Posted in Baseball

Featured autograph: Kelly Johnson

2010 Upper Deck Signature Sensations Kelly Johnson baseball card from my collection

Kelly Johnson is a 10-year MLB veteran who spent the majority of his career as an Atlanta Brave. Just before the trade deadline last year, the Mets sent two minor league pitchers to Atlanta for Johnson and Juan Uribe. The move strengthened the Mets’ lineup, though it was overshadowed by Sandy Alderson‘s subsequent trade for Yoenis Cespedes.

Johnson played in 49 regular season games for the 2015 National League champions, appearing at all four infield spots and the two corner outfield positions. He hit .250 with five home runs and one stolen base. In the playoffs, Johnson was limited to a reserve role where he was not a major factor for the Mets.

Although there had been some thought that the Mets would make an attempt to re-sign Johnson this winter, as the off-season developed it became clear that there was not room for him on the Mets’ roster. He signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves last month, beginning his third tour of duty with the club that drafted him.

Johnson does appear as a Met in last year’s Topps Update set, but I don’t know that I will have an opportunity to get a copy of that baseball card signed. For now, he is represented in my collection via this 2010 Upper Deck insert, which I purchased for $1.70.

Posted in Baseball

So you're saying there's a chance….

CitiFieldFor one night at least, everything went right in Mets-land.

  • Michael Conforto went 4-for-4 with a walk in his second major league game.
  • Kelly Johnson made a good first impression in his Mets debut by going 2-for-6 with a home run.
  • Kirk Nieuwenhuis also went 4-for-4, driving in four of the Mets’ 15 runs.
  • Lucas Duda hit a pair of home runs, offering hope that he’s returning to his April & May All-Star candidate form.
  • Daniel Murphy went 2-for-4, including a home run
  • Matt Harvey went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs… oh, and he pitched a pretty good game too.

It’s fun to watch your team score 15 runs on 21 hits in a single night instead of taking a whole week to reach those totals. Imagine if Terry Collins issued that “hit or sit” ultimatum a little bit sooner.

The Mets have a tougher challenge awaiting them today. Zack Greinke hasn’t given up a run since June 13th… but maybe, just maybe, the Mets can be the team to put an end to his scoreless innings streak.

And maybe, just maybe, they can find enough offense on a consistent basis to get their amazing starting rotation to the postseason where anything can happen.

It might take something on the order of a minor miracle, but after games like last night’s it’s easier to believe.

Posted in Uncategorized

That futile feeling….

Citi-Field-Night-IMG_201209The New York Mets’  brain trust did two things today that fans have been hoping for since the All-Star Break. They promoted outfielder Michael Conforto from Double-A Binghamton (about 13 months after he was drafted with the 10th overall selection last year) and they made a trade to acquire help for the major league offense.

It didn’t help, as the Mets lost 7-2 to the Dodgers and are now 2-6 since the break, just one game over the .500 mark for the season. But the Nationals also lost again, so the Mets remain just three games out of first place in the NL East.

Conforto drove in a run with a ground out in his second major league at-bat, but otherwise was a non-factor in the game. So were most of the other Mets batters.

The trade has yet to be officially announced by the Mets or Braves, but it should improve New York’s roster without costing the organization any players who factored into any immediate plans. Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe add depth, but they are not really the kind of players who can make a bad offense into a good one.

Much like the Michael Cuddyer signing last winter, I like the move if it’s the first step of a plan to retool the Mets’ lineup. But if it’s the only trade that happens in the waning days of July, I don’t see that much point. (And considering how the Cuddyer signing turned out so far, I have to admit that I don’t have a very good record evaluating player acquisitions.)