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.

New York Mets: Stroman, Gsellman to the Injured List

New York Mets baseball would not officially return until they received their first devastating injury of the season. After losing Noah Syndergaard to season-ending Tommy John Surgery, Marcus Stroman will start the season on the Injured List with a muscle tear in his left calf.

After continually working out during the postponed season, we would think Stroman would be in tip-top shape when the season resumed. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and Stroman will be a week-to-week issue and possibility never pitch during the 60-game season.

This is a major disappointment for both the Mets and Stroman. The Mets needed him to step up as their number two starter, and they are out of proven options to replace his turn in the rotation. Stroman is heading into free agency after the season, and the injury news immediately drops his value. Though the Mets could sign him at a lower price, the decision to pick him over Zack Wheeler looks worse.

Replacements In the Rotation

The Mets announced Steven Matz will pitch the second game of the season, but the Mets still need a fifth starter. The first two names that come to the forefront of replacements are Walker Lockett and Corey Oswalt. Lockett is on the IL, and Oswalt did not fare well against the New York Yankees. Also, both pitchers have pitched enough in the big leagues to show they are not quality starting pitchers.

The Mets ruled out any idea of Seth Lugo moving into the starting rotation. With the injuries in the bullpen and Lugo’s partially torn UCL, it is for the better that he remains a reliever. They also told swingman Erasmo Ramirez he will not make the opening day roster as well.

David Peterson is the best option the Mets have. Their depth is scarce enough that they have to depend on a rookie who still has not made their MLB debut. Peterson is no slouch though; he has battled through Tommy John Surgery to pitch to a 3.63 career ERA in the minor leagues.

The left-hander is turning 25 in a month and could follow the same track as Jacob deGrom. Both received the surgery early in their professional careers and entered the big leagues in their mid-20s. Peterson has the upper hand as a former first-round pick, which plays into the high upside he has. The plus side of also putting him in the rotation is that if he pitches well, then the Mets won’t feel the pressure to re-sign Stroman.

Gsellman Under the Radar

Just because Stroman took the headlines, it does not mean losing Robert Gsellman does not hurt either. The Mets bullpen is already missing Brad Brach and Jared Hughes, so losing Gsellman hurts their depth even more. He has right triceps tightness, which the team reports is not severe.

Despite likely only losing Gsellman for a week, there is no time to waste in this 60-game sprint. He is one of the few relievers in the bullpen who can pitch multiple innings. With the lack of rotation, depth extended relievers like him are in high demand. Just a week ago, it seemed like the Mets would head into the season without any issues, but they all crept up on them, calming down the hope fans had for them.

Yankees and Mets’ stars played “secret” games in recent weeks to stay sharp

New York Yankees, Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

Coronavirus forced MLB to suspend the start of the season, which was scheduled for March 26, indefinitely. Uncertainty then broke into the scene, and players had to figure out ways to keep themselves in shape in case baseball came back eventually, which it did. That’s why a group of stars, including some in the New York Yankees and New York Mets, found creative solutions.

According to Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic, New York Yankees’ outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and New York Mets’ pitchers Robert Gsellman and Michael Wacha took part in “underground” baseball games in recent weeks to stay sharp with the start of the season in mind. Other known players to participate were aces Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander of the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros, respectively.

The group of players was led by Eric Cressey, who the Yankees hired this season to supervise their training, strength and conditioning programs. His wife Anna worked alongside him, and they all trained at Cressey’s gyms while eventually playing games.

“If people knew what we were doing, we would have had 10,000 people at Palm Beach Gardens High School to watch us,” Cressey told Ghiroli.

The Mets had several players taking part

The games featured strict social distancing rules that forbade sliding and included the use of up to 56 different baseballs. In one of those games, per SNY.tv, the Mets’ Gsellman started opposite his now-teammate Wacha.

Also in attendance were New York Mets’ hurler Noah Syndergaard, who was present to rehab his surgically-repaired right elbow. He will miss the 2020 season but will come back in 2021 in what will be his final year of arbitration eligibility.

Training camps are opening and all teams, including the Mets and the Yankees, will start hosting “Summer Camp” in preparation for the season that is slated to start on July 23.

The Importance of the New York Mets Bullpen in a Short Season

As Major League Baseball continues to juggle the idea of playing baseball again this season, teams are scrambling to get their pitchers ready. The New York Mets will rely heavily on their bullpen through the first month of their season as pitchers get their endurance up to speed.

If there are only two weeks of Spring Training games before the season starts, it is not enough to get a rotation ready. Each starter will get three starts max, which forces the bullpen to throw more innings early in the season. With the way pitchers work today, we will not see them at their peaks for at least 2-3 regular season starts.

Bullpen Importance

The needed relievers make sense as to why a potential 30-man roster is in the works. Anywhere from 1-4 extra relievers are required in order to be competitive during the first part of the season. Late inning relievers like Edwin Diaz, Dellin Betances, and Seth Lugo will have their critical roles. Middle relief is where the key outs will be. If starters only go 4-5 innings during the first couple weeks of the season, someone has to bridge the gap.

Brad Brach, Justin Wilson, Jeurys Familia, and potentially Drew Smith are a few middle relievers who will have to finish the work for the starter. Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo are the only relievers who can pitch multiple innings due to their starting pitching backgrounds. Most likely, Lugo’s outings come late in games while Gsellman will take most of the multiple innings appearances from innings four through seven.

During 2019, in outings of more than one innings, Gsellman had a 2.18 ERA. It included multiple three-inning outings where he kept teams scoreless and the Mets in the game. When healthy, he can play as big of a role as Lugo, just earlier in the game.

Luckily the Mets employ Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman, two of the most in-shape pitchers throughout baseball. The Mets can be more flexible with how deep each of them pitch, compared to the average pitcher. While deGrom moves in silence without social media, Stroman displays all the works he is putting in for the eventual season. Depth is a key part for any championship team and the Mets can finally say they have it on both sides of the ball.

New York Mets: The Variables of the Pending Season

After MLB owners approved the plan to continue the baseball season, the war between the league and the players union is ready for its first battle. Out of all teams, the New York Mets find themselves in a unique situation compared to the rest of the league.

Outside of health concerns, the battle of salary negotiation is going to be the biggest fight in the process. Union chief Tony Clark and legendary agent Scott Boras both agree that being paid a pro-rata salary would be the agreement whenever games resume. The sacrifice stands at 30-40% of wages, which the owners claimed as feasible, according to the owners.

According to Boras, his clients are not willing to budge from the agreement. If salaries receive a blindsided cut, it will extend the baseball drought longer. Should the union have a legitimate legal case, the damage could wipe out the rest of the season. But Clark is just as poor as MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. This situation serves as a prologue to how next year’s discussions on a new collective bargain agreement will play out.

The Mets Effect

The only Boras represented Met is Michael Conforto, and luckily 30-40% of his $8 million salary is $2.4 million through $3.2 million. That number is no worry for the organization, especially with the rest of their high priced talent.

The conflict comes from Wilpon ownership and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen. First, the Wilpon’s have continuously lost money from the Mets franchise over the last few years. The revenue from SNY, which the Wilpons also own, covers the losses from the organization.

Due to the revenue from SNY, the Wilpons call it untouchable in any team sale discussions. Since revenue should grow from SNY, since fans will not attend games, they might squeak by and suffer minimal damage to their finances due to the lack of fan revenue. But you can never be sure with the Wilpons.

Agent to GM

Van Wagenen plays a role more connected to the players. Not too long ago, he was the co-head for CAA Sports Baseball Division, which happens to represent the most players (6) on the current 40-man roster. Should the Mets look to cut more money from the players, Van Wagenen would have to side with ownership since they write his paychecks.

Four of those players make less than three million, including Brandon Nimmo and Robert Gsellman. Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom are the two high priced/talented members of CAA. Van Wagenen also negotiated the current contracts Yoenis Cespedes, and Robinson Cano collect. Cespedes already lost money in the offseason due to an injury on his ranch.

Van Wagenen does not make any final decisions, but he knows both sides of the fence. His voice will be heavily relied upon to fix and issues between players and ownership without it creating a media storm. Not to mention, he has to figure out the best pieces for a potential 82-game season at the same time.

Van Wagenen is a master agent and earned the GM job because he knows how to handle strenuous situations. He will be able to take any negative that comes out of the meetings and make it a positive. Few GMs in baseball have that ability.

The Wonder of the 2016 New York Mets

The 2016 New York Mets had a unique season in the franchise’s history. After falling short in the previous year’s World Series, the Mets retooled their middle infield and bullpen with an expectation to return in 2016. Though falling short to Madison Bumgarner and the Giants, there is always wonder of what would have happened if the Mets made the NLDS.

Injuries were the theme of the 2016 Mets. Zack Wheeler was out for the entire season while recovering from Tommy John Surgery. Jacob deGrom, Josh Edgin, Hansel Robles started their seasons on the Injured List. Throughout the year, David Wright, Lucas Duda, Yoenis Cespedes, and the list goes on of other Mets who spent extended periods on the IL. To make matters worse, Michael Conforto and Matt Harvey performed nowhere near expectations. The most used lineup only made it to the field nine times all season.

Late But Key Pickups

Next ma up was the motto for these Mets. Jose Reyes, James Loney, and Seth Lugo were just a few essential parts that helped guide the Mets in the second half. On August 24, the Mets dropped to 63-63 on the season and one the outside looking in of the wild card race. It was on a night where Jacob deGrom was dreadful, and it was his second to last start before injuries ruined his season.

September was a crazy ride for the Mets. Their starting pitching at the beginning of the season was Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Bartolo Colon. By September, it was Syndergaard, Colon, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, and the combination of Rafael Montero and Gabriel Ynoa.

This was way before Lugo and Gsellman were anywhere near household names. Lugo had a 6.50 ERA when he came up, and Gsellman started the year in double-A. Both pitched to a 2.67 and 2.42 ERA respectively and solidified the Mets rotation out of nowhere. Montero and Ynoa were no help to the rotation, but the Mets managed to go 18-10 over September/October to sneak into the postseason.

The efforts of Jeurys Familia, Addison Reed, Jerry Blevins, Hansel Robles, and Fernando Salas also go overlooked in giving the Mets a quality bullpen, especially when the short least the rookies in the rotation received. The health of Curtis Granderson and Asdrubal Cabrera allowed the Mets to keep starters on the field despite losing others to injuries.

What the Playoffs Could Have Looked Like

If the Mets happened to get past Bumgarner things would have gotten very interesting from there. They would have faced a Cubs team which the Mets went 5-2 against and swept in the 2015 postseason. After Syndergaard threw a gem in the wild card game, it left the Mets with a rotation no one saw coming. 43-year old Bartolo Colon would have become the oldest pitcher ever to start game one of the postseason. Lugo or Gsellman would start game 2/4 with Syndergaard starting game 3. They would have faced the combination of Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Kyle Hendricks.

The lineup would also be interesting with Granderson, Cespedes, and Cabrera as the regulars. The supporting cast would be the likes of T.J. Rivera, (slumping) Jay Bruce, James Loney, and Jose Reyes, who all were nowhere near the Opening Day roster. Rivera was the only one in Spring Training with the Mets. Rene Rivera and Travis d’Arnaud would be managing the catching duties.

Could They Beat the Cubs?

They lack of quality pitching behind Bumgarner is what did the Giants in. During a one-game playoff, you can ride his greatness to a win, but it was impossible to do to a team as strong as the cubs. That said, there is no reason to think the Mets could not have broken the Cubs hearts again and extended the curse for another year. Outside of Aroldis Chapman, the Cubs bullpen did not offer anything better than what the Mets had.

The Dodgers were very similar to what they beat in 2015, and their rotation was worse without Greinke. The biggest question would have been how the Mets could get by with the unproven Lugo and Gsellman. The games Colon and Syndergaard pitched would become must-win games just based on the uncertainty of the other half of the rotation.

Beat the Tribe?

Topping the Indians would have been a much tougher feat due to the entire roster matching up better than the Mets. Though like the 2019 World Series, the Astros seemed like the sure bet, but anything happens when you get to the World Series. Things have not been quite the same for the Mets since 2016. The Mets could have seriously changed the landscape of baseball should they have managed even one run off Bumgarner.

New York Mets: Porcello Improves in His Second Spring Start

New York Mets, Rick Porcello

Despite the New York Mets dropping to the Miami Marlins 3-1, Rick Porcello looked a lot better during Thursday’s start. The other Mets big league relievers pitched well again while the depth pitchers struggled. The loss moved the Mets to 1-5 and the Marlins to 6-0.

Wins and losses are meaningless during the Spring. The situations for each team also differ for the Mets and Marlins as well. The Mets roster is mostly set for the regular season, while the Marlins have plenty of players trying to latch on to a roster spot. As long as the regulars are playing well, the Mets should not be worried.

Pitching Ups and Downs

Porcello threw up twos across the board. Two innings, two hits, two strikeouts. He worked in and out of trouble in the first inning then pitched a 1-2-3 in his second inning of work. Brad Brach and Robert Gsellman followed to pitch the third and fourth with success. Each threw perfect innings, and both have not allowed run in the Spring. Both Brach and Gsellman are key middle relief pitchers and could earn bigger spots if Edwin Diaz and Dellin Betances are holes in the bullpen.

The minor league depth crew of Corey Oswalt, Stephen Nogosek, and Nick Rumbelow all allowed runs during their outings. While no one from the trio was particularly bad, the minor leaguers who finish off the games have already cost the Mets some games early in the Spring.

Awaken the Polar Bear

Pete Alonso is still shaking the offseason rust but showed signs of life with his double in the first inning. He was hitless in nine at-bats heading into Thursday’s game. The baserunning still needed WD-40 as he was picked off second to conclude the inning.

Michael Conforto is another Met who is trying to find his hitting groove. He went 1-for-2 with a single to improve to 2-for-10 in the Spring.

On Friday, the Mets face Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals for the second time of the Spring. The Mets trot Marcus Stroman out for his second start and first in Port St. Lucie. Stroman allowed one run in 1.2 innings against the Cardinals to open up the Spring.

New York Mets Bullpen Solid in Tie Against Cardinals

On day two of Spring Training, the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals finished in a 3-3 tie. Jake Marisnick‘s solo home run, Ryan Cordell‘s double and a J.D. Davis sacrifice fly accounted for the three Mets runs.

Like most early Spring Training games, the big league ready arms threw the first half of the game. Steven Matz threw the first inning for the Mets and allowed a leadoff home run to Harrison Bader. Matz settled in to retire the following three batters and struck out one. His much-improved charge-up looked good during his one inning of work.

Bullpen Dominance

The slimmed-down Jeurys Familia took over after Matz in the second inning. He worked around a couple of baserunners to pitch a scoreless second. Familia is back to throwing his sinker, slider, and splitter full time and featured each of them during his inning. He threw a couple of sinkers in the high 90s but mostly worked in the 93-95 range.

Brad Brach took over for the third and allowed a couple of baserunners but also struck out two. He was throwing in the high 80s, but his change-up looked in midseason form. The double Brach allowed mostly had to do with Tim Tebow playing left field. It was a tough play, but most Mets outfielders make the play.

Robert Gsellman put together a quick but eventful inning. It started with an Andres Gimenez error, followed by possible double play turned into a fielders choice, and the final batter flew out into a double play on a failed hit & run. Tyler Bashlor‘s one inning of work featured a strikeout, and his curveball was his best pitch with his velocity sitting at 93-95.

Minor league relievers finished off the rest of the game with Franklyn Kilome as the only one to allow runs. He allowed a line drive two-run homer to Edmundo Sosa, which tied the game. Velocities from most pitchers on both sides seemed lower than usual. It either had to do with pitchers still getting themselves game-ready along with the radar gun reading not playing as key a role it does in the regular season.

It was a solid day for the key Mets relievers, which will be something to build on as the first full week of games starts. We still have not seen Edwin Diaz pitch, and his Spring debut will be the most anticipated of Spring Training.

Why Robert Gsellman should be better in 2020 for the New York Mets

If the New York Mets want to be competitive and secure a spot in the playoffs, they need their bullpen to be deep. Sure, we know that Seth Lugo should be stellar and that Dellin Betances should have an amazing season if healthy. They need more than just that, though.

The Mets need Justin Wilson to do what he did in 2019. They need, and we can’t emphasize this enough, rebound seasons from Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia. And they also need Robert Gsellman to be on his game.

Since breaking into the Mets’ 2016 roster with a 2.42 ERA in 44.2 innings, Gsellman hasn’t been particularly good. He was a starter in 2017 and had a 5.19 ERA, but he was decent as a reliever a year later (4.28 ERA in 80 innings.)

Last season, Gsellman put up a 4.66 ERA. While that number wasn’t good, he managed to regain some of his swing and miss from 2016: he struck out a career-high 8.48 batters per nine innings, in line with the 8.46 he had in 2016. The righty had disappointing numbers in K/9 in 2017 (6.17) and 2018 (7.88.)

Bumping slider usage drove the Mets’ reliever success

Basically, the Mets’ hurler increased the usage of his good slider (3.0 pVAL per Fangraphs) to 26.7 percent of the time and had a bump in fastball velocity (a career-high 95.7 mph.) Those are very good signs for the future, both for him and for the Mets.

Gsellman was ninth in barrels per plate appearance percentage (Brls/PA%) which is the percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. He had a tiny 2.5 mark. He is difficult to square for opposing hitters, and the numbers back that up.

Gsellman was also 14th in all MLB in wOBA-xwOBA differential, with .032. It is a product of his .326 wOBA minus his .294 xwOBA. That indicates that, judging by quality and frequency of contact, he got unlucky in 2019. He deserved better than his 4.66 ERA. His 4.13 FIP is a good start, and the Mets know it.

The reliever was better in the second half (3.57 ERA) than before the break (5.07 ERA.) Perhaps we can see his final numbers in 2020 being closer to his second half. It would be huge for the New York Mets.

Projecting the New York Mets Bullpen

Despite their struggles from 2019, the New York Mets bullpen is set to rebound. They have added new arms to go along with the talented relievers who are looking to bounce back from disappointing seasons. The potential is very high, but there is also a chance the bullpen falls right on their face.

Edwin Diaz

Edwin Diaz was the price piece from the deal that sent Jared Kelenic to the Seattle Mariners and failed miserably. His home runs per nine skyrocketed, and he eventually lost his closer role. This should not be the norm for Diaz, who will have a bounce-back season. During spring training, he should regain the position as the Mets closer and live up to the hype he had in 2019.

Seth Lugo

Seth Lugo had an unbelievable 2019 season. He was reliable out of the bullpen, pitching to a 2.70 ERA with 104 strikeouts. Lugo’s ability to pitch multiple innings made him a valuable asset down the stretch of the season. He pleads to be a starter for the Mets, but they need his talents to remain in the bullpen.

 

Dellin Betances

Dellin Betances is a major wild card in the Mets bullpen due to his health problems in 2019. He struck out the only two batters he faced before dealing with an Achilles injury. When healthy, Betances is a top-five reliever in baseball, striking out 100+ batters in five straight seasons before 2019. He is the big arm the Mets needed in the bullpen.

Jeurys Familia

Speaking of wild cars, there is no bigger one in the Mets bullpen than Jeurys Familia. Command issues and injuries hampered his 2019 season as he lost his eighth-inning role. Familia contributed his weight to his issues, and he came into spring training in much better shape. Not too long ago, he was a dominant closer, so having him as potentially the fourth-best reliever is a great sign.

Justin Wilson

After battling injuries, Justin Wilson emerged as a dominant force out of the Mets bullpen. His ability to get hitters from both sides out made him a precious asset. Wilson went overlooked as a terrific signing by Brodie Van Wagenen.

Robert Gsellman

Robert Gsellman was not anything special out of the bullpen but was someone who was relied upon to eat innings. His hard sinker and curveball became weapons for him. Gsellman’s strikeout rate also increased, which showed his potential going into 2020. This will be a colossal leap year, which will allow him to emerge into a key role out of the Mets bullpen.

Brad Brach

Brad Brach quietly arrived with the Mets a put together a solid cameo with them. He had a rough time in Chicago but is another reliever who has a track record of being one of the best in baseball. Brach will mostly be used in low leverage roles but is another guy the Mets can trust in crucial spots.

Michael Wacha

Michael Wacha may have signed with the Mets to start, but it is hard to see that happening. Thanks to the roster expansion to 26-players, Wacha can become a long man/spot starter. After spending his last few years in St. Louis struggling, the Mets hope to rekindle the success he once had.