First Pitch - 7:10pm
Cincinnati Reds (26-18) vs. New York Mets (17-24)
Johnny Cueto (1-0, 2.60 ERA) vs. Shaun Marcum (0-4, 6.75 ERA)
- Daniel Murphy is back in the lead off spot today.
- Rick Ankiel will be moved up to second in the batting order and start in center field.
- Cueto is making his first start after being on the disabled list since April 13th with a strained right lat.
First Pitch - 1:05pm
New York Mets (16-23) vs. Chicago Cubs (17-24)
Jeremy Hefner (0-4, 4.65 ERA) vs. Scott Feldman (3-3, 2.53 ERA)
- Ike Davis, who broke an 0-24 gutless streak yesterday, is back in the cleanup spot.
- Mike Baxter will start in right field and bat lead off.
- Hefner is still looking for his first win on the season, but has pitched well as if late with a 3.33 ERA in his last three starts.
First Pitch - 2:20pm
New York Mets (16-24) vs. Chicago Cubs (18-24)
Dillon Gee (2-5, 6.13 ERA) vs. Travis Wood (4-2, 2.03 ERA)
- Daniel Murphy will bat lead off for the first time since 2009.
- Justin Turner will start at first base and bat second.
- Marlon Byrd will start in right field and bat cleanup.
I’ve made it known on Twitter (@Mets_Bro) that I feel the Mets fabricated top prospect’s Zack Wheeler’s recent clavicle injury. Why would the Mets invent an injury you ask? Well if the answer of “its the Mets” isn’t good enough for you then I pose to you this scenario.
The Mets rotation has been an utter disaster to this point in the season: Matt Harvey is the lone bright spot, pitching Cy Young caliber baseball; Jon Niese had mechanics issues; Shuan Marcum rushed back from spring injuries; Jeremy Hefner and Aaron Laffey aren’t Major League pitchers; and Dillon Gee, a solid fifth starter, was trust into a number three role. The Mets are 14th (out of 15) in the National League in team ERA with a 4.50 and are in need of an infusion of talent. It just so happens that the talent is sitting in Triple-A Las Vegas just waiting for the day when his number is called.
After a slow start to the season Wheeler’s last three starts have been as advertised. Over 20 innings he allowed only 3 earned runs, 3 walks, and struck out 19 batters. These performances only amplified the cries from Mets fans to call-up Wheeler and steady the rotation.
The Mets, although they have made statements to the contrary, are weary of granting Wheeler Super Two status - which would make him arbitration eligible a year early. The proposed cut-off date for Super Two players is June 15th so the Mets needed a way to delay his call-up until then. What better way then an “injury,” meaning a minimum of two or three more starts in the minors to get him back on track and make sure he’s “healthy.”
If that’s not enough for you then there’s this. Wheeler’s turn to pitch for Las Vegas would have been today. His spot in the rotation is being taken by the newly signed Matt Fox. I will use MetsBlog as the source on this one since they are generally on top of posting news as it happens. On May 14th at 11:12am MetsBlog reported the signing of Fox to a minor league deal and will work as a starting pitcher in Las Vegas. Not more than 24-hours later (May 15th, 8:35am) MetsBlog reported that Wheeler has a “sore clavicle” and will likely miss a start. The report included quotes from Wheeler’s agent calling the injury “totally precautionary” and Mets Assistant GM John Ricco saying the Mets are being “a little conservative.”
So to recap: the Mets need a starter; Wheeler is excelling at Triple-A; the fans and media cry for his call-up; the Mets sign Fox to start at Triple-A; a day later the Mets announce Wheeler’s “injury.” Call it what you will: actual soreness, precautionary, or coincidence. But I call it pulling the wool over the fans’ eyes. Because I find it hard to believe that a top-prospect on the cusp of realizing his life-long dream of making the majors and coming of his strongest outing to date would complain two days after his start of a sore clavicle.
First Pitch - 2:20pm
New York Mets (15-23) vs. Chicago Cubs (17-23)
Matt Harvey (4-0, 1.44 ERA) vs. Edwin Jackson (1-5, 6.02 ERA)
- The last Mets pitcher to be on the Opening Day roster and start 5-0 was John Maine in 2007 - Harvey bids for that today.
- After the possibility of moving Daniel Murphy and Ike Davis in the lineup both remain in their usual spots of second and fourth respectively.
- Rick Ankiel starts again in centerfield batting seventh.
The MLB Rule 4 (Entry) Draft is June 6-8 and the first ESPN Mock Draft is available from Keith Law. There are still college conference tournaments to be played and some high school ball is still going on, so the mock drafts will likely change as we get closer to June 6th.
The Mets decided to keep their eleventh overall pick (the first unprotected pick) rather than sign a free-agent, likely Michael Bourn. Below is the Law’s pick for the Mets at eleven:
Dominic Smith - First Base (Bats: Left/Throws: Left)
Height: 6’ 0”, Weight: 195
Serra High School (Gardena, California)
Law’s Analysis: This pick could also be Peterson, Aaron Judge or longshots Hunter Renfroe or Austin Wilson. Also, the Mets were among the teams scouting Frazier on Monday.
Below is the ESPN Scouting Report on Smith:
Smith is one of the best pure hitters in the high school class, showing a smooth left-handed swing with power and a plus glove at first base. When he keeps his weight back, his swing is outstanding, with great balance through contact and good hip rotation to generate power from his legs. He has quick, strong wrists, with a projectable body that should lead to very hard contact when he fills out in three or four years. He can drift forward at the plate too early, getting his weight out over his front side before he’s started his hands, losing power and struggling to control the bat head behind him. His stride is long and early, which may be part of the reason for his trouble staying back but is an easy fix in pro ball.
Smith is an excellent defender at first with a 70 arm, hitting 92 off the mound the one time I saw him pitch, albeit with a rough delivery. He doesn’t show a lot of energy on the field, which has positive aspects (he’s a confident, relaxed hitter) and negative ones (some scouts have questioned the effort level, myself included), but there are no serious concerns about his makeup. In this draft, with so few potential impact bats, he’s a clear top 20 talent.
I haven’t heard much about Smith as I tend to follow college ball more closely than the top prep talent. However from what I read, I would tend to compare him to Ike Davis - yes, the same Ike Davis that is on an 0-22 streak. Smith’s plus-defensive skills, power potential and tendency to “step in the bucket” make it all to difficult to ignore Davis comparisons.
I will be posting more draft updates and scouting reports on players linked to the Mets over the next three weeks.
With the Houston Astros moving to the American League, both the National League and American League logos needed to changed - both logos include stars corresponding to the number of teams in each league. Below is the National League logo moving forward starting this season.
Ike Davis went 0-5 with four strikeouts yesterday running his current hit-less streak to 22 at-bats. He has undoubtedly struggled this season and has been a constant rally-killer in the Mets already weak lineup. The Mets were counting on 30 home runs and 90 RBI from Ike Davis but hoped it wouldn’t take until the end of June again for those numbers to accumulate. Davis has been jerked around the order from fourth to fifth to sixth to seventh (that only includes games started). However, Terry Collins said yesterday after the game that he is “committed” to Davis in the cleanup spot through the weekend in Chicago. Davis belongs in the cleanup spot, but if teams will continue to pitch around David Wright and get Davis fishing at balls in the dirt the Mets don’t stand a chance.
Let’s look at the comparison of 2012 Ike Davis, who got off to an unbelievably slow start, and the 2013 Ike Davis (no Excel today so bear with me on the stat layout):
May 16, 2012
- 36 Games
- 126 AB
- 21 H
- 10 BB
- 38 K
- 5 HR
- 14 RBI
- .167 AVG
- .222 OBP
- .310 SLG
May 16, 2013
- 37 Games
- 127 AB
- 20 H
- 14 BB
- 45 K
- 4 HR
- 9 RBI
- .157 AVG
- .245 OBP
- .268 SLG
Through May 16th, the numbers are virtually identical! Then why does it seem like Davis hasn’t gotten a hit all year? That answer unfortunately lies with the Mets record. The 2013 Mets are 15-23, whereas the 2012 Mets were 20-17 after play on May 16th. The team as a whole is underachieving - they are two games below their Pythagorean Win-Loss record. And when the whole team underachieves it highlights the negative aspects on the ball club. To this point it has been the starting rotation (a pre-season labeled strength) and the bullpen (really the only thing Sandy Alderson’s stamp is on) that have been the torn in the Mets side. Either way, Davis needs to step up to the plate (literally) and figure it out, because if he is struggling like this come July, the Mets will have no choice but to demote him to Las Vegas or start him only two or three days a week.
First Pitch - 1:45pm
New York Mets (14-23) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (26-13)
Jon Niese (2-4, 5.93 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (5-2, 2.30 ERA)
- The Mets will look to end a six game win streak and salvage the final game of a four-game series in St. Louis.
- Jordany Valdespin will lead off and start in right field.
- John Buck is starting behind the plate a day game after a night gamee. His back-up Anthony Recker has only started five of the Mets 37 games.
First Pitch - 8:15pm
New York Mets (14-22) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (25-13)
Shaun Marcum (0-3, 8.59 ERA) vs. Shelby Miller (5-2, 1.58 ERA)
- After surrendering a single to the lead off hitter Friday, Miller retired the next 27 batters in order.
- Rick Ankiel returns to the lineup tonight playing centerfield and batting seventh.
- Ike Davis will return to the cleanup spot tonight with a right-hander on the mound.