New York Mets Finish Spring Training With a 3-3 Tie Against the Cardinals

Taijuan Walker gave the New York Mets one final hope that he will be a key stabilizer in their rotation with his start against the St. Louis Cardinals. Walker went five strong innings with only two runs allowed in the 3-3 tie. Manager Luis Rojas played most of his regulars but did all he could to ensure their good health going into Opening Day.

The first inning provided half of the scoring in the game. Pete Alonso put the Mets up 2-0 with an RBI double to cap off a spring where he hit .340 to go along with his majestic power. Nolan Arenado responded with a solo home run in the bottom half, which made it a 2-1 game. The Cardinals got to Walker again with a Matt Carpenter RBI single to knot the game at two.

After Walker left the game, Miguel Castro took over and continued to dominate. Castro hurled a 1-2-3 inning on just eight pitches and recorded a strikeout. Robert Gsellman followed and had his best outing after finding out he will make the Opening Day roster. Gsellman pitched a scoreless seventh, and Jerry Blevins did the same in the eighth.

Late Inning Effort

Mallex Smith‘s double gave the Mets a 3-2 lead in the eight, which led to Trevor Hildenberger’s save opportunity. Edmundo Sosa‘s solo home run tied the game and forced it to finish in a tie. The tie left the Mets with an 11-11-2 spring training record, and Francisco Lindor led the way with a .370 average in March. The big question remains whether Lindor will sign his long-term extension before the season begins or test next season’s free-agent market.

Opening Day on Thursday is the next time the Mets play baseball. They will keep themselves ready in Washington D.C. before Jacob deGrom makes his third consecutive Opening Day start. Max Scherzer makes his sixth Opening Day start and four in a row for the Washington Nationals.

Mets give roster spot to Robert Gsellman: ‘G’s stuff is there’

The New York Mets, valuing his ability to be a multi-inning reliever, decided to give one of their roster spots to right-handed reliever Robert Gsellman. He will join a talented unit that includes Edwin Diaz, Trevor May, Aaron Loup, Dellin Betances, Jeurys Familia, and a rehabbing Seth Lugo.

The decision comes on the week of the Mets opting not to give a spot to fellow swingman Mike Montgomery. The team knows that Gsellman hasn’t had a particularly good spring training, but they like where he is currently at stuff-wise.

The righty, who has been with the Mets for his entire five-year MLB tenure and has a 4.67 career ERA, has allowed 14 hits and five earned runs in eight frames during Grapefruit League play, with a couple of walks, four strikeouts, and a 5.63 ERA.

The Mets like his versatility

During the shortened 2020 season, Gsellman was needed in the rotation due to the rash of injuries on the Mets’ roster. In six total games (four starts), the 27-year old was bad, with a 9.64 ERA and 7.55 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) in 14 innings. He had 5.79 strikeouts per nine frames, and 5.14 BB/9. Home runs were a problem, as he had a 2.57 HR/9.

“Robert Gsellman was complimented by Rojas for his ‘stuff.’ Mets like that Gsellman can throw multiple innings, which led to their decision to add him to the Opening Day roster,” Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News wrote on Monday.

“G’s stuff is there. He can come in and do something that he’s done in the past, to help us win some games,” Mets’ manager Luis Rojas said, according to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.

The Mets also informed over the weekend that Jerry Blevins, a left-handed relief pitcher, didn’t make the team but will instead keep himself in shape at the team’s alternate training site.

New York Mets: Peterson Pitches Well, Bullpen Not So Much in 7-3 Loss

New York Mets, David Peterson

The New York Mets have some questions behind their quartet of top-tier relievers, and Robert Gsellman and Stephen Tarpley continued to heighten the need for reliable middle relievers. After a scoreless seventh inning, the Washington Nationals roughed up Gsellman in the eighth inning.

Josh Bell‘s majestic opposite solo home run tied the game at three and almost cleared the scoreboard. Gerardo Parra put the Nats in the lead with an RBI single giving them a 4-3 lead. They added a two-run homer from Luis Garcia and RBI single from Adrian Sanchez to complete the 7-3 victory.

David Peterson was in line for the win before the blown save from Gsellman. Peterson pitched six solid innings with four hits and two runs allowed. The Nats did a bulk of their damage during the fourth inning, with three hits and two runs in their top half. Singles from Josh Harrison and Hernan Perez were the only damage against the slender lefty. Peterson only struck out two but was very effective in the outing. He did not allow a hit for the first half of his start.

Manager Luis Rojas hopes to have a second lefty in the bullpen, but Tarpley squandered one of his final opportunities to make the roster. Tarpley allowed four hits and three runs, including the Garcia homer, and only retired one batter. Due to their rough outings, Gsellman and Tarpley made their route to the Opening Day roster bumpier. Tylor Megill came in and prevented more runs from being charged to Tarpley’s ledger in the ninth.

The Mets offense recorded 12 hits but only pushed 3 runs across. James McCann‘s RBI single provided the first run during the second inning. The other two runs came in the sixth when Dominic Smith lucked into an RBI triple on a dribbler that Bell misplayed at first base and J.D. Davis lined an RBI single over a drawn-in infield. McCann and Francisco Lindor were the two Mets with multiple hits on the night.

On Saturday, the Mets play another home game when the Houston Astros visit Clover Park. Bryan Abreu (1-0, 3.68 ERA) takes the mound against opener Jacob Barnes (0-1, 5.40 ERA). Barnes opens up for Joey Lucchesi for the 1:10 p.m. ET start on SNY.

 

Diaz (Not Edwin) Blows Save in Mets 3-2 Walk-Off Loss to Marlins

The New York Mets sent Joey Lucchesi to make his first start of the spring, and he headlined a game marked by pitching. In the 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins, Met fans had traumatic flashbacks of a “Diaz” allowing a walk-off home run.

Lucchesi was incredible as he continues to make his case to earn a starting spot. He pitched three hitless innings and struckout four Marlins. Through five innings, Lucchesi has only allowed three walks and punched out seven. Robert Gsellman followed with two innings out of the bullpen and his only blemish was a Jazz Chisholm solo homer.

Yennsy Diaz got the opportunity to record the save but a leadoff walk spelled trouble in the ninth. Joe Dunand made him pay with a line-drive two-run homer to walk it off for the Marlins. Dunand has put together a nice spring training. He is 5-for-17 with two home runs and six runs batted in.

The Mets bats were quiet after an impressive offensive output against the Houston Astros. Albert Almora provided the lone runs with his double in the fifth inning. Three of his five hits this spring have gone for extra bases. Francisco Lindor talked about finally getting into a good hitting position during Monday’s game and it continued to carry over. Lindor recorded two more hits to get his batting average up to .280.

The Washington Nationals venture into Clover Park for a 1:10 p.m. ET start on SNY. Jon Lester makes his first spring training start against Marcus Stroman (1-0, 3.24 ERA).

Mets Play Ugly Defense for the Second Straight Game in 9-5 Loss to Nats

The New York Mets pitching join their defensive struggles in a 9-5 loss against the Washington Nationals. Judging by the tweets and few videos from the game, the Mets should be thankful this game was not televised.

Jordan Yamamoto got the start for the Mets, and his first-inning cost him a good outing. After retiring the first two batters, an error and walk gave the Nats a free opportunity to score. Ryan Zimmerman and Kyle Schwarber tagged him for RBI singles to give them an early 2-0 lead. Yamamoto would pitch two scoreless innings to finish his outing.

Dellin Betances followed him and fell victim to the two-out rally as well. A double from Starlin Castro led to a throwing error from third baseman J.D. Davis and allowed him to score. Betances fastball was in the 91 mph range but peaked at 94 mph.

Matt Allan continued the trend of two-out runs by allowing three (one earned) during his one inning of work. An RBI single led to the first run, then an error from Jake Hager at second base allowed the Nats to drive in another two. Robert Gsellman was the only pitcher who kept the Nationals off the board with his scoreless inning.

Francisco Lindor finally broke the seal with his first two hits as a member of the Mets. It comes on the same day the Mets announced negotiations will begin for a long-term deal. Mark Vientos was the other Met with multiple hits as he recorded two doubles. Jake Hager recorded the biggest hit with a three-run homer, his second home run of the spring. Hager only has two hits in spring training, and both are via the long ball.

The Mets head back to Port St. Lucie to face the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:10 p.m. Taijuan Walker makes his Mets debut against Carlos Martinez (0-1, 32.40 ERA), and it will be televised on SNY.

 

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 Robert Gsellman

Robert Gsellman was the right-handed version of Steven Matz for the 2020 New York Mets. Another sinkerball pitcher who failed to find any ability to keep the ball down in the strike zone. Unfortunately, it was the second consecutive season where Gsellman’s season ended due to an injury.

Gsellman dealt with some health issues that forced him to wait until August 8 to make his first appearance of the season. It was only a one-inning relief outing, and it turned out to be his only scoreless outing of the season. Due to the lack of depth in the starting pitching department, the Mets thrust him into the starting rotation.

Starting Pitcher Gsellman

It was not the first time Gsellman was forced to make important starts. In 2016, Gsellman came up as a rookie to join a beleaguered rotation and push the Mets to a wild card spot. The starts were his first since 2017, where he struggled mightily, and the nervousness showed in the first two outings.

Gsellman gave up four runs in just 3.2 combined innings during his first two starts. His biggest issue was struggling to keep his pitch count down as he needed 80 pitches to get through those two starts. After getting 11 days of rest, Gsellman came back to hold the New York Yankees to one run over four innings pitched. This outing only needed 57 pitches and used a season-high four strikeouts to battle through four hits.

Gsellman ran out of luck in his second consecutive outing against the Yankees. He was knocked out in the second innings after giving up four hits, walks, and runs on 52 pitches. Things only got worse when he was sent back to the bullpen and allowed six runs and two home runs in a mop-up role. To add injury to insult, Gsellman fractured his rib during a pitch and was in visible pain as he walked off the field.

Gsellman’s Future 

Like Matz, Gsellman had an issue figuring out how to keep his sinker low in the zone. Gsellman discussed using a one-seam fastball to get more sink instead of run, but it did not work out for him. The inability to put hitters away with his slider also led him to failure. Over the last two seasons, batters hit .130 and .208 against it, but this year it jumped all the way to .375. Instead of having whiff rates in the mid-30s, it dropped below his sinker at 14.3%.

The ugliest stat from Gsellman’s season was the hard-hit rate of 49.1%. When virtually half the balls hit have an exit velocity of 95 mph or better, it is impossible to put together a consistent success. Gsellman also had his groundball to fly ball rate drop for the fifth consecutive season, which is a major concern. Combining increased fly ball rates and high exit velocities create the .672 slugging percentage against him.

Gsellman is still under Mets control through the 2022 season. The Mets forced a failed starter back into the role due to Brodie Van Wagenen’s inability to find quality pitching depth to get the team through the season successfully. Due to the 9.64 ERA, Gsellman is on the outside looking in of a bullpen role. Gsellman can turn himself back into a useful reliever if he can regain his slider success and better his sinker’s location. At the moment, he finds himself on the outside, looking in at a bullpen spot.

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Sinker: 40 (45), Only pitch batters hit below .300 against, and he threw it 45 of the time.

Slider: 25 (60), This is a pitch I believe Gsellman will refine. It was too good over the 2018-19 seasons to simply castaway.

4-Seam Fastball: 20 (30), The pitch hitters teed off on the most for a .857 slugging.

Changeup: 50 (50), All 20 were thrown to left-handed batters and swung and missed at 28.6% of the time.

Curve: 35 (35), Only threw 19 but had an above-average spin rate. Be on the lookout for Gsellman using this more in 2021.

Cutter: 30 (N/A), These were the final two pitches Gsellman threw in 2020. I believe they were hanging sliders due to their lack of movement.

Command: 25 (40), The command of his slider is what let him down the most. If nothing improves but the slider, it will make a major difference for Gsellman in 2021.

Overall: 20 (45), At least Gsellman cannot get worse.

New York Mets Injury Report: September 14, 2020

With about two weeks worth of games left, the New York Mets have plenty of work to do to get themselves in a postseason spot. Will any key players return to action soon during the last few games?

Jeff McNeil is day-to-day after leaving Sunday’s game with “gastrointestinal discomfort” or, in other words, a stomach ache. Diarrhea is a COVID-19 symptom, but it currently seems like the issue is only a one-day issue for McNeil. He should return to the lineup on Tuesday.

Jake Marisnick is sidelined with a right hamstring injury that hampered him earlier in the season. The is no word on how long he will spend on the sidelines, but the Mets have not opted for an IL stint yet. As one of their best hitters against lefties, they will need his bat in the lineup as soon as possible.

Instead of optioning Franklyn Kilome, the Mets sent him to the 10-day IL with a split fingernail. It should not take a long time to recover, but the Mets may not need him back soon. Erasmo Ramirez took his role as a long man in the bullpen.

Dellin You There?

Dellin Betances played catch on Friday for the first time since landing on the IL with a right lat issue. His timetable to return is questionable, and the earliest the Mets should have him back is during the last week of the season. If the Mets are out of the race, we may not see him throw another pitch this season.

Corey Oswalt (right biceps tendinitis) and Tomas Nido (COVID-19) are two players who the Mets have been silent about. Both resumed baseball activities but have not returned to the active roster. For Nido, the acquisition of Robinson Chirinos closed out an opportunity for Nido to return when cleared.

Robert Gsellman, Rene Rivera, and Eduardo Nunez are out for the season with their respective injuries. When healthy, they did not provide much for the Mets, combining on for a -0.4 WAR.

Noah Syndergaard is still rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery as he looks forward to the 2020 season.

Also, if you are wondering, yes, Jed Lowrie will not touch a baseball field this season. Even manager Luis Rojas said he has no idea what Lowrie is doing.

New York Mets: Wacha, Gsellman Struggles Continue in 11-2 Blowout Loss

New York Mets, Michael Wacha

The New York Mets learned something they should have known prior to the season starting…they cannot win when Michael Wacha takes the mound. It was another dreadful start for Wacha as the Baltimore Orioles jumped all over him and then Robert Gsellman in the 11-2 blowout.

Wacha had nothing from the start of the game. Despite retiring the Orioles 1-2-3 in the first inning, he did not look sharp. In the second inning, the barrage of runs started to come in, and Wacha allowed runs in the final three innings he pitched. He struggled to allow five runs (four earned) on seven hits in four innings pitched. The struggles now put his future in the Mets rotation in question.

Gsellman followed Wacha and continued the trend he set. Over 3.2 innings, he allowed six hits, six runs while walking two batters. With Erasmo Ramirez throwing five innings on Monday, Gsellman was the only long relief choice the Mets had. Whether intentional or not, it was the Mets throwing an early white flag. Gsellman also left his outing after an apparent back injury.

Means Channels All-Star Form

John Means showcased why he earned an All-Star selection in 2019 with a six-inning effort and holding the Mets to one run. The Mets only recorded three hits off Means, and his fastball/changeup combination neutralized their bats. Jake Marisnick provided the only run off Means with a solo home run in the second inning. Jeff McNeil added a garbage time home run in the ninth inning.

The starting pitching for the Mets has kept them back more than anything else. Outside of Jacob deGrom and Seth Lugo, the Mets need to outscore their starters to have a chance to win.

Rick Porcello tries to give the Mets length and slow down the hot Orioles offense as he faces Jorge Lopez in the final game of the series. The first pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

New York Mets: Alonso Delivers Walk-Off Homer in 9-7 Win

The New York Mets needed their offense to outproduce their pitching struggles once again. Before the game, the Mets had a tribute for the passing of Tom Seaver, and all players rubbed dirt on their right knees in his honor. Despite the tribute, Robert Gsellman performed anything but Seaver-esk.

They had to come back from a 7-4 deficit, starting in the eighth inning, to score five unanswered runs to win. It was all capped off with a Pete Alonso two-run walk-off home run that dropped through the building raindrops at Citi Field.

The Mets would not have gotten to that spot without J.D. Davis revenge home run off Aroldis Chapman. He drilled Davis in the left hip during last weekend’s Subway Series matchup, and Davis continued the trend of revenge home runs against the Yankees.

The Mets offense was top notch for the second straight game. Amed Rosario and Todd Frazier both delivered three hits. All three of Frazier’s hits were for extra bases, including a home run, and Rosario drove in three runs.

Gsellman Struggles Once Again

The Mets gifted Robert Gsellman another start as the Mets continue their search for quality starters. He failed to get out of the second inning, allowing four runs before being yanked early. Chasen Shreve (2.1 IP) and Jeurys Familia (2 IP) saved the day. They combined for 4.1 innings of hitless baseball.

Edwin Diaz also had a dominant two innings out of the bullpen with four strikeouts. He continued his rampant strikeout rate and picked up the win, lowering his ERA to 2.25.

On Friday, the Mets begin a four-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies. Rick Porcello makes the start against Jake Arrieta in a 7:10 p.m. start from Citi Field.