Category Archives: Player Review

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Mike's Mets Player Review Series: Seth Lugo

Now that the 2018 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a look back at the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of season from B (Tyler Bashlor) to Z (Daniel Zamora). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at pitcher Seth Lugo.
Player Review: Seth Lugo
Jul 29, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Seth Lugo (67) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
2018 Stats: 54 Appearances, 5 Starts, 101.1 Innings Pitched, 3-4 Won-Loss Record, 2.66 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 3 Saves, 11 Holds, 1 Blown Save, 103:28 K/BB Ratio, .217 Batting Average Against
Story: Despite the Mets’ full rotation, Seth Lugo managed to crack the starting five on the Opening Day roster thanks to an injury to Jason Vargas and late spring struggles from Zack Wheeler. A rain out in the first week of the season caused the Mets to skip Lugo, leaving him in the bullpen to work as a multi-inning reliever. Wheeler’s success in a spot start allowed him to steal Lugo’s rotation spot, but Lugo adapted well to relief work so the Mets left him alone. Lugo finally got an opportunity to pitch in the rotation in June when injuries to Noah Syndergaard and Vargas left the team short again, and he was solid as a starter, but the Mets opted to put him back in the bullpen once the others got healthy. That move turned out to be wise as Lugo was the Mets’ most dependable reliever all year long, working everywhere from long relief to closing games.
Grade: A
Lugo was an excellent contributor to the 2018 Mets, even if it wasn’t in the role that he expected to have. The fact that Lugo was able to adapt so well to working in relief was a very pleasant surprise for the Mets in a year where their bullpen was a complete disaster.
Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Odds of Returning: 100%
2019 Role: To Be Determined
Lugo can contribute as either a starter or reliever to the 2019 Mets, but how he will be deployed depends on how new GM Brodie Van Wagenen constructs the roster. Lugo is the Mets’ sixth starter at the moment, but he could crack the top five if the Mets decide to dangle a guy like Zack Wheeler to try and improve other areas of the roster. In an ideal world, Lugo would remain in the bullpen and play a very similar role as the one he had last season, giving the Mets a dependable arm who is capable of going multiple innings.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at starting pitcher Steven Matz!


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Mike's Mets Player Review Series: Todd Frazier

Now that the 2018 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a look back at the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of season from B (Tyler Bashlor) to Z (Daniel Zamora). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at third baseman Todd Frazier.
Player Review: Todd Frazier
Sep 11, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) wears a NYPD cap to show respect for first responders on September 11 before the game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
2018 Stats: 115 Games, 408 At Bats, .213 Batting Average, 87 Hits, 18 Doubles, 18 Home Runs, 59 RBI’s, 54 Runs Scored, 9 Stolen Bases, .693 OPS
Story: The Mets signed veteran third baseman Todd Frazier to a two year, $17 million deal in February to give themselves a true starting third baseman. Frazier proved to be a solid fit at first, delivering clutch hits and getting on base at a high clip for the Mets in April, and added solid leadership to the clubhouse. When the Mets got off to an 11-1 start, Frazier’s “salt and pepper” celebration routine became a unifying symbol for the roster. Things took a down turn for Frazier quickly as he played through a hamstring injury for three weeks before landing on the disabled list for the first time in his career in early May. Frazier missed about a month of action before returning on June 5th, but he was awful for another month before landing on the DL again. The latest issue sidelined Frazier until early August, but he was able to finish the season after coming back. Frazier hit well in August, batting .255 with six homers and 20 RBI’s in 102 at bats, but slumped down the stretch by hitting just .150 with two homers and seven RBI’s in September.
Grade: C-
In a season full of disappointing acquisitions for the Mets, Frazier’s poor year has gone underreported. Frazier not only made the first two DL trips of his career, but he also set career lows in doubles (18), home runs (18), RBI’s (59) and OPS (.693, down significantly from the .772 mark he posted in 2017) for a full season.
Contract Status: Signed Through 2019 (Will Earn $9,000,000)
Odds of Returning: 90%
2019 Role: Starting Third Baseman
Barring the unlikely signing of Manny Machado, Frazier will enter 2019 as the Mets’ starting third baseman. The Mets have him for another year, so they will have to hope that Frazier can bounce back and perform closer to his career norms with better health. Frazier could also end up being a trade candidate at mid-season if the Mets need to create an opening for top prospect Andres Gimenez, who is expected to start 2019 at AAA Syracuse. Gimenez is a natural shortstop, so the Mets could look to put him at shortstop and move Amed Rosario to third if they deal Frazier at the deadline.
Check back soon as our Player Review Series continues with a look at starting pitcher Drew Gagnon!


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Mike's Mets Player Review Series: Travis d'Arnaud

Now that the 2018 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a look back at the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of season from B (Tyler Bashlor) to Z (Daniel Zamora). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at catcher Travis d’Arnaud.
Player Review: Travis d’Arnaud
Apr 3, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud (18) gets an RBI single in the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
2018 Stats: 4 Games, 15 At Bats, .200 Batting Average, 3 Hits, 1 Home Run,  3 RBI’s, 1 Run Scored, .650 OPS
Story: After a solid finish to the 2017 season, Travis d’Arnaud entered 2018 in a time share with Kevin Plawecki. d’Arnaud was on the lesser half of the platoon for the first two weeks of the season, but that ended with a thud. At some point over the course of those two weeks, d’Arnaud tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. As a result, d’Arnaud underwent Tommy John surgery, ending his season and possibly his Mets’ career.
Grade: Incomplete
d’Arnaud was already losing playing time to Plawecki before the Tommy John surgery ended his season. This is yet another set back for a talented but extremely injury prone player.
Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible (Third and Final Time)
Odds of Returning: 30%
2019 Role: Backup Catcher (Likely Elsewhere)
The Mets have to make a decision on d’Arnaud, who is eligible for arbitration one more time before hitting free agency. d’Arnaud made $3.5 million in 2018, and at worst will earn $3.1 million through arbitration this season. That is a significant chunk of change to invest in a player who can barely stay on the field, and the Mets haven’t gotten a ton of production out of d’Arnaud even when he is healthy. The Mets need to upgrade at the position, so the odds are that d’Arnaud is non-tendered and the team uses the savings to find a new starting catcher in free agency.
Check back soon as our Player Review Series continues with a look at starting pitcher Jacob deGrom!


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Mike's Mets Player Review Series: P.J. Conlon

Now that the 2018 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a look back at the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of season from B (Tyler Bashlor) to Z (Daniel Zamora). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at starting pitcher P.J. Conlon.
Player Review: P.J. Conlon
May 7, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets P.J. Conlon throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
2018 Stats:
Minor Leagues: 23 Games, 21 Starts, 114 Innings Pitched, 4-9 Won-Loss Record, 6.55 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 82:39 K/BB Ratio, .311 Batting Average Against
Major Leagues: 3 Games, 2 Starts, 7.2 Innings Pitched, 0-0 Won-Loss Record, 8.22 ERA, 2.22 WHIP, 5:2 K/BB Ratio, .417 Batting Average Against
Story: Lefty P.J. Conlon began his 2018 campaign with the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate in Triple-A Las Vegas. An early injury to Jacob deGrom led to the Mets tabbing Conlon for his big league debut on May 7th in Cincinnati. Conlon became the first big leaguer born in Ireland since 1945 when he took the mound that night and pitched fairly well, giving up three runs in 3.2 innings before being forced from the contest with an injury. The Mets sent Conlon back to AAA after that only to recall him to start in the nightcap of a Memorial Day doubleheader with the Atlanta Braves. Conlon didn’t last long in that game, allowing four runs in two innings, and was designated for assignment. The Los Angeles Dodgers claimed Conlon only to waive him again, allowing the Mets to reclaim Conlon. Conlon went back to the minor leagues and made only one more appearance at the big league level, pitching two scoreless innings of relief on July 10th. The Mets opted against recalling Conlon when rosters expanded in September, a damaging sign for his future with the franchise.
Grade: D
Conlon’s heritage was a neat story for the Mets, but he didn’t really perform well on the field. The Mets ironically won his only two starts of the season, but Conlon didn’t last long enough in either game to earn a big league victory.
Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Odds of Returning: 50%
2019 Role: Depth Starter
Conlon’s fate will largely be determined by how the new General Manager shapes the 40 man roster. Fringe prospects like Conlon may be sacrificed to make room for players who fit the new GM’s long term vision, but if he survives the 40 man cutdown Conlon will have a chance to compete for a job in spring training. That job would likely be out of the bullpen, where the Mets have toyed with using him in the past, but even in that scenario Conlon’s odds of actually making the big league roster are slim.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at relief pitcher Scott Copeland!


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Mike's Mets Player Review Series: Jay Bruce

Now that the 2018 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a look back at the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of season from B (Tyler Bashlor) to Z (Daniel Zamora). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at outfielder Jay Bruce.
Player Review: Jay Bruce
Sep 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) is congratulated in the dugout after scoring a run against the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
2018 Stats: 94 Games, 319 At Bats, .223 Batting Average, 71 Hits, 18 Doubles, 1 Triple, 9 Home Runs, 37 RBI’s, 31 Runs Scored, 2 Stolen Bases, .680 OPS.
Story: The New York Mets pulled a bit of a surprise over the winter when they brought back outfielder Jay Bruce on a three year, $39 million deal. Bruce was added to give the Mets a proven run producer for the middle of their batting order, and things didn’t go according to plan. The first half was an utter disaster for Bruce, who hit just .212 with three home runs and 17 RBI’s in 212 at bats before landing on the disabled list with a back issue. Bruce missed two months of play before returning in mid-August, where he looked more like his usual self by batting .243 with six homers and 20 RBI’s in 107 at bats. The Mets began trying to figure out how Bruce could fit on the 2019 roster by having him split time between right field and first base for the rest of the year. The results of the experiment were mixed as Bruce didn’t look truly comfortable at first base.
Grade: C-
Bruce was a bust for the Mets in 2018, but it is hard to say how big a role injuries played in his disappointing year. It is worth noting that Bruce looked much better at the plate after returning from the disabled list, a fact that should give the Mets some sense of comfort heading into 2019.
Contract Status: Signed Through 2020 (Owed $14.5 million in 2019)
Odds of Returning: 65%
2019 Role: Starter at First Base/Right Field
The Mets reportedly went against the advice of their own analytics department to bring back Bruce and they are paying the price for it now. Bruce is a poor fit on the Mets’ roster since they are better off deploying Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo in the corner outfield spots, allowing them to add a natural center fielder. The other option the Mets have is to play Bruce at first base, which just has him block prospects Dominic Smith and Peter Alonso from opportunities at the big league level. Expect the team to explore trades for Bruce over the winter, perhaps hoping to swap him for a player with a similar contract in need of a change of scenery. The Mets are likely stuck with Bruce, however, which is not an idea situation since his presence on the roster prevents them from putting together an ideal lineup both offensively and defensively.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at outfielder Yoenis Cespedes!


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