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daniel murphy | Mets Today
Tag: daniel murphy

Projections vs. Reality

I love stats. I’ve been a baseball stathead since I was a kid. I kept track of my own batting average in Little League as well as walks, extra base hits (those were easy – there weren’t many of them), and RBIs. I used to check the box scores in The Record every morning to see what the Mets’ updated stats looked like after the previous night’s game (Unless the game was on the west coast – ahhh, the dark ages), and I’ve continued that habit into the present day.

Over the past 10 years or so, I’ve been familiarizing myself with sabermetrics. I like them. I find them useful. Especially the ones I can understand. Advanced metrics have given me a whole new perspective on the careers of baseball players today, and a renewed appreciation of players from the past.

The one relatively new development I haven’t gotten on board with is the concept of statistical projections.

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The Ike Davis Decision

ike-davis

Ike Davis is making another late-season surge.

Since his recall from Triple-A Las Vegas on July 5th, Davis is hitting .300 with a .467 on base percentage, but he still hasn’t hit for much power. He only has one home run in that span. His slugging percentage is on the rise, however, thanks to the 6 doubles he’s hit in his last 10 games.

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Wilmer Flores to Debut Tonight

The only questions about Flores are when and where.

The only questions about Flores are when and where.

After spending what seemed like about 20 years in the Mets minor league system, Wilmer Flores will make his debut with the big club tonight.

Flores, who turns 22 today, was signed by the Mets out of Venezuela at the tender age of 16. Flores was hitting .321/.357/.531 at Triple-A Las Vegas this year with a league leading total of 86 RBIs. He also had 36 doubles and 15 home runs.

Flores has hit at every level of the minor leagues, and has shown extra base pop along the way. He hasn’t shown outstanding home run power, and some of his 15 bombs this year could have been inflated by the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He did hit 18 last year between Single and Double-A last year, however. And at 22, he still has time to grow into his 6′ 3″ frame.

While his hit tool is largely considered legitimate, he has below-average speed and limited range in the field. He was drafted as a shortstop, but has played mostly at second base this year, with a few starts at third. He’s expected to stay at the hot corner in the major leagues as long as David Wright is on the disabled list.

He’s still searching for a permanent position on the field, but a corner infield spot probably makes the most sense, especially if some of his minor league power begins to translate to the major league level.

I think he can at least be a Daniel Murphy-type of hitter, but with more home run power potential as he gets closer to his prime years.

His MLB journey begins tonight.

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Link Roundup: Trade Deadline, Wheeler Strong

The non-waiver trade deadline is scheduled to hit at 4 PM EDT today. To quote Douglas Adams, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” For the Mets, the deadline will likely whoosh by without any trades being made.

The Mets are in a delicate situation. Some pieces of the future puzzle have begun to fall in place, particularly on the mound. Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and closer Bobby Parnell would be valuable pieces of a 2014 team that, with a couple of offensive upgrades, could contend for a Wild Card spot. Conventional wisdom states that they’ll have about $40 million more dollars to play with during the offseason, which should make them players in the free agent market for the first time in the post-Madoff era.

Given that train of thought, a complete sell-off doesn’t make sense. The Mets have been gauging interest in players like Marlon Byrd, Daniel Murphy, and Parnell. The Mets don’t feel they can get a top prospect for Byrd, and Parnell, like most relief pitchers, just wouldn’t net a lot of value in return. For instance, the Houston Astros got a minor league outfielder who projects to be a fourth outfielder at best in the majors.

Parnell’s having a career year, despite the fact that his strikeouts are down (7.9 K/9) and his BABIP is low (.258), which could either mean he’s a little lucky, or he’s really keeping hitters off-balance, or both. Some of the ground balls he’s getting could start finding holes. If he does regress, I doubt if it will be that much.

Last night, Zack Wheeler threw strikes, got ahead of hitters, and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He lost the no-no and the lead in that frame, but the Mets got out of their own way long enough to score 2 runs in the 10th pull out a win against the mighty (against us, anyway) Marlins. But are the Mets messing with his mechanics too much? Also, check out this Chad Qualls celebration fail.

In other news, organizational cancer Frank Francisco advised Jenrry Mejia to stay in Port St. Lucie and collect his money instead of returning to the majors, just like his ol’ pal Frankie! It will be such a relief when Francisco’s contract runs out, and he’s as far away from the Mets franchise as possible.

And finally, for no particular reason, here’s Nino Espinosa.

Whoosh.

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The Annual Tease

Mejia started over again in Washington.

Mejia started over again in Washington.

Yesterday’s double header split was a small, concentrated example of how the Mets have teased us over the last few years.

They blew out the Washington Nationals, a preseason favorite to win the NL East, 11-0, in what was nearly a perfectly played game, then lost the nightcap 2-1 in typically frustrating fashion.

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Are the Mets for Real?

After a tough stretch against the Nationals and Yankees that saw the Mets drop 5 of 6, it’s time to ask the question at the back of every Mets fans mind. Are the Mets contenders this year? Will the Mets play meaningful September baseball for the first time since 2008? Luckily, thanks to sabermetrics, we can analyze some advanced statistics and trends from the season so far to try and get a handle on the 2012 Amazins.

For more information on any of the stats listed below, simply click on the stat name. 

Pythagorean W-L –  Pythagorean Won-Loss record (PWL) is much simpler than it sounds. It basically figures out

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The Mets Might be OK IF…

Murphy's injury was the final nail in 2011.

For all the strikes the Mets have against them this year, their biggest single issue continues to be team health.

Yes, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and Francisco Rodriguez all wear different uniforms now.  Yes, they are buried in a mountain of debt following the Bernie Madoff debacle, and overall mismanagement by Saul Katz and the Wilpons.  But if you look at this team, position-by-position, they can be competitive…

IF

…they can stay healthy.  They have some good players (David Wright, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda) and pitchers (Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey, Ramon Ramirez), but they have to be on the field to be effective.  As much as the Mets will miss Reyes and Beltran, even they couldn’t stay on the field for the last 3 years.

Compare the following players to the ones that occupied each position for most of last season.  Most positions will get an upgrade or stay the same:

C: Josh Thole (same)

1B: Ike Davis (upgrade – he only played in a handful of games before getting hurt)

2B: Daniel Murphy (offensive upgrade)

SS: Ruben Tejada (downgrade)

3B: David Wright (same)

LF: Jason Bay (same)

CF: Andres Torres (same/slight defensive upgrade)

RF: Lucas Duda (defensive downgrade/same offense, potentially)

Starting rotation: replacing Capuano with Santana (upgrade)

Bullpen: 3 veteran additions (upgrade)

On paper, this looks like a pretty nice roster…

IF

…they can stay healthy.

Just like 2009, 2010, and 2011.  And since they are so lacking in depth, health is paramount in 2012.  So far in Spring Training, however, it’s been more of the same.  More injuries, more initial misdiagnoses, more frustration.  Even manager Terry Collins couldn’t hide his aggravation when he found out yet another Met, Tejada, couldn’t play.

Does anyone know what the cause is for these injury woes?  Is it the medical staff, the ownership, the managment?  Does anyone know what the solution is?  Find a new medical staff?  Practice over-caution with every nagging injury?  Or is it just bad luck or law of averages?  Maybe they just happen to have a roster full of injury-prone players.  Does anyone know for sure?

One thing is for sure – it’s hard to win ballgames when half your starting lineup is in the trainer’s room.

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The Mets: Seven Reasons to Stay Tuned in 2012

Happy New Year everyone! With the holidays now in the rear view mirror and me now settling down into my new job, it’s time to take look ahead to what 2012 might hold in store for the New York Mets.

Like most of us, I have very low expectations for the team this year. Team finances aside, the starting rotation is mediocre at best, there are several defensive liabilities in the projected starting eight, the bench is horrible, there is little speed on the current roster and they play in a tough division. Still, I will watch as many Mets games as I can this year. Now that I have a steady income again, I may even make the pilgrimage from my home in Bethlehem to Citi Field to take in a game or two. I know that there is no postseason in store for the Mets in 2012, but I can think of at least seven reasons to pay attention to the team this year:

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