Nov 10

DeGrom Wins NL Rookie Award; Seaver, Gooden Impresssed

The New York Mets took another step toward relevancy today when Jacob deGrom was named the NL Rookie of the Year.

He is the joining Tom Seaver (1967), Jon Matlack (1972), Darryl Strawberry (1983) and Dwight Gooden (1984). For those believing in omens, the Mets played in the World Series within two years of each previous winner.

DeGrom: Wins ROY.

DeGrom: Wins ROY.

DeGrom, 26, made 22 starts and won the NL Rookie Triple Crown leading NL rookies in strikeouts (144), ERA (2.69) and tying for the league lead with nine wins.

“I’m truly honored to receive this award and would like to thank the BBWAA,” said deGrom in a statement released by the team. “I wouldn’t have won if it wasn’t for the support of my teammates. I’m already looking forward to 2015 and helping the Mets reach the postseason.”

Said manager Terry Collins: “His journey has been unbelievable. When we promoted him he was supposed to go to the bullpen but an injury forced him into the rotation. This award speaks to Jacob’s determination and desire to succeed.”

His competitive nature was noticed by Gooden and Seaver. Eye-popping was when he struck out eight straight MIami Marlins to open a September 15 game.  He had four double-digit strikeout games during the season and set a rookie franchise-record, pitching 67.1 innings from June 5-August 7 without allowing a home run.

“When I saw that he had struck out eight straight I just said to myself ‘Wow, this guy almost broke my record and all of his were to start the game,’” said Seaver in a statement released by the Mets. Seaver holds the major league record with 10 straight strikeouts at any point during a game.

“That’s impressive. I made sure to find his box score whenever he pitched.”

Said Gooden: “I was fortunate enough to see him pitch a few times at Citi Field. What impressed me the most was that every time he got into a tough situation he always made the pitch he needed to get out of the jam. I love the way he competes.”

It’s that poise that makes deGrom in the Mets’ young pitching core along with Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard.

Perhaps the hardest thing for any rookie pitcher is to develop a chemistry with his catcher. That wasn’t a problem,

“He is enjoyable to catch because he is always around the strike zone,” said catcher Travis d’Arnaud. “I just hold up my glove and he hits the mitt. He never gets rattled no matter the situation. He’s just going to get better and better.”

o say deGrom could be the next Seaver or Gooden is a stretch, but there is a lot to like about him and it isn’t farfetched  to say he’s ahead of Wheeler,

What was most impressive about deGrom was his composure and ability to command his secondary pitchers. These are things Wheeler must improve. Wheeler also has a tendency to run up his pitch count, frequently forcing an early exit. The Mets could count on deGrom getting into the sixth inning.

A ninth-round pick in the 2010 amateur draft, deGrom made the first of his 22 starts, May 15, and made an immediate impression by giving up just one run in seven innings in a 1-0 loss to the Yankees. He gave us a glimpse of his 96-mph. fastball and darting slider with six strikeouts and only walked one and gave up four hits.

DeGrom turned out to be the kind of workhorse the Mets need by working into the sixth or longer in 19 starts. Ten times he took a game into the seventh or longer.

DeGrom worked 140.1 innings this year, but in this era of pitcher preservation – not recognized by the Giants and Madison Bumgarner – he was pulled from his last start against Houston.

“Obviously, I wanted to make my last one, but they talked to me about it,’’ deGrom said at the time. “The decision was made for me not to, and to end the year healthy. I respect that decision and I look forward to next year.’’

The decision was made in large part by a season-low 92 mph., in his proceeding start against Atlanta, and Collins said. The lower speed is indicative of a tiring arm.

“We explained the big picture,’’ Collins said. “One more start isn’t going to vary any votes. One more start isn’t going to show everybody that he belongs here.

“One more start could lead to some trouble. The big picture was to make sure when this season was over that those five [rotation] guys were going to be healthy. We think we’ve reached that point.’’

By votes, Collins meant from the Baseball Writers Association, which concludes its voting after the season. Postseason performance is not included, for one reason it gives some players a larger body of work. For example, if the postseason were included, Bumgarner would easily win the NL Cy Young over the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw.

The other National League candidates are Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton and St. Louis’ Kolten Wong. Hamilton fizzled at the end and Wong wasn’t a clear-cut standout, although he was impressive in the postseason.

Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox was a unanimous winner in the American League, beating out the Yankees’ Dellin Betances and the Angels’ Matt Shoemaker.

 
Nov 10

Breaking News: deGrom Wins NL Rookie Award

The New York Mets took another step toward relevancy today when Jacob deGrom was named the NL Rookie of the Year.

He is the fifth Met to win the award, joining Tom Seaver (1967), Jon Matlack (1972), Darryl Strawberry (1983) and Dwight Gooden (1984). For those believing in omens, the Mets played in the World Series within two years of each previous winner.

DeGrom, 26, made 22 starts and won the NL Rookie Triple Crown leading NL rookies in strikeouts (144), ERA (2.69) and tying for the league lead with nine wins.

“I’m truly honored to receive this award and would like to thank the BBWAA,” said deGrom in a statement released by the team. “I wouldn’t have won if it wasn’t for the support of my teammates. I’m already looking forward to 2015 and helping the Mets reach the postseason.”

Said manager Terry Collins: “His journey has been unbelievable.  When we promoted him he was supposed to go to the bullpen but an injury forced him into the rotation. This award speaks to Jacob’s determination and desire to succeed.”

DeGrom was named the NL Rookie of the Month for July and for September by Major League Baseball and went 6-1 with a 2.16 ERA (16 earned runs/66.2 innings) in 10 starts after the All-Star break.

NOTE: Update to follow.

 

Nov 10

Mets Sign Cuddyer to Two-Year Deal

Boy, do I feel like a dope. Several days after saying it couldn’t happen, the New York Mets today announced the club signed outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a two-year contract, $21.3 million contract.

It’s a good move because it adds consistency in the middle of the order. Cuddyer, 35, was given a $15.3 million qualifying offer. The Mets got him because they were willing to give him two years.

CUDDYER: Fills outfield need. (Sporting News)

CUDDYER: Fills outfield need. (Sporting News)

“Michael is a tremendous addition to the middle of our lineup,’’ Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson said in a statement released by the team. “He is a proven offensive threat who also brings versatility in the field with the ability to play multiple positions.’’

In signing Cuddyer, the Mets will give up the 15th overall draft pick.

Speaking from the GM meetings in Phoenix, assistant GM John Ricco told ESPN: “I don’t think it’s any secret that we’re looking to improve offensively, and there’s not a lot of options out there on the free-agent market or even in the trade market. Based on what we’ve learned, at least to this point, it’s going to be pretty pricey.

“We thought this was a way to clearly upgrade our team and our lineup. … [General manager] Sandy [Alderson] has talked about we’re looking to turn the corner here and start to compete in 2015. I think this is a message that we’re going to be aggressive. Right out of the box we had a guy we liked, and we went and got him.”

In doing so, they filled their need for a right-handed bat in right field. The signing also leaves Matt den Dekker and Kirk Nieuwenhuis on the bench.

Cuddyer is 35 and a two-time All-Star. His best year was in 2013 when he was NL batting champion (.331) with Colorado.

Cuddyer represents consistency and versatility as he can play the outfield, and first and third base. He might be a better right fielder than left, and it is possible Curtis Granderson could move to left.

He’s not the big bopper people might think, but averages 21 homers.

 

 

Nov 07

Mets Matters: Duda To Play Outfield In Japan

It’s not surprising Lucas Duda was invited to play in the MLB All-Star tour in Japan, but what is head-scratching is he’ll play in the outfield, where he failed miserably with the Mets.

Make no mistake, this isn’t to be interpreted as a move toward returning him to left field. Won’t happen, said GM Sandy Alderson.

Duda started 223 games in the outfield, and last played left in left last April after Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson were injured.

It was a good idea at the time to play Duda in the outfield because the Mets were hoping Ike Davis would be able to play first base, but we know how that turned out.

WRIGHT UPDATE: The Mets announced David Wright’s continued improvement in the rehab of his left shoulder. Wright was examined at the Hospital for Special Surgery and is scheduled to resume baseball activities in early December.

As of now, Wright is expected to be ready for spring training barring any setbacks.

Wright’s season ended early because of stretched-out ligaments in his shoulder. Wright has built up the strength in his shoulder, but the ultimate test will be after he swings a bat.

It will only be then if surgery is to be ruled out.

METS INTERESTED IN RAMIREZ: Reports out of Chicago say the Mets are one of several teams interested in trading for All-Star Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexi Ramirez.

Ramirez made the All-Star team last season, and hit .273 with 15 homers, 74 RBI and 21 steals.

Ramirez is signed for $10 million in 2015 with a $10-million team option for the following year.

 

Nov 05

Mets’ 2015 Promotional Schedule

The New York Mets today announced the popular weekend promotions Free Shirt Fridays, Saturday Concerts and Fireworks and Family Sundays will return in 2015. The Mets also announced that single game tickets go on sale Friday, November 21 at 10:00 a.m. at Mets.com/Tickets and (718) 507-TIXX. Tickets start at $11.

Highlights include Opening Day vs. the Philadelphia Phillies Monday, April 13 at 1:10 p.m.; Weekend series vs. the Boston Red Sox August 28-30 and the Subway Series vs. the New York Yankees on the weekend of September 18-20. An exclusive presale for Citi card members starts Monday, November 17 at 10:00 a.m. at Mets.com/CitiPreSale. Fans are also encouraged to utilize their Citi ThankYou Preferred Card on all Mets offers throughout the season as they will receive 2 points for every dollar spent on all dining out and entertainment purchases.

Free Shirt Fridays – Designs below

On the following Friday dates, all fans will receive a uniquely designed Mets themed T-Shirt:

·         April 17 vs. Miami Marlins (7:10 p.m.)

·         May 1 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.)

·         May 15 vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7:10 p.m.)

·         May 29 vs. Miami Marlins (7:10 p.m.)

·         June 12 vs. Atlanta Braves (7:10 p.m.)

·         June 26 vs. Cincinnati Reds (7:10 p.m.)

·         July 10 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (7:10 p.m.)

·         July 24 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (7:10 p.m.)

·         July 31 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.)

·         August 14 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (7:10 p.m.)

·         August 28 vs. Boston Red Sox (7:10 p.m.)

·         September 18 vs. New York Yankees (7:10 p.m.)

·         October 2 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m. – Fan vote for shirt design)

 Saturday Post-Game Concerts – June 27, July 25 and August 15

Three Saturday home games will feature post-game concerts: June 27 vs. the Cincinnati Reds (time TBA), July 25 vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers (7:10 p.m.), and August 15 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates (7:10 p.m.). The 2015 Mets Concert Series headliners will be announced in the coming weeks.

The performances will begin approximately 20 minutes after the conclusion of the game from a stage in the outfield behind second base.  Admission to the concert is included in the price of the game ticket.

Fireworks – April 18, August 1 and September 19

There will be three fireworks nights in 2015 following Saturday night games on April 18 vs. the Miami Marlins (7:10 p.m.), August 1 vs. the Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.) and September 19 vs. the New York Yankees (7:10 p.m.)

Fireworks will be launched from Citi Field’s roof and the centerfield grass, providing a 360-degree experience for fans throughout the ballpark.

Saturday Premium Giveaways

At the following Saturday games, the first 15,000 fans will receive the following premium giveaway items:

·         May 2 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.) – Jacob deGrom Garden Gnome presented by Gold’s Horseradish

·         May 16 vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7:10 p.m.) – Mets Fedora

·         May 30 vs. Miami Marlins (Time TBA) – Beach Towel

·         June 13 vs. Atlanta Braves (7:10 p.m.) – David Wright Replica Jersey

·         July 11 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (Time TBA) – Juan Lagares Bobblehead presented by Geico

·         August 29 vs. Boston Red Sox (7:10 p.m.) – 1986 World Series Championship Bobblehead presented by Caesars

·         Oct. 3 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.) – Mets Fleece Blanket

Family Sundays

Every Sunday home game is “Family Sunday” at Citi Field. Beginning at 11:00 a.m. on the Mets Plaza, adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, there are Mets featured family-friendly activities including kids inflatables, face painters, balloon artists, entertainment and a postgame Mr. Met Dash when kids 12 and under can come down onto the field and run the bases, weather permitting.

The following is the complete list of promotions on Sundays.  Promotional items will be given out to the first 15,000 fans.  All Sunday games are scheduled to start at 1:10 p.m.

·         April 19 vs. Miami Marlins (1:10 p.m.) – David Wright Schedule Poster presented by Citi

·         May 3 vs. Washington Nationals (1:10 p.m.) – MLB Network Tote Bag

·         May 17 vs. Milwaukee Brewers (1:10 p.m.) – Zack Wheeler Magnet Card

·         May 31 vs. Miami Marlins (1:10 p.m.) – Kids Sunglasses

·         June 14 vs. Atlanta Braves (1:10 p.m.) – Cap giveaway presented by Nathan’s Famous

·         June 28 vs. Cincinnati Reds (1:10 p.m.) – Lucas Duda Growth Chart Poster

·         July 12 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (1:10 p.m.) – Jersey Drawstring Bag

·         July 26 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (1:10 p.m.) – Curtis Granderson Wall Decal presented by Citi

·         August 2 vs. Washington Nationals (1:10 p.m.) – Player poster

·         August 16 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (1:10 p.m.) – Travis d’Arnaud Magnet Card

·         August 30 vs. Boston Red Sox (1:10 p.m.) – W.B. Mason Toy Truck

·         September 20 vs. New York Yankees (1:10 p.m.) – Player Wall Decal

·         October 4 vs. Washington Nationals (1:10 p.m.) – 2016 Schedule Magnet (all fans)

Times for Saturday and Sunday games may change, subject to Major League Baseball’s national broadcast agreements with FOX and ESPN.