New York Mets will reportedly decline Wilson Ramos club option

Free agency has officially started, and the first step for all 30 major league teams is to determine which options should they exercise and which players they will opt not to re-sign for the 2021 season. The New York Mets have a couple of cases.

One of them is starting catcher Wilson Ramos. The New York Mets won’t be exercising his $10 million club option for the 2021 season according to New York Post’s Mike Puma, and that officially makes him eligible to sign with any team of his liking.

It also marks the start of the search for a starting catcher by the Mets, who are just a couple of steps away from having a new owner in Steve Cohen.

Given Ramos’ mediocre showing in the 2020 short season, the decision is not coming as a huge surprise. He slashed .239/.297/.387 with a .297 wOBA and a 89 wRC+, hitting five homers in 45 games. Although he managed to improve defensively, his performance was still subpar and the Mets are deciding to move on.

The Mets will be paying a $1.5 million buyout per the terms of the deal he signed before the 2019 season, and he will look for a different club.

His Mets tenure was a disappointment

Ramos was good in 2019, hitting for a 105 wRC+ (basically a tad above league average) but since he came with big expectations, his overall tenure with the Mets was somewhat disappointing.

Ramos’ defensive struggles in 2019 were well-documented, as several hurlers, most notably Noah Syndergaard, openly said that they prefered to throw to Tomas Nido and Rene Rivera, the team’s backup options.

Ramos, since the start of the 2019 campaign, has allowed a whopping 122 stolen bases, by far the highest number in Major League Baseball.

Despite his suspect defense and seemingly declining bat, Ramos should have no problem finding a major league deal in the open market.

New York Mets Player Evaluations: Catcher Wilson Ramos

The New York Mets felt confident in their offense from Wilson Ramos, but underachievement marked his 2020 season. He never found his way on offense or defense and became a focal point of the Mets’ struggles in their poor season.

Ramos only hit .239/.297/.387, which were the worst offensive numbers he put up since the 2015 season. The staple of Ramos game was his clutch hitting with runners in scoring position, but he struggled mightily in those situations. He embodied the Mets struggles, only hitting .139 during 36 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

The biggest issue with his swing comes with his emphasis on hitting the ball on the ground. It is a guarantee Ramos gets thrown out if any of the infielders can get to the ball, which resulted in him grounding to five double plays this season. Five might not seem like too much, but every single one came in a huge spot.

A huge point to fix his swing should come with an increase in his launch angle. He only hit .153 on groundballs and .211 against groundball pitchers. Ramos will benefit more from hitting the ball in the air, and his strength to all fields should allow him to increase his average, home runs, and lower the number of double plays he hits into.

Struggling Defense

With his offensive struggles, Ramos’s defensive shortcomings were heightened. He only threw out 18% of baserunners, allowed four passed balls, and 16 wild pitches. While his defense improved from last season, it still ranked in the bottom half of baseball. Ramos had an issue blocking pitches on his right side because his new position had his right knee down, which forced him to stab at those pitches.

He also failed to tag out Roman Quinn during a walk-off loss against the Philadelphia Phillies, where he had more than enough time to get the glove down and beat Quinn to the plate. Heading into his age-33 season, it is hard to expect him to improve in his defense any more.

What Did He Do Well?

Ramos did not play in many day games but found success in those rare occasions. He slashed .302/.348 /.535 in 14 day games compared to .212/.275/.323 in 31 games during the night. Ramos also finished the season on a 6-for-15 streak with one home run to boost his worth heading into likely free agency.

He has a club option for the 2021 season, but the combination of J.T. Realmuto on the market and Steve Cohen’s wallet makes a reunion very unlikely. Ramos had good moments during his 2019 season with the Mets, but 2020 was the opposite. To his credit, Ramos continued to be a professional throughout the struggles, and expect to see him bounce back in a new environment during 2021. 

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Hitting: 40 (55), Came on late, too good of a hitter to stay at his 2020 production.

Power: 40 (45), All depends on if he makes any adjustments to his swing. Still has power to all fields.

Run: 20 (20), If zero were an option, I would use that.

Arm: 50 (45), His arm was the biggest reason he could throw anyone out. The Mets pitchers gave him little help.

Field: 35 (30), Pitch framing and blocking are well below average.

Overall: 35 (45), Ramos is still a very useful hitter and a bounce-back season is likely. Just needs to find a better situation with a different team.

 

New York Mets: Nats Sweep Doubleheader to End Mets Playoff Hopes

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets needed an amazing start from Jacob deGrom to keep their postseason hopes alive, but he was only average on Saturday. In game one of the doubleheader, the Washington Nationals won 4-3 and took game two 5-3 against the struggling Rick Porcello. It became the fourth consecutive season that the Mets missed the playoffs.

Jacob deGrom came out firing bullets in the first inning. He hit 102 mph with his fastball, the fastest pitch of his career, and tying the fastest pitch of the season. deGrom ran into trouble from the third inning on, as he lost command, allowing a run in each of the final three innings he pitched. While striking out 10, his ERA went up to 2.38 and knocked out his chances of winning the Cy Young.

The Mets offense got to Max Scherzer early with a two-run home run from Wilson Ramos and a solo homer from Amed Rosario. Unfortunately, the Mets offense went dead late in the game as they left the lead run at third with one out in the sixth inning. Back-to-back strikeouts killed the rally and were followed by the Nationals taking the lead in the bottom half of the inning.

The Mets also lost Andres Gimenez to an oblique injury, which caused Rosario to enter the game. Dominic Smith also suffered a crushing blow, running face-first into the left-field fence. It allowed Andrew Stevenson to round the bases for an inside the park home run for his second homer of the game.

Porcello Struggles Again in Game Two

Rick Porcello towed the rubber for a meaningless game two of the doubleheader. He could not replicate the success from his last start allowing five runs over three innings. All the Nationals runs came in the third inning, as ten men went to the plate.

After the game, Porcello was disappointed in his poor season. He likely will not remain with the Mets for next season, and it is hard to see him landing with another contender in 2021. Porcello was not the only disappointed Mets starter as deGrom also voiced his frustrations with the underachieving Mets.

The Mets offense struggled outside of Pete Alonso. He hit a line-drive home run, which added to a good rebound day at the plate. Alonso showed better discipline at the plate and emphasized hitting the ball hard instead of just hitting it in the air.

Seth Lugo gets the final start of the season as he faces off against Austin Voth. Game 60 starts at 3:05 p.m. ET from Nationals Park as the Mets hope to avoid last place.

 

New York Mets: Disappointing as Ever in 4-1 Loss to Phillies

New York Mets, Brandon Nimmo

The New York Mets needed to take game one of their series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Much like they have all season, they disappointed and forgot to show up in their 4-1 loss. They beat themselves in every way a team possibly, adding more pain to their season.

It was precisely the type of game we have come to expect from the lackluster Mets. They stunk with runners in scoring position, going 0-for-6 in those situations and leaving 12 on base. As usual, team disappointments, Wilson Ramos and Pete Alonso each left five on base on their own.

The poor play translated to their baserunning and fielding as well. With manager Luis Rojas at the helm and working with plenty of these players in the minors, it is tough to see a team he manages play poorly. After another infuriating loss, it is all but confirmed that the Mets will not make the playoffs this season.

The lone Mets run came from a Brandon Nimmo solo-home run. Everything else for the Mets offense was ugly as can be. Another ugly detail from the game was how much of a better manager Joe Girardi is compared to Luis Rojas. Thankfully the incompetent fools who opted against Girardi are selling the team to Steve Cohen.

Porcello Struggles Again

Rick Porcello was signed as the Mets number five starter and unfortunately had higher expectations with a poor Mets rotation. He allowed four runs over six innings pitched, keeping his ERA above six. Porcello was the worst starting pitcher in baseball during 2019, so his 2020 performance should be no surprise.

A bright spot comes in Edwin Diaz‘s performance, where he struck out the side in the ninth inning. His ERA dropped to 1.80, but the Mets never give themselves a lead where they can use him to win. The loss to the Phillies was their sixth in eight games.

On Wednesday, the Mets send Jacob deGrom to the mound against the Phillies. The focus moves on to the Cy Young race as the first pitch is another 7:05 p.m. ET start from Citizens Bank Park.

 

New York Mets: Offense Held Silent in 3-2 Loss to Blue Jays

Amed Rosario, New York Mets

The New York Mets could not produce the same way the did in their 18-1 victory on Friday night. All the Blue Jays needed were three runs off Seth Lugo to secure themselves a 3-2 victory to even up the series at one game apiece

Lugo was dominant through the first three innings of his start. He held the Blue Jays to a single and struck out four. The following 2.1 innings had a different story for Lugo as he seemed to progressively lose steam and the feel for his curveball as his pitch count rose.

Lugo gave up a run in each of the last three innings he pitched along with six hits. His curveball hung in the fourth inning and struggled to a point where he barely used it for the rest of the start. His velocity also sat around 92-94 with the occasional 95. It was not a great start for Lugo, but it certainly put the Mets in a position to win.

Ray Too Much to Handle

One year ago, Robbie Ray did not get out of the first inning against the Mets. It was the only bad start Ray has made against them and he found his groove early. Ray held the Mets to one run over five innings and struck out five. His money pitch was his slider and used it often as he got deeper in his start. The start was much needed for Ray and lowered his season ERA to 6.85.

Jake Marisnick provided the only run off Ray with a double in the fourth inning. Unfortunately later in the game, Marisnick had to leave the game with right hamstring issues. It was the same injury that kept him sidelined early in the season.

The only other run came on a gift when Joe Panik fumbled a double play transfer allowing Wilson Ramos to score in the seventh inning.

Amed Rosario had a good game with three hits but he showed once again why he is not an everyday player. After getting first base with a gift wild pitch strikeout, he fails to advance on a ball in the dirt then proceeds to get picked off to end the game with the red hot Jeff McNeil at the plate.

A pair of lefties square off in a 3:07 p.m. ET start time as David Peterson faces Hyun-Jin Ryu in the final game of the series.

New York Mets: 10 Run Fourth Inning, Gives deGrom Plenty in 18-1 Win

Worrying about the New York Mets providing Jacob deGrom run support seems to be a thing of the past. Their 18-run effort gave more than enough for their two-time Cy Young winner in the 18-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

deGrom did not have his best command but put up deGrom-like numbers. He threw six innings, holding the Blue Jays to one run on three hits with nine strikeouts. deGrom continues to make a strong case for a third consecutive Cy Young award as his ERA dropped to 1.67.

Erasmo Ramirez picked up the rare three-inning save in relief of deGrom. Ramirez held the Jays offense scoreless on two hits and only threw 30 pitches in the effort. His ERA is 1.13 through his first eight innings with the Mets.

Relentless Offense

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.‘s RBI single in the first inning was the only bright spot for the Blue Jays. After that, the Mets got things going with four runs in the third inning, highlighted by a Michael Conforto three-run home run.

The offense went bezerk in the fourth inning with ten runs. J.D. Davis started things off with an RBI fielders choice, then Dominic Smith hit a grand slam to break the game open to 9-1. Wilson Ramos contributed a three-run double, making it 12-1. The final two runs of the inning came in on a Conforto single, and Davis double.

Every starter in the lineup recorded a hit other than Pete Alonso. McNeil, Ramos, and Robinson Cano led the way with their three hits. 8 of the Mets 19 hits were for extra bases, and those same numbers (8-for-19) are how they hit with runners in scoring position.

The Mets hope to put up another similar offensive output with Seth Lugo on the mound for the second game of the series. Toronto has not named their starter for game two, but game time is 6:37 p.m. ET from Buffalo.

 

New York Mets: Betances Loses the Zone in 2-1 Walk-Off Loss

The New York Mets bullpen had put together a terrific scoreless innings streak up until the moment Dellin Betances entered the game. His combination of walks and wildness gifted the New York Yankees a much-needed victory. Betances flung the ball over Wilson Ramos‘s head, with Erik Kratz attempting to bunt, which caused the Mets to lose 2-1.

Not only does Betances have issues locating his fastball, but it does not have his typical velocity either. 92-93 is nowhere near where he was during the prime of his career. Betances allowed a walk to Clint Frazier and a hit and run single to Jordy Mercer to set up the game-ending wild pitch. After the game, he said he felt like he had nothing on the mound, pitching for a second straight day.

Failed Comeback

The Mets could not muster any offense against Yankees starter J.A. Happ. Over 7.1 innings, all Happ allowed was three hits with only 90 pitches. It was a big surprise when Yankees manager Aaron Boone removed him and turned to Adam Ottavino. Wilson Ramos immediately tagged Ottavino for a solo home run, tying the game at one. It looked like another comeback was in the works for a third straight game, but they could not add on to the homer.

Outside of Betances, the Mets pitching kept them a home run away throughout the game. After Robert Gsellman allowed a first-inning home run to Luke Voit, he was solid after that. Gsellman threw four innings, only allowing one run on four hits while striking out four.

Steven Matz followed him out of the bullpen and threw a 1-2-3 fifth inning with two strikeouts. The expectation was for Matz to throw multiple innings, resting an overworked Mets bullpen. He ended up leaving the game after the one inning with an apparent injury. For the next three innings, the bullpen worked in an out of trouble before the Betances collapse.

The Mets play a doubleheader on Sunday starting at 1:05 p.m. ET with Rick Porcello needing to give the Mets distance. Aaron Boone has not announced the Yankees starter as of 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

New York Mets: Bullpen Takes deGrom’s Win in Weird 5-4 Victory

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets needed length out of Jacob deGrom after getting abbreviated starts during their doubleheader loss on Tuesday. deGrom gave them that and much more in his first start in almost a week. He tied a career-high with 14 strikeouts, but a bullpen implosion in the eighth inning prevented him from his third win of the season.

Luckily Wilson Ramos, who was hitting .100 w/RISP, came through to give the Mets the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Brad Brach went nine days without pitching but stayed tough to lock down the Mets victory over the Miami Marlins, 5-4.

The bullpen implosion started in the eighth inning when Justin Wilson allowed three singles to load the bases. He gave way to Edwin Diaz, who gave up a 107-mph single that J.D. Davis could not secure, followed by back to back walks to tie the game.

Diaz left the game with an apparent injury before the game-tying walk, leaving Brach a 2-1 count. Brach finished the at-bat with a walk before getting the game to the ninth inning. He needed help from Jeff McNeil‘s foot to prevent Jonathan Villar from stealing second base to get through the inning.

Clutch Hitting

The Mets were as dreadful on offense as any team could be on Tuesday. They put together a much-improved showing with a 2-for-9 output w/RISP and left seven on base. There was a much more concerted effort to hit the ball to the opposite field, and it was precisely what Wilson Ramos did to give the Mets the lead run.

Robinson Cano helped lead the way with three hits, moving his batting average to .382. Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo also added home runs, both their fifth of the year, as well.

Dominant deGrom

deGrom pitched as well as any pitcher can without recording a no-hitter. The two Marlins hits he allowed were light, and his fastball sat in the 99-100 mph range. It was undoubtedly his best outing of the season and showed what a couple of extra days of rest does for him.

Should the Mets choose not to join other professional sports teams in protest on Thursday, they finish their series with the Marlins. They currently have not named a starter yet, but face rookie Sixto Sanchez at 7:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

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: Ninth Inning Comeback Wasted in 6-5 Walk-Off Loss

New York Mets, Amed Rosario

The New York Mets spent all night searching for a big hit with runners in scoring position. When down to their last out in the top of the ninth against the Philadelphia Phillies, Robinson Cano came through to tie the game. Unfortunately, all it did was extend the contest another half-inning as Bryce Harper walked it off with an RBI single against Seth Lugo in the bottom of the inning.

The laziness of Wilson Ramos gave the Phillies a win as Michael Conforto had Roman Quinn out by 10 feet at home plate. Ramos attempted to reach across home plate to place the tag, but Quinn snuck his hand in there to give the Phillies a much-needed win.

The Mets were in a 5-4 hole due to the start of Walker Lockett. He was tasked with the tough role of replacing an injury Jacob deGrom, who was scratched with a neck issue. Lockett survived through four innings, but manager Luis Rojas attempted to push his luck for another inning due to the low pitch count. J.T. Realmuto made him pay with a three-run home run to continue his hot 2020 season.

Get a Job Done

Between the horrid Phillies bullpen and even worse Mets hitting with runners in scoring position, there was no reason for them to lose this game. The Mets went 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position, leaving ten runners on base. Pete Alonso led the way with 8, as he continued to prove why he should be nowhere near the three spot in the order.

Dominic Smith and Robinson Cano finally got the chance to team up and lead the Mets offense. They both homered, and it was Cano’s first game off the Injured List. Luis Guillorme also recorded three hits and is 9-for-19 on the season.

The Mets and Steven Matz attempt to rebound on Saturday when they face Aaron Nola at a 6:05 p.m. ET start from Citizens Bank Park.