Mar 23

Matz Sends Mixed Message

After his last start, I wrote it might not be the worse thing for Steven Matz to open the season in the minor leagues. I’m thinking pretty much the same thing after last night’s mixed-message loss to the Yankees.

MATZ: Preseason puzzle. (AP)

MATZ: Preseason puzzle. (AP)

Matz was hit for five runs in the second inning, but regrouped to retire the final seven batters he faced. On one hand, you always want to see a pitcher recover, which Matz undoubtedly did. However, the better thing is to not get in trouble in the first place.

And, let’s face it, an 8.31 ERA this spring means he’s been getting into a lot of trouble.

“You try to work on stuff, but at the same time you’re facing the New York Yankees,” Matz told reporters in Tampa. “So that stuff is going to happen. But I’m pretty happy how I bounced back there. I got some results the last few batters.”

Matz was visibly upset after his last outing. His emotions were in check last night, and that’s a positive sign. Very positive.

“That’s another thing I’ve been working on – just trying to stay level out there,” Matz said. “I know last time I got frustrated. This time that was huge for me to come back out there and get some hitters out after that and keep my composure. … I see Matt [Harvey] and Jacob [deGrom] out there, and they don’t let stuff affect them out there. And that’s why they’re really, really successful. I try to take that stuff from them and use it in my game as well.”

After his previous start, manager Terry Collins said he wasn’t sure Matz was in prime pitching shape. Matz said his conditioning shouldn’t be an issue.

“I really do feel ready,” Matz said. “I had one bad inning this time out but, like I said, I bounced back from it. It’s the stuff you’re going to deal with during the season, too.”

The Mets have options – Logan Verrett and Rafael Montero – should they opt to leave Matz behind. I think that’s what they should do, but I don’t see Collins and GM Sandy Alderson going in that direction.

However, this much I do know, Matz needs to show a lot more if the Mets are to get to where they want to go.

May 12

Mets Game Thread: Cubs Solve Syndergaard

It was fun while it lasted for the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard, but his luck ran out in the sixth when he gave up a RBI double to Starlin Castro and Chris Coghlan followed with a two run homer.

Syndergaard’s final line was three runs on six hits, and four walks with six strikeouts in 5.1 innings. He showed signs of being overpowering, but his command was off as evidenced by only 56 of his 103 pitches were for strikes.

Of course, the Mets getting just one hit through seven innings hasn’t helped their cause.

Cubs 5, Mets 0 (8th)

Nov 24

Mets’ Shortstop Question Defines Winter

To get an accurate read on how the New York Mets feel about themselves, look no further than their handling of the shortstop position.

It’s an oversimplification to call them cheap for not going after Troy Tulowitzki because the asking price, both in what the Rockies would demand in players and the salary the Mets would have to pay would have been exorbitant.

Everybody, of course, knows the Red Sox are always serious about winning, so signing Hanley Ramirez is something in the Boston’s DNA.

The Mets won’t go that high-end, but there is talk they might go after Stephen Drew, but he’s not the missing piece to their puzzle. He might be a better, more experienced and expensive alternative to Wilmer Flores.

However, is Drew the player the Mets want to build around? He might cost them $4 million, but if he proves himself he would likely walk after 2015 and the Mets – who deem themselves competitive this year – would be searching for a new shortstop next year.

And, teams considering themselves contenders aren’t usually in the market for a shortstop.

Alexei Ramirez or Starlin Castro have been linked to the Mets, but they don’t want to surrender their young pitching.

That brings us full circle to their shortstop at the end of last, which is Flores. He represents their least expensive option. He could also be their future, if they were to give him a full shot at the position.

And, if it didn’t work out, then they could always go get a shortstop next year.

Meet the new winter, just like the old one.