Being six games under .500 and eight-and-a-half games out of first place, the 2014 New York Mets still have a decent chance to not be a bad team this season. Especially if Jenrry Mejia’s recent comments in his SNY.tv interview are indicative of the team’s ambitions, it’s quite possible the second half of 2014 could at least be enjoyable for fans.
But if the organization’s true vision is be competitive in 2015—not this season—then general manager Sandy Alderson has about four days to decide if the Mets will be buyers or sellers at the July 31 trade deadline. And if the latter, Bartolo Colon should be playing elsewhere in August.
Colon has been solid for the Mets in 2014, posting a 4.03 ERA (versus a 3.50 FIP), park-adjusted 87 ERA+ and 5.26 strikeouts-to-walks ratio over 126.2 innings. The right-hander’s 1.3 walks-per-nine-innings ratio also ranks near the league’s finest.
The veteran’s value to pitching-starved, playoff-hungry teams is undeniable. In addition to averaging 6.2 innings-per-start in 2014, the Mets have also displayed a willingness to eat part of the $14.5 million Colon is owed between this year and next, according to NY Daily News’ Andy Martino–making the veteran that much more affordable.
Then again, Colon’s inconceivable durability and success at age 41 in many ways makes his trade value a bit more enigmatic than your average veteran pitcher. In an attempt to evaluate the potential return Colon could net the Mets, below are six summer deals (dating back to 2009) that involved non-ace, veteran starting pitchers.
Posted in Closer Looks, Trade Deadline
Tagged Bartolo, Bartolo Colon, Bartolo Colon Mets, Bartolo Colon Rumors, Bartolo Colon Trade, Bartolo Colon Trade Deadline, Bartolo Colon: So What’s The Trade Market For a 41-Year-Old Pitcher?, Ben Berkon, Colon, Colon Mets, Colon Rumors, Colon Trade, Colon Trade Deadline, Mets, Mets Colon Rumors, Mets Trade Bartolo Colon, Mets Trade Colon, Mets Trade Deadline, New York, New York Mets, The Beanball, Trade Deadline
Within the New York Mets’ community, Daniel Murphy is a polarizing figure.
Amongst those who lean on descriptors such as “grinder,” “gamer” and “gritty” to base their opinion of a player, Murphy is a poster child for the banal “how the game should be played” proverb.
After all, the 29-year-old owns a career .291 batting average (and a park-adjusted 109 wRC+) at a position that rarely sees such offensive output. And despite his overzealous—albeit, very poor—antics in the field, Murphy does take his defense seriously.
Yet, for the detractors who prefer to belabor Murphy’s career 6.3 percent walk rate and minus-31 DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) at second base, his oft-dirtied jersey isn’t reason enough to peg him as a “core” player.
Regardless of where a fan falls on the #ImWith28 spectrum, however, Murphy’s short-lived future with the team has little to do with his positive or nonexistent skill sets. Instead, the mistreatment of Daniel Murphy—a player that, if he played in a normal environment, would be a notable role player and asset—is yet another unfortunate product and casualty of the Mets’ financial woes. Continue reading
Posted in Closer Looks
Tagged Ben Berkon, Dan Murphy, Dan Murphy Mets, Dan Murphy Mets Rumors, Dan Murphy Trade, Daniel Murphy, Daniel Murphy Mets, Daniel Murphy Mets Rumors, Daniel Murphy Trade, Mets, Murphy, Murphy Mets, Murphy Mets Rumors, Murphy Trade, New York Mets, The Beanball, The Mistreatment of Daniel Murphy
Going into 2015, the New York Mets will be faced with a unique situation: The team will have far too many starting pitchers.
In addition to Matt Harvey and Jeremy Hefner returning from Tommy John surgery, the Mets will also sport at least two additional major league-ready pitching prospects in Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero. And if you’re a believer in Jacob deGrom as a starter, he would bump that number up to three.
With the likes of current rotation mates Zack Wheeler, Jonathan Niese, Dillon Gee, Bartolo Colon and, to a lesser extent, Jenrry Mejia, all under contract next season, the Mets will possess 10 very viable starting pitchers for just five rotation slots in 2015.
Assuming the Mets front office will look to improve the team’s collective park-adjusted 88 wRC+ for next season, dealing at least one of their starting pitchers only makes sense.
Below details the likelihood of each pitcher’s chances of locking up a 2015 rotation spot, getting relegated to bullpen duties or possibly being shipped elsewhere. Continue reading
Posted in Closer Looks
Tagged Bartolo Colon, Ben Berkon, Bleacher Report, Dillon Gee, Jacob deGrom, Jenrry Mejia, Jeremy Hefner, Jon Niese, Matt Harvey, Mets, Mets Pitching Prospects, Mets Rotation, New York Mets, New York Mets: Who Is Going to Crack Their 2015 Rotation?, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, The Beanball, Zack Wheeler
When the New York Mets signed Bartolo Colon to a two-year, $20 million contract this offseason, it seemed like a prudent acquisition. In many ways, signing the 41-year-old starting pitcher to a comparatively reasonable deal was the very savvy, Moneyball-esque free-agent move many Mets’ fans had been waiting for Sandy Alderson to make.
But Colon has been a bit more vulnerable in 2014 than over his past three seasons. The right-hander has pitched to the tune of a 5.65 ERA (versus a 4.42 FIP) and park-adjusted 60 ERA+ in his first six starts in orange and blue. By comparison, Colon combined for a far superior 3.32 ERA (versus a 3.60 FIP) and a 119 ERA+ from 2011 to 2013.
Yet, perhaps the most worrisome signs of the Dominican native’s cold start have been the rate and distance of his home runs allowed. Continue reading
Posted in Closer Looks
Tagged Bartolo Colon, Bartolo Colon Mets Struggling, Bartolo Colon New York, Ben Berkon, Colon Mets Struggling, Mets, Mets Bartolo Colon, Mets Colon, New York Mets, New York Mets Bartolo Colon, New York Mets Colon, Should the New York Mets Be Worried About Bartolo Colon?, The Beanball
As most teams whittle down their rosters in preparation for opening day, the Texas Rangers were dealt a last-minute curveball. Rangers’ starting second baseman Jurickson Profar will miss 10-12 weeks after suffering a slight muscle tear in his right shoulder, according to U-T San Diego’s Dennis Lin.
Even though the Rangers prefer to tap someone internally to take Profar’s place, per Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Jeff Wilson, such a decision would either involve starting non-roster invitee Kensuke Tanaka or rushing 20-year-old prospect Rougned Odor.
Instead, general manager Jon Daniels could do what he’s done so many times before: make a “win-now” trade. And New York Mets’ second baseman Daniel Murphy would be a perfect fit.
Posted in Closer Looks
Tagged Ben Berkon, Could the Texas Rangers Be a Fit for Daniel Murphy?, Dan Murphy, Daniel Murphy, Daniel Murphy Trade, Jurickson Profar, Luis Sardinas, Mets Daniel Murphy, Michael Choice, Murphy, New York Mets, Nick Williams, Profar Injured, Rangers Daniel Murphy, Rangers Looking for Second Baseman, Texas Rangers, The Beanball
The other night, I received a seemingly cryptic email from my older brother. The subject was, “This is idiotic.” I opened the email to uncover exactly what I thought I’d find: a smack-my-head worthy link about the New York Mets. It’s a long-withstanding family tradition to share these types of things, after all.
According to NBC Sports’ Bill Baer (via The Star-Ledger‘s Mike Vorkunov), Terry Collins and perhaps the Mets too apparently feel that center field is a wide-open competition.
Specifically, per Collins:
We’ve got three guys that can play center field that we know of and by gosh the best one is going to be out there because it’s a big position.
One can only assume he means Chris Young, Eric Young Jr. and incumbent Juan Lagares. But since Chris Young was inked this offseason to a $7.25 million contract—and is projected to play a corner—it appears as though only one of EYJ or Lagares will be a starter. And this, folks, is silly. Continue reading
Posted in Closer Looks
Tagged Ben Berkon, Center Field, Eric Young, Eric Young Jr., Juan Lagares, Juan Lagares Terry Collins, Mets, New York Mets, Terry Collins, The Beanball, The Downfall of Not Starting Juan Lagares
Playing armchair general manager is often met with skepticism. In an ideal world, the New York Mets would have outbid the Seattle Mariners for Robinson Cano’s services, subsequently adding one of the premier offensive threats at a notoriously light-hitting position.
But given the Mets’ small-market approach, inking Cano was never in the realm of possibility—even if the team did buy him lunch (per the NY Post’s Ken Davidoff).
Yet, there were a number of low-cost, high-reward acquisitions other teams executed that the Mets could have also made.
For instance, despite posting comparable three-year averages to many of the highest-earning starters this offseason, Paul Maholm only garnered a one-year, $1.5 million contract. Given the mediocre Plan B rotation options behind Jenrry Mejia, the Mets should have invested in Maholm. Continue reading
Posted in Closer Looks, Free Agency
Tagged 5 Realistic Moves the New York Mets Should Have Made This Offseason, Ben Berkon, Bleacher Report, Corey Hart, Grant Balfour, Mets, New York Mets, Nick Punto, Paul Maholm, Ryan Webb, The Beanball
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