Should The Mets look to reunite with Jay Bruce?

STM

Like many Met’s fans, I HATED Jay Bruce for most of August and September of 2016 until he made his miraculous turnaround. I was being impatient, I wanted to see results, but I can’t imagine it’s ever easy joining a new team, especially a New York team where the fans were expecting another Yoenis Cespedes. At the time though I didn’t even consider those factors. I just hated Jay Bruce and wanted him off the Mets forever. See the tweets below to see just how angry I was:

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Fast forward to 2017 and Jay Bruce is suddenly my favorite player (But I still hate Jon Niese). When the trade deadline was over, I thought maybe, just maybe the Mets decided they were not going to trade away Bruce. But, I was wrong. On August 9th the Indians acquired Bruce off of waivers for some low level relief pitcher. I was heartbroken, it didn’t feel real. He was playing right under where I was sitting only 10 hours earlier. But, Jay Bruce was off to Cleveland to play for the contending Indians, taking with him 29 homers and 75 RBIs. Bruce showed up to Cleveland and showed them what he was made of. Finishing the 2017 season with 36 homers and 101 RBIs. He also had a pretty prominent role in the Indians post season performance as well. Hitting 2 homers, playing 5 games and going 5 for 18 at the plate.

The Mets were able to keep the outfield positions filled but not with the same power as Jay Bruce. And with Michael Conforto’s injury making a return by the beginning of the 2017 unlikely, the Mets are going to have to shop for another outfielder this off season. Bruce will be a free agent starting Monday and his name will more than likely be tossed around as someone to fill that void. The problem is that the Mets really need a center fielder more  than a corner outfielder. They already have Cespedes who will cover Left Field and Brandon Nimmo who I would imagine could cover up Right Field until Conforto is back. Lagares is a great Center Fielder but his offense has never really been all the way there. There’s 1 Center Fielder free agent who sticks out above the rest and that’s Lorenzo Cain. In 2017, Cain hit 15 homers, 49 RBIs, 26 Stolen bases and finished the season with a .300 Batting Average. On paper, Cain sounds like a perfect fit for the Center Fielder position. But that brings us back to Right Field. Is Brandon Nimmo good enough to fill the spot? If they were to reunite with Bruce AND get Cain, they’d be spending A LOT of money and they’d also have 4 star outfielders when Conforto returns.

So it comes down to one or the other. Do you keep Lagares in Center Field and try to get Bruce? Or do you keep Nimmo in Right Field and try to sign Lorenzo Cain? In my opinion, the best bet for the Mets is to go ahead and get Bruce back. I understand that Bruce can be a streaky hitter and can get into some serious slumps, BUT he knows the team. And, you’d have to assume he’s somewhat familiar with the new Met’s manager Mickey Callaway who was the pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians. Bruce is loved by New York fans and again, he knows his teammates. Also, Brandon Nimmo could possibly fill in as a Center Fielder sometimes (although his defense won’t be nearly as good as former Gold Glover Lagares I’d imagine). This is all theoretical and there’s a lot of other routes the Mets could take. There are plenty of corner outfielders on the market that could possibly take over a role in center field.

Even though he’ll be 31 in April, and he has streaky hitter tendencies, I think bringing Bruce back to Queens is the best bet for the Mets. With free agency starting this Monday, it’ll be interesting to see what direction the Mets and Mr. Bruce decide to go in.

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Review: 2017 World Series

WSReview

While this is pretty much an entire Mets blog, I’d be well remised not to talk about the 2017 World Series. As someone who isn’t just a Met’s fan, but a baseball fan in general, I’ve had the privilege to watch both the Dodgers and the Astros play some amazing baseball this season.

When Curtis Granderson got traded to the Dodgers I was torn apart. Curtis was one of my favorite players on the Mets even if he wasn’t hitting as well as he had been the previous season. He’s just a genuinely good human being and represented the Mets unlike any other. That being said, I was upset to see him go, especially to the Dodgers where the dreaded Chase Utley played. But on the other hand, I considered that maybe he’d finally be able to win a World Series ring. Now make no bones about it, I don’t like the Dodgers. It’s not just Utley, I just have this weird personal vendetta against the team as a whole. I don’t care for Dave Roberts and I find Clayton Kershaw to be a bit of a cry baby. But, that’s neither here nor there. I was ready to put all that hatred aside if it meant I got to see Curtis Granderson at the plate during another World Series and finally win a ring. But when the rosters were announced I noticed someone’s name was missing. It was Grandersons. A returning Corey Seager would be taking his spot. I understood the reasoning behind it. Granderson was cold throughout the entire post season and Seager was the reigning Rookie of the Year at the time. But at that point I realized I had to root for the Astros. Even though Granderson would still get a ring if the Dodgers won, it wasn’t the same. I was upset that the Mets traded him away and he didn’t even get to play during the fall classic, for what may have been the last time depending on where his career goes next season.

Like many, I predicted the Astros going to the World Series sometime in June. I would follow the teams games because of my fantasy baseball team and just out of pure interest in seeing such a talented team tear it up on the field. I wouldn’t consider myself a fan, but a casual observer who was rooting for them. (If it had come down to Astros vs Indians though, I’d be rooting for Cleveland because of Jay Bruce….reoccurring theme about former Mets here). But once it came down to the Astros against the evil, demonic, good for nothing New York Yankees…all bets were off. I was ready to become an honorary Astros fan for the post season. It all made sense. I hated the Yankees, as most Mets fans do. And I was upset with the Dodgers because of Granderson. So naturally rooting for the Astros made sense. And after a crazy ALCS against the evil Yankees, I was ready to wear a cowboy hat and wag an orange towel around in the air, for I was now an Astro-naut (do their fan base have a cool fandom name?).

So, fast forward to the World Series. I’m at work and I’ve got my phone sitting on a counter streaming the game and casually checking it throughout the remainder of my shift. I see the lead off home run by Chris Taylor and I’m ready to just give up. I’m cursing under my breath, stomping around and talking about how much I hate Kershaw to my coworker who doesn’t give a damn about baseball (this may sound like an overreaction but you have to realize I’m a Mets fan. I try to be a positive Mets fan, but I’m a Mets fan. So being a pessimist comes naturally). By the time I got home it was about the 3rd inning. And as I was getting settled in I saw the game tying home run in the 4th by Bregman. And at this point I’m cursing at Kershaw through the TV, I’m saying that we’re (because being a fan for all of 6 days means I’m part of them now) gonna sweep the Dodgers and all this other nonsense. And then the 6th inning came and former Met, Justin Turner (who I don’t have any emotional attachment to because I don’t consider this Justin Turner the same person who played on the Mets) hits a 2 run homer. I’m once again miffed. But, I calmed down, had some water, took some deep breaths and said “there’s still time”. —

And what a Game 2 it was. Thankfully I didn’t have work for that game, so I got to watch the entire game in the comfort of my bedroom. So much happened in that game that I won’t go crazy into the details, but basically by the 9th inning I was ready to accept the fact that they were going to head to Houston down 2 games to 0 as Jansen was pitching and no one else was going to be lucky enough to score off of him. BUT BOY WAS I WRONG. A game tying home run by Gonzalez and I was pumped up again. I was ready to go. Then they head to the bottom of the 9th and the Dodgers can’t score so it’s extra innings and boy oh boy do I love extra innings. Astros score 2 more in the top of the 10th and I’m very confident that they’ve got this game in the bag. It’s over, pack it up, heading to Houston tied a game a piece. But…then Giles came out to try and save the game. Now, I don’t know Ken Giles personally, I’m sure he’s a good man. Probably goes to church every Sunday, never says a swear word, ya know, good men stuff. But man oh man was he a piece of garbage in the World Series. He gave the 2 runs right back to the Dodgers and I finally realized there was a worse closer than Familia. But, thank the Baseball Gods that the Astros were able to score another 2 runs in the top of the 11th and then were finally able to shut the door on the game with a 7 to 6 lead. For a team that I had only just become a fan of, I was very, very, very into this series. I suppose the hatred of another team can do that to a person. Side note; Justin Verlander didn’t get the win, but that man is an absolute God. No question about it.

Okay, so game 3, back in Houston. I’m really not interested in covering every single thing that happened in each game. So, I’m going to give my reaction inning by inning in one or two sentences. Okay? Alright here we go.

Inning 1: Alright. So far so good.

Inning 2: Darvish is getting his tits lit up. Oh damn now he’s gone.

Inning 3: Dang. Seager is good even when he’s grounding out.

Inning 4: Good. Good. Good.

Inning 5: Evan Gattis is the manliest man I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

Inning 6: Puig is the most lovable obnoxious ball player I’ve ever seen. But ok now I’m a little worried, McCullers is starting to unwind.

Inning 7-9: OH MY GOD BRAD PEACOCK IS A REAL LIFE SUPERHERO.

Post game: Okay time to see Keith talk smart.

Game 4:

Inning 1 – 5: Finally, a great pitching match up.

Inning 6: George Springer is never going to stop hitting home runs.

Inning 7: Bellinger remembered how to hit. Dang. More extra innings?

Inning 8: Oh God. Ken Giles is getting loose…please lord help us.

Inning 9: Ken Giles is the type of guy who gives out apples on Halloween. I hate you Ken Giles.

Post game: So much for the Astros winning it in Houston. Time for Keith talk.

Game 5: Pre game: Kershaw and Keuchel? Okay. Maybe we’ll have another good pitchers duel.

Inning 1: Well. There goes that hope.

Inning 2 and 3: Why is Kershaw so good? It’s not even fair.

Inning 4: Bye Dallas. OH MY GOD GURRIEL IS STILL NOT COMPLETELY FORGIVEN BUT THAT WAS COOL!

Inning 5: Bellinger is now a baseball hitting machine, what is happening? Bye Kershaw and BYE BASEBALL! Altuve is unbelievable.

Inning 6: Keep it tied. Okay that’s good.

Inning 7: Bellinger…you bastard. Correa and Altuve, the gruesome twosome.

Inning 8: Kyle’s brother, I hate you, I want Granderson. McCann is like a little less manly version of Gattis.

Inning 9: Puig is so lovable but I hate him. Back to extra innings. *takes an advil*

Inning 10: Jansen is now a mortal man. Fisher can run. Bregman can hit.

Post game: Keith is probably gonna complain about more extra innings or be napping.

Game 6:

Inning 1: Verlander and Rich Hill are going to make this a great pitchers duel. I can feel it.

Inning 2: They’re proving me right. This is good.

Inning 3: Springer is also proving me right, he will never not hit a home run again.

Inning 4: Still being proved right.

Inning 5: Wow, even through my hatred for the Dodgers I feel terrible for Rich Hill. Also, missed opportunity by the Astros.

Inning 6: Why does this keep happening? Is the 6th inning cursed?

Inning 7: It’s still a one run gam— 2 run game.

Inning 8: Jansen is human. They’ll get to him in the 9th.

Inning 9: Proved wrong.

Post game: At least there’s going to be a Game 7. Keith probably just wants to go home and hangout with his cats.

Game 7. Okay. I’ll talk about Game 7. Bellinger really hurt Darvish with that error, got him off to a bad, bad start. I like Yu Darvish and was hoping to see him get a chance to redeem himself (but ultimately wanted his team to blow it of course). The tip of the hat by Gurriel was nice to see and I appreciated the sportsmanship. By the top of the 2nd though it was evident that Darvish didn’t have his stuff and Springer made him pay with a 2 run homer. Small appearance by Morrow but then it was on to Kershaw to keep the lead at 5-0. Kershaw did that well, as anyone would expect him to. Throughout the game though, McCullers was pitching like an angry kid playing MLB the show – just pelting batters. But he somehow managed to keep the Dodgers scoreless which was impressive but nonetheless he was out early and it was officially a bullpen game (featuring some starters. So maybe not really a bullpen game. I don’t know. Game 7s are weird). Entire was finally able to score off Charlie Morton in the 6th but it was still a 4 run game and the Dodgers left more men on base which was a reoccurring theme of the night. Both teams held the other ones scoreless through the rest of the game. Dodgers did what they had to do to keep the game at 5 runs, but their offense did nothing to help the excellent Bullpen pitching. Charlie Morton was able to finish the game and lead Houston to their first ever World Series title. Overall, it wasn’t the Game 7 we got last year from Chicago and Cleveland, but the series itself was more impressive than anything I can remember seeing in recent memory.

Post game: Great to see Carlos Beltran get a ring finally. George Springer not only broke his slump, he won the World Series MVP. Bregman got put over a lot by the FOX analysts, and he deserves it. His offense AND his defense saved this series a few times. The post game goes on for a long time, Keith totally wants to go home and sleep at this point.

So, I know this post was a lot of rambling but this World Series was too crazy for me not to write about and I didn’t put much thought into it. I love baseball. I love World Series Game 7s. I’m ready for next season, but I’m ready to write about more baseball. See you ‘all’ very soon!

 

-Dylan

Mets 2017: A Season in Review

YearinReview2When talking about the New York Met’s 2017 season, a lot of words come to mind, injuries, heartbreak, defeated, and overall just disappointing. And in a lot of ways those are accurate ways to describe a season that really let down so many hopeful fans and a hopeful team for that matter. When Met’s ace Noah Syndergaard went down with a partially torn lat muscle in late April, it was evident that the Mets would need a miracle if they wanted to make it anywhere near the Postseason. Unfortunately, that miracle never came. Instead, the Mets had names being added to the DL list seemingly everyday. Between Cespedes, Harvey, Wheeler, Flores, Conforto, by the last game of the season only 10 guys from the Opening day roster were still on the roster. The rest had either been traded or put on the DL. Those who remained were Travid D’Arnaud, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Jacob deGrom, Robert Gsellman, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard (who had only just returned a week or so prior), Jerry Blevins, Hansel Robles and Josh Smoker. And out of those 10, only 3 of them went the season without being put on the Disabled List. Those lucky 3 were Jacob deGrom, Jerry Blevins and Hansel Robles. Although Robles had spent some time down in AAA after poor performances.

While its easy to quickly say the entire 2017 season was a flop with the Mets going 70 and 92 (their worst record since 2009), there were some good moments throughout the year that get overlooked by all the injuries and games lost. Instead of beating a dead horse and hammering home how bad the 2017 Mets were, I’m going to look at some of the highlights of the season that put a smile on my face even if I knew my team’s season was a lost cause.

The first is an obvious one, Jacob deGrom’s performances throughout the season weren’t so much surprising as they were relieving. deGrom, a former All Star and former ace for the Mets took the mound each start with something to prove, that he was the same Jacob deGrom who went 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA in his rookie year, the same Jacob deGrom who struck out 3 batters on 10 pitchers in the 2015 All Star game and that 2017 was his year and that mound was his. And he proved all those things while posting a 15-10 record with a 3.53 ERA and 239 strikeouts. On top of that he also hit his first career home run, had 15 hits and drove in 4 runs AND stole a base. deGrom was the Met’s ace all of 2017 and proved he has a lot to offer the team going forward and I think the tradition of a different Opening Day Starter is going to continue in 2018 with deGrom starting the season off on the mound.

The second is also an obvious one, the debuts of top prospects Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith. Rosario, who debuted August 1st against the Rockies finished the season with a .248 Batting Average, four home runs, seven stolen bases and had 41 hits out of his 170 plate appearances. Rosario, who was mentored heavily by Jose Reyes showed the Mets that he has what it takes to be a big leaguer and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the opening day roster for 2018. Dominic Smith made his major league debut on August 11th against the Phillies and finished the season with a .198 Batting Average, 9 home runs and going 33 for 183 at the plate. While Dominic Smith might not have been as impressive at the plate as Amed Rosario was, he showed he’s a big league hitter and can hit homers off the best of them, including Sonny Gray during the 2017 Subway Series. Even though he hit under the Mendoza line, Smith proved he’s also very capable of being a Major League player and unless the Mets acquire another first baseman during the offseason, I’d expect to see Smith making the opening day line up as well.

Finally, there’s the all star Michael Conforto. I joked around saying Conforto was playing during the 2017 season with a big neon sign on his back that said “Do not send me back to Vegas”. And while of course that wasn’t literal, he did come to 2017 with a lot to prove after being sent back to Las Vegas in 2016. Conforto who originally started the 2017 season as a fourth outfielder, quickly proved what he had to offer the club and was given the job of being a starting player. Conforto was part of the 2017 All Star Game and finished the season with 27 home runs, 68 RBIs and a .279 batting average. His 2017 season was cut short on August 24th when he dislocated his left shoulder and tore his posterior capsule. Opting to have surgery on September 2nd and ending his season early, Conforto proved while he was playing that he has the potential to be an all time great for the Mets and when his surgery is taken care of, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at the plate picking up right where he left off.

While 2017 wasn’t the season any Mets fan envisioned or hoped for, we were treated to some highlights that flew under the radar. The 2018 season is still a while away, but if the Mets can stay healthy, I think these highlights are just a preview of whats to come for the Amazin’ Mets.

Welcome!

Hi! Welcome to “Keith’s Mustache” where I’ll be giving my opinions on the current state of the New York Mets. Along with opinions, I’ll be sharing predictions for the upcoming season. Once the season starts, I’ll be reviewing most games (as long as I have time in between school and work). I’m also going to look into watching older games and reviewing them as well. Stay tuned for the first of many blog posts!