Archive for the 'Brandon Nimmo' Category

Subway Series History and Trade Deadline

The Mets have played 104 games that count against the cross town rival Yankees. The Mets have won 44 while the Yanks have won 60. The Yankees swept the Mets once in 2003 (six games) and the Mets have swept the Bombers once in 2013 (four games). Last season, in a year where the Mets went to the World Series and the Yankees made the playoffs as the second wild card, the Mets lost the season series two games to four.

This season, the Mets are four games over .500 entering the subway home and home series and the Yanks are at the .500 mark. Both New York clubs had miserable weekends. The Yanks were swept in a three game set at Tampa Bay while the Mets were able to salvage the final game of a four game set against Colorado at Citi Field thanks to Neil Walker. It’s safe to say that both clubs are struggling.

The Mets have experienced a rash of injuries this season having lost Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera to the disabled list this weekend. Add them to the list that already includes David Wright, Matt Harvey, and Juan Lagares who have been lost for the season. Then there’s Lucas Duda still out and unclear when he will be coming back. Reliever Jim Henderson is also still on the DL with Zach Wheeler still hoping to make a 2016 appearance.

The Yanks on the other hand are suffering from an aging roster after countless years of success. In the last week, they have traded two of their star relievers and have stock piled some outstanding prospects. The Yanks now have seven of the top 100 prospects in their system as they tool their club to be great again in the not too distant future.

The Mets, although looking very vulnerable of late, are still in a slightly better position playoff wise. They are 6.5 games back of the Nationals for the division lead and 2.5 games back of the Marlins for the second wild card spot. The Yankees meanwhile are 7 games back of division leading Baltimore and 5.5 games back of wild card two Boston.

Performance wise, the difference between the two New York clubs really comes down to the month of April. In that month, the Mets went 15-7 while the Yankees went 8-14. Since that time, the Mets have struggled to a 39-43 mark as injuries mounted and the Mets offense sputtered horrendously. Meanwhile the Yanks have gone 46-38. There is no question the Yankees have played better than the Mets since May 1st. But the Mets head into the subway series with a better record than the Yankees at 54-50 to 52-52 respectively. It’s only the sixth time in twenty seasons of interleague play that the Mets have a better record than the Yankees on the eve of their first meeting of the season. Here’s a history of the other times when the Mets were better than the Yanks prior to the subway series.

The first time was in 2005. The Mets were 22-19 heading into the subway series with the Yankees at 21-20. The Mets and Yanks split the six games that season, Mike Piazza’s last with the Mets. The next season, in 2006, the Mets had one more win than the Yanks but the same amount of losses with a 24-16 record vs. a 23-16 record.  Also that season, the Mets went further in the post season than the Yanks for the first time when both teams made the playoffs. (Of course both clubs made it to the last game of 2000). The largest disparity in the Mets favor occurred in 2007. On the eve of that subway series’ first meeting of the season, the Mets were 26-14 and in first place while the Yankees were struggling at 18-21 in second place trailing the Red Sox. The following season, the Mets were a game over .500 at 20-19 with the Yankees two games under at 20-22.

Since the new New York baseball stadiums era began, the Mets had virtually the same record in 2012, (32-26 vs. 31-25). Last season, the Mets had won eleven in a row with a 13-3 record prior to meeting the Yankees for the first time. So there you have it. The Mets were better than the Yankees just five times in the twenty seasons that interleague play has occurred before tonight’s contest.

Interestingly, in 1997 the Mets were 36-30 and the Yankees were 37-29 on the eve of the very first Mets-Yankees subway series. After Dave Mlicki pitched a complete game shutout in that historic first game, both New York teams had identical records of 37-30. Mets equality was short lived however as the Yanks took the next two, winning the series. Back then, the two rivalries met only once during the season.

The home and home series is something relatively new since interleague play began. It started in 2013 and only happens when the Mets do not play American League East teams. When they do, the Mets and Yanks go back to the traditional three game series in each park. This season, it starts in Citi Field for two then moves over to Yankee Stadium II on Wednesday for games three and four.

What makes this subway series unique is that it starts on the day of the non-waiver trade deadline. That’s never happened before. As stated, the Yanks have already sold off while the Mets are still looking to do something to bolster their dreadful offense.

I long for the day when the Mets are clearly New York’s team. But with the disappointing season they have had and with the Yankees playing better and having made a great haul of prospects, I’m skeptical we’ll ever see it happen.

I certainly hope the Mets do not mortgage their future today. So many things have gone wrong in terms of injury and less than normal performance, it may be fruitless to try and repair a team that really just needs a winter to get healthy and regroup.  Many of these Mets are still very young. It would be easy to give up on them considering the microscope of New York. But doing so could prove to be costly in the long term.

It’s interesting that Yankee general manager has taken a page out of Sandy Alderson’s book in that he has sold off a couple of stars for very good prospects. I would hate to see the Mets give up on the philosophy they have embraced. Sometimes a season just doesn’t work out the way it was planned. The Mets have had a lot of bad luck this year. I say make a tweak move or two and let the chips fall where they might. I simply don’t want to see the Mets head into years of uncertainty yet again because they failed to be patient and unnecessarily moved key prospects.

Update:  The Mets traded Dilson Herrera and a minor league pitcher for Jay Bruce. I’m glad they got Bruce but I am extremely disappointed they had to deal Herrera. You never know how a prospect is going to turn out however all we have heard is that Herrera would be a future all star. In Bruce, the Mets have a great power hitter and everyone knows they needed one. With all the injuries the Mets have suffered this season, the only real shot to make the post season was to make a deal like this. The Mets can control him through next season. Meanwhile the Mets outfield is like a Sudoku puzzle.

Who plays where?

Nimmo who was originally headed for Cincinnati but remains because the deal had to get reworked because of somebodies medical reports, will likely get sent back to AAA until September 1st. Does Conforto play center or does Granderson? Should be interesting.

In other moves, the Mets brought back Jonathan Niese. This one boggles my mind and with letting their future second baseman go makes me wonder if the Mets really don’t know what they are doing again. Hopefully they do and hopefully they turn things around and begin a run like they did a year ago. But we’ll see. Seldom does it happen that what occurred in one season happens again in the following.

New Blood

The Mets will try and complete the pattern this evening by defeating the Orioles and sweeping the series. They were swept by the Yankees, then swept the Rays in Tampa before being swept again at home against Cincinnati. As this roller coaster season progresses, the Mets continue to bounce back when all looks lost. They have done so again by taking the first two from Baltimore by identical scores of 5-0. It’s the Orioles first visit ever to Citi Field. Hopefully they will not want to come back for a while if the Mets can complete the task of giving Buck Showalter a severe case of acid reflux. Actually his own team appears to be doing that.

With the two shutouts in a row, the Mets now have an 8-3 record in preventing the other team from scoring, the best in the Majors.  Here’s another interesting stat. In games decided by two or three runs, the Mets record is 13-6. They are 9-8 in one run games and in games decided by four runs, the Mets are 2-7. That’s odd. But games decided by 5 runs, the Mets are 8-2. Odd again, don’t you think? In games decided by six or more runs, the Mets are 5-9. So overall the Mets seem to do quite well in low scoring games. In high scoring games they typically lose except if the difference is 5 runs. Go figure.

Minors in full swing…

The Mets minor league affiliates are now in full swing. On Monday, the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League (short-season A) opened their season with a win at home against the Staten Island Yankees. The four game home and home series continued last evening with another win for the Cyclones at SI. Brandon Nimmo, last season’s first round draft pick is playing center field and batting second for the Cyclones. Also at Brooklyn is Kevin Plawecki, the supplemental pick from this year’s first round, 35th overall. Plawecki is a catcher. The Cyclones play in Staten Island again this evening before returning to Brooklyn to face the Yankees tomorrow night.

Also underway are the Kingsport Mets (rookie league) of the Appalachian League who opened with a loss last evening in Princeton, West Virgina. Gavin Cecchini, this year’s first round pick has already been signed and is playing shortstop for the K-Mets. Branden Kaupe, also a shortstop and drafted in the fourth round is playing second base for Kingsport.

The Mets dropped their Gulf Coast League (rookie) Mets this past winter leading to speculation the Mets were really hurting financially. Mets GM Sandy Alderson insisted the move was simply to consolidate what he felt was a bloated farm system. In fact, the Mets had more farm teams than most other organizations.  So far, except for Binghamton of the Eastern League  (AA) and the 0-1 K-Mets, the other affiliates are all having winning seasons. The St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League (advanced A) have already clinched the first half southern division title having run away with the race early on. The Savannah Sang Gnats of the South Atlantic League (A) have a strong second place record as their first half comes to an end as well.  Likely, players who have had an outstanding first half in the A ranks will move up to AA Binghamton whose record is a few games under .500.  Perhaps Zach Wheeler (an ace in the making?) will be promoted to AAA Buffalo since he appears to have dominated double A hitters.

Speaking of aces, Buffalo’s Matt Harvey had another outstanding outing as he pitched six strong innings last night. He gave up one run on six hits and struck out seven while walking only two.

College World Series

Speaking of draft picks, the Mets have two in the College World Series. The 71st pick overall in the second round, Matt Reynolds plays third base for the University of Arkansas.  They are undefeated in the CWS  having won against both Kent State and South Carolina in bracket 2. Both these clubs play each other to determine who will play Arkansas in the double elimination final round. The winner will move on to the championship round.

David Boyd, 6th round pick (200 overall) is a first baseman who is currently playing for Florida State, who won their elimination game against UCLA last night. They will play Arizona for the chance to move on to the Championship round starting on Sunday. Neither Reynolds or Boyd have yet to sign with the Mets.

For Nimmo and Other Elite Players, Was College Really an Option?

The Mets signed their top draft pick Brandon Nimmo for a franchise record 2.1 million dollars last evening prior to the 12:01AM deadline. That means the Mets paid over slot, a crucial step that proves Sandy Alderson and his staff have raised the bar in terms of procuring the best talent available. In fact, the Mets signed 19 of their top 21 picks as well as many others after round 21.

It’s a strange game where hundreds of thousands of dollars are shelled out to players that have never seen one professional pitch. That is the nature of the amateur draft these days. Few make it, but you better have a lot of good prospects to increase the odds of a couple making it or making them part of a game changing trade.

Actually I am rather shocked that so many of these deals go to the last minute. It appears to me that many players, at least the high school ones, and their parents are not paying attention to anything other than sports.

To me, the idea of walking away from a couple of hundred thousand dollars on up to attend college is simply ridiculous.  Isn’t the idea of going to college to get a good job when you get out? Please tell me how many college students graduate today and start out in business making anything close to what some of these top prospects receive in a signing bonus. Don’t get me wrong, I am talking top prospects, not a player from the 50th round being offered 10k or less to sign.

The fact is there are few jobs available today for the millions of college graduates churned out every spring. In case you have not been paying attention, there is a huge job crisis in this country as corporations continue to outsource jobs to many foreign countries. Plus the cost of college is staggering. Most students must take out college loans that put them in a hole for upward of 20 years after they graduate. If things do not work out for Mr. Nimmo, the money he made last evening will send him and his children’s children to college if properly invested. Also, today colleges are filled with people from all different age groups. The point being you can always go to college.

Would Nimmo’s dad actually have balked over a couple of hundred grand and sent his son to Arkansas with the potential of being injured as an amateur, never earning a dime from pro ball. If so, shame on him. How is that looking after his son’s wellfare?

David Wright signed out of high school. He earned a huge pay day with the Mets and likely will again after 2013. He has promotion deals too. Should David have gone to college instead?

I am not trying to come off as a hardcore capitalist, I’m not. Most of these players are from average middle class families. (You remember the middle class, don’t you?) I am simply pointing out that an opportunity for these elite high school players will not always be there. They should grab it when they can.

The Mets got their player. Their new player got a lot of money. Both should be happy today.