New York Mets: What is Next After Missing Out On Brad Hand?

On Sunday, the New York Mets surpsingly lost out on Brad Hand to the Washington Nationals on a one-year, $10.5 million deal. Hand joined the Nationals because he will serve as their closer, an opportunity he would not have received with the Mets. With Hand off the board, who is the lefty that will join the bullpen?

Hand would have made a tremendous addition in the Mets bullpen but would only set-up Edwin Diaz. If the Mets paid more than $10.5 million, they could have easily signed him. There is no point in offering closer money to use Hand before the ninth while other roster needs to be filled. Fans may complain about missing out, but the Mets did all they could to land him.

Three Good Left Handed Options

1. Justin Wilson

Justin Wilson is seen as plan-B for the Mets bullpen, and they know him very well. Despite little chatter surrounding Wilson, he is a very underrated part of a strong bullpen. Wilson had a 2.97 ERA, with 67 strikeouts over 58.2 innings during his two seasons with the Mets. He was a key part of the bullpen due to his ability to get righties and lefties out and sign for around $4 million-$5 million.

2. Aaron Loup

Aaron Loup made great work of his opportunity with the Tampa Bay Rays during the 2020 season. Loup had a 2.52 ERA in 24 games and had four scoreless appearances against the Houston Astros in the ALCS. He does not possess Wilson’s swing and miss stuff but was great at limiting walks (4 in 25 IP). Loup also produces plenty of ground balls with his heavy sinker. He would bring another great veteran presence to the bullpen.

3. Chasen Shreve

When the Mets non-tendered Chasen Shreve, it came as a huge surprise because of his solid 2020. Shreve emerged as a multiple innings reliever and had the best strikeouts rate of his career. His fastball/split-finger combination propelled him to a 12.2 K/9. Shreve’s 37.8% whiff rate also finished in the top four percent of all pitchers in baseball. He is much bigger of a risk because of his lesser track record, but it is worth considering. If partnered with Wilson again, the Mets could rekindle Shreve’s 2020 success.


New York Mets Non-Tendered Four Players On Wednesday

As 8:00 p.m. struck on Wednesday struck the New York Mets had some big decisions to make regarding their roster’s future. The deadline to tender contracts for most of their roster came and went. Things went as expected with a couple of small surprises from the Mets front office.

Before anything else, the Mets brought back Steven Matz and Guillermo Heredia on one-year contracts. Matz’s contract is not guaranteed, and the Mets can release him by March 17 with the price slightly over 800k. This gives the Mets an insurance policy to give Matz a final shot to see if he can return to his 2019 form without wasting regular-season games on him.

Who is Going Home?

The most notable non-tender goes to Chasen Shreve, who had a surprisingly good season. Shreve had a 3.96 ERA and emerged as a solid long relief pitcher for the Mets. Letting Shreve walk leaves Daniel Zamora as the only left-handed reliever on the 40-man roster. Thinking ahead, a reliever like Brad Hand would be a suitable upgrade to Shreve in the bullpen.

Ariel Jurado and Nick Tropeano were former GM Brodie Van Wagenen acquisitions that will not return in 2021. Jurado made one dreadful start in 2020, while Tropeano was claimed off waivers in October. While Jurado was a waste of a trade, Tropeano would have been an interesting arm in the bullpen.

Paul Sewald also got the boot after spending four seasons up and down from AAA to the big leagues. He finished his Mets career with a 5.50 roster in 125 games with a dreadful 1-14 pitching record.

Out of all players to receiver a tender, Robert Gsellman is the most surprising. Gsellman has a 5.03 ERA over the last four seasons and has dealt with rough injuries over the last two seasons. He provides depth as a swingman in the bullpen, but he currently is the odd-man-out in the current bullpen makeup.

New York Mets Player Evaluations: Pitcher Chasen Shreve

Chasen Shreve made his return to NY baseball but this time it was with the New York Mets. Shreve came in with low expectations but ended up becoming one of the key relievers in the bullpen. His rediscovered split-finger was revived and it helped guide him to success.

Shreve pitched multiple innings early in the season and his success made him a valuable long man option for manager Luis Rojas. Shreve was also a nightmare against lefties, they had a better chance of walking than getting a hit. They hit just .063 with both hits coming as home runs, making it a real hit or miss against Shreve.

Diamond in the Rough

The Mets were careful to limit his usage due to 9 of his first 13 outings being four outs or more. It paid great dividends as he had a 1.99 ERA in 25.1 innings with 29 strikeouts and a .167 batting average against. Shreve’s newfound role caught up to him as he allowed seven runs (six earned) in his final four innings.

For a pitcher who only threw in the low 90s, Shreve’s fastball was a good one. Batters only hit .206 but it was where Shreve was hurt the most, with a .506 slugging. The split-finger was his out pitch, resulting in a 55.1% whiff rate and 28 of his 36 strikeouts. The xba was .156 and was his equalizer for having a lack of velocity.

Shreve’s success is sustainable because his 3.99 FIP was almost equal to his 3.96 ERA and his contact rates were on par with the majority of his career. The Mets should give Shreve another opportunity to earn a role in the bullpen. He will be under contract for one million dollars in 2021.

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Fastball: 65 (55), His key was his ability to move it in and out of the zone. The lower locations also helped him as well.

Split-Finger: 80 (80): Almost 50 inches of drop according to baseball savant.

Slider: 45 (35), Only threw 34 of them and mainly to lefties.

Command: 55 (50), Good command of the split but still 4.3 BB/9.

Overall: 60 (55), Hope he remains in the bullpen for 2021.

New York Mets: Cano and Alonso Power Mets to an 11-4 Victory

New York Mets, Pete Alonso

The New York Mets desperately needed a good victory after a three-game sweep in Philadelphia. Even more than that, Pete Alonso needed a tremendous offensive day as well. Alonso and Robinson Cano combined for two home runs each and drove in six of the Mets runs in an 11-4 victory over the first-place Miami Marlins.

The Mets offense needed a good breakout game. They went 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position, and despite leaving 12 runners on base, the extra hits in those situations make a significant difference. Their offense put together nine extra-base hits and seven walks to consistently keep the Marlins in tough situations.

Alonso reached base in all five plate appearances, tallying a single and two walks with his two home runs. Cano tallied three hits and drove in four RBIs on the night, moving his average to a blistering .412. Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario joined the multiple hits club with a single and double each.

Shreve Saves the Day

Robert Gsellman struggled for his second straight start. He only lasted 1.2 innings, allowing one run and labored through 47 pitches. Chasen Shreve came in after Gsellman and stabilized the game when it seemed like the Marlins were coming back from a 3-1 deficit. Shreve pitched 2.1 perfect innings and struck out five of the seven batters he faced. His outing saved the Mets from using an excess amount of relievers and allowed the Mets to build up their lead from that point.

The victory got the Mets their 10th win of the season and moved them within three games of a playoff spot. With their two best starters lineup to pitch, they are in a good position to climb themselves out of their early-season hole.

David Peterson takes the mound for the Mets on Tuesday night against a Marlins starter to be announced. The first pitch from Marlins Park takes place at 7:10 p.m. ET.


New York Mets: Late Comeback Wasn’t Enough in 4-3 Loss

New York Mets, Brandon Nimmo

If there were a baseball version of the movie “The Replacements,” the Miami Marlins would be perfect for the role. After COVID-19 ran rampant through their entire roster, they went deep into their 60-man player pool to move to 7-1 with their 4-3 win against the New York Mets. 

The Mets’ inability to capitalize on their biggest scoring opportunity is the biggest reason why they fell to 5-9 on the season. After a run-scoring error and a J.D. Davis RBI single, the Mets had the bases loaded with only one out.

Dominic Smith had a solo-homer on the night but failed to hit a deep enough fly ball to get the tying run across. Wilson Ramos followed him with a lined shot up the middle, but Eddy Alvarez was able to knock it down. Ramos moves similarly to the average NFL offensive lineman, and it was an easy out for Ramirez to make.

An overlooked play in the game came during the third inning when Michael Conforto blooped a double into left field. Brandon Nimmo was the runner on first and did not notice when the ball trickled past left fielder Corey Dickerson. Instead of keeping his eyes on the ball, he assumed Dickerson would field the ball cleanly and slid into third instead of easily scoring. The mistake ended up being part of the difference in the loss.

One-Bad Inning

Michael Wacha wishes he could make the second inning of his start disappear. After striking out the side in the first inning, he allowed all four runs of the game in that second inning. There was a noticeable dip in velocity from in his fastball, which contributed to the poor second inning. Wacha was around 96-97 in the first but dropped a couple of miles per hour after.

Wacha adjusted after that and had a high strikeout game, recording nine of them on the night. He even struck out four in a row at one point, giving the Mets a bright ending to what looked like a poor start.

One of the Marlins replacements was their starter, Humberto Mejia. The rookie never pitched an inning above high-A but held his own in a bullpen game for the Marlins. Six of the seven outs he recorded were strikeouts, and despite sitting around 92-93 with his fastball, the Mets could not touch it.

A couple of positive for the Mets came from Chasen Shreve and Pete Alonso. Shreve gave the Mets 2.1 innings following Wacha, only allowing one walk and striking out five. His ERA is 2.84 an impressive 14.21 K/9 in 6.1 innings this season.

Alonso is slowly getting himself out of his season-long slump. He continued trending upwards, lining a double off the center-field fence, and recording a single to the opposite field. Most importantly is Alonso making use of the whole field and letting his power come naturally.

The Marlins have not announced a starter for Saturday’s matchup, but whoever it is will be facing David Peterson. The rookie is making his home debut and looks to continue his strong start to the season. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m ET.

New York Mets Find Their Offense and Wacha Shines in 7-4 Win

The New York Mets only needed four innings to surpass their scoring total from the first three games of the season. They did all of their scoring during innings 2-4 and used three home runs to fuel their 7-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox. The win was also Michael Wacha‘s first in a Mets uniform.

Two-run home runs from Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso in the second and third inning got things started. Both were monster shots but in different ways. Conforto’s traveled 434-feet while Alonso’s was a missile coming off the bat at 116 mph. Dominic Smith added a three-run homer in the fourth to extend the Mets lead to seven. Wilson Ramos also added a double and single to the Mets offense.

Splendid Debut

Michael Wacha had an opposite debut to Rick Porcello. He gave the Mets five strong innings, allowing five hits, striking out four and the only run coming on a Mitch Moreland home run. Wacha kept the Red Sox off balance throughout his start, using his changeup and cutter very effectively. It is a good sign for the Mets rotation, which had significant concerns after Porcello’s disastrous start.

Chasen Shreve pitched two innings following Wacha with the only blemish coming on a Xander Bogaerts home run. The line for Jeurys Familia was uglier than it was during the game. Outside of a Rafael Devers double, the Red Sox did not do too much damage.

A groundball Jeff McNeil could have thrown home in a closer game resulted in an out, and the other hit came on a seeing-eye single up the middle. Familia’s control was not as sharp as it was during his first outing, but his slider was very sharp.

Seth Lugo cleaned up the mess in the eighth and carried the momentum to the ninth inning to retired all four batters in his four-out save. Through the first two outings, it is evident that Lugo is already the best Mets reliever.

For Tuesday’s matchup, the Mets still have not named a starter as of 11 p.m. on Monday. The likeliest option is either David Peterson to make his MLB debut or a bullpen game. Whoever pitches will be opposed by Matt Hall from the Red Sox. The first pitch is at 7:30 p.m. ET.

New York Mets sign ex-Yankee Chasen Shreve

The New York Mets signed their first addition this offseason, ex-Yankee Chasen Shreve. He signed a minor-league deal with a spring training invite, meaning he’ll have the chance to compete for a bullpen spot.

Shreve spent three seasons in the Bronx before being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018, sending first basemen and slugger Luke Voit to the Yankees along with bonus pool money.

In his time in pinstripes, he was credited to a 4.07 ERA in the 140 games he appeared in. The left-hander has been up and down through the Major and Minor Leagues during his six-year career and has been with three clubs.

The last club he was on, the St. Louis Cardinals, Shreve appeared in only three games where he pitched a total of two innings.

The New York Mets could use Shreve in their struggling bullpen. He’s proven that he can get outs in the Major Leagues and flashes a unique arsenal for a left-handed. Mostly relying on his fastball, Shreve also works in a slider and a split-fingered fastball.

New York Mets Sign Chasen Shreve

New York Mets sign Chasen Shreve.

The New York Mets have made their first move of the offseason. They have signed Chasen Shreve to a minor league deal.

The Mets have signed a former Yankee to help their bullpen, according to Jon Heyman.

Shreve began his career with the Atlanta Braves, where his first manager was Mets’ bench coach candidate Fredi Gonzalez. In his rookie year, Shreve pitched to a 0.73 ERA and 1.43 FIP.

It’s been mostly downhill for Shreve since that moment. He was traded to the Yankees after his rookie deal for Manny Banuelos. He played for the Yankees from 2015 until the trade deadline in 2018. During that time Shreve had a 3.85 ERA, 5.03 FIP,  1.8 HR/9, 10.3 K/9, and 4.7 BB/9.

Shreve has found a way to succeed while being a true three outcome pitcher. Meaning the most likely outcome in any at-bat with Shreve on the mound is a strikeout, walk, or a home run.

Shreve pitched in only two innings for the Cardinals in 2019. He allowed two runs in those two innings. He spent the rest of the year in AAA where he was himself. He pitched to a 3.45 ERA, 4.28 FIP, .9 HR/9, 10.2 K/9, and 3.9 BB/9.

Shreve mostly uses two pitches, his fastball and his splitter. He throws those two pitches 86.5% of the time over his career. The issue is that Shreve lost two MPH on both pitches in 2019. That’s not a great indication that he could be due for a bounce-back year.

There is good news for Shreve though. For his career, he’s allowing just a 30.7% hard-hit rate. That’s very good, and would have been tied for second on the team in 2019 with Justin Wilson, the only one better was Luis Avilan who is now a free agent. That’s reason to believe that if Shreve can throw strikes that he could succeed as a major league reliever again.

The bad news is that since 2017 Shreve has become a fly ball pitcher. With home runs flying out of the park at a record rate Shreve’s fly ball tendencies should scare fans. The hope is likely that since Citi Field is a pitcher’s park and Shreve doesn’t tend to give up hard-hit balls the ball will stay in the park. That thinking might work, but it’s far from certain.

The last thing to know about Shreve is that he is not a LOOGY. Shreve is better versus righties (.223/.317/.433) than he is against lefties (.247/.337/.441).

This is the first move in a long offseason for the Mets. It’s good to see that the first move addresses the bullpen, but it’s not a move that should instill faith that the team is seriously looking to improve the embattled unit.

New York Yankees Player Preview: Chasen Shreve

The New York Yankees‘ second lefty in the bullpen is a someone who is overlooked because of all the dominant arms on the roster. Chasen Shreve is not a lefty specialist, but he has the ability to get right handed batters out with his devastating splitter.

Shreve would definitely be a 7th inning or a set-up man in many other bullpens. The true depth the Yankees have is unparalleled. Shreve had a solid season last year.

Shreve’s numbers last season:

3.77 ERA, 58 K, 25 BB, 0 SV


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Shreve was born in Las Vegas and attended Bonanza High School. During his time on the baseball team Shreve was selected to Nevada’s All-State Second team in his senior year. Shreve went on to play at the University of Nevada. He was selected by the Braves in the 11th round of the 2010 draft. During the 2015 off-season the lefty was traded to the Yankees from the Braves for Manny Banuelos.

Solid Bullpen Arm:

Shreve was a nice addition to the Yankees for the 2015 season. He was fantastic in his first 52 1/3 innings, but struggled in his last six innings of 2015. Many figured fatigue played a factor in his struggles, but McCann stated that he believed Shreve was tipping his pitches.

Shreve’s struggles continued to begin the 2016 season, as he had a 5.21 ERA in his first 19 appearances. He did spend time on the DL in 2016 and earned his first career major league save against the Royals on August 30.

Shreve returned to form last season. Before being sent down to Triple A , he posted a 2.77 ERA in 29 appearances. He was recalled on July 30 and finished the season strong. Shreve was on the Yankees Wild Card roster, but was not a part of the ALDS or ALCS roster.

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2018 Outlook:

Shreve will make the team out of spring training. He features a solid fastball, splitter and a slider. The splitter specialist will be used in games to get out both lefties and right hitting batters.

He can also be used as depth if the Yankees are forced into extra innings, or some pitchers need rest in the bullpen. Look for Shreve to be an important piece for Boone to use to in many different situations.

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New York Yankees: The Ellsbury Effect

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

With the start of the Major League regular season a week away, the New York Yankees have a decision that needs to be made:

Who is making the roster to replace the oft injured Jacoby Ellsbury? Jacoby was at one time and six hours North of the Bronx a very productive Major League ballplayer. However, throughout his time in the pinstripes, Ellsbury has been less than a shell of his former self.

Ellsbury has played for the Yankees across four seasons, in that time he has only managed to have one season above “replacement level” production (2014), according to Baseball Reference’s OPS+. 2014 was Jacoby’s first season in the Bronx and his last truly productive season.

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Now, with Ellsbury set to begin the season on the shelf, this opens up a spot on the 25-man roster to “Break Camp” with the team heading North. Manager Aaron Boone told members of the media that Tyler Wade has made the ball club. Many believe that he will be the starting second baseman on Opening Day in Toronto on March 29th.

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The Yankees current roster consists of:

Catchers: Gary Sanchez & Austin Romine
First Baseman: Greg Bird
Second Basemen: Tyler Wade & Neil Walker
Third Baseman: Brandon Drury
Shortstop: Didi Gregorius & Ronald Torreyes
Left Fielder: Brett Gardner
Center Fielder: Aaron Hicks
Right Fielders: Aaron Judge & Giancarlo Stanton
Starting Pitcher: Luis Severino, Mashiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray & Jordan Montgomery
Relief Pitchers: David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Tommy Kahnle, Chad Green, Adam Warren & Chasen Shreve
Closer: Aroldis Chapman

Who Gets A Shot ?

That gives you 24 out of 25 players to start out the 2018 season for the New York Yankees. The injury to Ellsbury leaves an opening. Some who have thought that it could have been someone like Tyler Austin who was having a tremendous Spring, but he was reassigned back to Minor League camp on March 21st before the Yankees game against the Orioles. This however does leave the opening for the starter in the same game…. Luis Cessa.

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Cessa has been up and down for the Yankees since his acquisition by the Yankees in December of 2015. Cessa has pitched 106 innings for the Yankees to the tune of a 4.49 era. Luis will have an opportunity to show what he has earlier in the season as the Yankees will have five straight games to open up the start of the regular season.

The injury to Ellsbury could have been the golden ticket to the Bronx for a premium talent like Clint Frazier, however, they both went down at similar times and have stayed out recovering. Clint won’t be getting that opportunity.

This season will be a defining point for Clint Frazier, as with the number of outfielders already on the Major League roster and an impending free agent who hasn’t been shy about stating his fandom for the Pinstripes looming. Frazier once healed up from his concussion must set the world by storm, if he has any hopes of staying in Pinstripes.

Lasting Impression:

Jacoby, much like Clint Frazier, has seen the writing on the wall. And while his contract is rather cumbersome, it’s not impossible to think GM Brian Cashman can sell his talents to another team and move his monetary obligations elsewhere.

Ellsbury’s injury will be a foreshadowing of the potential future the Yankees will have. If the first few weeks of the season pass and Ellsbury has not returned vying that 25th spot on the roster, he may be replaced by a rising prospect.

Jacoby Ellsbury will have a major effect on the Yankees success this season; when healthy he could be a productive fourth outfielder, if unhealthy his spot will provide the launching pad for the top prospects in the top sixth farm system in all of baseball.

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