New York Mets Tender All Arbitration Eligible Players A Contract

New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

The New York Mets have tendered all eight of their arbitration eligible players a contract.

The New York Mets’ announced last night that they have tendered a contract to all of eight of their eligible players.

This should come as no surprise considering who the eight players were.

Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo are both starting outfielders for the Mets, and all-star caliber players. There was never any doubt that the Mets would ever consider not tendering them a contract.

Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz were also never in jeopardy. They’re three of the Mets starting pitchers for the 2020 season.

The Mets traded for Stroman in July and he pitched well for them. The Mets view him as their internal replacement for Zack Wheeler. Noah Syndergaard is one of the top 20-25 best pitchers in baseball. He had a down season last year, but even then his fWAR was higher than that of Dodgers’ ace Walker Buehler. Matz is one of if not the best number four starter in baseball. On another team Matz would likely slot in as their number two starter.

Seth Lugo and Edwin Diaz were also never in doubt. Lugo is one of the best relievers in baseball. He may have never been an All-Star, but he’s also never been a close before. He’s made his money working as a multi-inning relief ace to put out fires and bridge to the closer. He was excellent in that role and he was excellent was asked to close in 2019. Despite his down year, the Mets were never going to non-tender Diaz. His ceiling is way too high and they gave up way too much to let him leave.

Last is Robert Gsellman, and while it was unlikely he would be non-tendered there was a slight chance. Gsellman hasn’t excelled in either the bullpen or the starting rotation. He’s been mediocre at both and hasn’t given the Mets much reason to pay him more than a relief pitching free agent would cost. However, his versatility and his consistent mediocre ability are worth something. Not everybody has to be good, teams need mediocre middle-relievers too.

Mets News: Van Wagenen on Girardi, Cespedes and the starting rotation

Simeon Woods-Richardson

New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was proud to introduce Carlos Beltran as the team’s new manager on Monday, but he knew there’d be more than just questions about Beltran.

For instance, like why he passed on Joe Girardi, the man who seemed to be the most natural fit for the job.

“There were a lot of qualified candidates that brought different things to the table,” Van Wagenen said. “I thought that we considered all of those candidates and their strengths and ultimately it was Carlos’ strengths that won the day. It was less about where other candidates fell short and much more specifically about what Carlos’ leadership brings to our team, what his leadership brings to the organization and we had a great deal of confidence in that.”

The truth is he wanted a first-time manager and not one he inherited, such as Mickey Callaway.  He wanted his own. Beltran has other qualities that won him the job, but still, Met fans are leery. He will have earn their trust.

Cespedes’ Return Still Unknown

Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is still a Met. Maybe you forgot. No one can blame you for that. Cespedes has not played since July 20, 2018 when it was decided that he needed surgery on both heels. That surgery was successful but his comeback last was then thwarted by an ankle fracture he suffered on his ranch in May. That’s the Mets’ story and their sticking to it.

Van Wagenen was asked on Monday what Cespedes’ status was. He wasn’t sure. I believe him.

Since Cespedes signed a four-year, $110 million extension with the Mets (with a no-trade clause) in November of 2016, he’s played in just 119 games. 2020 will be his last year under contract at a salary of $29.5 million.

Lugo, Gsellman could be starters again

With Zack Wheeler headed for free agency and a longshot to be re-signed by the Mets, the starting rotation will take on a different look in 2020. BVW did mention that the Mets would make a qualifying off to Wheeler, but the general consensus is that Wheeler will opt for free agency.

Jacob deGrom, Markus Stroman, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard – providing the team doesn’t trade him – will all be back but extra arms will be needed and Van Wagenen isn’t ruling out two players already on the staff that have started in the past in Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman.

Is this a subtle hint that BVW will be looking to futz with the bullpen again this offseason? You can almost bet on that he will. He is likely in the market for a closer and a setup man from each side of the mound. In short, he’s back to where he started from.

New York Mets: An Old Foe Comeback to Haunt Them

24 hours ago most of us may not have even realized Christian Colon was still on a major league roster. After Saturday’s game he made his horrid presence known again in the minds of Mets fans. He poked a single up the middle to give the Reds a 3-2 lead over the Mets, which would end up being the final score in a crushing Mets loss.

For those who forgot (probably not many of you), Colon stroked a single in the 12th inning of game five in the 2015 World Series to spark a five run inning, which won the Royals the championship. Colon was even in the Mets minor league system last season. Instead of Addison Reed, Colon ripped out Mets fans hearts against Seth Lugo.

Colon Was Not the Only Foe

The Mets bullpen was the main reason why the Mets have been trying to claw themselves out of the grave since the All-Star break. It was only fitting the combination of Justin Wilson and Seth Lugo lead to their undoing. The two anchors of the bullpen who anchored the team through the second half, simply did not have enough.

The loss makes things nearly impossible for the Mets to mount their magical wild card comeback. Thanks to a Brewers 10-1 win over the Pirates, the Mets are now 4.5 games out of the second wild card spot, with eight games left. Even if the Mets went 8-0 to end the season, the Brewers would have to go 3-4 just for them to meet in a one game playoff.

The math says the Mets are not done yet, but this loss had the feeling that the season had come to a disappointing end.  It did not help the pain either when Raisel Iglesias struck out the side to end the game. In the end, the Mets bullpen costed them way to many times this season and unfortunately, it did them in once again.

New York Mets: Mickey Callaway’s Mismanagement of the Pitching Staff

New York Mets, Mets

There comes a time in a manager’s career where it is better to simply do nothing instead of over manage. Mets manager Mickey Callaway did not get that memo when he pulled Steven Matz out of the game with only 79 pitches after letting him hit for himself.

Callaway’s trademark is his extremely questionable moves during his tenure as manager. Throughout the Mets hot streak he did not make many tough decisions as the starting pitching went deep into games, making it automatic to use Seth Lugo. Callaway did not even have a tough decision to make with Matz. He could have fell asleep and done nothing, which he should think about doing more often.

100 Times Out of 100?

Callaway’s defense of his move is the same idiotic thinking that will push him out of a job next season. Matz cruised through 14 straight batters prior to his departure. He even started the two out rally which gave the Mets a 2-1 lead at the time. Allowing Matz to hit when they were down one was a good move. Partly because he had settled in nicely and partly because he is a better hitter than anyone on the Mets bench.

Callaway was also unprepared heading into the seventh inning. He should have warmed up Lugo before the rally even started, if he had ideas of bringing him in. He waited until Pete Alonso, who was the last hitter of the inning, came up to hit. Callaway has been very hypocritical throughout his time in New York and proved it once again. He claimed he wanted his “best pitchers to carry us” then only needed a week to prove he lied.

Remember the “Pitching Guru”?

To Callaway, it made sense to push Marcus Stroman to 115 pitches in 6+ innings when he did not need to, but not to stick with the 79-pitch Matz. Even if everything worked out, Callaway did not have a real plan following Lugo. Granted, Lugo has been one of the best relievers in baseball over the last month, but most of that happened because they did not overuse him.

Was Edwin Diaz actually expected to close out a potential one run lead against the Atlanta Braves? If that was the case, Callaway should never be allowed to manage again. You do not need to be Gil Hodges to figure out what the best move was.

Making Matters Worse

Once it was clear Lugo was no where near his best, Callaway decided to leave him out there long enough where he becomes unavailable for Thursday’s game. Then he used Jeurys Familia for the bottom of the eighth, which likely made him unavailable for Thursday since he threw in back to back days.

Familia did keep the Mets in the game but now they have to rely on the combo of Brad Brach and Edwin Diaz to close out a win. The Mets have the talent on their team to make a deep playoff run, but it is a shame their manager is not fit to run a little league team.

New York Mets: Finally Over The Hump

With their doubleheader sweep of the Miami Marlins on Monday night, the New York Mets went to one game over .500 for the first time since May 2nd. The Mets have pulled off one of the most remarkable turnarounds in baseball history, but they are not done yet. On July 12, they were 11 games under .500 and seemed dead in the water. Since then they went 17-5 to turn their season around and get themselves back in the wild card race.

How Did This Happen?

The Mets have played some poor competition, but not too long ago they were the second worst team in the NL. They have taken care of business against the teams they need to beat. Most of the credit goes to towards the Mets starting pitching and bullpen. The ERA of their starting pitchers have been the lowest in baseball and their bullpen has been spearheaded by the Seth Lugo.

During this hot streak Lugo has only allowed one base runner in 12.2 innings out of the Mets bullpen. He is also starting to take save chances away from Edwin Diaz. The Mets need to get Diaz right and he has shown glimpses of finding himself again. In his last few innings he surrounded home runs or walks between three strikeouts where he looks like the Diaz of old. After pitching coach Phil Regan came out to speak to Diaz during game 1 on Monday, it seemed to calm him down.

The Calming Influence of Regan

There is a lasting impact from the 82-year old pitching coach. He brings a calming influence and has an answer for any situation. Regan was not some random guy the Mets picked to replace Dave Eiland. Regan had been in the organization for many years and worked with most of the Mets pitchers when they were in the minors. Most of the pitchers the Mets have are loaded with talent and the small adjustments Regan has made is taking them over the top.

Watching Regan interact with all of his pitchers is coaching gold. When he came out to speak to Diaz Monday, he came out with a smile on his face and made Diaz grin as well. He relaxed Diaz which led to him closing out the first game of the doubleheader. One of his other great moments is after, what could have been, Zack Wheeler’s last start as a Met. After Mickey Callaway removed him from the game you can see Regan greet him first with a pat on his back following a subtle fist pump as Wheeler walks by.

The Comeback Kids

Monday night’s comeback win was pulled straight out of the 2000 and 2015 Mets playbook. It took three home runs from J.D. Davis, Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso to get the Mets the lead. Alonso’s capped off the inning and drew flashbacks to the Mike Piazza home run down the left field line against the Atlanta Braves in 2000.

At 57-56 the Mets now set their sights towards the top two wild card spots. They have two more games against the Marlins, then three against the Nationals. The Mets are 2.5 games back and will have Stroman, Syndergaard and deGrom lined up against the Nats. If the Mets take either of the next two against the Marlins, you can guarantee a playoff atmosphere over the weekend.

Was Pulling Seth Lugo the Right Move?

The New York Mets lost the first game of their four game set against the Chicago Cubs, 5-1. The game started with Seth Lugo tossing four spectacular innings in his first start of the season. Manager Mickey Callaway pulled Lugo after 60 pitches because he has been in the bullpen. Hansel Robles replaced Lugo and returned to form by allowing a two run homer.

Lackluster Bullpen Performance

The move is definitely questionable considering the circumstances at hand. The bullpen has been extremely inconsistent and a fatigued Seth Lugo is more trustworthy than Hansel Robles. Lugo’s ability to keep the ball down and sharpness of his curveball would determine how fatigued he was. Like he has been all season, Lugo was sharp and cruised through a dangerous Cub lineup without facing any trouble. With Lugo probably getting one more start before Noah Syndergaard returns, the Mets certainly could have afforded to let him stretch himself out more.

If the Mets bullpen was more reliable they could afford to pull Lugo after 60 pitches, but right now there is no one outside of Robert Gsellman and Jeurys Familia that is trustworthy. The Mets are also not in a position to give away games as well. They needed to ride with their hot hand because they simply have no idea what they will receive from their starters. Jacob deGrom is the only reliable starter that is healthy and in the rotation.

Lugo definitely deserves another start and Callaway will likely up his pitch count if he has to remain in the rotation. He is a very effective pitcher, no matter when he pitches, and he is one of the few Mets pitchers who has been consistent this season. With Jason Vargas constantly treading on thin ice, it may not be long until Lugo becomes a permanent starter.

New York Mets 40-Man Roster Overview: Seth Lugo

Lugo began his career nicely with the Kingsport Mets in 2011 with a 3.66 ERA in 11 games pitched. Lugo missed the 2012 season with spondylolisthesis, which required spinal fusion surgery. In 2013, Lugo split time between the Brooklyn Cyclones and Savannah Sand Gnats where he had a 3.39 ERA in 66.1 innings. He was not dominating in the same way the other Mets pitching prospects were but he certainly was showing very good consistency.

Lugo’s time with St.Lucia:

With the St. Lucie Mets in 2014, he spent most of the year in the bullpen where he had a 4.11 ERA in 27 games with a nice 8-3 record. In 2015, Lugo moved up the ranks and spent time with the Binghamton Mets and Las Vegas 51s and was solid putting up a 3.84 ERA in 24 starts. Things went downhill in the minors but uphill for Lugo in when he arrived to the New York Mets in 2016.

Lugo’s 51s numbers were not impressive putting up 6.50 ERA in 21 games pitched but the Mets were consumed with injuries which game him a shot with the big league club. For July and half of August he was sent up and down multiple times but was recalled on August 12 for good. After Jon Niese and Gabriel Ynoa were unsuccessful as starters, Lugo earned his first MLB start on August 19 against the San Francisco Giants. He gave the Mets 6.2 innings and allowed three runs.

Lugo would go on to make eight starts, 17 games in total, and had a 2.67 ERA and never allowed more than three runs in a start. He hoped to have the same success in 2017 but was a victim to the injury bug and had a 4.71 ERA in 18 starts. Along with the rest of the Mets pitchers they hope to stay healthy in 2018.

Lugo is a very versatile option with his ability to start and pitch out of the bullpen and he has a great opportunity to make the 2018 rotation. So far this spring he has pitched five innings and only allowed one run. Mets fans have seen how good of a pitcher he can be and when healthy Mets fans can expect Lugo to be a reliable pitcher for the Mets this season.