Friday, July 19, 2013

Check Me Out!

Hey guys, I'm writing now for a couple of websites, so you can check out my work at and

Catch you later!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Syndergaard, Montero Look Sharp, Nimmo Falls Short

          The 15th annual Sirius XM MLB Futures Game was played on Saturday as three Met farmhands were sent to the Big Apple. Binghamton Met Noah Syndergaard took the bump for the USA squad as he opposed Las Vegas 51 Rafael Montero. Savannah Sand Gnat Brandon Nimmo came off the bench for the American team managed by Mets legend Mookie Wilson. Edgardo Alfonzo sat in the opposing dugout skippering the team comprised of the top foreign-born minor leaguers.
    From left to right: Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Brandom Nimmo.

          Sydergaard (5-3) looked sharp. The highlight of his one inning of work was his punch out of Cubs infield prospect Arismendy Alcantara. The only bump in the road was a single by the number 17 prospect in all of baseball, Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts was then thrown out trying to swipe second by a bullet from Padres catcher Austin Hedges. The right hander who was acquired in the December deal for R.A. Dickey topped out at around 96 mph and was able to dial the curveball down to 78 with two strikes. He also threw a slider that reached the upper 80s. Overall a commanding performance. I can't wait to see him on a regular basis.

          Montero (8-5) showed good command of the strike zone from the first batter he faced. He was able to get through the first inning with no problem, setting down Billy Hamilton, Delino DeShields, and George Springer in order. His fastball hit around 92 mph and the hardest ball hit off him was a soft liner to center field. Overall a nice, solid outing from the Mets 2012 organizational pitcher of the year.

          Brandon Nimmo had two at bats coming off the bench for Team USA. He came in as a defensive sub in left field for Joc Pederson in the sixth and played the rest of the game there. The 2011 first rounder hit the ball hard in both trips to the dish but came up just short, lining out sharply to Bogaerts at short his first time.

Photo: 2013 All-Star Futures Game Ball

Saturday, July 13, 2013

2013 MLB All-Star FanFest: Day 1

          I attended the MLB FanFest today and I have to tell you, I went to baseball heaven. Let me tell you the highlights and show you a few of the things I picked up along the way.

The first thing I did when I got inside was head straight for the Topps booth. I knew they had a special deal with the 2013 complete set (more on that in a moment) but I did not know about the wrapper redemption program. The program was basically that you had to open any three packs of Topps cards (Series One, Series Two, and Pro Debut included), turn them in to the booth, and receive one limited edition All-Star card of your choice. There were two Mets cards you could possibly receive so I bought six packs of cards to get two cards. I was completely ecstatic when the man handed me special David Wright and Matt Harvey.

I pulled three Mets: Noah Syndergaard, Wilmer Flores, and Luis Mateo.
As for the limited edition cards...

          I ended up taking advantage of the complete set deal and I walked out. With a David Wright All-Star patch card numbered to 150.

            Noah Syndergaard was signing autographs at the publications kiosk, and there was a sign saying he would only be signing All-Star programs. So I bought a program with Sydergaard on the cover for him to sign. I also got him to sign the card I had pulled out of the Pro Debut pack.
If you look closley, you can see the official MLB authentication stamps.                                                                                           

As I made my way around the Javits center, I noticed a booth with three players sitting at the table. When I moved closer I could see that the players were George Foster, Dagoberto 'Bert' Campanaris, and Rollie Fingers. Rollie Fingers! I couldnt pass up the opportunity to get a Hall of Fame autograph so I found myslf with this:

I snagged this awesome pin:

And before I left I picked up three relic cards

Thats a Sam Fuld auto, an Andre 'The Hawk' Dawson bat card, and an autographed card of former Met Chin-Lung Hu.

Overall it was a great day and I'll be back on Monday for more!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Grading The 2013 Mets Bullpen

          If you're a Mets fan, you know that the word bullpen does not bring back fond memories
Names like Manny Acosta, D.J. Carrasco, and Jason Isringhausen can make you cringe. The sight of Terry Collins walking out to the mound will make you change the channel.

          This year there have been numerous bright spots in the pen and here are my grades for the 2013 Mets bullpen pitchers.

Bobby Parnell: B-
Bobby Parnell is not a long term solution at the closers role. Parnell is a natural starter with 93 minor league starts under his belt who was moved to the bullpen in 2010 due to a full rotation. He just simply does not have the stuff to be out in the same conversation as fellow NL East closers Craig Kimbrel, Jon Papelbon, Rafael Soriano, heck even Steve Cishek. Parnell currently sits 21st in saves and his four losses sit him tied for second among fellow closers. The losses are the only thing holding him back from a B but all in all, Parnell's season has been mediocre at best.

LaTroy Hawkins: A-
LaTroy Hawkins has been the most reliable arm out of the pen all season. Hawkins got off to a great start to the year holding a scoreless innings streak from April 16th to May 8th. He also did not allow a base on balls in his first 17 games, bringing him to a 3.67 SO/BB ratio, good for third on the team. His 3.20 ERA is stellar for a Mets pitcher and his 3-1 record is a nice sample size. Props to Sandy Alderson for bringing Hawkins in this year and props to LaTroy for keeping himself in shape at age 40.

Scott Rice: B-
Scott Rice made the team out of Spring Training and made his major league debut on Opening Day after a 14 year Minor League career. Rice is currently sitting at 48 games played which puts him on pace for a franchise record. The strategy of bringing Rice in every night worked for a while; he breezed through April and got through May, but has since been downgraded from an-inning-every-day duties to the Mets LOOGY (Left handed One Out GuY). His 4.46 ERA isn't dazzling anybody right now and his sub .500 winning percentage for a reliever is not what this team needs at this point in the season. Rice's spectacular April is the only thing holding his grade in the B percentile.

Josh Edgin; B
Josh Edgin struggled. He struggled mightily. So much that he was demoted after 11 games with a 9.64 ERA on April 26th. The lefty who made his debut just after the 2012 All Star break was recalled and made his first appearance on June 11. Edgin has since pitched beautifully, allowing only one run in 17 games. His recent performance has lowered his ERA to 4.18. I would be completely satisfied if Edgin continues to be the number one southpaw out of the pen for the remainder of the season if he can pitch like he is now.

David Aardsma: B+
David Aardsma was recalled on June 8th and made his Mets debut in the 12th inning of the 20 inning game on the same day. He has only allowed three runs in 15.1 innings this season, good for a 2.35 ERA on the year. Aardsma's ability to keep teams off the scoreboard makes him deserving of an A but the fact that he manages to allow at least two hits every other appearance puts him at a B+. The lower grade also is due to his inability to keep the ball in the park; two of the three runs he's allowed have come off the long ball.

Carlos Torres: A
Carlos Torres has now entered the Mets rotation but until he makes his first start this weekend, Torres is a reliever. Torres has been absolutely spectacular in his 10 games with the Mets. He has only allowed one run which ended up being a walk-off home run to the Phillies Kevin Frandsen. That has led Torres to a dazzling 0.58 ERA. The one downside to his game is the hits. He has given up 13 in 17.2 innings.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Case For Trading Marlon Byrd

          On July 31st, 2012, Sandy Alderson made the decision to keep outfielder Scott Hairston in New York. The pros were obvious. Hairston was a monster against left handers, with a BABIP around .300 and an OPS just near .870. When he wasn't starting (in fact he started 32 more games against southpaws than righties), Hairston emerged as one of the more reliable bats off the bench, hitting .255 with the same amount of pinch-hit home runs (5) as Jordany Valdespin. It was obvious that Hairston was a part of Alderson's future due to the fact he wasn't moved, even though the Amazins found themselves 12 games out and all their playoff hopes all but washed away.

          Hairston ended up with 8 homers in the second half compared to 12 in the first. He also managed 11 less RBI though he did see his AVG rise from .249 to .276. The Mets ultimately let Hairston walk after the year as Hairston took 2 years and 5 million from the Chicago Cubs.

         The Mets inked veteran Marlon Byrd to a 1 year, 400,000 dollar contract on the 1st of February to possibly be Hairston's replacement. If Byrd happened to make the team, he would play his first games since June 8 with Boston. He had been suspended on June 25, 2012 because of testing positive for a banned substance. Byrd's best days arguably came with the Texas Rangers where he hit 40 home runs and drove in 212 runs over 3 seasons.

          Not only did Marlon make the Opening Day roster, but he found himself roaming right field during game number 1. Byrd got off to an average start in April but has since kicked it up hitting 6 homers in June while driving in 16 runs. He's also hitting .319 in 47 at bats in July. Byrd has been one of the top offensive Mets this season but is also getting it done in the field with 6 outfield assists on the campaign.

          Marlon has been talked about as a potential candidate to be moved by the end of the month and I find that a completely logistical move that the Mets can make, and here are 5 reasons why:

1.  The Mets currently find themselves 10.5 games out of 1st place, so playoff chances don't look too great. This means the Mets can pretty much qualify as a team who can trade away expiring talent and come away with young talent

2.   Only 2 current division leaders have right fielders who are hitting above .300 and only 1 of them have over 10 home runs. An example of a team with dismal right field production are the Atlanta Braves whose Jason Heyward is struggling to stay above .220 and is getting by with 21 RBI and 7 HR. The Dodgers are another contender whose Andre Ethier only has 5 HR at the midpoint.

3.   The Braves have the 18th best farm system in baseball which is as low as it is due to call ups from  2012. The Dodgers are not hesitant to move minor leaguers as they acquired Ricky Nolasco for 3 prospects this past week.

4.    Byrd is open. Marlon in a recent interview with Mets Merized Online said he would love to stay with the Mets but is going to go with whatever Sandy Alderson thinks is right.

5.   Sandy obviously learned that Scott Hairston should have been moved at the deadline and I think he will jump at the opportunity this time around.