Morning Briefing: 2 days until deadline

July, 29, 2014
Jul 29
FIRST PITCH: On a roll, the Mets turn to Dillon Gee on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. to face the Philadelphia Phillies.

Gee (4-3, 3.49 ERA) has allowed 10 runs in 10 innings in two starts since the All-Star break. He opposes left-hander Cole Hamels (5-5, 2.72).

Tuesday’s news reports:

• Sandy Alderson said the Mets consummating a deal before Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline is “unlikely.” The GM went on to suggest that trading Bartolo Colon might be more sensible during the offseason, when teams may view the $11 million owed to Colon in 2015 a bargain relative to the price of a comparably talented free-agent pitcher.

Whether for Colon, Phillies starter A.J. Burnett or otherwise, scouts from the Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers were among those in attendance at Citi Field on Monday.

Writes columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post on the trade topic:

Let’s make this perfectly clear. Don’t trade any of the young pitchers, Mets. There is too much to lose. Dealing Bartolo Colon, however, for an offensive piece is a must.

Read more in the Post, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record and at

• Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports reports the Mets would be willing to trade Noah Syndergaard in a deal for Troy Tulowitzki. Writes Passan:

Icon SMIThere are conflicting reports about what the Mets would be willing to surrender in a deal for Troy Tulowitzki.

The St. Louis Cardinals expressed significant interest in him last offseason. They continue to reach out to the Rockies, as have the New York Mets, who are prepared to offer top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard in a deal for the 29-year-old. And the response is: Not yet. We’re not ready to deal him. We want to hear it from him.

Which is to say: We want him to be the bad guy, not us. It’s a ludicrous way to run a business, of course, and it highlights how little confidence the Rockies have in themselves to make the sort of a deal that reinvigorates and reenergizes a ballclub in desperate need of both.

Columnist David Lennon in Newsday has a different understanding, at least with respect to Syndergaard. Writes Lennon:

Tulowitzki is everything the Mets need -- a power bat for the middle of the lineup and a Gold-Glove caliber shortstop. What could be more perfect? But there also is a reluctance to plow headfirst into such a trade, a feeling that after stockpiling so much pitching talent, it's not a deal that has to get done tomorrow.

That's why the Mets -- for now -- are holding back on including Noah Syndergaard in any package, for Tulo or otherwise, according to a source. Syndergaard is the name at the top of every team's wish list, and as long as the Mets won't budge on that demand, it's going to take longer to work around such an obstacle for a player like Tulowitzki -- if a compromise can be struck at all.

Brian D. Kersey/Getty ImagesJacob deGrom is co-NL Player of the Week.

Jacob deGrom shared the NL Player of the Week Award with Miami Marlins closer Steve Cishek. Given deGrom and the Mets’ overall success of late, Alderson indicated there are no immediate plans to dislodge deGrom from the rotation, even though an 185-inning cap is creeping closer. Read more in the Post, Daily News and Star-Ledger.

• Colon took a scoreless effort into the eighth inning and Juan Lagares snapped an 0-for-17 drought with an opposite-field two-run double to cap a four-run first inning as the Mets beat the Phillies, 7-1, Monday at Citi Field. Travis d'Arnaud had a three-run homer and doubled twice as the Mets exceeded three runs for the first time in 10 games. With 56 games remaining, the Mets (51-55) trail the first-place Washington Nationals by 7 games. The Amazin’s are six games back of the second wild-card position, which is shared by the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants.

In what was his final start before the non-waiver trade deadline, Colon notched career win No. 199. On Sunday with the Mets -- or elsewhere, in the less-likely scenario he is traded -- Colon will try to join Juan Marichal (243) and Pedro Martinez (219) are the only Dominican-born pitchers to reach the 200-win plateau. Martinez notched No. 200 as a Met back in 2006.

Colon became only the second major league pitcher in the last five years to reach 10 wins in a season at age 41 order older, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Andy Pettitte won his 10th game last season when he was eight days older than Colon’s age Monday.

“I’m happy here,” Colon said through an interpreter regarding the trade deadline. “I would like to stay here, but it’s really not up to me.”

Read game recaps in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Star-Ledger, Record and at

• Read more on d’Arnaud in the Star-Ledger.

Dana Eveland took a line drive to the left elbow and was forced to depart in the ninth inning. X-rays were negative.

Daisuke Matsuzaka's elbow injury, which landed him on the DL on Friday, is not severe. Matsuzaka should resume tossing a baseball within days, Terry Collins said.

• Alderson said he has “absolutely no recollection whatsoever” of a conversation with Tony La Russa during their Oakland days in which La Russa allegedly conveyed concerns about players using steroids. Read more in the Daily News, Newsday and Star-Ledger.

• Kevin Plawecki went 2-for-4 with an RBI in his return from vertigo and John Lannan tossed six scoreless innings in his season debut in Triple-A as Las Vegas beat Salt Lake, 5-3. Albert Cordero’s single in the 12th plated Gavin Cecchini as St. Lucie beat Dunedin, 7-6. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Tim Rohan in the Times profiles the introverted Lucas Duda.

• Mets bench coach Ricky Bones will serve as the pitching coach for Margarita in Venezuela during the winter season, a source told Binghamton manager Pedro Lopez will serve as the bench coach for Dave Hudgens with Caracas.

• Will Sammon in Newsday catches up with Marlon Byrd, who could be traded by the Phillies in the next two days.

• Displeased with his ejection Sunday, Vegas pitching coach Frank Viola tweeted:

Amazing, my contemporaries are going into the Hall, and I'm getting tossed by kids who don't know a thing about the game. #gamegoingtohell

He then added in another tweet:

Tossed out of my 2nd AAAgame in a month! Can'topen mouth, otherwise I'm gone!;Still haven't said anything wrong, but been tossed twice!;BS!!

BIRTHDAYS: Felix Mantilla, who played 141 games for the original '62 Mets, was born on this date in 1934.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you believe Sandy Alderson that the Mets likely will make no deals by Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline?

Amid trade chatter, Colon dominates Phils

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
videoNEW YORK -- Even dressed in camouflage, there was no disguising Bartolo Colon's dominance on the mound for the scouts in attendance ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. In what could have been his final start as a Met, the right-hander allowed one run in 7 2/3 innings and struck out six in the New York Mets’ 7-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Mets still have ground to catch up to the San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves in the wild-card standings, but Colon’s résum&233; over the years shows that he has helped teams in the push for the playoffs.

Colon registered six wins after the All-Star break in 2013 to help the Oakland Athletics clinch the American League West.

Manager Terry Collins sees Colon’s value for a playoff contender as one of the “true veteran” players on his roster.

“This guy is down-to-earth. He’s calm. He’s not rattled by anything. He’s an inning-eating machine,” Collins said. “This guy brings something to the clubhouse and I think that our young Latin relief pitchers can attest to that. I think he’s helped them be better.”

Colon tied a season high with 121 pitches. With an off-day on Thursday, Collins felt no reason to limit the pitch count.

“You can stretch him for another five or 10, because they’re going to have that extra day,” Collins said. “I wasn’t concerned with his pitch count as I normally would be. He would’ve been out of the game if he was coming back in four days.”

Colon suggested he pays no mind nowadays to trade rumors. He said he learned to tune out the speculation and talks when he was dealt along with Tim Drew to the Montreal Expos in exchange for Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, Grady Sizemore and Lee Stevens in 2002.

“When they traded me to Montreal, that’s when I really noticed that this is a business,” Colon said in Spanish. “Really, after that, that’s when I quit paying attention.”

Tears were shed upon his departure from Cleveland, but not by him.

“I remember that my little boy started crying because he didn’t want to leave Cleveland,” Colon said. “He really liked his room there.”

Wherever he’s pitching next, Colon will be bidding for his 200th victory. Assuming he's not traded, which is the likelihood, that start would be Sunday as he faces the San Francisco Giants. Juan Marichal (243) and former Met Pedro Martinez (219) are the only two other Dominican-born pitchers to achieve that plateau.

Colon joined an exclusive club on Monday. He became the third Met age 41 or older to record double-digit wins, joining Tom Glavine (2007) and Orel Hershiser (1999), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The right-hander received a lot of support. The Mets produced four first-inning runs. Travis d'Arnaud added a three-run homer against A.J. Burnett in the fifth.

Colon has not allowed a homer in his past four starts, a season high. One scout in attendance told that a West Coast team with a pitchers’ ballpark could make sense as a possible trade destination.

Yet general manager Sandy Alderson may opt to hold on to the former Cy Young Award winner. The logic: His value could increase after the season.

“There will be lots of teams looking for pitching in the offseason,” Alderson said before the game. “And there will be lots of teams thinking about giving a veteran pitcher three or four years at $50 million, $60 million. At that point, an $11 million deal for one year for someone of his ability looks pretty attractive. I’m not sure it looks quite as attractive today as it would then.”

Minors 7.28.14: Cordero caps comeback

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
LAS VEGAS 5, SALT LAKE 3: Kevin Plawecki, who was dealing with vertigo, went 2-for-4 with an RBI in his first game since July 17. John Lannan made his Triple-A season debut after six tune-up starts with St. Lucie. Lannan tossed six scoreless innings. He previously had taken a leave of absence for seven weeks for a "personal issue." The 51s built a 5-0 lead after three innings. Matt Reynolds, Josh Satin and Plawecki had RBI singles in a three-run first. Box

NEW HAMPSHIRE 5, BINGHAMTON 1: Steven Matz surrendered three first-inning runs and the B-Mets never recovered. Kendall Graveman allowed one run in six innings in his

Double-A debut for New Hampshire. Jayce Boyd went 2-for-4 in the loss. In the first, Jon Berti walked and stole second. Two batters later, Andy Burns singled to plate Berti for the game's opening run. With two outs, Sean Ochinko homered for a 3-0 lead. In the fifth, Jorge Flores hit a one-out single against Matz and moved to third on a throwing error by first baseman Jayce Boyd. Berti grounded out to score the runner and extend New Hampshire's advantage to four runs. The B-Mets finally broke through in the bottom half. Back-to-back singles by Xorge Carrillo and Rylan Sandoval placed two on with nobody out. Carrillo was forced out at third base on Kyle Johnson's fielder’s choice. Brandon Nimmo then walked to load the bases and T.J. Rivera delivered a sacrifice fly. Matz (4-2) allowed five runs (four earned) on a career-high 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out four. Ryan Fraser and Jack Leathersich blanked the Fisher Cats over the final 3 2/3 innings. Box

ST. LUCIE 7, DUNEDIN 6 (12 innings): St. Lucie snapped an eight-game losing streak in dramatic fashion. The Mets scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth against Arik Sikula, the Florida State League’s saves leader. Jeff McNeil’s run-scoring groundout made it 6-5, and Wilfredo Tovar singled home Gilbert Gomez with two outs to send the game to extra innings. In the 12th, Gavin Cecchini led off with an infield single and advanced to second on shortstop Emilio Guerrero’s wild throw to first base. Albert Cordero then singled softly into left-center, plating Cecchini with the game-winning run. Cecchini and Cordero each went 3-for-6. It was Cordero’s first three-hit game this season and the second for Cecchini. Paul Sewald pitched a scoreless 11th and 12th to earn the win. Beck Wheeler struck out four over the ninth and 10th innings. He pitched around Kevin Patterson’s leadoff double in the 10th to keep the score tied. Box

SAVANNAH 7, LEXINGTON 2: Alex Panteliodis allowed sevens runs (five earned) on 10 hits and a walk in six innings in a loss in the opener. In Game 2, Savannah broke a scoreless tie with a four-run fifth inning that included a three-run double by Matt Oberste. Bret Mitchell (1-0), Dawrin Frias and Akeel Morris combined for 2 2/3 scoreless relief innings. Box 1, Box 2

DANVILLE 7, KINGSPORT 1: The K-Mets were held hitless until Oswald Caraballo's one-out single in the fourth inning. Box

BROOKLYN 8, LOWELL 5: The Cyclones produced a six-run fifth inning that included a two-run double by Will Fulmer to take a 7-2 lead. Anthony Chavez went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Box

GCL CARDINALS 5, GCL METS 3: Starter Eucebio Arias allowed four runs (three earned) in 1 1/3 innings. Milton Ramos' sacrifice fly capped a three-run fourth that pulled the Mets within 4-3. Box

Compiled with team reports

Eveland struck on elbow; X-ray negative

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
NEW YORK -- Dana Eveland dodged a bullet when X-rays of his left elbow were negative. Eveland was struck directly on the back of the elbow by a line drive off the bat of Ben Revere and was forced to depart in the ninth inning of the Mets' 7-1 win against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday at Citi Field.

"It hit me pretty square in the elbow," Eveland said. "Luckily it was like straight on the bone. It hit me right on the tip of the elbow, which scared the crap out of me at first. But as soon as we got in, we took an X-ray. The doc took a look at it already and said it's negative, it looks clean. So hopefully it doesn't swell up on me too much and I'll be good to go in the next day or two.

"Anytime you get hit in your throwing arm, you're going to be nervous right way. But it's not the first time it's happened. It probably won't be the last. Hopefully next time I'll just make a better pitch."

Eveland said he was foolish. Entering with a six-run lead, he mostly relied on his modest fastball.

"I obviously paid for it, gave up a couple of hits, and they ended up having to use another reliever, which we didn't want to do today," he said. "And I'm probably going to have a bruise, so that's what I get for being stupid, I guess."

Rapid Reaction: Mets 7, Phillies 1

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
NEW YORK -- Don’t break up this juggernaut!

In his final start before the non-waiver trade deadline, Bartolo Colon took a scoreless effort into the eighth inning and the Mets routed on-the-block A.J. Burnett and the Philadelphia Phillies with a 7-1 victory on Monday at Citi Field.

Travis d'Arnaud doubled and scored in a four-run first inning and later had a three-run homer against Burnett as the Mets (51-55) emphatically snapped a streak of nine straight games scoring three runs or fewer.

Mike Stobe/Getty ImagesBartolo Colon took a scoreless effort into the eighth inning on Monday.

Pending the West Coast results, the Mets moved to within 6 games of a wild-card spot.

Coming off a start in Seattle in which he retired the first 20 Mariners, Colon surrendered 10 hits and one walk in a 121-pitch effort, but kept the Phillies off the scoreboard until consecutive two-out doubles in the eighth by Domonic Brown and Carlos Ruiz. Colon had faced a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the sixth, but struck out Cody Asche.

Although Mets GM Sandy Alderson implied during pregame media time that waiting until the offseason to trade Colon would be more prudent, the 41-year-old right-hander did make a strong final pitch that he could be valuable to a postseason contender.

Colon improved to 10-8 with a 3.88 ERA. He joined Tom Glavine (2007) and Orel Hershiser (1999) as the only pitchers in franchise history to notch double-digit wins at age 41 or older, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays were among the teams with scouts at Citi Field on Monday, with speculation at the ballpark that they were at least monitoring both starting pitchers.

Burnett allowed seven runs on eight hits and two walks in five innings.

Snapped: The Mets scored four runs during a 33-pitch first inning by Burnett. That snapped a string of nine straight games in which the Mets scored three runs or fewer. The drought had matched the franchise’s longest streak since 1981, when the Mets went 11 straight games failing to reach four runs.

Daniel Murphy had an RBI double, Lucas Duda had a run-scoring single and Juan Lagares had a two-run double in the first.

D’Arnaud’s double preceded Lagares’ two-bagger. It ended a streak of 29 straight hitless at-bats with two outs and runners on base for the Mets, according to Elias.

D’Arnaud's fifth-inning homer staked the Mets to a 7-0 lead. He finished with three extra-base hits.

Ouch: Dana Eveland departed in the ninth inning after apparently getting struck in the back of the elbow by a line drive off the bat of Ben Revere.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (4-3, 3.49 ERA) opposes left-hander Cole Hamels (5-5, 2.72) at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday. Eric Campbell will be in the starting lineup, Terry Collins pledged, although the manager was noncommittal about the position. Campbell would appear most likely to play first base, since Duda is a career 1-for-13 with seven strikeouts and five walks against Hamels.

Sources: Bones to coach in Venezuela

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28

Courtesy of New York MetsRicky Bones

NEW YORK -- Mets bullpen coach Ricky Bones is headed to Venezuela to serve as pitching coach for Bravos de Margarita during the upcoming winter-league season, sources told

Bones last winter served as pitching coach for Puerto Rico's World Baseball Classic entry.

Bones isn't the only coach from the organization headed to Venezuela this winter. Double-A manager Pedro Lopez is headed to Leones del Caracas to serve as bench coach for former Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens, who manages that team.

Matsuzaka elbow issue not severe

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
NEW YORK -- Daisuke Matsuzaka, who landed on the disabled list on Friday with right elbow inflammation, should resume tossing a baseball in three or four days, Terry Collins said.

Collins said the elbow issue does not appear to be severe and that anti-inflammatory medication has sufficiently addressed the swelling.

Matsuzaka is not eligible to be activated from the DL until Aug. 9.

Alderson refutes La Russa allegation

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
NEW YORK -- Sandy Alderson denied recollection on Monday of any alleged conversation in which Tony La Russa shared suspicions of steroid use by players during their days with the Oakland Athletics.

“I spent a lot of time thinking about those kinds of circumstances over the years, particularly eight or nine years ago,” Alderson said Monday. “I have absolutely no recollection whatsoever or any such conversation.”

In Cooperstown over the weekend, La Russa told the Daily News: “I knew our programs in Oakland were 100 percent clean. But we had our suspicions -- guys hitting stronger but not working out. I went to Sandy and ownership about this. And they told me flat off, ‘Right of privacy. It’s a collective bargaining issue.’”

Asked if he had his own suspicions at the time about steroid use by Athletics players, Alderson said Monday: “If you go back and look at what I’ve said on the record, yes, I had my suspicions. Beyond that, I’m just here to respond to what Tony had to say and will leave it at that.”

deGrom wins award; won't be skipped soon

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
NEW YORK -- Jacob deGrom has been named NL Co-Player of the Week, sharing the honor with Miami Marlins closer Steve Cishek. And given the rookie's recent success, Sandy Alderson said the Mets have no plans to slow him down right now, even with an approaching innings cap.

In road starts last week at Seattle and Milwaukee, deGrom allowed one run in 13 1/3 innings. He became the first Mets rookie pitcher to win the NL Player of the Week Award since Octavio Dotel in 1999.

As for the inning cap, Alderson previously had identified it as roughly 185 for the season.

Counting his 2014 work in the minors, deGrom has 59 2/3 innings or so remaining this year.

If he pitched every five games for the rest of the season, that would mean he would have 11 starts remaining. So clearly something will have to give if deGrom is going to continue going seven innings an outing.

Because of deGrom’s success, along with the Mets’ solid play of late, team officials essentially will kick the decision down the road.

Alderson said the two options are letting deGrom go to the innings cap and then shut him down, or find a rotation turn later in the season to skip the rookie “if we find the right spot to do it.”

Added the GM: “So I think we have a couple of different ways of approaching that. Now, I don’t think we want to interrupt the flow that he has going, the success he’s had.”

Deal or no deal? Alderson predicts latter

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
NEW YORK -- With less than 72 hours until Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline, Sandy Alderson labeled it “unlikely” the Mets will make a deal.

“The conversations have been few,” the GM conceded Monday afternoon, before the opener of a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field.

According to Alderson, the Mets are not eager to sell off pieces for prospects while playing well. And players such as Bartolo Colon might command more during the winter anyway, the GM suggested.

On the buying end, the cost in terms of salary and prospects is too overwhelming for the limited pool of players available, the GM added.

Mark Humphrey/Associated PressSandy Alderson does not expect a trade materializing before Thursday's 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline.

“Had I to make a guess, I would say nothing will happen,” Alderson said. “But you never know what’s going to transpire in the last three days or so. Clubs that may be having conversations elsewhere circle back based on what they think their options may be. I’d say we have an opportunity to do a thing or two, but are not inclined to at this point. So it’s speculation, but I wouldn’t bet on something happening before the deadline.”

Colon starts for the Mets on Monday night. He is owed $11 million in 2015. And Alderson suggested that if Colon finishes the season strongly, he ought to be relatively attractive to teams in trades this winter.

“There will be lots of teams looking for pitching in the offseason,” Alderson said. “And there will be lots of teams thinking about giving a veteran pitcher three or four years at $50 million, $60 million. At that point, an $11 million deal for one year for someone of his ability looks pretty attractive. I’m not sure it looks quite as attractive today as it would then.”

The GM added: “We’re not anxious to move him at this point. It could happen.”

Asked to assess where the Mets are after their 5-5 road trip, which leaves them at 50-55 with 57 games remaining, the GM said: “We need to start making up ground on .500. And if we can do that, then we can start thinking about some of the other teams in the division and in the league. We were challenged offensively during that trip, but by and large we pitched very well. That was encouraging. Lucas Duda was outstanding on that trip. So when I say it’s unlikely we’ll do something, we’re not anxious to be sellers, cautious about being buyers.”

Alderson added that “it’s not clear that there’s something out there” that could improve the team anyway.

“Whatever may be out there, it may be prohibitive,” Alderson said. “... In any deal the cost is financial and prospects. And both currencies are important right now. We like some of the players we have in our system.”

Alderson added that the Mets’ young pitchers are what other teams are asking for in the limited conversations in which the Mets are buyers.

“Anybody who is offering us a potential upgrade on our current roster is looking at our young pitching,” Alderson said. “And from the standpoint of those interested in our veteran players, they’re offering prospects. We’re in that position where we don’t really want to give up prospects, but we’re not anxious to trade for guys that can’t help us nearer term. That may lead us to more of a status-quo situation.”

Asked how the Mets can improve their offense to match their pitching, Alderson pointed to a web site that just named its top 100 MLB prospects. Five names on the list were Mets, and four of those were position players.

“I think the overall profile of our system is changing a little bit and that there is more reason to believe that we have position players as well as pitchers,” Alderson said.

No one inquired by name about Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez during the interview. Alderson nonetheless was asked if he could envision a scenario in which he “throws his chips in the middle” to make a deal for a big bat.

“To me that sounds more desirable than inching your way there, giving up prospects in more cautious transactions,” Alderson said. “I wouldn’t rule that out. But it’s got to be the right time for the right player under the right circumstances.”

Could the Mets actually add another $20 million player given they already have David Wright?

“We’ve got a 20 and 15,” Alderson said, referring to Wright and Curtis Granderson.

So what about 20, 20 and 15?

“20, 20, 15 ... and what 22 dwarfs?” Alderson quipped, a seeming acknowledgement of the challenge that might pose at the current payroll level or thereabouts.

More seriously, the GM added: “It’s conceivable. We’d have to figure out exactly what our maximum is and then work back from there. I wouldn’t say that would preclude us.”

Monday's Mets-Phillies lineups

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
NEW YORK -- Here are the lineups for Monday's 7:10 p.m. series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field.

Curtis Granderson, rf
Daniel Murphy, 2b
David Wright, 3b
Lucas Duda, 1b
Chris Young, lf
Travis d'Arnaud, c
Juan Lagares, cf
Ruben Tejada, ss
Bartolo Colon, rhp

Ben Revere, cf
Jimmy Rollins, ss
Marlon Byrd, rf
Ryan Howard, 1b
Domonic Brown, lf
Carlos Ruiz, 2b
Cody Asche, 3b
Reid Brignac, 2b
A.J. Burnett, rhp

Plawecki catching pens, 'feeling good'

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28

Adam RubinKevin Plawecki is nearing a return to games.

NEW YORK -- Catching prospect Kevin Plawecki, who has been dealing with vertigo, has resumed taking batting practice and catching bullpen sessions and "has been feeling good," Paul DePodesta told

Plawecki, 23, last appeared in a game with Las Vegas on July 17.

Plawecki represented the Mets in the Futures Game along with Noah Syndergaard. He is hitting .234 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 47 at-bats in the Pacific Coast League since a promotion from Double-A Binghamton.

Payroll would need big leap to support Tulo

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
NEW YORK -- Let’s say the Mets pulled off the seemingly unlikely and landed Troy Tulowitzki in a trade this winter, which requires the Mets ponying up the winning package of prospects, starting with Noah Syndergaard.

What would the Mets’ payroll look like in 2015? And could the franchise support two players making $20 million a season?

Of course, the Mets could always try to deal Bartolo Colon and/or Daniel Murphy this winter to shed some money. But let’s look at existing commitments and see what type of payroll would be needed to support adding the Rockies shortstop even without any other notable retooling of the roster.

Tulowitzki is owed $20 million a season through 2019, then $14 million in 2020. He has a $15 million team option for 2021 that includes a $4 million buyout.

I haven’t done any calculations as to what the arbitration-eligible players’ raises would be, so below are crude estimates (with 2014 salaries in parentheses).

Guaranteed contracts

Tulowitzki $20M
David Wright $20M
Curtis Granderson $16M
Colon $11M
Jonathon Niese $7M

Subtotal: $74M

Arbitration-eligible players (including potential Super 2s)

Murphy $8M ($5.7M)
Dillon Gee $5M ($3.625M)
Lucas Duda $4M ($1.6375M)
Bobby Parnell $3.7M ($3.7M)
Jenrry Mejia $2.5M ($590,675)
Eric Young Jr. $1.95M ($1.85M)
Ruben Tejada $1.75M ($1.1M)
Anthony Recker $900k ($505,340)

Subtotal: $27.8M

That’s a total of 13 players making roughly $101.8 million.

There are 12 other players required to fill out a 25-man roster. Let’s say they all make close to the major league minimum in 2015, which will be adjusted upward modestly from this year’s $500,000 figure based on a cost of living calculation. That’s a total of at least $6 million.

Then, Mets officials previously have said another $4.5 million or so is always added into payroll estimates to account for things such as more than 25 players on the payroll at any given time (because of DL, etc.).

So let’s add $10.5 million to the $101.8 million.

So without any winter modifications other than letting expiring contracts lapse (like Chris Young's), adding Tulowitzki’s contract and otherwise returning the team intact means the Mets payroll would be about $112.3 million in 2015.

In fact, if you just had a $500,000 player instead of Tulo on the 2015 roster, the Mets’ payroll still would be up considerably from this year’s total before any modifications at all -- from roughly $85 million now to $92.8 million.

88 wins gets Mets into postseason?

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
NEW YORK -- The Mets continue to portray themselves as in a postseason race. And with solid play of late, it's fun to believe.

The reality is the required win total would be a major uphill battle.

What record would the Mets need to post the remainder of the season to have a shot?

At a minimum, going 38-19 -- a .667 win percentage -- would seem to be required.

That would get the Mets to 88-74 for the season.

In terms of winning the NL East, the Mets (50-55) currently trail the first place Nationals (57-45) by 8 1/2 games. Washington's .559 win percentage is on pace for 91 wins for the season.

And 91 wins is a low figure for winning this division over the past decade. In 2013, the Braves captured the NL East with 96 wins. Going backward, the other NL East-winning totals from the past decade are 98, 102, 97, 93, 92, 89, 97, 90 and 96.

So what about the wild card?

The Braves and Giants have identical 57-48 records and would be the two wild-card teams if the season ended today. Their .543 win percentages translate to 88 wins.

So that's the bare minimum the Mets would likely have to achieve.

This is the third year of two wild-card teams in each league. In 2013, Cincinnati got the second wild card with 90 wins. In 2012, St. Louis got the second wild card at 88.

If you go back historically for the remainder of the past decade and pretend two wild-card teams got in, the second win total would be: 89, 90, 88, 89, 89, 85, 88, 91.



Daniel Murphy
.295 7 39 60
HRL. Duda 18
RBIL. Duda 57
RD. Murphy 60
OPSL. Duda .856
WB. Colon 10
ERAJ. Niese 3.23
SOZ. Wheeler 121