May 09

Today’s Question: Any Leftover Feelings By Wheeler For Giants?

At one time, Zack Wheeler was the hot property of the San Francisco Giants, destined to join a rotation of Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. But, to return to the World Series in 2011, the Giants needed a big bat.

That turned out to be Carlos Beltran, and prior to Noah Syndergaard, that was GM Sandy Alderson’s biggest deal.

Wheeler is 1-1 in three starts lifetime against his former team, but some players have long memories when it comes to being traded, so, other getting the Mets going again, what’s in his motivational tank?

In his last start, May 4 at Atlanta, he allowed one run in three innings before the game was eventually washed away. If you’re thinking Citi Field is a motivator, it could be in the opposite fashion. Wheeler is 6-12 lifetime, including 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA this year.

 

 

 

 

May 08

Mets Wrap: Mets Show Resiliency

For the second time in eight days, the Mets got back to their feet after taking what could have been a knockout punch. Tonight they responded from Matt Harvey’s latest brush with immaturity, while a week ago today they responded from losing Noah Syndergaard and by 17 runs to the Nationals.

WALKER: Raps game-winner. (AP)

WALKER: Raps game-winner. (AP)

Tonight, Neil Walker’s ninth-inning single carried the Mets 4-3 victory over the Giants to push the Harvey Soap Opera to the back burner. We’ll see how things are tomorrow when Harvey returns to Citi Field.

The Mets reached the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, both times overcoming a myriad of injuries and lengthy team hitting slump to play meaningful October baseball.

They are already facing the same obstacles this season but responded with a stretch of losing 10 of 11 by winning seven of ten.

“You can’t let things linger, you have to move on,” manager Terry Collins said, referring to both Syndergaard’s injury and Harvey’s latest. “We have a great bunch. They are a group of veteran guys. They don’t let down.”

Collins said a win like tonight can be built on to define a season.

“It can,” Collins said. “Yesterday was a tough day. They showed up today and got after it. You have to be resilient in this game. You have to deal with it.”

DeGROM OFF: With Syndergaard on the 60-day disabled list and no knowing where Harvey’s head or heart is located, it’s up to Jacob deGrom to lead what was supposed to be a dominating staff.

Actually, the marquee staff of deGrom, Syndergaard, Harvey, Steve Matz (on the disabled list) and today’s starter Zack Wheeler have never gone through the rotation in order.

DeGrom struck out at least ten for the fourth time in five starts, but walked three and gave up homers to Hunter Pence and Buster Posey in six innings.

By definition, it was a quality start, but deGrom was having none of that talk: “It was better than the last one, but there were still walks and I didn’t get the ball down like I wanted to. If I could figure out I would. I left two balls up and they hit it over the fence.”

MILONE TO START: Newly-acquired Tommy Milone will start Wednesday in the series finale against the Giants. Milone will replace Rafael Montero.

CESPEDES UPDATE: Collins said Yoenis Cespedes reports his hamstring is feeling better, but he is still at least ten days from resuming baseball activities and two weeks from getting in a game.

If you recall, when Cespedes was placed on the disabled list, Alderson said he could be back by May 8, which, of course, is today.

 

May 08

Today’s Question: What Will Harvey Say?

The Mets suspended Matt Harvey for three days Sunday and sent him home before he could address the media. When Harvey shows up at Citi Field this afternoon making today’s question an obvious one: What will he say? What is his version of what happened?

HARVEY: Is he walking away from Mets? (AP)

HARVEY: Is he walking away from Mets? (AP)

Of course, there will be the obvious follow-up questions. What does he hope to gain by filing a grievance with the Players Association? Does he believe his relationship with the Mets has been irreparably damaged? Why does controversy always swirl around him? Whom did he try to reach with the Mets? Does he even want to be a Met? What was his golf score Saturday, and was he in a group with Yoenis Cespedes?

I have no idea of what he will say, but considering his track record of controversy since 2013, it is hard to give him benefit of the doubt. Do you think he deserves it?

I wrote as early as 2013 he was becoming a headache, and as soon as the next summer he was wearing out his welcome and the Mets should explore trading him because I didn’t think he would re-sign when he becomes a free agent after the 2018 season and nothing has happened to make me change my mind.

Harvey has always been a me-first diva and has a lot of explaining to do to make me think otherwise. For those who don’t agree with me, well, that’s fine. But, consider this. That the fans, media, manager and general manager, have pretty much let Harvey call his own shots without consequence has lead him to think he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

May 07

Mets Wrap: Harvey Puts Onus On Wilk

In his April 27 start against Atlanta to replace the injured Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey complained he wasn’t given enough time to prepare.

So, what did Harvey do?

WILK: Put in tough spot. (AP)

WILK: Put in tough spot. (AP)

He did the same thing to Adam Wilk, but on a larger, more selfish scale. With Harvey suspended for three days without pay, the Mets had to call up Wilk, who took the Red Eye from Albuquerque, New Mexico and arrived in New York at 8:45 this morning.

“It was pretty interesting,” Wilk told reporters of his Magical Mystery Tour itinerary that started in Las Vegas and went to Denver to Albuquerque to Los Angeles to New York.

“I tried to get as much sleep as I could. I don’t want to make any excuses; I didn’t make good enough pitches. … I wouldn’t say I was off. I put everything into it that I had.”

Wilk gave up six runs – five earned – in 3.2 innings. His stint including giving up a pair of home runs to Giancarlo Stanton and one to Adeiny Hechavarria.

The Mets supported their newest teammate with all of one hit as they were shut out for the first time this year.

A likely scenario for Wilk is to be optioned back to Vegas.

METS EXTEND SEWALD: A day after saying he couldn’t afford to use his relievers for more than one inning, Collins stayed with Paul Sewald for at least two innings. Sewald gave the Mets 3.1 innings today, throwing 59 pitches.

With Sewald not likely to pitch for at least two games, don’t be surprised if they send him back to Vegas.

POSITIVE CABRERA NEWS: Mets GM Sandy Alderson said the MRI taken on Asdrubal Cabrera’s injured left thumb showed no ligament damage. This makes it likely he’ll have a shorter recovery time meaning top prospect Amed Rosario will not be brought up.

“The good news is it doesn’t have any tear,” Collins said.

The Mets have not yet put Cabrera on the disabled list, meaning they’ll play shorthanded. With the 10-day disabled list available to them, this could be a questionable decision by Alderson.

By not calling up Rosario prior to June, he will become a Super 2, it means he will be eligible for four years of salary arbitration instead of three.

As of now, the plan is to use Jose Reyes at shortstop and Wilmer Flores at third base.

FLUSHING POWER: Stanton’s two homers gave him 20 hit at Citi Field, which prompted Gary Cohen to pose this trivia question: Stanton’s 20 ties him with Yoenis Cespedes, but who are the seven players with more homers?

Answer: Lucas Duda, David Wright, Curtis Granderson, Ike Davis, Flores and Reyes.

METS CLAIM PITCHER: The Mets claimed left-hander Tommy Milone on waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers.

In six games, three of them starts, Milone is 1-0 with a 6.43 ERA and an astounding 1.476 WHIP. He’s not exactly a power pitcher, with 16 strikeouts in 21 innings.

“`His background is as a starting pitcher, so we’ll look at that,” Collins said.

It is presumed he will replace Rafael Montero in the rotation.

UP NEXT: Here’s the rotation for the Mets-Giants series, starting Monday at Citi Field.

Monday, 7:10 p.m., Jacob deGrom (2-1, 3.68) vs. LHP Matt Moore (1-4, 6.75); Tuesday, 7:10 p.m., Zack Wheeler (1-2, 4.78) vs. RHP Jeff Samardzjia (0-4, 5.03); Wednesday, 1:10 p.m., TBA vs. Matt Cain (2-1, 4.70).

There exists a possibility Harvey might come off his three-day suspension to start in place of Rafael Montero, but Collins would not commit to that.

ON DECK LATER TODAY: More on Harvey.

May 06

Will Cabrera Injury Open Way For Rosario?

Mets GM Sandy Alderson said if all the signs are aligned, then yes, Amed Rosario could be brought up if shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is placed on the disabled list with a thumb injury. Already slowed by hamstring and knee problems, Cabrera seemingly jammed his left thumb attempting to make a diving stop in the third inning of tonight’s 11-3 Mets’ rout of Miami at Citi Field.

CABRERA: Thumb injury shelves shortstop. (NY Daily News)

CABRERA: Thumb injury shelves shortstop. (NY Daily News)

Alderson said X-Rays were negative and Cabrera will have an MRI Sunday.

Previously, Alderson said he didn’t want to elevate Rosario this early to maintain the leverage of keeping him away from arbitration and free agency for another year. However, Alderson insisted the Mets’ immediate on-field issues take precedent.

“If we have a need at this point in the season, would we consider it? Yes,” Alderson told SNY during a rain delay.

Rosario, the Mets’ highest-rated position player prospect, is hitting .381 with a .927 OPS at Triple-A Las Vegas. A downside of bringing up Rosario now, is that if Cabrera is able to play relatively soon, what would happen to the prospect? Certainly, they won’t sit Jose Reyes, who is sizzling, and they don’t want Rosario to sit in the majors.

“It is nice to be put in a situation where there are expectations,” manager Terry Collins told reporters of a possible promotion. “If he comes up here, he’ll need to play.”

Of course, with Cabrera out, it would enable Reyes – who isn’t thrilled at third base – to move back to shortstop and play Wilmer Flores at third base. Collins said that is the immediate plan without Rosario.

The Mets toyed with the idea of switching Cabrera and Reyes, but the former wasn’t agreeable to the idea.

While I am anxious to see Rosario like everybody else, knowing how the Mets to things, they won’t bring him up now, especially when they have options.

ON DECK LATER TONIGHT: Mets Wrap: Offense Keeps Humming