2018 Season

Jeurys Familia traded to the A’s

The Mets parted ways with one of their greatest closers of all time on Saturday, sending Jeurys Familia to the postseason hopeful Oakland Athletics, in return for RHP Bobby Wahl, 3B Will Toffey, and a healthy sum of international pool money.

The former All-Star has built a reputation as a premier closer in recent years, in spite of some postseason blunders. Since taking Jenrry Mejia’s spot as the everyday closer, Familia has mostly been a dependable bullpen arm. In 2015, Familia notched 43 saves, and pitched for a 1.85 ERA. Familia elevated his play in 2016, racking up 51 saves and pitching for a 2.55 ERA.

Coming back from a 2017 season where a blood clot in his arm stifled his performance and kept him off the field for the majority of the season, Familia returned to form this season, pitching a 2.88 ERA, getting 17 saves, and pitching for a 2.54 FIP in 40 pitching appearances.

The Mets received 26-year old reliever Bobby Wahl, who has some major league experience, and 23-year old third baseman Will Toffey. In his seven relief appearances in the major leagues, Wahl has a 4.70 ERA and he struck out eight hitters. In 2018, Wahl is pitching a 2.27 ERA, 2.52 FIP, and a 42.8% strikeout rate in Triple-A ball. Toffey was a fourth round pick in the 2017 MLB draft, and he is still making his way up the ranks. This season, Toffey is hitting for a .244/.357/.384 line, and has five home runs in 197 plate appearances in Single-A Advanced play.

 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

 

2018 Season

Wilmer Flores walks off in extras, Mets snap seven-game slide

On a day where emotions were running high from the news of Mets general manager Sandy Alderson restarting his battle with cancer, a victory was much needed for the disordered Mets, and it came in the form of yet another walk-off hit by Wilmer Flores.

Despite the glamorous finish, it was a turbulent contest for the Mets and the Pirates. A recovering Mets offense was able to get on the boards early with a two-run RBI single by the aforementioned Wilmer Flores in the first, but the offense sputtered out just as quickly, notching just two more hits in the next four innings. Steven Matz cruised through the first four innings without allowing a hit, but yielded the two game-tying runs in the fifth inning. Matz proceeded to give up a Gregory Polanco home run in the seventh inning, which put the Pirates in front with a 3-2 lead.

The Pittsburgh lead was short-lived, with Michael Conforto hitting a tying home run in the next-half inning. Tensions reached a fever pitch in the top of the eighth inning when the benches cleared after Jeurys Familia took exception to Josh Harrison’s slide which broke up a potential double play, despite Harrison’s unmistakably clean and reasonable slide. In familiar Familia fashion, the Mets closer walked Elias Diaz in the very next at-bat to load the bases, only work out of the bases loaded jam to end the inning.

Familia remained in the game in the ninth inning, allowing one more hit, although he was able to maintain the 3-3 tie into the bottom half of the ninth, where the Mets were unable to answer Steven Brault.

After a swift top half of the tenth pitched by Tim Peterson, the Mets came into the tenth inning hot with two base hits by Michael Conforto and Todd Frazier to put the winning run in scoring position. Although a pop-up bunt attempt by Asdrubal Cabrera ostensibly squandered much of the momentum the Mets had, Wilmer Flores came through in a position he has been all too familiar with, hitting a walk-off foul line-hugging single to give the Mets a major victory in a pivotal point in the season where the next few weeks of play will dictate whether or not they will be contending this season.

Tom’s Player of the Game: Wilmer Flores – 2 for 5, 3 RBI, Walk-Off Single

The fan-favorite Flores is beginning to build a reputation as a clutch hitter in extra-innings, with his 10th inning single becoming his third walk-off hit in this season alone. With the offense still attempting to regain its beginning of the season glory, any player that can drive in multiple runs in a win is a shoe-in for player of the game at this point.

 

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

 

2018 Season

Noah Syndergaard placed on 10-day disabled list with strained finger ligament

Noah Syndergaard was added to the 10-day disabled list due to a strained ligament in his right index finger, with his stint placed retroactive to May 26th. Syndergaard has complained about soreness in his index finger on Tuesday.

Although Syndergaard hasn’t been as dominant this season, the 25-year old righty, along with Jacob deGrom, have anchored the rotation with consistent production despite the gaudy performances put up by their back-end counterparts. In 11 starts, Syndergaard has a 4-1 record, along with a 3.06 ERA and 2.56 FIP.

Gerson Bautista was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Syndergaard’s place on the 25-man roster. Bautista has allowed two earned runs in 2.1 innings pitched in previous outings with the Mets, and has a 6.97 ERA in 10.1 innings pitched in Las Vegas. However, there is no known replacement for Syndergaard for the one start he will miss from staying on the disabled list, meaning one of the starters-turned-relievers Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo may have to start despite their successes out of the bullpen.

 

Photo Credit: Robert Sabo

2018 Season

Mets sign OF Jose Bautista

The wounded Mets’ outfield corps will be receiving some much needed reinforcement, as the Mets signed outfielder Jose Bautista to a major league deal today, and he will be active for tonight’s game against the Miami Marlins.

The 37-year old outfielder has struggled to find success in the waning years of his career, hitting for slash lines of .234/.366/.452 and .203/.308/.366 in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The Blue Jays chose not to extend his contract at the end of the 2017 season, and Bautista found himself as a free agent to begin the first couple of weeks of the season until the Braves signed him to a minor-league contract in the middle of April.

Bautista began his tenure with the Braves with their Triple-A team, the Gwinnett Stripers, before he was called up to the Braves on May 4th to play at third base. Bautista struggled offensively and defensively in the short amount of time he spent with the Braves, hitting with a .143 BA and 63 wRC+, and fielding with -2 DRS at third base, which ultimately led to his release this past Sunday.

The structure of the contract is slated to be a 1-year, major league contract, though he will likely play on a minimum contract. With Juan Lagares’s season effectively over, and with no timetable for Yoenis Cespedes’s return, Bautista will provide outfield depth and a right-handed bat for an all-lefty starting outfield. This deal is a low-risk, low reward move given the scenario where Bautista performs poorly, the Mets will face virtually no negative consequences if they cut Bautista due to his cheap contract, and they could potentially reap his meager value if he performs above expectations.

 

EDIT: Bautista will be starting in right field tonight, as he will bat fifth in the order.

 

Photo Credit: Associated Press

 

2018 Season

Juan Lagares expected to miss remainder of the season from torn toe ligament

The Mets endure yet another injury, with Juan Lagares becoming another addition to the laundry list of players to serve time on the disabled list this year. The Mets announced Friday that Juan Lagares will undergo surgery to repair a complete tear of his plantar plate in his big toe and will go on the 10-day disabled list, but it is very likely that his season is over.

Lagares suffered the injury from running into the center field wall to catch a Giovanny Urshela flyball in the ninth inning of an eventual 12-1 defeat from the Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon.

The outfield depth was already growing thin to begin with, as Yoenis Cespedes landed on the 10-day disabled list earlier this week to recover from a lingering hip flexor strain, which has caused trouble for the 32-year old for a couple of weeks now.

Like Cespedes, Lagares has dealt with a plethora of injuries in recent years. In June of 2016, Lagares landed on the disabled list for a sprained left thumb which kept him on the shelf for two weeks. He sprained his thumb again in July, this time undergoing surgery to repair his thumb, and missed the entire month of August and most of September.

His injury woes continued into the cursed 2017 season, beginning the season on the disabled list after suffering an oblique strain in spring training. Then in July, Lagares broke his oft-injured left thumb attempting to make a catch in June, putting him on the disabled list for two months.

With no timetable to the returns of Cespedes and Lagares, the Mets’ outfield depth is decimated, only consisting of Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Jay Bruce. Some potential candidates for a call-up include Matt den Dekker, who played in 81 games for the Mets in the 2013 and 2014 seasons, and other players such as Pat Biondi, Patrick Kivlehan, and Zach Borenstein.

 

Photo Credit: Paul J. Bereswill

2018 Season

Yoenis Cespedes placed on 10-day disabled list

The Mets announced Wednesday morning that Yoenis Cespedes has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right hip flexor strain.

GM Sandy Anderson stated the Mets have been monitoring Cespedes’s condition since Sunday, and was considering placing him on the disabled list based on how Cespedes felt.

Cespedes has attempted to play through the injury he suffered on May 6th in a game against the Rockies, and since then Cespedes has played through the injury at less than 100 percent. Cespedes underwent an MRI on Tuesday, which revealed a mild strain in his right hip flexor. So far in 2018, Cespedes has a .255 batting average, .790 OPS, and has hit 8 home runs in 152 at-bats.

Cespedes is no stranger to leg injuries, as the 32-year old missed half of last season from separate injuries to his left and right hamstrings. In 2016, Cespedes spent time on the 15-day disabled list for a lingering quadriceps injury.

The Mets recalled Phillip Evans from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Cespedes’s spot on the 25-man roster. In 130 at-bats for the Las Vegas 51s, Evans has a .254 batting average, along with hitting 9 home runs and driving in 19 RBIs. Evans is able to play several positions, as he can play any position in the infield and can spend time in left field.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

2018 Season

Mets trade Matt Harvey to Reds for catcher Devin Mesoraco

The Mets have traded Matt Harvey to the Reds for catcher Devin Mesoraco Tuesday, just days after Harvey was designated from assignment after refusing a minor league demotion.

Harvey’s struggles have continued through 2018, throwing a paltry 7.00 ERA and 5.39 FIP. Not even a tenure in the bullpen could revitalize Harvey’s pitching, as he gave up five earned runs in two innings in his final game in a Mets uniform this past Thursday.

In return for Harvey, the Mets fill a desperate need at catcher by acquiring Devin Mesoraco. The 29-year old catcher has shown in the past that he can produce offensively, as he hit with a .273 BA and drilled 25 home runs in his 2014 All-Star season. However, Mesoraco’s offensive upside has been hindered by a dreadful injury history. Since 2015, Mesoraco has played in only 95 games. Mesoraco should become an instant starter over Tomas Nido and Jose Lobaton, and could remain in that position even when Kevin Plawecki returns.

 

Photo Credit: Getty Images