It’s been a few weeks since Topps Update came out. In one sense, Topps did a nice job with their selection of Mets players – six of the nine had not appeared on a regularly-issued baseball card as a Met before. In another way, the player choice was terrible – just three of the nine are still part of the Mets’ organization.
Here’s a look at the Mets cards in the Topps Update base set:
I was probably annoyed to see Johan Santana on the checklist this spring – he hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2012 and he’d signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles right around the time Heritage came out. Now, it could be Santana’s last baseball card (well, until Topps signs a contract to include him as an “all-time great” or “fan favorite”). Seems fitting to have a portrait photo with Santana smiling and a stat-filled card back with the “complete major league pitching record” of his great career.
Hopefully David Wright will have more to smile about next season. This is the more common of two photo variations on Wright’s card #284. I should have the other one by the end of the week, too.
Dilson Herrera and Dario Alvarez have already started to make contributions at the major league level, albeit in a very limited way. I’d like to believe they will only get better, and players like Steven Matz, Matt Reynolds and Kevin Plawecki will join them sooner rather than later.
But here’s the thing – we call minor league players “prospects” for a reason. Sometimes they don’t work out at all. Sometimes success is just reaching the major leagues and sticking for a little while in some role. Very, very rarely do they turn out to be stars.
The real New York Mets news is that the team is being sued by a former executive who alleges that she was harassed by chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon because she was unmarried and pregnant.
And at least one blogger wants to focus on what kind of caps Mets players will wear during tonight’s game.
It’s too bad, because the team on the field is actually kind of fun to watch again.
Rafael Montero finally earned his first major league win last night as the Mets completed a series sweep of the Colorado Rockies. Don’t look now, but the Mets are only four games under .500 are 5.5 games behind in the wild card race.
If they can figure out how to beat the Washington Nationals this weekend, the Mets will have a good chance to finish the year with a winning record. As it is, the Mets are almost guaranteed to improve upon the 74-88 mark that they’ve finished with in each of the last two seasons.
I picked up Montero’s autograph in a trade earlier this summer – I now have signed baseball cards for at least 886 of the 984 players who have appeared in at least one game for the New York Mets. I’ve only been able to make a few additions to my collection in 2014, but with luck I’ll at least manage to track down a few more signatures of the recent Mets in the near future.
Jon Niese is scheduled to have his second MRI exam of the spring today, and with Opening Day two weeks away it’s doubtful he’ll make his scheduled start.
Niese got a late start this spring because of shoulder soreness. He pitched two inning in a Grapefruit League game on March 11th and didn’t appear sharp. His fastball topped out at 89 mph, but manager Terry Collins didn’t seem too worried.
Sunday, Niese lasted two innings against the St. Louis Cardinals before leaving with a sore left elbow. In a total of four innings this spring, he has allowed six runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out just one batter.
While both Niese and the Mets have downplayed the severity of the injury, it’s hard not to be concerned. He missed seven weeks last season with a partial tear of his rotator cuff, and Niese has only come close to the 200 inning mark once in his professional career.
This is just another reminder of the fragility of pitchers. This weekend, the Arizona Diamondbacks learned that they’d probably be without ace starter Patrick Corbin this season. The Atlanta Braves should find out today if Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachywill need season-ending Tommy John surgery. And of course the only reason that Niese was in line for the Opening Day assignment this year was that Matt Harvey underwent Tommy John surgery last October.
As excited as we can get about a pitching rotation with Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard in it sometime in 2015, a lot of things can keep it from happening.