Tag Archives: The Beanball

Chase Utley creates opportunity for Citi Field’s first lasting memory

From 1964 to 2008, Shea Stadium provided the backdrop for countless, defining New York Mets moments. It was not uncommon for the papier-mâché-esq, architectural monstrosity to literally shake when fans would jump up and down, dance, and cheer with hoarse, unabashed joy during pivotal games and moments.

I know this because, as a life-long fan, I myself contributed to the jeers, prayers, and hugs with fellow tear-filled strangers.

But since moving into Citi Field in April 2009, there has been little reason for fans to transform the state-of-the-art facility into a 41,922-person trampoline. Over the past seven seasons, there simply has not been an opportunity to forge lasting memories at Citi Field.

That is, until yesterday evening. Continue reading

Three unexciting trades that would immediately help the Mets’ offense

NOTE (10:18 AM, July 25, 2015): This article was published well prior to the Mets acquiring Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson.

It’s tempting to write an article begging the New York Mets to make a big trade for a significant bat at the deadline. After all, adding one of Troy Tulowitzki, Justin Upton, Todd Frazier or Yasiel Puig would instantly address the team’s offensive problems.

But it’s pretty unlikely the Mets make such a deal. And as ESPN‘s Mark Simon astutely wrote about recently, it might not be wise for it to happen, either.

Instead, there’s a realistic alternative: the Mets could trade for platoon partners and generally helpful, but not “star”-caliber players without hemorrhaging the future. Continue reading

Curtis Granderson would be a fit with the ailing San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants received some unfortunate news today, as left fielder Nori Aoki will be out indefinitely with a fractured right fibula. And with Hunter Pence already on the disabled list with a sore wrist, the Giants are now sporting a light-hitting outfield of Angel Pagan, Gregor Blanco, and journeyman Justin Maxwell.

Unless the Giants want to risk losing ground on the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West, they should consider acquiring an outfielder in the near future. And fortunately for the Giants’ sake, Curtis Granderson of the New York Mets is available.

Or at least, he should be. Continue reading

Mets should consider swapping Jon Niese for Addison Reed

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced the demotion of former-closer Addison Reed yesterday. With a 5.92 ERA and 1.81 strikeouts-to-walks ratio over 24.1 innings this season, the move was hardly surprising.

Reed, acquired in December 2013 from the Chicago White Sox for top prospect Matt Davidson, saved 32 games for the Diamondbacks in 2014. But the disparity between his 4.25 ERA and 3.26 xFIP created a contentious “tale of two pitchers” storyline.

Seemingly, the 26-year-old’s 2014 ERA was more indicative of his actual abilities.

Yet, despite the ugly surface statistics in 2015, several of Reed’s peripherals expose a potential bargain for a willing organization. So perhaps the New York Mets could pounce, and swap embattled starter Jon Niese for Reed. Continue reading

Bringing up Conforto now will help Mets better evaluate trade deadline needs

The focus in Mets-land has been on the team’s trio of young aces. And for good reason: Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard have posted a combined 5.1 fWAR, 3.05 ERA, and 5.45 strikeouts-to-walks ratio this season.

With the New York Mets’ below-average offense (ranks 20th with a 7.2 fWAR) incapable of providing necessary run support, however, even the most dominant of pitching efforts haven’t consistently resulted in wins.

Needless to say, adding a bat or two at the July 31st trade deadline is a must for the Mets. But the front office could better evaluate the extent of their offensive needs by calling up top prospect Michael Conforto now. Continue reading

Mets pass on Aramis Ramirez, but faith in Wright’s return is worrisome

The New York Mets’ offense ranks 18th in fWAR (6.6). They’ve collectively scored the 7th least amount of runs (229), and posted a mere park-adjusted 91 wRC+.

The Mets needing offense is an understatement. And with David Wright out indefinitely, the team lacks a third baseman in the worst way.

So perhaps being linked to Milwaukee Brewers’ third baseman Aramis Ramirez is a good thing. After all, Ramirez owns a career .284 batting average, 116 wRC+, and 376 home runs.

Then again, most if not all of that production came before this season, obviously. The almost 37-year-old – and likely end-of-year retiree – has looked geezer-esq at the plate, hitting just .211, walking at a 4.4 percent rate, and sporting a pathetic 68 wRC+.

Sure, the three-time All-Star’s .215 BABIP (versus a career .291 rate) isn’t helping much. But Ramirez, who owns a career 42.3 wFA (fastball runs above average) per PITCHf/x, can’t seem to catch up with the fastball like he once did. At a mere minus-2.6 wFA thus far in 2015, Ramirez’s former bread and butter now looks more like, well, toast.

Food analogies aside, would Ramirez pose as an upgrade for the Mets at the hot corner? Continue reading

Why doesn’t Sandy Alderson realize Jon Niese’s value is so low?

According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Milwaukee Brewers may have rejected the New York Mets’ straight-up offer of Jon Niese for veteran third baseman Aramis Ramirez yesterday evening.

With the Brewers apparent desire to throw-in the towel on 2015, Ramirez – along with Matt Garza, Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, and Jean Segura – could potentially be had.

That is, not in exchange for Niese: a 28-year-old southpaw starting pitcher, who owns a career 3.90 ERA (versus a 3.68 xFIP) and 2.67 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.

Even though the left-handed pitcher’s 4.43 ERA (versus a 3.81 xFIP) to-date isn’t exactly dominant, Ramirez is batting just .213 with a park-adjusted 72 wRC+. Oh, and Ramirez is almost 37, and plans on retiring after the season.

This should be pretty embarrassing for the Mets’ front office.

So if there’s a consensus amongst general managers that Jon Niese’s value is so low, why hasn’t Sandy Alderson received the memo? Continue reading