Tag: mets

Matt Harvey Has Partially Torn UCL

Because being a Mets fan isn’t infuriating enough, the team announced today that Matt Harvey has a partially torn UCL in his pitching arm. His injury will be evaluated over the next couple of weeks to see if surgery is necessary. It really depends on how partial the tear is.

Harvey has swelling, but he had not been experiencing pain in the elbow prior to his last start, Alderson explained. He has been getting preventative treatment for his elbow since Spring Training, as well as recent treatment for his forearm. However, there was no indication of tenderness in the elbow until after his last start.

“There is plenty of time for us to see how he responds in the near term, but there will always be the open question of how long that ligament will hold up,” Sandy Alderson said. “This is not a career-ending injury under any stretch of the imagination. We’re fortunate we have a lot of pitching depth in our organization.”

There has to be a way to keep young pitchers healthy. 25 year-old Steven Strasburg, for example, has already had Tommy John surgery, recovered, and is now back to pitching full time.

It’s not just a matter of curmudgeonly lamenting, “Back in my day, pitchers used throw 30 complete games a year,” but rather that it seems that more and more pitchers can’t even finish a full season.

I’m sure Joe, as a coach and former player, will have a more informed opinion on this, but shouldn’t pitchers be A) taught better mechanics at every level (High School, College, Minors) B) stretched out at every level in preparation for (eventually) a full season in the major leagues?

As for the way the Mets handled Harvey, I can think of two or three occasions where I felt Terry Collins let him throw too many pitches (over 110, which is high by today’s standards). Otherwise, they’ve been trying to give him extra rest, and have made it clear that he was on an innings limit of about 210 for the season, which would have been about 40 more than he pitched last year. Most major league teams use similar guidelines for their young pitchers.

Harvey threw 170 innings between Triple-A and the majors last year, and 178 this year. A 24 year-old should be able to handle that kind of workload. I’m not blaming Harvey – not at all – I blame the culture in baseball that seems to leave young pitchers unprepared for the major leagues.

This is yet another frustrating development for a team, and a fan base, that can’t seem to catch a break. However, like every sports franchise, the Mets must adapt to their new Harveyless world (for however long that will be the case), and have a backup plan that doesn’t include him for the better part of 2014.

Since I’m always looking for a silver lining (lest I go crazy), this could mean the Mets come out of Spring Training 2014 with a rotation of Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard joining Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, and Dillon Gee, which isn’t half bad. That is, if they stay healthy. Remember, Niese is pitching with a partially torn labrum, and who knows who the next victim of arm trauma will be.

On a day like this, even the silver linings look gray.


Link Roundup: d’Arnaud Stays, Gee on the Money

With John Buck returning from paternity leave tonight, the Mets have decided to keep Travis d’Arnaud in the majors as their starting catcher.

The Mets feel d’Arnaud, the centerpiece of the trade that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays, has learned all he can at Triple-A. It’s time for him to learn the game at the big-league level, and most importantly, develop an on-field rapport with the pitching staff.

D’Arnaud is 0 for his first 7 at bats with 5 walks. He hit .304/.487/.554 during his injury-shortened stint in Las Vegas.

Anthony Recker has been sent down to Triple-A to make room. He’ll likely be back with the Mets when rosters expand on September 1. Terry Collins has been pleased with Recker, in particular how he handled pitchers and provided a little pop off the bench.

Buck, meanwhile, will serve as d’Arnaud’s backup most of the time. Imagine the uncomfortable dinner conversation between John and his son years from now.

Dillon Gee has been on fire over the past three months, posting an ERA of 2.27 since May 30th. In particular, his changeup has been outstanding.

On the occasion of Marlon Byrd‘s 20th homer of the season, Faith and Fear looks back at other Mets who have hit 20 or more in a season.

Real Dirty draws parallels between the Mets and Pirates, and wonders if the 2014 Mets can echo the success Pittsburgh is enjoying this year.

To do so, they’ll have to make some upgrades, particularly in the outfield, and maybe shortstop.

The Mets begin a two-game series with the first-place Braves tonight at Citi Field. For recaps and reactions, keep checking out Mets Today.


The Ike Davis Decision


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.


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.


Puello, Valdespin Will Accept 50-Game Ban

According to Ken Rosenthal and Jeff Passan, Mets minor league OF Cesar Puello and IF-OF Jordany Valdespin have agreed to accept a 50-game ban for their connection to the Biogenesis clinic.

Puello had been linked to Biogenesis in the past, so his punishment is no surprise. But Valdespin was never mentioned in any previous report.

So Valdespin’s tumultuous summer just keeps getting worse.

Puello was enjoying the best season of his career this year, batting .328/.405/.550 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI for the Double-A Binghamton Mets, but now it appears his season is over. It will be interesting to see how the Mets handle him going forward.

Apparently, whatever Valdespin took didn’t kick in until he was demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas at the All-Star Break. Jordany was raking to the tune of a .466/.533/.759 slash with 3 home runs and 24 RBI in 67 plate appearances. While with the major league club, Valdespin was batting only .188.






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.



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.