Sixty children played catch with Jenrry Mejia, got hitting tips from Andrew Brown and caught fly balls thrown by Jeremy Hefner during the Verizon Kid’s Clinic at Citi Field on Sunday morning.
“For me my favorite part of the day was playing with the Mets — it was fun,” Kevin Paguay of Elmhurst said. “They taught me how to bat, throw, pitch.” Kevin’s favorite part of the day was working with bullpen coach Ricky Bones who helped him pitch and improve his aim.
It took a little over 49 years but the Midsummer Classic, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game has returned to Queens.
Unlike 1964, when Phillies outfielder Johnny Callison hit a dramatic three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning at Shea Stadium to win the game for the National League, the All-Star Game is literally more than just a game.
Amid the hoopla of New York Mets phenom Matt Harvey being tabbed to start Tuesday’s All-Star Game for the National League at Citi Field, rotation mate Jeremy Hefner – believe it or not – has been the Mets’ best starter since June.
Entering the season, Hefner was considered nothing more than an afterthought for a spot in the team’s starting rotation. After two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana had season-ending surgery April 2 to repair to torn left shoulder capsule, Hefner was thrust into the rotation – and the results were disastrous. In mid-May, Hefner was 0-5 with a 5.00 ERA, and he didn’t record his first win until May 29 against the Yankees.
As the saying goes: One man’s trash is another man’s gain.
In search of a player who could help jumpstart a lethargic lineup, New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson made an intriguing trade on June 18 to acquire Eric Young Jr., who was designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies on June 12, in exchange for right-handed pitcher Collin McHugh.
After waiting nearly two years for this day, the New York Mets showcased the foundation of their franchise Tuesday during a day-night doubleheader against the National League East-leading Atlanta Braves at Turner Field, providing a beacon of hope for the team’s otherwise hopeless 2013 season.
It starts with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, the two flame-throwing right-handers who are being counted on to make the Mets relevant again.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon believes the organization is moving in the right direction and that he is confident in general manager Sandy Alderson’s plan.
Apparently, the 76-year-old Wilpon believes that things should improve as several of the Mets’ bloated contracts will come off the books following this season.
Win-loss record for a pitcher is one of the most overrated statistics in baseball. There are better numbers to measure a pitcher’s performance than how many games he wins and losses. New York Mets ace Matt Harvey knows this all too well.
Harvey had a no-decision in eight of his previous nine starts, with the Mets having scored just 18 runs while he’s been on the mound during that time span. During Harvey’s six career losses, the Mets have tallied a total of three runs with him in the game and seven runs overall in those contests.
New York Mets top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler is on the verge of the joining the big league club. Wheeler’s much-anticipated major league debut, scheduled for Tuesday in Atlanta, will inevitably bump a pitcher out of the Mets’ starting rotation.
Barring injury, there are currently two candidates competing to avoid being moved to the bullpen at Wheeler’s expense. Those two would be Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner.
These days, the New York Mets are not having any trouble finding new and creative ways to lose. Even by their impressive standards, this past weekend’s series against the Miami Marlins was unprecedented.
In 30 innings over two days, the Marlins swept a two-game series from the Mets at Citi Field. To put into perspective just how bad things have gotten for the Mets, the Marlins are 8-3 against them and 10-41 against the rest of baseball this season. That’s telling.
Though the All-Star Game is still about five weeks away, there has been quite a lot of hoopla already about New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey starting the game. But here is something to ponder – is it conceivable to believe if the National League is leading in the ninth inning that Bobby Parnell would be asked to close?
After all, Parnell, 28, has gone from answering questions about his reliability as a major league closer to whether he’s good enough to be on the National League All-Star squad in next month’s game.
Ruben Tejada will be out of commission for the Mets, rehabilitating his injured right quadriceps at the team’s minor-league complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Despite a disappointing start to the season for the oft-scrutinized Tejada, he shouldn’t be lost in the shuffle when he’s ready to come off the 15-day disabled list. It’s way too early for the team to give up on their promising shortstop.
O-M-Gee, for the first time since the Subway series began in 1997, the Mets have swept a season series from the Yankees.
With Zack Wheeler still presumably on the brink of joining the big league club in mid-June, a starter will have to be dropped from the rotation, and – barring injury – Dillon Gee appeared to be the odd man out entering his start in the series finale Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. In fact, manager Terry Collins informed Gee face-to-face that he was headed for the bullpen if he didn’t take a significant step forward. Apparently, the 27-year-old Gee got the message loud and clear.
The New York Mets were so fed up with the struggles of Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada that they were prepared to demote the duo to Triple-A Las Vegas after Tuesday night’s game against the Yankees, according to multiple reports.
Faced with the pressure on Wednesday night of playing for their roster spots, both delivered keys hits in yet another shocking victory over the crosstown rival Yankees.
There has been an ongoing debate about how the New York Mets will alter their starting rotation when Zack Wheeler, the team’s top pitching prospect, makes his much-anticipated debut – probably sometime next month.
Two of the team’s current five starters – Matt Harvey and Jonathon Niese – aren’t going anywhere. On Sunday night, Shaun Marcum, 31, took a step in the right direction to add his name to that list.
Ay Yi Y-Ike Davis.
Whether the New York Mets decide to send first baseman Ike Davis to the minor leagues or not, it’s not going to make much a difference in the grand scheme of things.
In a season full of disappointments, one of the few bright spots for the New York Mets has been the emergence of closer Bobby Parnell.
Parnell, who was named the team’s closer in spring training after Frank Francisco was diagnosed with a mild strain of the flexor pronator in his right elbow, has recorded six saves.
Matt Harvey’s emergence as perhaps the best pitcher in Major League Baseball took another leap forward Tuesday night during the Mets’ victory over the Chicago White Sox.
The Mets’ young ace was perfect through 6 2-3 innings, retiring the first 20 White Sox batters he faced, before right fielder Alex Rios legged out an infield single with two outs in the top of the seventh inning. Rios’ hit slowly rolled between shortstop Ruben Tejada and third baseman David Wright. Tejada took a few quick steps to his right, gloved the ball on the edge of the infield dirt and delivered a Derek Jeter-like jump throw to first baseman Ike Davis, but Rios beat the throw by an eyelash.
It’s long been said that pinch-hitting is one of the most difficult things to do in baseball. But Mets utility man Jordany Valdespin has mastered it through his first one-plus seasons in the big leagues.
Of Valdespin’s 10 career home runs, six have come as a pinch hitter.
Howard Megdal is the Mets beat writer for The Journal News, serving as the lead writer for the paper’s Mets blog, Mets.LoHudBlogs.com. In addition, Megdal is the author of “Wilpon’s Folly: The Story of A Man, His Fortune and The New York Mets,” in which he chronicles the financial and legal difficulties of the team’s owners.
I recently had the chance to interview Megdal, where he gave his assessment of this year’s team, talked about which Met has the most upside and estimated how many wins this year’s team could have, if all goes well. You can follow Megdal on Twitter @HowardMegdal.
When the New York Mets hired Terry Collins to be the team’s manager Nov. 23, 2010, I remember the first thing I said to myself was, “Who?” Then, after doing some research, I thought to myself, “Really?” “This is who general manager Sandy Alderson has tabbed to be the team’s new skipper?”
To this day, my sentiments have not changed regarding Alderson’s decision to hire Collins. During Collins’ first two seasons as manager, his record was 151-173 with back-to-back fourth place finishes in the five-team National League East. For this reason – among others -- Collins should be put on notice.
With the exception of Jon Niese and Matt Harvey, the Mets’ rotation has been abysmal through the first two weeks of the season. So calling up Zack Wheeler, the team’s top pitching prospect, would seem like the answer to that problem, right? Not so fast.
On Wednesday, manager Terry Collins told Mike Francesa on WFAN that the team might consider calling Wheeler up to the Major Leagues if the pitching beyond Niese and Harvey continues to struggle. However, Collins backed off those comments on Thursday, saying he was uncertain when Wheeler might be called up.
Mets fans have not had much to cheer about in recent years, and it’s fairly safe to say that even the most optimistic can’t picture the boys in Flushing competing for a post-season berth this year.
But while the team’s 2013 record will probably be abysmal, there is hope down on the farm.
Excluding catcher John Buck’s scorching start to the season, Daniel Murphy has been the New York Mets’ top hitter through the team’s first 11 games.
Murphy, who is batting a team-high .381, has hit safely in all but three games. The second baseman has a team-best 16 hits, including eight extra-base hits – five doubles, two home runs and one triple – in 42 at-bats. Last season, he didn’t belt his first two home runs until June 27, when he hit both in consecutive at-bats.
Entering the 2013 season, the catcher position seemed to be a liability for the New York Mets.
During the offseason, the Mets shipped R.A. Dickey, the reigning National League Cy Young award winner, north of the border to the Toronto Blue Jays for a package centered around top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud.
The Mets teams of 1969 and 1986 were especially Amazin’, of course, but what if you could create a club combining the best players from each era? Or from any era? Here are my picks for an all-time Mets dream team, to wrap up my 15-part anniversary tribute to Queens’ hometown heroes. Miss any entries? Just hit the Mets link on qchron.com, and you can catch them all, tracing the team’s history from its genesis in the mind of Bill Shea through the end of last season. Now on to October!