The coaching staff has undergone some changes, too. Dave Jauss is replacing Hensley Meulens as bench coach, Tony Tarasco replacing Tony DeFrancesco as first base coach (an exchange of Tonys, if you will), and hitting coach Chili Davis doing his job in person rather than remotely this season.
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Saturday, February 27, 2021
Thursday, February 25, 2021
|Prized by who|
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Yesterday, I started writing a piece on the opening of spring training. I had a bad cold that limited me to a few short hours of heavily interrupted sleep, but I sat at my computer for a couple of hours and knocked out several paragraphs of thoughts. At the time, I felt like I had an excellent start. I took a couple of hours off. By the time I sat down again, I still felt tired, but was also more clear-headed. I read through the words that I had written earlier, and I'm pretty sure that the look on my face was reminiscent of Edvard Munch's famous painting. I decided that, while it felt a little like slacking off to not post something on the first official day of workouts for the whole squad, it was the right move to table those thoughts for a day. So, belatedly, some thoughts on the opening act of the first Mets squad of the post-Wilpon era.
Sunday, February 21, 2021
good profile of Mets manager Luis Rojas up on The Athletic earlier this week. All in all, Rojas endured a strange year in his first season on the job. It started with Carlos Beltran resigning as manager three weeks before spring training started, thanks to the Astros sign stealing scandal. That spring training came to a screeching halt, but not before it was revealed that his second-best pitcher Noah Syndergaard needed Tommy John surgery. Then, after we all sat around for a few months, waiting to see if there would be a baseball season in 2020, everything ramped up way too quickly for the weird 60-game season that followed. Before that season even began, his now second-best pitcher Marcus Stroman opted out of the season. The abbreviated slate of games was barely underway when his star player, Yoenis Céspedes, also opted out in a manner that was equally poorly handled by the player and the club. To put a cherry on top of it all, Rojas was given a roster, particularly the pitching staff, which proved woefully inadequate, and Brodie Van Wagenen did a poor job of juggling the useful pieces the Mets did possess.
Friday, February 19, 2021
good news today. Signing a starting pitcher to compete for one of the two bottom-of-the rotation slots really was a must for this team. Don't get me wrong, David Peterson and Joey Lucchesi are both perfectly acceptable options for the role, but there needed to be more competition for those spots. Now there is. Bringing Taijuan Walker into the fold for a reasonable 2 year, $20 million deal seems to be, at least in my opinion, exactly the right balance of risk and potential upside. While it seems almost comical to refer to a $10 million per year salary as "reasonable," it really is in the context of how players are valued these days. As a fan, I feel much better about the Mets' chances of having enough starting pitching to survive this season today than I did yesterday.
Thursday, February 18, 2021
a terrific piece in The Athletic by Brittany Ghiroli and Eno Sarris about how teams were using the position of quality control or quality assurance coach to maximize their use of data:
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
crappy weather forecast for tomorrow, you take all of the hope you can find.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
signed OF Kevin Pillar yesterday. Nice depth move, but hardly a game-changer. There was a time that he was an excellent CF, but that is no longer the case. You can make an argument that, by defensive metrics, Pillar is no longer that big of a defensive upgrade over Brandon Nimmo. I'm no expert on defensive metrics, nor have I had much chance to watch Pillar play CF in recent years. Perhaps the Mets think they see something in Pillar that the metrics are missing. In any case, it's quite doubtful that Pillar was signed to be the starting CF. He's a right-handed bat who hits lefties fairly well, and he'll most likely be doing that in some sort of part-time role with the Mets. His track record shows he's a better bet to contribute with the bat than recent pickup Albert Almora. Almora also has a minor league option left, so they're not necessarily going to be on the active roster together.
Monday, February 15, 2021
news broke about Seth Lugo's elbow surgery, it seemed like bringing LHP Justin Wilson back into the fold would be a no-brainer. Wilson has been an effective pitcher for the Mets, showing an ability to handle a late-inning role. Assuming a contract in the range of the $5 million per year Wilson was paid the previous two seasons, that money shouldn't have been prohibitive for a post-Wilpon Mets club. Yet, from multiple sources, it's the Yankees who are close to a deal with Wilson. While it's undeniably the prerogative of any front office to place a value on any player that they're looking at acquiring, it's a real head-shaker to me that the Mets aren't pursuing Wilson with more vigor.
Sunday, February 14, 2021
has indicated that the Mets are not done improving their roster, it will still be a blast to see the team they've assembled so far over the offseason. A new era of Mets baseball truly began when Steve Cohen took over the team in October and handed the keys to Sandy Alderson, but it will all start to get real this week.
Saturday, February 13, 2021
bad news about Seth Lugo came along with my morning coffee. When I saw the words Lugo, elbow, and surgery together in the headline, my first thought was that the frayed medial ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow had finally went and we were kissing him goodbye for the season. While the news proved to be better than that, the Mets are going to have to figure out their bullpen without one of their best relievers for a while. Lugo will be shut down completely for "at least six weeks," then he has to ease back into pitching shape. And this is assuming no hidden damage when they cut into the elbow and no setbacks in his rehab. Given what we've seen previously with pitchers and elbow problems, would it shock you if Noah Syndergaard was pitching again before Lugo?
Thursday, February 11, 2021
Andrew Benintendi was the "name" player in the deal, Khalil Lee is the prospect coming over to the Mets. Lee will probably begin the season in Triple-A, so his addition gives the club an outfield prospect close to major league-ready. With the Mets system's real prospects at the lower levels, this adds a layer of roster depth they were previously lacking. It's also possible that Khalil Lee might see some playing time with the Mets before the season is over.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Jonathan Villar. As with the signing of Albert Almora, who also didn't cause goosebumps to appear when I heard of his signing, this looks like a solid addition to the team's bench. I know some folks get frustrated by moves like this, but I like it so much more than the sort of Quad-A ballplayers the Mets used to build their bench in previous years — think John Mayberry, Daniel Muno, Eric Campbell, Ty Kelly, and the like. Sure, there's a reason no one signed Almora and Villar to be starting players for their teams, but they both have some upside and some decent talents.
Sunday, February 7, 2021
|Who needs George Springer?|
I'm Albert Freaking Almora!
Saturday, February 6, 2021
will not be employing Trevor Bauer in 2021. If the details are important to you, you've already had plenty of time to read at least some of the many thousands of words written on the subject. I don't really have much to add, as most of what I would say has already been said by others. I have no idea how Trevor Bauer may have performed with the Mets had he signed here. I don't think that's something that you could extrapolate based on his performance this season with the Dodgers. Every situation is different. The Dodgers are a better team and won last year — both truths add up to less pressure on Bauer out west than there would be had he signed with the Mets. And maybe that contributed to his decision, who knows? We'll never know if Bauer would have helped the Mets contend for a championship or just flopped in New York, or more likely somewhere in between those possible outcomes.
Thursday, February 4, 2021
isn't my first choice, but I just wish this thing could be resolved one way or the other without further delay.
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
trade for Francisco Lindor was all that and then some, but all of the extracurricular noise has overshadowed it a bit. In fact, I had to look up the exact date of the deal and was shocked to realize it went down less than a month ago. Then it occurred to me that it's only been two weeks since Jared Porter was shown the door and barely over three months since Steve Cohen's purchase was approved. Didn't he used to have a Twitter account, or am I remembering that wrong? I know time feels different since COVID-19 gummed everything up, but this is nuts. I picked an interesting year, indeed, to return to blogging.
Monday, February 1, 2021
said my piece on the guy. If the Mets sign him, I'll root for it all to turn out well. If they don't — well, if you read my other piece, you can probably guess that I won't be heartbroken. Either way, I've learned a long time ago not to live or die based on decisions that the team you root for makes. You only hope that they operate in a way that makes sense, and only time will tell on this current Mets brain trust. The one thing that I do feel strongly about is that hope this Bauer pursuit comes to an end one way or the other very soon, because a) it's been going on for too freaking long and b) I think it's holding up the other personnel moves the Mets need to make before the season starts.
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