One of the biggest knocks on general manager Sandy Alderson has been his inability to build a successful bullpen. And while Bobby Parnell flourished in 2013, the bullpen as a whole combined for a 3.98 ERA–which ranked 22nd in baseball. In addition, the bullpen’s 4.02 FIP was the fourth worst in the game.
But Alderson’s late-season (in 2013) acquisition of Vic Black, a 25-year-old and former first round pick, was a step in the right direction. Black owned a 3.08 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 2.41 K/BB in five seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league system. Over the past two seasons, however, the Texas native dominated the upper levels to the tune of a 2.02 ERA, 12.48 K/9 and 20 saves.
Photo by Michael G. Baron (Flickr)
Black looked comfortable in 13 innings for the New York Mets too, tossing a 3.46 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 3.0 K/BB while averaging 95.5 miles per hour on his fastball. With Parnell likely to begin the 2014 season on the disabled list, there’s a good chance the right-handed Black will get a crack at some saves–and perhaps more if Parnell’s neck injury lingers.
The Beanball was fortunate to catch-up with Vic Black about what it was like to be traded, how he plans to improve his command in 2014 and a host of other deeper looks into the Mets’ reliever’s playing and non-playing life. Make sure to read the whole interview after the jump. Continue reading
Posted in Interviews
Tagged Ben Berkon, Black, Mets, New York Mets, The Beanball, Vic Black, Vic Black Closer, Vic Black Interview, Vic Black Trade, Victor Black, Victor Black Closer, Victor Black Interview
So far in 2013, it has been the Matt Harvey show. And for good reason. Harvey has posted an electric 2.04 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and 5.10 K/BB over 97 innings, and is the sole reason for fans to watch an otherwise dismal team. Given the 24 year-old’s dominant four-pitch arsenal, impeccable work ethic, and unrelenting determination, it’s conceivable Matt Harvey will be the Mets’ ace for the better part of the next decade.
But as important as Harvey is to the Mets’ future, arguably Zack Wheeler is more so. Continue reading
Posted in Op-Ed
Tagged A Lot Riding on Zack Wheeler's Debut, Ben Berkon, Harvey, Matt Harvey, Mets, New York Mets, The Beanball, Wheeler, Yahoo, Yahoo! Sports, Zack Wheeler
The New York Mets organization and its fans have witnessed a lot of heartbreak over the years.
But, perhaps, most of that massive letdown has been due to poor drafting. Of the 62 players drafted in the first round, 21 (or 33.8%) of them never made it to the major leagues. In terms of quality, only four of the Mets’ first-round picks owned a career bWAR over 20.0 (Dwight Gooden, David Wright, Darryl Strawberry, and Jon Matlack).
While there have been many, many bad picks executed by the Mets since 1965, below are arguably the five worst: Continue reading
The New York Mets offense is struggling. The team has a collective .230/.302/.382 triple-slash, with a .684 OPS–which ranks 26th in the major leagues. However, the real issue is with the Mets’ outfield. Mets’ center fielders have combined for a .530 OPS+ (worst in the majors) and right fielders a .621 (tied for third worst). While Mike Baxter and Andrew Brown, perhaps, deserve a chance to start this season, the Mets need to sign to-be free agent Shin-Soo Choo this coming off-season. Continue reading
Since writing Part 1 of this series, which detailed three hypothetical, arbitration-eligible outfield trade targets, the New York Mets actually acquired an outfielder: Rick Ankiel. Somewhat predictably, Mets fans reacted adversely, as the 33-year-old has become a perennial albatross and trash heap frequenter due to his poor plate approach (26 strikeout percentage, 7.7 walk percentage). What is perhaps most perplexing about the addition is that Ankiel, seemingly, is the complete antithesis of what the Sandy Alderson regime represents in terms of batter patience.
Alas, Rick Ankiel is a Met, at least for the time being. But that hardly means the team will not continue to pursue other outside the organization options. Here are three more pre-arbitration trade targets that the Mets could look to acquire. Continue reading
The Mets’ offense has produced a .696 OPS, which ranks tenth in the National League. The Mets’ outfield is even more worrisome, however. The team’s center fielders have a .501 OPS, and its right fielders a .614 OPS, which rank fourteenth and fifteenth in the National League, respectively.
There are few Mets fans who wouldn’t want the team to add Carlos Gonzalez or Giancarlo Stanton. But while either player would instantly improve the team’s ability to score runs, it seems so unlike the present-day Mets to pull the trigger on such a franchise-altering acquisition. Below, in the first part of a multi-part series, are a few realistic, arbitration-eligible outfield trade targets. Continue reading
Among Mets fans, Daniel Murphy is a contentious player. They are generally split on how to view the 28-year-old infielder. To most, Murphy is a solid-hitting, hard-nosed starting second baseman, who would ideally be a super utility option on a playoff caliber team. To others, however, Murphy conjures up pure contempt. Starkly differing sentiments not withstanding, there is still a case to be made for a contract extension. Continue reading
Matt Harvey has been the toast of town. And rightfully so. The 24-year-old has hurled a 1.54 ERA, 2.39 FIP, and 3.9 K/BB through 35 innings, and has also been victorious in all four of his decisions. Harvey’s dominant performance to date has prompted just about every Mets fan to wonder when the organization will extend the budding ace.
However, according to Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal — and much to the chagrin of Mets fans — the Mets haven’t broached the subject yet.
While there is no doubt the Mets should quickly extend Harvey before he starts booking Light ‘N Lively Yogurt ads, the team should also consider locking up his more modestly performing rotation-mate, Dillon Gee. Continue reading
Through the first month of the season, the main attraction in Flushing has been Matt Harvey. Harvey has dazzled both Mets and baseball fans alike with a 1.54 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, and 3.90 K/BB. He’s even won 4 of his first 5 starts in 2013. But with each dominant game the 24 year-old ace spins, his future price tag only increases. And that’s why the Mets need to extend Harvey soon–if not next week.
Even though Harvey has yet to pitch a full season, there is still plenty of incentive for the Mets to extend their brightest homegrown pitcher since Dwight Gooden. In 15 career starts, Harvey has owned a 2.29 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 3.03 K/BB–but he’s also been worth 3.4 WAR. Since 1.0 WAR is roughly equivalent to $5.5 million, Harvey has been worth around $18.7 million in just 88 1/3 innings.
But as great as Harvey has been so far, how much will he be worth in the future? Continue reading