Harvey cannot begin until he is pain free. Neither is expected back for several weeks.
At a press conference today, general manager Sandy Alderson also said that Noah Syndergaard will not even throw a baseball for at least the next four weeks, meaning it will take a number of weeks after that to begin building up any arm strength. Mets are not expecting to see Syndergaard back with the Big Club until late August.
And oh yeah, The Nationals are coming into town tonight for a four game weekend series.
By Paul DiSclafani
Mets fans aren’t blind to what is happening. In the supposed words of Yogi Berra, “it gets late early out here”. We are only 55 games into the 162-game season, just about one-third of the way there, and at a season high of seven games under .500 (24-31), when is it no longer too early to worry? Even our beloved Mr. Met is having a breakdown.
Obviously the Spring Training plan of riding our starting pitching is shot to hell. The Jose Reyes resurgence has been a bust. Injuries to Lucas Duda and the sudden defensive liability of Asdrubal Cabrera have hastened the talk of promoting AAA rookies SS-Amed Rosario and 1B-Dominic Smith.
Three players that nobody was counting on in March have become their only reliable players – Michael Conforto, Jay Bruce and Zach Wheeler.
And the injuries to the top players have been devastating. The best offensive player on the roster, Yoenis Cespedes, has been out since April 28th with what was initially diagnosed as a “quad strain”. His 10-day stint on the DL has lasted 40 days. Two days later, the best starting pitcher on the roster, Noah Syndergaard, left his start against Washington and won’t be back until August – and that’s being optimistic, something the Mets fans have learned to never be.
9 days later, the best closer, Jeruys Familia, blew a save against the San Francisco Giants and he ended up on the DL and will be out for the season – and that’s optimistic.
In a period of two weeks, just six weeks into the season, the Mets lost players that would be ranked in the top 10 of their respective positions – offensive player, starting pitcher and closer. How do you recover from that? Who has the kind of depth to replace your top offensive player, your Ace starter and your closer, who saved over 100 games over the last two seasons?
How is this team not 17 games under .500? And the way the games have been going, why does it seems they should be 10 games over .500? The Mets bullpen has had 33 save opportunities in the first 55 games, but just 12 saves. Do we really need to rehash how overworked the bullpen has been because we can’t get the starting pitching to even come out of the dugout in the seventh inning?
It is still a little premature to write off the last 67% of the season, but there is a limit to our patience. I’d like to suggest that we wait until June 25th to officially give up on this season. You can wait another 20 or so games, can’t you?
Starting on Thursday (June 8), the Mets begin a stretch of playing 18 games in 17 consecutive days, including a West Coast road trip. Beginning on June 12, they will play 11 straight games against some of the top teams – the World Champion Cubs (3 games), our own Division Leading Washington Nationals (36-20) for four games and then travel to play the 35-24 LA Dodgers four times.
Is it realistic that by the time June 12 rolls along, the Mets are within striking distance of .500? Until then, they have two games against the Rangers and four against the Braves. 4-2 only gets them to 28-33 (five games below), so is 5-1 unreasonable to get them to 29-32 heading into that brutal 11-game stretch?
Do we shoot for breaking even against the best teams in the National League at 5-6 or 6-5? 6-5 gets us to 35-37 with 90 games left. I’ll do the math for you, that means a run of 11 wins in 17 games. Does this team have that in them?
During that time, the Mets are expected to get some pitching help as Stephen Matz and Seth Lugo return to make their season debuts. Cespedes may be back. Now that they have passed the ridiculous Rule 2 time-frame for rookies that establishes their first year of free-agent eligibility, maybe we see Rosario and/or Smith sooner rather than later.
Everyone likes to play amateur General Manager, so here’s my two cents:
- Give Lugo / Matz two starts and once we are comfortable, send Matt Harvey down to the minors to work out his issues. We can’t have the inconsistency or drama here at the major league level if we think we can contend. Wheeler, deGrom, Gsellman, Lugo, Matz are the starters.
- If you’re against sending Harvey down, send Gsellman to the bullpen to be our insurance policy for Matz/Lugo
- Release Reyes, promote Rosario and let Flores play 3B full time. That gives us a veteran switch-hitting bat off the bench, Cabrera that can spell Walker and/or Flores. Flores can also spell Duda at First.
- Cespedes to left, Conforto to center, Bruce stays in right. Granderson to the bench
- One more injury to Duda and you bring up Smith
- Stop overworking Edgin, Salas, Smoker, Reed in the bullpen. Have Gilmartin and Seawald be your long relievers. Send Robles and Harvey down. We already know that Plawecki can pitch in a blowout.
- Stop making pitch counts the reason to take pitchers out of a game and use your head. Let pitchers start the next inning, but be ready if they falter.
I’m rooting for them, are you? If not, do I really have to start paying attention to what is going on in the JETS training Camp?
By Paul DiSclafani
The hits just keep on coming in this disaster of a start to the 2017 season for the Mets.
Mets closer Jeurys Familia was diagnosed with an “arterial clot” in his right shoulder and is headed to St. Louis to see Dr. Robert Thompson for further tests. Thompson is the same surgeon that operated on Matt Harvey for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
Familia, who has pitched in just 11 games this season after serving a 15-game suspension at the start of the season, has just three saves. Familia was charged with his first blown save of the season after surrendering four runs (three earned) to the Giants on Wednesday afternoon, failing to protect a 3-2 lead in a game the Mets eventually lost, 6-5.
Former Mets pitcher David Cone had a similar blood clot issue in his arm pit in 1996 and missed four months following surgery.
Familia had pitched just 9.2 innings in his 11 appearances, and was pulled by Manager Terry Collins twice already this year. He has 8 walks to go along with his 10 strikeouts.
By Paul DiSclafani
“Matt Harvey has been suspended for three days without pay for a violation of team rules and has been sent home,” Anderson said.
Alderson would not disclose the nature of the violation. Terry Collins would only say that the Mets were “keeping it in-house”.
Adam Wilk was called up from AAA Las Vegas to take Harvey’s spot in today’s game against the Miami Marlins.
On Friday, a picture of TJ Rivera was published by the Mets on their Social Media pages of him smiling and wearing the “crown” as the Mets player of the game. In the background, there appeared to be a large, black dildo in the locker of teammate Kevin Plawecki. The photo was immediately removed, cropped and reposted. Plawecki insisted he was innocent and had no idea how it got there or, more importantly, who might have put it there.
Maybe the Mets found out and then suspended Harvey? It’s a three game suspension, so Harvey will miss only one start no matter what the reason.
By Paul DiSclafani
Are you kidding me? On the heels of Noah Syndergaard being scratched from his start this afternoon due to “bicep discomfort” and a tired arm, now the Mets are facing the possibility that their 2017 meal ticket, Yoenis Cespedes may miss significant time as he reinjured his hamstring running out a double in today’s game against the Atlanta Braves.
Cespedes, who returned to the lineup last night after missing four games with a “tight” hamstring last week, pulled up lame and needed to be helped off the field. Last season, Cespedes missed 14 games with a pulled hamstring after he returned too early from a “tight” hamstring. That injury dogged him for the rest of the season, forcing manager Terry Collins to keep him out of centerfield and exclusively in left.
The Mets have lost 9 of their last 10 and now their two biggest stars, Cespedes and Syndergaard, may not be available as they head to Washington for a weekend series with the First Place Nationals. You can bet that Cespedes will be put on the DL before the end of today. Brandon Nimmo is just beginning his rehab assignment out in Las Vegas and the Mets don’t have another outfielder on the 40-man roster, unless you count Matt Reynonds, who was brought up yesterday. He has played mostly left field.
How does this training staff keep their jobs?
By Paul DiSclafani
Mets are reporting that Ace Noah Syndergaard (1-1, 1.73 ERA) has been scratched from this afternoon’s start due to a sore bicep and a tired arm. Syndergaard will be examined by team doctors later today.
“He came in ready to pitch, and that just doesn’t make any sense to take a chance,’’ Collins said. “This guy’s a pretty big piece to the puzzle. We’ll just wait to have the doctors examine him and see where we are. Due to what’s happened the last couple of days with him after he’s cooled down — as you know, it’s quite obvious we cannot take a chance on him, hurting this guy, especially when you’re talking about anything that runs into the shoulder to where he changes his delivery and other things happen. Right now we’re going to back him up a couple days, and he would probably be available this weekend.”
Matt Harvey will take Syndergaard’s start against the Braves today and Jacob deGrom will start the weekend series in Washington on Friday with Zach Wheeler on Saturday. The Mets have not announced a starter for Sunday, hoping that Syndergaard will be available.
Syndergaard’s start on Tuesday was rained out and the Mets initially decided to start him on Wednesday and skip Robert Gsellman’s spot in the rotation. That would allow the beleaguered bullpen to have Gsellman available for the next few games. The Mets have lost nine of their last ten.
But it was Gsellman that started on Wednesday against the Braves, putting the Mets in a 5-0 hole before they even got up to bat. What happened? Apparently, the issue surfaced a couple of days ago, according to Collins.
“Two days ago, after he’d finished throwing, after he got done, he talked about some discomfort in his bicep, and [Wednesday] he went out, threw again, felt fine, and after we had our press conference yesterday, he was in the outfield shagging and during batting practice it flared up again,’’ Collins said. “They gave him some medication. He feels much better … but it’s not worth taking the chance — certainly with this young man the way he’s throwing the baseball — to pitch him.”
Apparently, Syndergaard couldn’t raise his arm above his shoulder on Wednesday after experiencing some discomfort earlier in the week.
Syndergaard insists he will be able to make his next scheduled start on Sunday, the final game of the Washington series. “In short, it’s a little thing right now, but I definitely don’t want it to turn into a big thing”.