Posted in Baseball

Mayberry moves on

Former Mets outfielder and first baseman John Mayberry Jr. has signed a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers organization that includes an invitation to major league spring training camp.

I find that remarkable. Mayberry was awful during his 59 games as a Met in 2015, with a .164 batting average, .227 on-base percentage and .318 slugging percentage. When the Mets finally released Mayberry at the end of July, I thought that would be the end of his baseball career. (Somehow I missed his three weeks in the Chicago White Sox organization last August.)

For his career, Mayberry has decent numbers against lefties… so I guess it makes some sense to give him a shot. But how many 32-year-old players rebound from seasons like Mayberry’s 2015?

Anyway, here’s wishing him the best (except when the Mets head out to Detroit during the first week of August.)

Source: Hardball Talk

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Mets still hanging on despite inept offense

Michael Conforto's 2014 Bowman Draft baseball card
Is Michael Conforto the answer to the Mets’ offensive woes?

The New York Mets salvaged the final game of their weekend series with the St. Louis Cardinals and are continuing to tread water in both the National League East and wildcard races. In the former, they trail Washington by 2 games and have a chance to make up ground when they play the Nationals starting tonight. In the latter, they trail the Chicago Cubs by 2 games, with the San Francisco Giants in between them at 1 game back.

And though the standings say the Mets are very much in the race, another set of numbers paints a very different picture.

In yesterday’s 18-inning victory, the Mets tied a club record by stranding 25 runners on base. (The mark was originally set in 1974 during a 25-inning game.) Mets hitters went 1-for-26 with runners in scoring position and are 3-for-62 with runners in scoring position over their last 8 games. For the season, Mets batters have hit .227 with runners in scoring position and have driven in just 222 runs. Only the Seattle Mariners have been less productive.

Does anybody else see the flaw in Sandy Alderson‘s offensive philosophy that focuses on walks and home runs?

I watched the first six innings of Sunday’s game before I went to work. When I checked to see who won during my break and saw that they were still playing, I half-expected that the game would still be going on when I got home.

Fortunately, the Mets won and I was spared about four hours of frustrating baseball. Unfortunately, we’re looking at a team that could be very tough to watch if Alderson doesn’t do something to improve the offense soon – amazing starting pitching can only carry you so far.

And it looks like a not-very-deep lineup is only going to get worse. Michael Cuddyer is probably headed to the disabled list if the Mets trainers can’t help his balky knee with whatever secret treatment plan they’ve cooked up to try today. Cuddyer’s .250 / .300 / .380 slash line has been disappointing, but Kirk Nieuwenhuis and his .175 / .242 / .404 slash line will probably get the most playing time because of Cuddyer’s absence. And Darrell Ceciliani – the most likely call-up candidate – hit .206 / .270 / .279 during his first stint with the Mets.

There’s increasing pressure to promote top prospect Michael Conforto from Double-A Binghamton, where he’s hitting .325 with 5 home runs and 24 RBI in 41 games. But Conforto is a second-year pro with all of 570 plate appearances. A number of scouts believe he could succeed at the major league level despite his young age. And honestly, it would not be hard to offer more production than Nieuwenhuis, Ceciliani and John Mayberry Jr. (.180 / .250 /.354.)

But if Conforto gets promoted to the Mets this month, particularly in the absence of any significant trade deadline acquisitions, fans and media are going to look to him to carry an offense that looks dead on arrival most nights. If he’s not the second coming of Darryl Strawberry — or at least the 1988 version of Gregg Jefferies — things could get really ugly, really fast. I’d hate to see a kid get labeled as a bust if he doesn’t immediately succeed in a job he might not be ready for.

Conforto should see a promotion – to Triple-A, where he’ll face pitchers with some major league experience. But that’s really not going to help the 2015 Mets offense… I hope Alderson has something in mind that will.

Posted in Uncategorized

Merry Christmas

B428fvuCIAA1cXrI’d like to take a moment to wish you all a merry Christmas (or a happy Thursday, if you don’t celebrate the Christian holiday.)

I haven’t written anything here in almost a month. Partly that’s due to having less free time to write – I took a seasonal job at a department store so I’d have some money coming in during the holidays. Partly it’s due to not having much to write about – while John Mayberry Jr. may turn out to be an important part of the Mets’ bench, I don’t really have much to say about him.

And Mayberry’s been the most interesting addition to the Mets’ roster since the early signing of Michael Cuddyer. At some point, I’ll probably want to talk about the moves that the Marlins, Braves and Phillies have been making this winter… but that can wait until we get closer to spring training.

(And how about those Padres and Dodgers? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen two teams in the same division make such significant roster overhauls during the same off-season.)

Mike-PiazzaUntil today, I hadn’t added many new baseball cards to my collection in the last month. But when I got home from work today, I found a surprise envelope from Geof, who occasionally sends interesting packages my way. I opened it to find a Mets yearbook from 1972, an issue of Time magazine from 1986 with a young Doc Gooden on the cover, some vintage Topps baseball coins, and an assortment of oddball baseball cards.

They are all awesome, but I’m going to save most of them for another time. But this is the perfect time to feature one, a Mike Piazza card that went right on our Christmas tree. Pacific certainly did produce some interesting baseball cards, once upon a time.