Terry’s Comments Foreshadow Disappointing Days Ahead

“If the guys take care of their business, then we will need less help than they think. We got to get the middle of our lineup going, then all of a sudden that extra piece is all you need. Right now it looks like we need several, we need to get our guys going. ’’ Terry Collins as quoted in the New York Post 7/8/15. 

Gotta hand it to Terry Collins, he has been the epitome of a good soldier during his tenure as Mets manager. He was at it again yesterday, floating the trial balloon quoted above. Implied in his statement is that the Mets will once again be quiet at the trade deadline and will instead continue to hope for better performances and, one assumes, a return to health from the players currently on their roster.

So as a service to our readers, Mets Today recommends that you tune out all of the trade talk. No Ben Zobrist, Carlos Gomez or even Will Venable for us. Instead there will be discussions, monitoring and interest, but in the end no real action. You’ll be angry, upset and disappointed, vowing to stop following this team, never buy another ticket, etc., only to be back in a few days after strong back-to-back performances from the young pitchers.

While you’re at it, forget anything significant happening this winter either. The Front Office and the owners are happy with the way things are. That “extra piece” will be some variation of Omar Quintanilla or Anthony Recker, a single dimension/end of the bench type with a career batting average hovering around the Mendoza Line.

Sucks, doesn’t it?

A Mets fan since 1971, Dan spent many summer nights of his childhood watching the Mets on WOR Channel Nine, which his Allentown, PA cable company carried. Dan was present at Game 7 of the 1986 World Series and the Todd Pratt Walkoff Game in 1999. He is also the proud owner of two Shea Stadium seats. Professionally, Dan is a Marketing Manager in the Bulk Materials Handling industry. He lives in Bethlehem PA with his wife and son, neither of whom fully get his obsession with the Mets.
  1. CJ July 8, 2015 at 11:56 am
    i miss shea stadium, jose reyes, the carlos’, and most of all piazza
    • DanB July 8, 2015 at 12:48 pm
      I miss Nelson Doubleday.
  2. gary s July 8, 2015 at 7:40 pm
    Dan Capwell you are a kindred spirit. With the Mets front office i have some simple advice for my fellow fans. Expect nothing to happen with SA in charge and you will never be disappointed.
  3. david July 8, 2015 at 9:00 pm
    I know I will be in the minority here, but I actually think a bat will be acquired. With the Mets still hovering around a Wild Card spot, above .500, and oozing great young pitching it would be beyond incompetent for Sandy not to make a deal of some shape or form. I am not saying this bc I love to hypothesize who they get and love the hot stove. Rather, it is such a no-brainer from a business, baseball and PR standpoint that I predict it gets done.
    • DaveSchneck July 8, 2015 at 10:21 pm
      I agree as well. Alderson will do something. But, that scares me more than excites me. Collins is right, if the middle of the order bats currently on the team don;t step up, adding one bat won’t change the calculus.

      The two position spots to upgrade are corner OF (Cuddyer) and SS (Tejada). SS has very limited and likely overpriced options. Moving Cuddyer to the bench or a platoon is the best course of action, but I still would not overpay.

      • Dan42 July 9, 2015 at 11:33 am
        Granderson and Cuddyer should be a strict platoon, they need a legitimate, full time player to fill the other OF spot. SS also needs an upgrade, and have chips (colon, Niese, Gee, Murphy) that could be used to plug those holes.
      • argonbunnies July 9, 2015 at 1:25 pm
        Alderson making a move doesn’t scare me. Even if it winds up not being enough to get the Mets into the 2015 playoffs, simply increasing our odds a little bit is worth it to me, assuming we’re not totally mortgaging the future (and I don’t see how we could be; none of our remaining prospects are franchise players).

        I view baseball as unpredictable enough that you can’t say anything with certainty in early July. On ESPN, Mets fan Mark Simon quotes FanGraphs’ listed 20% playoff odds for the Mets as a reason to stand pat… while listing a 73% chance for the Cubs, who are only 3 games ahead of the Mets. In other words, we’re one good Mets week & bad Cubs week away from looking at a totally different picture.

        Just because the Mets’ playoff odds aren’t good enough to bet on doesn’t mean they aren’t good enough to give a little bump.

        …and having said all that, no, I don’t think Sandy will make any moves of consequence. A Quintanilla type or a LOOGY wouldn’t surprise me, but that doesn’t count.

  4. Sidd Finch July 9, 2015 at 12:55 am
    The Mets just took a series from the best team of the NL West and the World Series champs but please tell me again how much the this 2015 squad sucks.
    • DanB July 9, 2015 at 7:23 am
      I don’t think there many on this blog who think the Mets suck. Personally I think the are mediocre, some where between 80 and 82 wins. That doesn’t put them in the playoffs but it is an improvement.
      As for them adding a significant player, the Mets have been in this position before and didn’t add players. I am wondering why people think this year is different. I’d rather they be sellers, get rid of players they don’t need or are not coming back, and use the returns to build for next year.
    • Dan Capwell July 9, 2015 at 9:20 am
      Tell me how much you think this team is going to make the playoffs
  5. argonbunnies July 9, 2015 at 1:39 pm
    From Ken Rosenthal on Monday:

    “Aramis Ramirez . . . has batted .383 with three homers and a 1.115 OPS in his last 53 plate appearances.

    “At this point, the Mets cannot count on Wright returning as a significant contributor, or even returning at all. Smart, aggressive teams seek even marginal upgrades, and the Brewers likely would part with Ramirez for a price that the Mets could absorb even if Wright came back strong.

    “What is the problem?”

    Exactly. Mets fans aren’t the only ones doubting management. All it would take is some initiative from Sandy and some cash from the Wilpons, and the Mets could have had Aramis before the Cubs series. You know, that series with the 1-0 and the 2-0 loss, where one hot hitter in the lineup would have made all the difference? *sigh*

    • Extragooey July 9, 2015 at 3:52 pm
      It’s really amazing how we an always pick and choose stats to make our point and be so convincing. I guess that’s why Ken Rosenthal can do what he does for a living.

      I can point to another period from Apr 23 to May 19, 55 ABs, where he hit .327/.383/.691. And then from May 27 to June 18 that spanned 72 ABs, he hit .167/.167/.264. Snapshots are great aren’t they in baseball? There are always stats you can point to to make whatever argument you’re trying to make.

      Bottom line, I’m all for getting him if it doesn’t cost the Mets too much in talent. His salary is 14 million this year. Prorate that, it’s still a substantial amount. I’m sure the Mets would want the Brewers to pick up some if not most of that.

      • CJ July 9, 2015 at 7:13 pm
        or you could just pick any and every time eric campbell or ruben tejada played third and see a 500 OPS
        • Extragooey July 9, 2015 at 8:59 pm
          Not really, I can dice up both their season numbers into 50 AB segments and show you great and bad numbers as well. I can probably go through Campbell’s minor league numbers and paint a picture that he may be the next Justin Turner. My point is that Ken Rosenthal could very well have used the bad segments of Ramirez’s season and wrote a piece that says he’s not the right man for the Mets to go after. 50 AB segment in baseball is what it is.
      • argonbunnies July 10, 2015 at 1:41 pm
        The relevant point in my eyes is that before his recent hot stretch, Aramis had been terrible, and this was used as an excuse for why the Mets were not interested in him. My expectation was that, at some point, he would turn it around. It didn’t seem likely to me that a hitter with his track record would fall off a cliff that suddenly and that completely. Rosenthal’s cherry-picked numbers simply confirm what I was already arguing — that Ramirez wouldn’t stay terrible forever, and really could have helped the Mets during their recent offensive blackouts.

        Being willing to pay $6 mil for a part-time player who slightly increases your playoff odds — this is what teams who care about winning do. Most obvious example is the Yankees. If the Mets have abandoned hope for 2015, then sure, why waste a single dollar? But if they haven’t, refusing a one-time, no-further-obligation, 6%-of-the-team-payroll overpay is simply cheap.

        • Extragooey July 10, 2015 at 2:30 pm
          He’s been good and bad before this recent stretch, that’s why I posted the two contrasting periods. He’s been terrible this year as a whole. With flashes of his former self but with longer stretches of sucking, hence the overall numbers where they are. The overall numbers should be what we are looking at.

          I don’t think Ramirez by himself will win the Mets the wildcard. If he is a complementary trade to another bigger trade for bigger bat(s), then that 6 million doesn’t look too bad, and the Mets should go for it.

  6. david July 9, 2015 at 8:35 pm
    When considering a trade, I think the Mets need to move beyond the obvious holes and use some imagination. For example, dealing Lagares and a pitcher (or 2) for Carlos Gomez is a deal I would do in a second. Likewise, if trading Duda meant getting a better bat in return – even if he did not play 1st base – then I say do it.

    However, whilst I think the Mets will make a deal I do not think the owners and the GM will make a major deal of this type. No guts, no glory sums it up. So does Fortune Favors the Brave.

    On a final and totally unrelated note, nice pick up by Argon to see the Wilpons development of a movie / mall complex was torpedoed by the City of NY. Another ‘win’ for Jeff and Fred.

  7. CJ July 9, 2015 at 9:55 pm
    Extragooey, I understand what you’r saying “anyone can find any stat to prove their point”. However, Aramis Ramirez in the line up compared to Campbell, Tejada or Murphy is no comparison. Ramirez is still capable of getting hot and carrying a team, maybe only for a week, but none of the current third basemen will ever or have ever done that.

    By the way I am in no way in love with Ramirez, Mets need some life whatever…standing pat is ridiculous.

    • argonbunnies July 10, 2015 at 1:47 pm
      Agreed on all counts.

      Ramirez is flawed. He’s slow, has no range in the field, and has slumped a lot this year, especially against the lefties he used to hammer. But he has pop, doesn’t strike out much, and is an excellent clutch hitter. Basically, he’s exactly who the Mets thought they were getting in Cuddyer, just with less hustle.

  8. DanS July 10, 2015 at 10:46 am
    Matz’s lat tear certainly complicates the situation. But what’s most irritating about it is that there were some warning signs that were ignored. This from Rotoworld: “The injury wouldn’t be alarming if there weren’t warning signs before Matz’ most recent start. The 24-year-old had lat soreness prior to Sunday’s start against the Dodgers, but Mets manager Terry Collins said Matz was cleared to pitch after making it through a throwing session before the start.” How often has this organization mishandled or misdiagnosed injury problems both with pitchers and position players? It seems like this has been going on forever and never gets better. Another example of the “pitchers get injured” approach to monitoring players health? It sure looks that way.
    • argonbunnies July 10, 2015 at 1:57 pm
      Full chronology:

      1) Matz gets promoted from the minors, never having thrown more than 97 pitches.

      2) Matz pitches well in his MLB debut, finishing the 7th inning at 100 pitches. Everyone assumes he’s done.

      3) Matz comes out for the 8th. After a ground out, deep line out, and walk, he exits at 110 pitches. I didn’t dislike this move, but did think it was slightly risky, and hoped Matz would be evaluated accordingly.

      4) Matz complains of lat stiffness the day after (or hours after?). Well, looks like the risk didn’t pay off. If you combine the adrenaline of a debut with the desire to impress new teammates with a career-high pitch count, it’s no surprise that the kid overdid it at some point. Time to see exactly what’s wrong and begin the healing process.

      5) Or, wait, don’t do that, just get a massage until it feels better and then go pitch again and make it worse.


      • Dan42 July 10, 2015 at 3:25 pm
        But wasn’t limiting the next outing to 101 pitches enough?

        And I wonder how many BP sessions he had between starts to hinder full recovery, and guarantee aggravating the injury he had, but didn’t recognize as such.

    • argonbunnies July 10, 2015 at 1:59 pm
      I don’t think this complicates anything, though. If you can get something for Niese or Colon, trade them. There’s no need to have guys pitching once every 7 days, and if you want them every 6 days, you can bring up spot-starters when there are stretches with no off-days, as was done in MLB for decades. Put Verrett back on the roster and let him start once every 13 days or whatever it turns out to be.
    • Extragooey July 10, 2015 at 2:20 pm
      I’m not sure what to make of this? Is everyone saying that Matz aggravated the injury in his second start? No where am I reading this. Certainly lots of accusations and/or innuendos but no evidence.
      • Dan42 July 10, 2015 at 3:20 pm
        “Matz first complained of lat stiffness following his June 28 debut against the Reds, prompting the Mets to limit him to 101 pitches in last Sunday’s 8-0 win against the Dodgers.

        “It was just a little tight,” Matz said immediately after that outing. “Once I got out there, it was feeling good. And it still feels good now.”

        “After his [debut], he was a little stiffer than we liked,” manager Terry Collins said Sunday. “He’s fine, as you saw. That’s what that first start does to you — all of that adrenaline and trying to overthrow a little bit.”

        Yet Matz felt enough continued discomfort this week for the Mets to schedule an appointment at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. There, Matz received his diagnosis and a platelet-rich plasma injection.”

        Copied from http://m.mets.mlb.com/news/article/135793838/steven-matz-out-3-weeks-with-torn-lat

        • Extragooey July 10, 2015 at 3:44 pm
          I must be a slow or dumb. Where does it say that 2nd outing aggravated the injury? Like that SBNation article title seems to insinuate but had absolutely no evidence in the body of the article? All I read is the patients saying “it was feeling good. And it still feels good now.” after the outing.

          If the accusation was the Mets let him pitch after a little soreness, then we should round up every major league team for letting players play with little nagging discomforts.

  9. Dan42 July 10, 2015 at 9:49 pm
    Read Argonbunnies # 4 & 5 above. Forearm stiffness was mentioned, not a little soreness.
    • Extragooey July 10, 2015 at 11:50 pm
      Here’s another quote from Matz,

      “It’s never really pain. It’s just like a little pulling. It’s hard to describe,” Matz said Friday.

      The red flags for a pitcher are elbow, forearm, shoulder, or anything with the arm really. This was a latissimus.

      You guys can second guess all you want. It is a second guess because the lat issue was mentioned after his second start. No one had an uproar then, only when it’s now revealed it’s a partial tear. I’m done with this issue.

      • Dan42 July 11, 2015 at 8:17 am
        Didn’t mean to focus on the forearm issue, although that could be next on the list. The point is something was bothering him, it was unusual, and in spite of not knowing what the problem was they decided to limit his pitches to a mere 100, plus whatever he was doing in the BP between starts. If he felt good, what would his limit be?

        Any injury is a “red flag”, especially for a pitcher since a lot more than the arm is used to pitch effectively. Knowing the cause is the key, proceeding without that knowledge is like walking towards a cliff in the dark.

  10. argonbunnies July 11, 2015 at 8:21 am
    Gooey, the gripe isn’t over incontrovertible proof, it’s over odds and risk. Just because we don’t know for sure that pitching through this injury made it worse, we DO know that pitching through injuries GENERALLY makes them worse.

    A red flag is pain. Doesn’t matter where. Jake Peavy’s career almost ended because of a lat issue — he struggled much longer to get back on track than your average Tommy John victim. Roy Oswalt never missed a game with an arm issue, but was prone to hip flexor strains. Carlos Zambrano hurt his knee and instantly became terrible — though he dodged the DL, his stuff flattened out and his location went to hell. Pedro tried to pitch through a pulled calf and then tore his rotator cuff.

    Sandy Alderson, the guy who’s limiting his young pitchers’ innings in a flailing attempt to protect their health, just made a crack about, “Should we MRI him every time a pitcher feels a little something?” But mocking an idea doesn’t actually make it bad. So, yes, Sandy, you absolutely SHOULD get an MRI every time a pitcher feels something. Scientifically speaking, that makes a LOT more sense than dabbling with 6-man rotations (and potentially allowing 2 interim bullpen sessions in the process). Is the trip to the New York hospital prohibitive from Queens? Is the cost ($1K?) prohibitive to look out for a million-dollar asset? How much production did the Mets lose from Matt Harvey in 2014 because no one bothered to MRI his “tight forearm”?

    • Dan42 July 11, 2015 at 12:41 pm
      An MRI for every little thing would be overkill, result in false positives, and might not uncover relatively minor injuries that could respond to rest and rehab. My personal experience is that a good orthopedist or physical therapist can usually identify the cause after an exam, and suggest a treatment without resorting to an MRI, which should only be required if doesn’t respond.
      • DaveSchneck July 11, 2015 at 1:25 pm
        AB raises the same question that popped into my head when I heard Alderson’s quip live on radio. It is a question that should have a scientific answer. Why not have a medical examination and/or MRI for every ache and pain a major league pitcher reports? There may be a legitimate answer, such as the risk of false positives or exposing a human to something that can cause more harm. But, the assumption is that the cost effectiveness would not make sense. But, we shouldn’t be too sure about that. Even at the MLB minimum, to cost of disabled list pay is in the millions for each team. Throw in a few guys making big bucks (how about Cliff Lee at $25 million for no appearances this season) and the cost picture gets very interesting. Also, this notion about “when we get back to NY” is crazy. There are MRIs everywhere, and every team has a local medical staff that could be offered as initial support when a player on the road “feels something”. As Joe has said many times, why not defer to the scientists on this? Perhaps several MRIs a year to create baseline and comparatives for each pitcher, combined with specific MRIs when they “feel something” could result in fewer injuries and/or injuries with shorter recovery times.
        • argonbunnies July 11, 2015 at 2:07 pm
          Cool idea with the baseline images. If EVERY pitcher did that, then the industry would get a much clearer idea of what “normal” looks like, and what sort of minor damage is and isn’t pitch-through-able.

          We’d also probably see some studies on effectiveness — I’d predict that we’d find that your typical 6th starter is more effective than your typical 3rd starter who’s pitching hurt, so we might start seeing more DL trips for non-aces.

          It’s always an interesting question — from 1999 on, Greg Maddux was one of the most reliable innings-eaters in the sport, but he wasn’t close to the dominator he’d been from 1992-1998. Everything changed in August 1998 when he injured a side muscle and decided to pitch through it without ever missing a turn. He learned how to pitch hurt (something he credits Glavine for helping with), and that helped him rack up the 4th most games started of all time. But it was hard not to wonder what could have been, given that Maddux was 124-49 with a 2.04 ERA and on track for his 5th Cy Young in 7 years before the injury. If he’d gone on the DL (in a season where the Braves ran away with the division title) and stayed off the mound until he could pitch without changing anything, could that dominant run have continued?

      • argonbunnies July 11, 2015 at 1:55 pm
        I’m not saying MRIs are perfect. But, I mean, come on, in pro ball, it’s not like they’re some big deal that CAN’T be done at the drop of a hat. I dunno what the laws are for owning medical equipment, but if the relevant associations would permit it, then every MLB team could have an MRI bed in its stadium. Teams could make them available to visiting players, and then, boom, no one ever needs to travel even a little. Team trainers can be trained as a first line of instant analysis of the results, and then they can pass the images along to team doctors for a slower but more expert analysis.

        As for false positives, I dunno. Maybe teams keep that out of the news better than they do other medical snafus, but I’ve never heard of one in MLB.

        • Dan42 July 13, 2015 at 6:52 am
          By false positives I mean normal wear and tear is sometimes indistinguishable from injury, especially with knees and other joints. In many cases the MRI is used more to rule out possibilities, or confirm that the original diagnosis was correct, than to identify the exact injury. Also an MRI may not clearly identify the injury.

          My point was that skilled professionals can usually figure out what’s wrong, and how to correct it without high tech assistance, the problem is that their professional opinions may be at odds with the teams goal to keep expensive players on the field rather than extend their careers unless they have long term contracts.

        • argonbunnies July 13, 2015 at 2:16 pm
          Ah! Good points.
  11. CJ July 11, 2015 at 2:37 pm
    If “ifs” and “buts” were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas.

    Leave it to the doctors, and blame it on bad luck.

  12. KMAN July 12, 2015 at 2:56 pm
    I, for one, don’t want him to acquire any bats if the market remains slow. I don’t want Sandy to upset the apple cart of Harvey, deGrom, Matz, Thor, and Wheeler, which could legit be one of the best staffs in recent baseball memory over the next 7-8 years if their recent performances have proven anything.

    Sure, deal Gee, Niese and Colon, but I doubt any of those guys are going to get us anything decent in return. Niese is a very tradeable arm and contract, but with Hamels, Cueto, and Kazmir all on the block, he’s a second tier guy and unlikely to get anything other than a utility guy. Colon hasn’t been very good the last two months and is in his walk year and we obviously aren’t going to reup.

    Anything that upsets the apple cart of potentially dominating young pitching for years to come – all of whom are under team control for a number of years – to address the reactionaries yelling ‘do something!’ would be very stupid and very short sighted. Particularly when d’Arnaud and Wright are out, Duda and Lugares are slumping, and Cuddyer has done jacksht so far this year.

    • CJ July 12, 2015 at 5:40 pm
      What if thats all it ever is? One of the greatest staffs…with no world series wins. Then who cares??? I would trade all of them for one ring. Of course there is no guarantees by trading getting to a WS either. But you have to make moves to improve, offense looks likes its picking up. but what if thats it…duda ends up with 18 homers for the year, murphy bats 270…mets need more.

      as has been said other places the nationals are having trouble, but with harper around the next 10 years, this may be the closest the mets get.

      no big move but something…i.e. bring back marlon byrd.

  13. KMAN July 12, 2015 at 7:36 pm
    Would love to get Byrd back. Buy who else is worth trading for?

    I think the Nats argument a lot of people are making (that THIS is the year to beat them because they are stumbling) is ridiculous. They feel that way about us, believe me (I live in DC). Zimmerman, Span, Fister, and Desmond are all FAs this year. And then Stassburg, Storen and Ramos are FAs in 2017. That’s a lot of talent they lose or have to pay big dollars to resign. Werth is 36…how many good years does he have left in him?

    • CJ July 12, 2015 at 8:19 pm
      good point.

      bryd may be all mets need. maybe kirk has woken up. however, i see short stop being a problem, they need someone there even rollins would help.

      bryd and rollins, two guys approaching 40, but shouldnt take much to get and give the mets just a little boost.