New York Mets Player Evaluations: Catcher Robinson Chirinos

The New York Mets received minimal production from the catcher position all season, and bringing in Robinson Chirinos at the trade deadline did nothing to change that. At 36-years old, the veteran catcher did hit 100 points better with the Mets.

Chirinos struggled mightily as a member of the Texas Rangers. He went 5-for-42 with a .119 batting average in 14 games and was a very questionable acquisition by Brodie Van Wagenen. The Mets had Tomas Nido healthy and ready to return from the COVID injured list, but the Mets opted to go outside the organization for another catcher.

Time in Queens

During his month with the Mets, he received consistent playing time and found some consistency with the bat. Chirinos had seven hits in 32 tries and hit his only home run of the season. His defense behind the plate was anything but consistent, with four wild pitches and failing to throw out a runner in five attempts.

Chirinos hitting struggles likely came from half of his batted balls being on the ground and only an 84.5 average exit velocity. He also only had one ball hit on the barrel all season and showed a much longer swing than he had in the past. The pitch framing also continued to hamper his game as he had a -2 runs extra strikes.

At this point, Chirinos is just a platoon catcher who can do damage against lefties (.259 AVG, .444 SLG). He is heading into his age-37 season and only hit .162 on the season with poor defense. Chirinos has an option year for the 2021 season. The $1 million buy out to decline it seems like pettiness for the Wilpons to leave Steve Cohen to spend money on a player he does not want. There is no future for him with the Mets and likely only receives minor league offers in the offseason.

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Hitting: 20 (20), Only one season over .250 in his career.

Power: 20 (30), Career .431 slugging.

Run: 20 (20), Might be slower than Wilson Ramos (5.01 average home to first time).

Arm: 35 (30), -2 stolen base runs saved in 2020.

Field: 25 (20), -5 defensive runs saved in 2020.

Overall: 20 (20), Hard to believe there is anything left for Chirinos in 2021.

New York Mets: The Peterson/Chirinos Battery Lead Mets To 3-2 Win

New York Mets, David Peterson

Who would have thought the combination of David Peterson and Robinson Chirinos would team up with the 2020 season started? Both guys took different paths to the New York Mets roster but made the difference in their 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals. The win kept their small playoff hopes still alive as they sit 2.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants for the final playoff spot.

While Peterson did not strike out batters at the same rate as his last start, he was still very effective. In his final start of the season, he held the Nationals to one run over seven innings and struck out four. Peterson used his slider to put away the Nats hitters and make the longest start of his career. He will finish the season with a very impressive 3.44 ERA, very deserving of a spot in next year’s rotation.

Rob and Dom Show

While the Mets only pushed across three runs on the night but they made them count. Chirinos drove in all three with a hustle single and a two-run home run. All of his RBI came off Patrick Corbin, and the home run was his first of the season.

Dominic Smith continued his hot hitting with three more hits, including two more double to up his season total to 21. It broke the Mets record for the most doubles through a 60 game stretch, and he still has three more games to add to that total. Robinson Cano also added two hits, including his first bunt single since 2013.

Edwin Diaz picked up his sixth save of the season after allowing one run in the ninth inning. He bent but did not break as he worked around two hits in the ninth to shut the door.

Rick Porcello faces off against former teammate Max Scherzer for the second game of the series on Friday. It is another 6:05 p.m. ET start from Nationals Park.

New York Mets: Peterson’s 10 Strikeouts Highlight 7-2 Win

New York Mets, David Peterson

After getting three straight starters lasted no more than two innings, David Peterson had the tall task of stopping the slump the New York Mets starting rotation are in. Peterson went far and above the call of duty striking out a career-high 10 Atlanta Braves in the Mets 7-2 victory.

Peterson lived up to his top prospect status in this big start. He held the Braves to one run over the six innings he pitched. His slider was one of the major reasons his strikeouts were up, and it was impressive to see him shut down a lineup that scored 15 runs the previous night.

In the seventh and eighth, Miguel Castro, Jeurys Familia, and Justin Wilson combined to keep the lead into the bottom of the eighth. It allowed them to add some insurance runs late in the game.

Patience is Key

Braves starter Ian Anderson held hitters to a .130 average but allowed ten walks over 21 innings. They paid close attention to their scouting report, drawing three straight walks to begin the bottom of the first. Robinson Cano got the Mets on the board with a two-run single to the opposite field to give the Mets an early 2-0 lead.

The only other run the Mets got off Anderson was an RBI single from Robinson Chirinos in the fourth inning. Depsite Anderson struggles, Atlanta’s bullpen held the Mets silent until Chris Martin entered in the eighth. He allowed back to back home runs to Dominic Smith and Robinson Cano to being the inning. Brandon Nimmo finished it off with a two-run single to extend the Mets lead to 7-2.

It was a win the Mets needed, as all of the games have become must-win games. The rubber game of the series comes down to Kyle Wright and Rick Porcello. The first pitch is at 1:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

New York Mets: Roster Moves Made to Add New Acquisitions

New York Mets general manager, Brodie Van Wagenen, decided to make unnecessary trades on August 31 in an attempt to save his job when Steve Cohen purchases the team. He brought in a 36-year old back up catcher hitting .119, reliever Miguel Castro and someone he did not even pursue in free agency in Todd Frazier.

With the trio of Frazier, Castro, and Robinson Chirinos, the Mets had to send three players back to the alternate site to make room. They sent pitchers Ariel Jurado and Franklyn Kilome along with catcher Ali Sanchez. The moves left the Mets with a crowded infield and thinner bullpen.

Peterson to the Bullpen

With two long men leaving the bullpen, David Peterson is available to pitch in Wednesday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. Peterson has been the second-best pitcher on the Mets staff, but the Mets opted for the reverse Seth Lugo treatment. The move does not seem to be permanent, but it leaves Robert Gsellman scheduled to start against the New York Yankees.

With Frazier joining the infield, the Mets have eight infielders for four spots, nine if Jeff McNeil is part of the group. Luis Guillorme is still hitting over .400 and Andres Gimenez homering the night before, but the Mets opted to play Frazier and bat him fourth for Wednesday’s game.

The Mets will need another reliever with no off days insight. In all fairness, Frazier should be the odd man out amongst Guillorme and Gimenez. Unfortunately, one of them will take the demotion in the near future. Despite Van Wagenen not giving up on 2020, it certainly is inevitable for them to throw in the towel.

New York Mets Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles (9/1-9/2)

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

The New York Mets face the Baltimore Orioles in a short two-game series to begin the final month of the season. Both teams come into Tuesday’s matchup with 15 wins and sit in fourth place in their respective decisions. In 36 prior matchups, the Mets won 23 of the games.

Probable Pitching Matchups

Tuesday (9/1) @ 7:35 p.m. ET: Ariel Jurado (Mets debut) vs. Asher Wojciechowski (1-3, 5.13 ERA)

Wednesday (9/2) @ 4:05 p.m. ET: TBD vs. TBD

The Mets had their worst four-game streak, dropping four straight games that they all had the opportunity to win. All the losses were truly team efforts as every part of the roster and coaching staff contributed to the defeats. Luckily for the Mets, the Orioles are just as mediocre this season.

New Faces in New Places

Ariel Jurado makes his Mets debut in the first game of the series as he is one of three former Texas Rangers joining the roster. The addition of Robinson Chirinos and Todd Frazier are very questionable decisions, especially the weak-hitting Chrinios. The Mets have not announced the roster moves to add them to the roster but assumingly, J.D. Davis is heading to the injured list and Ali Sanchez is heading back to the alternate site.

Former Oriole, Miguel Castro is joining the Mets as well to help the beleaguered Mets bullpen. Castro is a favorite for people in the analytics department and serves as another middle reliever. They will need his high strikeout stuff with Dellin Betances on the injured list.

Robinson Cano and Dominic Smith have spearheaded the Mets offense over the last week. Despite wanting to avoid back-to-back lefties, it will be interesting to see if manager Luis Rojas opts to bunch them together in the middle of the order. If not, putting Pete Alonso between them should help him get out of his slump. He will get more strikes since pitchers do not want to face Smith with runners on base.

Matchup to Look Out For

Robinson Cano Career at Camden Yards: .356/.405/.567 (128-for-360), 31 Doubles, 15 Home Runs

Dominic Smith 2020 Stats in Away Games: .352/.446/.722 (19-for-54), 8 Doubles, 4 Home Runs

Pete Alonso 2020 Stats Batting Fourth: .200/.273/.500 (4-for-20), 2 Home Runs, 2 Walks, 6 Strikeouts

New York Mets have interest in Robinson Chirinos and Drew Butera

Will the New York Mets pursue Robinson Chirinos in free agency?

The Mets are looking to be active in the catching market, and have identified Chirinos and Butera as early targets.

According to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, the Mets are targeting Robinson Chirinos and Drew Butera as backup catcher options.

The Mets were expected to be buyers in the catcher market, so that doesn’t come as a surprise. What does come as a surprise is who they have chosen to target. Chirinos is going to be 36-years old in 2020 and is coming off the best season in his career. Those things don’t usually mix well. Chirinos is also a poor defensive catcher, he ranks below average in both pitch framing and pop time. Though, he did put up 3 DRS in 2019, the highest in his career. He put up a staggering -11 DRS in 2018.

For a Mets team that has been awful defensively targeting a poor defensive catcher would be a huge mistake. The upside is that Chirinos has been a consistently good offensive catcher. Over each of the last four seasons, Chirinos has put up a wRC+ over 100 in every year. Last season he put up a wRC+ of 113 for the Astros.

He does this despite a poor batting average and an incredibly high strikeout rate. He excels with his power and his ability to take a walk. He had a .790 OPS last season, and he has never had an OPS under .750 in his career. If the Mets are looking for a bat off the bench at catcher Chirinos would fit the bill.

However, it’s more likely that Chirinos would be able to find a starting job somewhere else coming off the year he had last season. Even if he did take a backup job, his poor defense would make him a poor choice for a Mets team desperate for defense.

Drew Butera is likely more of a depth option. Butera put up -0.4 fWAR in 2019. He hasn’t posted a positive fWAR since 2016. He’s not an MLB caliber player by any stretch. He’s especially poor defensively where he hasn’t put up a positive DRS since 2014.

He’s a player who shouldn’t even be on the Mets radar. Yet, for some reason he is. signing Butera to anything other than a minor league deal would be a massive mistake.

Whatever, the Mets end up doing it does look like they will be bringing in a new backup catcher this winter.