Hot & Not, News & Notes

With three games left in May the Mets find themselves 12-13 heading into the weekend series vs. Miami.  A sweep will give them a winning month, 2 of 3 gives them a .500 month.  Either would be pretty good in my opinion based on all the injuries and some poor managing by TC at times, especially the Chicago series where Joe Maddon made TC look like a AA manager.

In a past blog (http://bit.ly/3trades) I mentioned three trades that could help the Mets both now and in the remainder of the season.  After the news of Wright’s back the trades seem even more important.

The Mets have now decided to go with a 6 man rotation starting Monday in SD.  Gee coming back has forced the Mets to make some unconventional decisions.  I look at it a few ways: 1) It will help with the innings limit set for pretty much the entire staff, especially the young arms 2) Could this be a smoke screen to help drum up trade interest in the Mets starters? The Mets can not come out and say “Hey we have to many starters, we need to trade one”. Pushing Gee to one more start in AA last night may have bought a few more days to trade him or another starter. 3) As Noah showed in his 4 starts he is no longer a AAA pitcher.  Welcome to the big leagues Noah as you will not be going anywhere.  How you ever watched a team where you wake up everyday going “Man Noah, Harvey or DeGrom is pitching today, I can’t wait”.  Oh and just wait till we add Matz to that list.  By the end of 2016 your rotation could be – Harvey, DeGrom, Noah, Matz, Wheeler… Sick I know…

Last note, is it time to pull Grandy from the leadoff spot?  The walks have stopped coming as frequent as they had come in April.  Pitchers have realized Grandy is up there looking to walk and not strike.  His strikeouts in May have lead the team with 26 total for the month.  His May OBP is .320.  I think going forward or at least when Travis comes back it is time to move Grandy down to 6th in the order and let Juan have his shot.  Juan has not lit up May (.210/.264) but once moved into leadoff spot his mindset will change.  He did well there last year.

Below is a list of who is hot and not for the month of May.

  • Hot – Murphy .352/.398 1HR 11RBI
  • Not – Lagares .210/.264 1HR 2RBI
  • Hot – Duda .287/.374 6HR 11RBI
  • Not – Plawecki – .211/.258 1HR 6RBI
  • Hot – Cuddyer – .277/.355 3HR 11RBI
  • Cool – Grandy – .241/.320 4HR 8RBI
  • Cool – Flores – .238/.262 4HR 13RBI
  • Hot – DeGrom – 3-1 2.16 ERA
  • Not – Colon – 3-2 6.52 ERA
  • Not – Neise – 1-4 5.10 ERA
  • Hot – Familia – 1-0 1.42 ERA 5/6 Saves
  • Hot – A. Torres – 0-0 .091 ERA
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Will TC be Manager by Monday?

The Mets now sit at 20-15 after their first 35 games and are clinging to a 1.5 game lead in the NL East.  If I told you this before the season there would not be one Met fan who would be upset. Yet the Mets are about to go into a 3 game weekend home series with the Brewers that could determine the season.  Yes it is early, yes the Mets have been decimated with injuries and yes the Mets are in 1st place.  The Mets record still is still drawing checks on their 11 game winning streak that left them 13-3.  Since the streak ended the Mets have been 7-12 in their last 19 games.

The Brewers come in at 12-23, which is currently the worst in baseball.  They have played better since the manager switch, but this is still a bad team.  The Mets are coming off an awful series in Chicago where they were outplayed, out managed and sloppy all around.  Injuries happen, but a team needs to band together and be near perfect to overcome those injuries with lesser talent.  Plawecki and Dilson have been ok replacements for Travis and Wright, but I think we see the future and Mets season still needs those two healthy.  This leads me to my question, if the Mets lose two of three or get swept will Terry Collins be your manager on Monday?

The Cubs series showed us something I have been pondering for weeks.  Is TC able to manage a winning team.  He struggled his way through 4 season of sub .500 records.  The talent was not there so we can’t fully judge.  However this year he has struggled at manager as Flores as struggled at SS.  Here is a quick list of areas/scenarios TC has failed.

  1. The Line-Up: This has been a mess all year.  Grandy and his pop has been hitting leadoff after Lagares was prepped all spring to leadoff.  Grandy is going up to the plate looking to walk and not hit.  He needs to hit, he needs to hit for power.  Terry continues to put the line-up out there each day with no wavering on Grandy at the top.  It took a team meeting of coaches to move a struggling Murphy back to the 2nd hole and the meeting conclusion “Murphy does better higher in order”.  No kidding, he is almost a .300 career hitter in over 350 + games at top 3rd of order.
  2. Bullpen: It has been banged up all year, but Terry still has no clue how to handle it.  He continues to miss on L/R matchups and seems to never have the same stats we all have just from sorting on MLB.com.
  3. Pinch Hitting: The wind is blowing out, your team is down and Recker was on deck with a runner on 2nd.  So what do you do, pull him for Tejada who strikes out.  I tweeted this more then once before Recker hit 2hr yesterday and said that was bad move.  Let Recker put one in the air and see what happens.  After Recker hit 2hr Thursday it left egg on TC’s face in MHO.

I don’t think the blame for this skid really falls on the shoulders of Terry.  He has faced his roster getting crushed by injuries and management not helping much with getting better talent to help fill the holes.  I see the Mets running still as a small market team and needing their young talent to fill holes as they do not cost much.  Eventually the Mets need to trade to upgrade bench, SS and bullpen.  Young help will only do so much.  Sandy needs to step up also.

To answer my own question, “Will TC be Manager on Monday?”. If I was GM and Mets lost 2 of 3, or get swept, TC would not be… As a big time Mets fan I hope I am wrong and Mets sweep the series and TC and the Mets get back on track.

3 Trades To Help Mets?

We are now through the first 28 games of the season and the Mets sit at 18-10.  They currently have a 4 game lead on Washington who is coming on very strong.  The team has gone through injuries that could cripple any team out there.  They lost their 2nd/3rd best pitcher in Wheeler, their best LH out of the pen in Edgin, their catcher in Travis and Captain in Wright.  Not to mention that Black, Parnell and Blevins are out and not one is very close to coming back.  The Mets however have battled through and shown with a little more help they could be a serious contender.  Now Wright and Travis will be back along with Blevins, but Black and Parnell right now are wait and see type situations.  Both have has set-backs, both are not MLB ready.  Plawecki and Dilson have both come up and shown there needs to be a place for them on this team.  Dilson has had one strong game, but remember his first two games where vs. a couple of pitchers you might have heard of (Scherzer and Strasburg).

As Michael Baron (@michaelgbaron)/Rich Macleod (@richmacleod) and Justmets (@justmets) wp.me/p5IeT0-1tR wrote about, the SS the Mets had options with this offseason have been no better then Wilmer Flores, and lets face it, Wilmer has not been great.  However this blog today is not about trading for Tulowitzki or anything like that, it is how the core of the team can become better with upgrades.

Again to reiterate, this blog is strickly from my point of view, no sources, no insider information, just a guy who loves the Mets and plays GM while sitting at work.  So here we go, three trades that could help the Mets:

  1. Mets trade for A’s Tyler Clippard – As last night showed us, Terry has no faith in his bullpen right now.  Going to Familia in the 9th with a 4 run lead said “Goedell, Robles, Carlyle, Gilmartin are stopgaps, but I don’t trust them”. Carlos Torres has looked human this year and that could be that the past two years he has been in pretty much half the games the Mets have played.  Black and Parnell are no where near ready to return and when they do how quickly can we count on them.  The A’s have struggled this year and the Mets could get Clippard for some prospects.  Clippard and Familia would be 8th and 9th inning nightmare for teams.  He knows the NL very well and is proven.
  2. Along with Tyler Clippard the Mets should package in Ben Zobrist.  Ben would be a great addition to the bench as he can play 3B, SS, 3B and outfield.  He is also a switch hitter and can provide that extra lefty bat the Mets need.  He would be a major upgrade over Tejada.  He along with Clippard is in the final year of his deal and free agent after 2015 season.
  3. Marlyn Byrd – Byrd is currently on a Reds team that is hanging on by a string.  Byrd is on the final year of his contract and can play both corner outfield spots.  He is familiar with the Mets team, management and left on good terms.  Mayberry has been a bit of a bust, only hitting low 100’s in very limited at bats.  However adding Byrd into this bench mix makes the Mets a much stronger team.

Enjoy the off day Mets fans as they have 20 straight games starting Friday the 8th.

Is TC The Right Manager?

First off this is not a blog calling for the Mets to fire Terry Collins, just a look to see if Terry is the right manager to take the Mets to the next level.  Terry is now in his 5th year as Mets manager and arguably has his best set of talent around him.  Lets first start at looking at Terry’s career as a manager. He is 66 years old and has managed Houston, Anahaeim and currently the Mets.  He has a career mark of 760-781 which is a .493 winning percentage.  He has never lead any team to the playoffs with his best finish being 2nd which he did multiple times with each franchise (Mets currently once 2014). In his four years as the Mets manager he won 77, 74, 74, 79 and is currently 16-10 in 2015.

After the Jerry Manual experience in which I still vote as the worst ever manager of the Mets, Terry has been a constant face for the managerial spot.  He has been a toned down version of himself, with the latter style of managing getting him run out of Houston and especially Anaheim where players revolted.  But is he able at 66 to do something he has never done in all his years as a MLB manager, lead the Mets back to the promise land?

Over his four years Mets fans have questioned his decisions many times.  However if you asked any other fans around baseball if they questioned their manager, they would say yes.  I find myself wondering sometimes what he does.  In my opinion he handles the bullpen poorly and is always switching up his righty’s, lefties, etc. even when I pitcher is dealing.  In 2015 his lineups just do not make much sense.  Take away the 11 game streak and the Mets are 3-7 in their last 10 games.  The offense has been just as bad as the Flores/Murphy middle infield, but yet nothing has been done to shake it up.  All spring we saw a line-up we all loved, Lagares, Granderson, Wright, Duda, Cuddyer, Murphy, Travis, Flores, Pitcher.  Then opening day that all changed.  To be fair to Terry we will never know if this came from Sandy, or he went off the reservation on the line-up.  Now injuries have taken its toll with Wright and Travis out, but guys are still hitting out of place.  Curtis has been good at the leadoff spot, but it has changed what he needs to be doing, especially with Wright out.  Duda thrived as the cleanup hitter in 2014, but now batting third.  The final straw right now to me is that Lagares has not gotten his shot to leadoff, not when Curtis is out of line-up, not at all.  Having John Mayberry leadoff a game is mind boggling.  I don’t care if he crushes LHP, he adds no spark and has not hit this year.  Now you have Dilson here in the majors and bury him in 7th and 8th slot.  All year in AAA Dilson leadoff and his game is geared for that right now.  Give him a shot to add a missing spark to this team.

Overall Terry has done a nice job, but in 2015 he is managing scare.  He is on a one year deal and seems worried to step outside the box.  So as the blog states, is “Terry the right manager for the Mets” to win?  My vote would be no.  Am I calling for TC to be fired, no, but something needs to change for the Mets to move forward in 2015 and become a long term successful winning franchise going forward with this young talent.