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.

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 Series Preview: Miami Marlins (8/17-8/20)

New York Mets, David Peterson

A matchup between the last-place New York Mets and first place Miami Marlins takes place in Miami for the first time during the 2020 season. The Marlins are the only team the Mets are over .500 against during 2020, taking two out of three so far.

Probable Pitching Matchups:

Monday, (8/17) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: Robert Gsellman (0-0, 9.00 ERA) vs. Jordan Yamamoto (0-1, 9.82 ERA)

Tuesday, (8/18) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: David Peterson (3-1, 2.91 ERA) vs. TBD

Wednesday, (8/19) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: TBD vs. TBD

Thursday, (8/20) @ 6:10 p.m. ET: TBD vs. TBD

Both teams come into the series with their starting rotations in shambles. The Mets have multiple pitchers dealing with injuries, while COVID-19 has kept the Marlins starters from taking the field. Despite their problems, the Marlins have the sixth-best ERA in baseball, while the Mets sit in the bottom third of baseball.

Will the Bats Wake Up?

The struggles of Pete Alonso and Wilson Ramos are hampering the Mets’ ability to drive in runs through the first half of the season. Both are barely hitting over .200 and are not supplying any power when they do put the ball in play. They also have to deal with other players who are outplaying them.

Tomas Nido is already better defender than Ramos and, at the moment, a better hitter as well. Manager Luis Rojas should look to ride the hot hand until he cools off or Ramos heats up. Dominic Smith has emerged as the Mets’ best power threat, and with the multiple options, the Mets have, Alonso is the odd man out for now. Luis Guillorme is white-hot at the plate, Jeff McNeil likely returns to left field during the series and a hot Robinson Cano at DH makes it tough to continue to play Alonso while the offense is cold.

Who Pitches the Last Two Games?

With the future of Steven Matz in the starting rotation as a significant question, Franklyn Kilome may make a start at the end of the series. In his only big-league outing, he allowed two runs over four innings while striking out five. Kilome is still an unproven option, but it is hard to think he will pitch worse than the 9.00 ERA Matz currently owns.

Jacob deGrom is also recovering a neck injury, but the Mets have been silent on his status. The injury was severe enough to scratch him from his start but no severe enough for an IL stint or rule him out for the last two games of the series. Each series has become a must-win for the Mets, and they will need their ace on their mound as often as possible.

Interesting Stats

Dominic Smith Batting Fourth in 2020: 6-for-15 (.400), 2 Doubles, 2 Home Runs, 6 RBIs, Walk, 3 Strikeouts

Luis Guillorme vs. RHP in 2020: 11-for-21 (.524), 2 Doubles, 5 RBI, 3 Walks, 3 Strikeouts

New York Mets OBP: .346 (2nd in MLB)

New York Mets OBP w/RISP: .296 (27th in MLB)

New York Mets: Bullpen, Offense Comes Together in 11-6 Win

New York Mets, Pete Alonso

Wednesday’s 11-6 victory for the New York Mets started they way their losses usually have. Juan Soto tormented the Mets with another three-run home run that landed 466 feet away, above the Coca-Cola corner. The Mets offense responded with four runs in the bottom of the first inning and the Mets did not look back from there.

Brandon Nimmo led off with a home run which got the Mets going quickly. Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith recorded RBI doubles and Andres Gimenez looped a single into left field to tally the fourth Mets run. Surprisingly, in the 10 run effort two and three hitters, Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis were the only Mets who failed to record a hit.

Alonso and Smith also hit back to back homers in the sixth gave the Mets a comfortable lead. The key stats for the Mets came in the areas they consistently struggled in. They went 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position and 9 of their 11 runs came with two men out. The Mets sat at the bottom of the league in those categories despite hitting well in the rest of the categories.

Alonso’s three extra-base hits were exactly what the Mets have searched for out of him. He was on the brink of breaking out of his season-long slump but a game like tonight eluded him. It was also the first time he batted fifth all season, which seemed to make a big difference.

Bullpen Game

Despite Robert Gsellman receiving the start, it was more of a bullpen game since he only threw two innings. He settled down following the Soto homer in the first inning and the bullpen limited the damage to solo homers. The bullpen allowed three runs in the following seven innings. Of course, Soto got them again for another homer and Starlin Castro along with Kurt Suzuki added “garbage time” home runs.

Dellin Betances had the most impressive outing of all the relievers. He struck out the side in order and looked to be in mid-season form. Brad Brach also made his first appearance after battling COVID-19, throwing the ninth inning. He worked around a home run but looked well. Brach fired plenty of strikes, which is a good sign after spending time on the sidelines.

The Mets attempt a split of the series when David Peterson takes the mound for a 1:10 p.m. ET start. He will be opposed by Austin Voth in Thursday afternoon’s matchup from Citi Field.

New York Mets name Robert Gsellman as today’s starter and intend to move him to the rotation

The New York Mets had an opening in the starting rotation following Marcus Stroman’s decision to opt out of the season and Michael Wacha’s shoulder injury. Several options were considered to fill in not just tonight’s start, but also, permanently, or at least indefinitely. Among them were Franklyn Kilome, Ariel Jurado, Erasmo Ramirez and Walker Lockett.

However, New York Mets’ manager Luis Rojas chose to stretch out bullpen arm Robert Gsellman, who has some starting experience, and have him join the rotation alongside Jacob deGrom, Rick Porcello, Steven Matz and rookie David Peterson, at least until Wacha is ready to return from his ailment.

The information was reported by MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo via Twitter. “Not only will Robert Gsellman start tonight, he will be stretched out as a starting pitcher, Mets manager Luis Rojas tells @WFAN660,” he wrote.

The Mets had other options but chose Gsellman

The move may come as a surprise to many, but it is not a bad idea after all. Seth Lugo was also considered for the role, but he is too important to the Mets’ bullpen to remove him from that role.

Gsellman came up through the Mets’ ranks as a starting pitcher. He even started games during his first two seasons in Flushing.

In 2017, Gsellman pitched 25 games, starting 22 of them. He covered a total of 119.2 frames, with a 6.17 K/9 and a 3.16 BB/9. His ERA wasn’t particularly impressive at 5.19, and he had a 4.89 FIP.

So far in the 2020 season, he has pitched a clean inning with two strikeouts in his lone appearance.

Gsellman is currently throwing almost three miles per hour harder than he was three years ago, but it remains to be seen how the stuff translates this time around. The New York Mets need him to perform adequately, at least in the short term.

New York Mets Injury Report (8/6/20)

New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

The New York Mets injuries piled up over the second week of the season and it decimated three-quarters of their infield. Here is a look at all of the injuries the Mets are dealing with.

Amed Rosario has left quad tightness that he suffered during Monday’s game against the Atlanta Braves. The injury kept him out of both games against the Washington Nationals but it was not serious enough to put him on the Injured List. He should return to the lineup during the weekend.

Robinson Cano landed on the 10-day IL after a Grade 2 left adductor strain. He suffered the injury attempting to score from second on an infield single and sliding into home plate. It was clear Cano would suffer some type of injury when he had to run at 100%. Cano is confident he will be ready to play once his stint on the IL finishes.

Jeff McNeil has an intercostal strain that kept him out for the last three games. He also sees the injury as minor and should expect to find time in the lineup over the weekend. J.D. Davis solid defense at third base gives real question to McNeil possibly playing left field when he is healthy.

Depth Injuries

Rene Rivera hyperextended his elbow after only two games in 2020. His timetable for a return is unclear but the Mets likely will not carry a third catcher when the roster shrinks on Thursday.

Jake Marisnick has a left hamstring strain which has plagued him since summer camp began. He is scheduled to come off the IL over the weekend but the Mets trading for Billy Hamilton shows the injury is severe. Hamilton was brought in to replace the defense of Marisnick on the roster.

Eduardo Nunez has a left knee contusion he suffered attempting to beat out a ground ball. There is no timetable for his return and upon it he will be unlikely to make the 28-man roster with the play of Andres Gimenez and Luis Guillorme.

Marcus Stroman threw a four-inning simulated game last Friday and is scheduled to throw another on Thursday in Brooklyn. HIs left calf tear has kept him out through the first two weeks of the season but the Mets rotation needs him back. The biggest challenge for Stroman is to field his position. It clear he can pitch but he cannot move off the mound at 100%.

Robert Gsellman should return within the next few days from right triceps tightness. He still has to throw live batting practice but will join the Mets as soon as healthy. Gsellman will be a good addition to the Mets’ middle relief core.

Brad Brach tested positive for COVID-19, which landed him on the IL. He should return a few days after Gsellman and started throwing bullpen sessions during the week. Much like Gsellman, Brach sures up the middle relief core.

Long Term Injuries

Noah Syndergaard started throwing in his recovery from Tommy John Surgery. He had a catch with 2020 draft pick, J.T. Ginn, about a week ago but will not see the field until the 2021 season.

Jed Lowrie’s season came to an end when he landed on the 45-day IL with PCL laxity in his left knee. It affirmatively ended his Mets career, recording zero hits and going down as one of the worst contracts in Mets history.