Mets Beat Nats in Spring Training Opener

The Mets beat the Nationals 6-2 after a 4 run, 3 homer first gave the Mets a 4-0 lead against Josiah Gray. Luis Guillorme, Dom Smith and Nick Plummer all went the opposite way for a homer.

Smith and Guillorme drove in a run later in the game to get the Mets total to 6 runs on the day. Guillorme went 3 for 4 with his homerun and 2 singles with 2 runs batted in.

Dom Smith kept his strong start going with a 2 for 3 day with a homerun and triple. Early on Dom has been the 2020 Dom we got to love, so hopefully that continues.

On the pitching side, the Mets got a great outing from 27 year old Josh Walker. Walker was impressive in the minors last year and he didn’t disappoint today. Walker went 3 scoreless innings allowing just one hit and 2 walks, with 2 strikeouts. On the only hit he allowed, the Mets made a terrific relay play to get the out at third. Mangum>Guillorme>JD.

Alex Claudio, Rob Zastryzny, Eric Orze and Stephen Nogosek all threw scoreless frames in their outings. Holderman allowed an unearned run and Trey Cobb allowed the only Mets earned run.

Photo Credit: Mets on Twitter

Listen: The Mets Junkies Podcast (Episode 33): Is deGrom deGone?

Corné and Gem talk about Pete Alonso’s car wreck and his Top 10 ranking on MLB Now, as well as deGrom’s future status with the Mets. They also have an update on Taijuan Walker, and speculate on why Robinson Cano is not currently on the teams 40 man roster.

Is Freddie Freeman a Good Fit for the Mets?

Major League Baseball is back, bay-bay! After the MLBPA and the owners have come to an agreement, teams are now again allowed to negotiate deals with free agents. One of those free agents that are set to garnish a lot of attention is first baseman Freddie Freeman.

The feeling and perception around the league is that Freeman has played his last games with the Braves and plans to be moving on, as reported by Joel Sherman.

There aren’t too many MLB teams that would refuse Freddie Freeman and what he has to bring to the table, offensively as well as defensively. While Freeman is already at the age of 32, he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down just yet.

It’s been rumored that the Tampa Bay Rays have shown interest before the lockout took place, as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers even offering Freeman a multi-year deal.

The first baseman hit .300/.393/.503/.893 in 600 AB’s for the Braves in during the 2021 campaign, along side 31 home runs and 25 doubles. Freeman took home the Silver Slugger Award while also leading the league in runs scored in what could be his final season in Atlanta.

The Braves did put an offer of $135M on the table throughout five years, however it’s said that the former MVP has his eyes set on at least a six year pact.

The deal is going to take some serious commitments in the form of cash and the amount of years involved. But with Steve Cohen seemingly willing to go the extra mile, it isn’t completely out of the question.

What if the Mets made a deal? How would it effect them?

It would give the Mets a number three hitter for at least two to three years in the form of a solid defensive glove at first. Former Mets catcher and current analyst on SNY, Anthony Recker has stated in a segment that Freeman is the type of player that still wants to be on the field.

It’s a valid statement considering we’ve heard the same from Pete Alonso, also a first baseman. With the DH set to take over, it does give the Mets the option to have both players in the lineup.

However, this would likely force Dom Smith off of the Mets roster. While he’d be an obviously great bat off the bench, a trade would give the team the chance to acquire a middle of the rotation arm or even replenish the MiLB system.

But the answer is “Duh!”, Freeman is a great fit for the Mets.

Photo: Fox Sports

Could a Smith for Bellinger Trade Work?

Dom Smith and Cody Bellinger. Two left handed hitters who struggled mightly in the 2021 season, after great years in years past. Bellinger is enjoying a good Postseason, but until the Muncy injury, his playing time was in jeopardy.

Bellinger had an even lower bWAR then Dom Smith (-1.5 to -0.7). This shows how awful Bellinger was during the year as he hit just .165/.240/.302. Both Bellinger and Smith had a major drop off in the power department, which is a concern for both.

If you look at both Baseball Savant pages, they lacked expected slash lines and hard hit rates. So they weren’t unlucky, they both just didn’t hit well. Their main issue was their barrel percentage dropped mightly. Overall Smith had at least some promising to league average percentiles, while Bellinger was at the bottom for the most part, besides OAA (Outs Above Average).

Dom Smith
Cody Bellinger

However, if you look at the last 3 years, Bellinger has outhit Smith with a 122 OPS+ combined over Smith’s 113 OPS+. This includes Belli MVP year which was the year he outperformed his career norm.

Why would this work for the Mets?

Dom Smith value is at the lowest point in his career, but at this point the Mets can’t keep Smith in the lineup playing Left. For a bench player he lacks versatility, so he is a man without a position right now. Smith as DH after the offensive year he had, is a big risk, as you need a lot of offensive production from the DH spot.

So you might be better off giving his roster spot to someone else, who fits the roster better. But trading Smith on his lowest value, isn’t a smart business move. Only if you can trade for another player, with potential of a terrible year. In comes Cody Bellinger.

Bellinger fits the roster for the Mets better as he plays a very solid outfield as he recorded plus 3 OAA in CF. He also had succes in RF with a plus 6 OAA in his final year playing there everyday in 2019. With Conforto becoming a free agent, Bellinger has a spot in RF to play. A McNeil-Nimmo-Bellinger outfield is a potentially great one if Belli can get himself back to old form.

Bellinger has 2 years of control left and is arbritration eligible. He is expected to get 16.1 Mil per MLB Trade Rumors. That’s a 12.1 mil increase over Dom Smith who has 3 years of control left.

This move would be more costly, but a move that could be beneficial for the Mets as Bellinger is a way better fit on the roster. Giving up Dom is a risk but getting Bellinger could be a risk well worth the possible reward. Also the 12.1 difference wouldn’t kill your payroll and should give the Mets room enough to fill other roles.

Why would the Dodgers make this move?

The Dodgers are a powerhouse with a large payroll, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to shred a little bit. Smith has a way more favorable contract and has more control. With Seager likely gone and Turner moving from second to his favorite spot at short, the Dodgers could move Muncy to second to make room for Dom. This would work for Dom to be comfertable at his favorite position.

With this trade the Dodgers get their own hitter in the hope he rebounds. Dom wasn’t good in 2021 (although better then Bellinger) but he was lights out in 2020. Yes it was a shortened season, but his 2019 was also strong offensively. What hurt his WAR in those years was the dreadful defense at a position that doesn’t suit him well.

So in conclusion, the Dodgers get a high potential bat that fills their need with Belli gone for a lower cost.

If you look at Baseball Trade Values, Bellinger had a 0.0 value, while Dom had a 1.5 value. This shows Belli value has dropped and an one for one trade isn’t impossible. If this trade is made it could go either way. Or great for both, terrible for both and one gets away with a huge win. In the end it’s a risk for both.

What are your thoughts about this proposal? Do you see it happening? Is the one for one swap realistic? Let us know in the comments.

Photo Credit: New York BBWAA on Twitter

Wednesday’s Pitching Preview & Lineup 7/21

The 49-43 New York Mets will play the last of a three-game set against the 49-46 Cincinnati Reds. After splitting the first two games, the Mets look to take the rubber match against this scrappy Cincinnati club.

This afternoon’s contest will feature Long Island native Marcus Stroman on the hill. Stroman owns a 6-8 record and has pitched to a 2.79 ERA in 103.1 innings. In his last seven however, he’s struggled a bit as he’s been pitching to a 3.62 ERA with a 1-2 record during that stretch.

Stroman picked up the loss in his last out but did pitch well. The right-hander tossed five innings while giving up two runs on on eight hits against the Pirates in Pittsburgh.

The Cincinnati Reds will have 23-year old, Latham, New York local Jeff Hoffman on the mound, a former first round pick (9th Overall) of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2014 draft. In his last start, Anderson pitched 1.1 innings while giving up two runs on five walks and two hits in a loss against the Washington Nationals.

Hoffman, so far is having an mediocre season, pitching to a 4.61 ERA while owning a 3-4 record. The right-hander has also struck out 39 batters in 41.0 innings pitched, so far this season. In his career, Hoffman owns a 13-20 record to go alongside a 6.13 ERA in 78 games.

First pitch is scheduled for 12:35 PM EST and will be televised locally on SNY, as well as nationally on MLB Network.

MetsJunkies Recap: Bucs upset Mets late

Tylor Megill keeps on impressing as he took the mound on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Listen, the Pirates aren’t going to compete for their division this season however, they’ve definitely proven to be quite the scrappy little club.

Megill on the other hand, tossed six shut-out innings while allowing six hits and no walks in the contest. The rookie right-hander has now lowered his ERA 2.63 after making 5th appearance of the season.

The Pirates did make Megill work quite hard right out of the gate as it took 22 pitches to finally end the first inning, stranding Adam Frazier on second. While Megill definitely pitched well enough to earn the win, that wasn’t the case as the rookie didn’t get a decision.

Luis Guillorme is proving that not only is he the best option with the glove when it comes to temporarily replacing Lindor at shortstop, but he’s doing it with the stick, too.

The slick fielding infielder would go 1-3 with a run scored as well as a double in the fourth inning.

The Mets used J.D. Davis as their clean-up batter and it was a great move. Davis ended up hitting two two-run bombs in his 3-4 effort, alongside four RBI’s which at one point (Fourth Inning) were the Mets’ only runs on the board.

Travis Blankenhorn came into the game in the top of the seventh to pinch-hit for Megill and absolutely laced a double off of the right-center field wall. The extra-base hit would plate across Luis Guillorme, giving the Mets the 5-0 lead.

Coming into the game, Blankenhorn was just 1-11 with a .348 OPS while with the Mets.

Brandon Nimmo continues to get on base at an elite level. The Mets centerfielder drew three walks against Pirates pitching and crossed the plate once on his 1-2 game.

It all started to go down hill for the Mets in the 8th inning when Seth Lugo surrendered five runs on three hits and two walks in just 0.2 innings. Lugo now has an inflated ERA of 5.09 after Saturday’s disaster of an outing.

Edwin Diaz failed just as bad as the closer gave up four runs in the ninth, blowing the save as well as picking up the loss. Diaz would give up a grand slam to Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings for the walk off as the Mets suffer from a 9-7 loss.

Taijuan Walker will take the hill for the Mets on Sunday afternoon as the Mets look to at least take one game from these Pirates.

MetsJunkies Recap: Pirates left stranded out at sea

The Mets opened up a can of whoop-ass on the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field on Friday. Taijuan Walker took the mound and unfortunately, was not the winning pitcher.

While the Mets would end up beating the Pirates, 13-4, the offense didn’t cement the lead until the bottom of the sixth. That would be a full inning after Walker’s departure.

The Shreveport, Louisiana Native ended up throwing five innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits and three walks.

Jonathan Villar put the Mets on the board first as he laced a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the third. The home run would tie the game 1-1 and counts as Villar’s seventh home run of 2021.

Brandon Nimmo soon after put the Mets up by lining a double in the right-center field gap, plating across catcher James McCann.

Later in the fifth, after Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor set the table for Dom Smith, Smith would take advantage by pushing across Nimmo with an RBI single.

Star slugger Pete Alonso immediately followed with a low line drive that was tall enough to clear the centerfield wall. The Mets first baseman now has 16 home runs on the campaign after Friday’s three run shot, putting the team up over the Pirates, 6-2.

After Pirates pitching forced in two runs on a hit by pitch and walk, Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam, giving the Mets the 12-2 lead.

Jonathan Villar would continue to be a solid acquisition as he would hit his second home run of the evening, this one, his 8th, coming in the seventh.

Aaron Loup would be the Mets pitcher of record, logging in his third victory of the campaign.

MetsJunkies Recap: Doubleheader split, Mets take series against Yankees

No Jacob deGrom? No problem. Ok, not really, however in a series in which the two-time Cy Young award winner didn’t pitch, the Mets were still able to come out victorious.

The first game of the doubleheader featured another high scoring contest, as both Pete Alonso and Dom Smith went yard.

Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil, and Luis Guillorme all had a multi-hit game.

Marcus Stroman hit the mound and threw five innings, giving up five runs, three earned, on six hits. The right hander unfortunately did not pitch well enough for the win, however the Mets’ offense was more than capable as the team won 10-5 over the Yankees.

Corey Oswalt would make his third appearance of the season in the second game but would only pitch four innings. Oswalt ended up giving up three runs on four hits while striking out four in the 2-4 loss

Pete Alonso homered for the second time of the day as he lined a two-run shot over the right field fence. The home run would come in the fourth inning and plate across Dom Smith as the team’s only runs.

The Mets will host the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday evening with Tylor Megill taking the mound against righty Brandon Woodruff.

MetsJunkies Recap: Mets aggressor in Subway Mugging

Taijuan Walker has been an absolute steal for this New York Mets ball club and he continued his great season against the Yankees on Saturday. Walker hit the mound and ended up tossing about five no-hit innings before it would be broken up in the 6th.

Walker would end the day pitching 5.2 innings while giving up two runs on two hits. The Shreveport, Louisiana native also walked two but struck out five in his outing.

The Mets offense was led by Brandon Nimmo as the outfielder returned to the lineup with a three-hit game. After missing approximately a third of the season with what was later described as a pinched nerve, Nimmo now has a slash line of .333/.435/.444/.880.

While a whole slew of players had a multi-hit day, Dom Smith’s performance stood out as the first baseman drove in three runs with his three hits. Smith is currently hitting .256/.324/.392/.716 with 34 RBI’s on the campaign.

The Mets bullpen continues to flourish as they combined for 3.1 innings while giving up a run (Miguel Castro), and striking out five.

The Mets look to make it a sweep on Sunday, however it’ll be a tall order as both teams are scheduled for a doubleheader.

MetsJunkies Recap: Mets drop second straight

After being blown out the night prior, the Mets came back and played good baseball, however it would go down in a loss. Jacob deGrom gave up three runs out of the gate in the bottom of the first, two of them coming off of an Austin Riley home run.

The Mets did get on the board first in the top half via a hard hit single by Michael Conforto. Lindor would score on the play after stealing a bag off of the Ian Anderson/Kevan Smith combination.

Dom Smith would hit a pair of home runs, his 7th and 8th of the year. While the surge in power was great to see in the latter innings, it still wasn’t enough as they fell short 4-3 to the Braves.

Trevor May pitched a scoreless inning and has lowered his ERA to 3.34 after making his 34th appearance of the campaign.

The Mets look to turn things around in the Subway Series against the Yankees starting on Friday, weather permitting.