Tag: Nieuwenhuis

The Contract Offer: Wright or Wrong?

Can the Mets afford Wright AND the rest of the team?

I’ve been avoiding the subject of contract extensions for David Wright and R.A. Dickey because A) I don’t feel like speculating about if every single day, especially when I know next to nothing about what’s going on behind closed doors – like everyone else, and B) Everyone else has already chimed in on it.  But now, because an offer has been REPORTEDLY made, and I’m feeling narcissistic today, I will chime in.

According to various sources, the Mets made an offer to David Wright that consists of 7 years at about $20 million per.  My immediate reaction?  If they can afford Wright at that price while still keeping money in the coffers to fill other positions of need, then let’s do it.  If they’re breaking the bank for one player, and we have to have another year of Josh Thole behind the plate, an outfield of Lucas Duda/Kirk Nieuwenhuis/Mike Baxter, and Frank Francisco closing games, then don’t.

However, since I’m writing stream-of-consciousness…


Blog Roundup: Fore!

After teeing off on the Orioles this week, the Mets head to the links to tee off on their off day.  Ah, team bonding.  Anyways, the Mets have decided to alternate series sweeps – loss, win, loss, win.  This weekend would be a fine time to buck that trend, as they take on the Yankees at Citi Field.

Fore, please.  The Blogs are now teeing off:

So, sweep your way through the links, or hit the links.  Either way, keep coming back to Mets Today.


Blog Roundup: No-Spin Zone

R.A. Dickey pitched another routine gem last night, allowing a controversial infield hit to B.J. Upton in the first, then allowed an unearned run in the ninth after a David Wright error and two passed balls.  As the Rays radio announcer put it, the only chance Tampa Bay had was if Dickey accidentally locked himself in the bathroom.  The Rays had no chance against R.A.’s knucklers.  Dickey and Chris Young (with a big assist from the bullpen) have taken the first two games in St. Pete, as they try to bounce back from a stretch in which they lost 6 of 7.

And for more worthy coverage of the Mets, keep checking out Mets Today.


Which Outfielder Will Be the Odd Man Out?

Within the next 2-3 weeks, the Mets should be getting 3 key injured players back.  SS Ruben Tejada, C Josh Thole, and OF Jason Bay are all beginning to play rehab games this week.  So which players on the current major league roster will they replace?

In the case of Thole, the answer is simple – Either Mike “Grand Slam” Nickeas or Rob “Snap Throw to First” Johnson (whoever is sucking the most when the time comes) will be replaced.

Has Kirk done enough to stay on the big club?

When Tejada comes back, he would have replaced Vinny Rottino.  However, the injury to Justin Turner muddies the picture a bit.

Omar Quintanilla is likely to replace Turner on the roster.  If Tejada then replaces Quintanilla, the Mets will only have one player to backup second base, shortstop, and third base – Ronny Cedeno.  That’s assuming Cedeno’s minor quad strain doesn’t turn into a major pain in the posterior.  If the Mets decide they need 2 backup infielders, then Quintanilla would stay, and Rottino would be sent down after all.

For the sake of this post, let’s assume the latter will be the scenario.

With that in mind, the decision of whom to drop when Bay returns becomes complicated.  It’s doubtful the Mets will carry 6 outfielders, so someone is going to have to go.  Here are the candidates for replacement:


28 Days Later: The State of the Mets

David Wright is off to a great start.

28 games into the season, the Mets are 15-13, sitting in third place in the NL East.  And if it weren’t early May, I’d say something like, “if the season were to end today, the Mets would be the second Wildcard team.”  But it is only early May.  With that said, let’s take a look at the current state of the team.


First, the good news.  The Mets are exceeding expectations.  Yes, the expectations were low, but expectations are being exceeded nonetheless.

They went 13-10 in April, which isn’t bad in and of itself.  However, according to the May 7th issue of Sports Illustrated, they faced the 4th toughest schedule by winning percentage (.535) in the major leagues.  Meanwhile, the Dodgers and Nationals, teams that got off to screaming hot starts,  faced the 30th and 29th toughest schedules, respectively.

Individually, several players are off to great starts in 2012.  David Wright is off to one of the best starts of his career, hitting .375/.481/.545 with a team-leading 14 RBI.  Daniel Murphy is hitting .315/.358/.378.  The Mets need more extra base hits out of Murphy, but it’s hard to be dissatisfied with his average and OBP.  In addition, he’s played a surprisingly competent second base.  He hasn’t been without errors, but like his team, he has exceeded expectations.  Similarly, Josh Thole (.282/.356/.372) has performed well at the plate, while showing improvement behind it.


Avoiding the LOOGY Man

Don't let the wookiee win.

The Mets have won 4 straight to start the season, so maybe now isn’t time to make changes.  But apart from all of their flaws on paper, this team should be able to hit.  However, their lineup has an obvious problem (besides Jason Bay).  It’s too left-handed.

Last night, manager Terry Collins put together a batting order that featured 5 left-handed batters, 3 in consecutive order – Lucas Duda, Josh Thole, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.  Nieuwenhuis, of course, replaced switch-hitter Andres Torres in center field, who injured his calf on Opening Day, and does not appear close to returning, according to Mets radio man Howie Rose.  The addition of Kirk makes this team even more left-handed.

In response to the stack of southpaws, Nationals manager (and former Mets great) Davey Johnson brought in LHP Tom Gorzelanny in the 6th inning to replace right-handed starter Edwin Jackson.  Gorzelanny shut down the Mets for 2.2 innings, allowing only 2 hits.  When Collins pinch hit Scott Hairston for Nieuwenhuis late in the game, Johnson finally brought in his right hander, Henry Rodriguez (who would eventually get the loss).

Rest assured, teams will be tossing southpaws against the Mets all year.  So here’s a proposed lineup change that would help to break up the lefties, and make opponents less able to match up their LOOGY against them:

2B Daniel Murphy – He doesn’t walk much, but had a .362 OBP last year.  Not an ideal leadoff hitter, but the best they have in this version of the lineup.

SS Ruben Tejada – He handles the bat well and can run.

1B Ike Davis – He’s off to a slow start, but should rebound, unless this Valley Fever situation is worse than we thought.  Bonus: he’ll see much better pitches batting in front of Wright than he ever will batting in front of Bay.

3B David Wright – The ideal 3rd hitter needs to drop to cleanup in this scenario.

RF Lucas Duda – Good power, good patience.

LF Jason Bay – He has to bat somewhere.

C Josh Thole – Off to a good start with the bat – may be turning into the contact hitter the Mets hope.

CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis – Also an option to bat leadoff – strikes out too much, but did have a .400 + OBP in 221 ABs in AA last year.

In this scenario, the only back-to-back lefties are Thole and Nieuwenhuis.  Kirk can be replaced by Hairston in the late innings if they face a tough lefty reliever.

The lineup still includes 5 LHBs, but with this lineup, the Mets should be a little less vulnerable against left-handed pitching.