New York Mets: Coco Crisp

Morning Briefing: Seven hits!

August, 20, 2014
Aug 20
7:17
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Seven hits!

The Mets’ string of games producing four hits or fewer ended at five straight on Tuesday -- tied for the longest streak in the majors since 1900.

The Amazin’s streak of facing aces will continue.

Zack Wheeler (8-8, 3.49 ERA) opposes former Chicago Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija (5-9, 2.96) in the finale of an abbreviated series in Oakland at 3:35 p.m. ET Wednesday.

Wheeler is 5-0 with a 2.02 ERA in his past nine starts.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Dillon Gee walked light-hitting No. 9 batter Eric Sogard with two outs in the fourth ahead of a three-run triple by Coco Crisp and Scott Kazmir and the A’s went on to beat the Mets, 6-2, Tuesday. Gee is now 0-5 with a 5.71 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break.


Ben Margot/Associated PressDillon Gee had a costly walk to Eric Sogard in a four-run fourth by the A's.


“I lost command of my breaking ball there for a couple of innings and it really hurt me,” Gee told reporters postgame.

Josh Reddick added a two-run homer in the eighth against Gonzalez Germen, who was called up while Bartolo Colon is on bereavement leave.

Travis d'Arnaud homered, but it was another quiet hitting day by the Mets, who had Daniel Murphy resting and Curtis Granderson in the No. 2 hole as part of Terry Collins’ lineup shakeup.

Oakland snapped a five-game losing streak.

The Mets (59-68) are nine games under .500 for the first time since July 7.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Jacob deGrom faced batters during a throwing session Tuesday in Oakland and has been declared ready to return from the disabled list on Saturday at Dodger Stadium. With deGrom poised to be activated, Rafael Montero could get bullpen action Wednesday against the A’s. The Mets won’t need to make a roster move until Saturday to clear space for deGrom. And if Colon isn’t activated until Sunday, Germen could go first. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

Jenrry Mejia “has expressed dismay to confidants in recent days about the fact he has been used lately in several non-save situations, but before the Mets faced the Athletics on Tuesday said he’s on the same wavelength with manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen,” Mike Puma writes in the Post.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis was unavailable Tuesday because of a stiff neck.

• Danny Muno had a three-run homer as part of a three-hit night as Las Vegas beat Omaha, 10-4. Michael Fulmer allowed six runs in 3 1/3 innings in his Double-A debut as Binghamton was shut out at Erie, 7-0. Victor Cruzado homered and drove in four runs in Savannah’s 11-3 win against Rome. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal contrasts the Mets and A’s, who have similar payrolls and disparate success. Writes Diamond:

As previously reported by the Journal, teams throughout history with a $100 million player taking up more than 20% of the payroll have a cumulative winning percentage of .455.

The A's don't have that problem. Their highest-paid player on opening day, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, was due $10.5 million this year, which represented around 12.8% of the payroll. Their three highest-paid players -- Cespedes, reliever Jim Johnson and starter Scott Kazmir -- made up 35.8% of the payroll. (Cespedes was traded to Boston for [Jon] Lester last month.)

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger chronicles Kazimr’s path from prominence to independent ball and back to prominence.

• Marc Carig in Newsday speaks with Lucas Duda about his success at the plate.

From the bloggers …Blogging Mets wonders when and why run differential became so important.

BIRTHDAYS: St. Lucie reliever Robby Coles turns 23. ... Cory Sullivan is 35. ... Lance Broadway is 31.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What lineup change would you most like to see to inject some life in the offense?

Series preview: Mets at A's

August, 19, 2014
Aug 19
9:35
AM ET

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets draw a pair of aces when they face Scott Kazmir and Jeff Samardzija in Oakland.
METS (59-67, fourth place/NL East) vs. OAKLAND ATHLETICS (73-51, second place/AL West)

Tuesday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-5, 3.69) vs. LHP Scott Kazmir (13-5, 2.78), 10:05 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (8-8, 3.49) vs. RHP Jeff Samardzija (5-9, 2.96), 3:35 p.m. ET

A’s short hops

• Oakland enters the series on a season-high five-game skid and losers of seven of eight. The A’s were swept by the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field last weekend. Oakland, still comfortably in a playoff position, dropped a half-game behind the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West as a result. On Saturday, the A’s lost sole possession of first place in the division for the first time since April 28. They had been alone atop the standings for 106 consecutive days.

Jon Lester, acquired from the Boston Red Sox on July 31 along with outfielder Jonny Gomes, had been 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA since the trade until allowing four runs (three earned) in six-plus innings on Sunday to suffer his first loss since June 7.


Ed Zurga/Associated PressThe A's have lost a season-high five straight games.


• Since the trade of Yoenis Cespedes in the Lester deal, Brandon Moss has started 10 games, Gomes has started four games and Sam Fuld has started three games in left field. Fuld was acquired at the trade deadline from the Minnesota Twins for left-hander Tommy Milone.

Coco Crisp is batting .118 (9-for-76) with no homers in his past 21 games (20 starts). Fellow center fielder Craig Gentry, who remains on the disabled list with a broken right hand, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Monday, serving as the designated hitter.

• Oakland acquired Jeff Samardzija along with Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs on July 5 for highly regarded shortstop prospect Addison Russell as well as Dan Straily (who hit David Wright with the pitch Saturday in his Cubs debut), Billy McKinney and a player to be named. Samardzija is 3-2 with a 3.21 ERA in eight starts since the deal. He is under A’s control through the 2015 season.

Scott Kazmir's 13 wins match his career high, also produced in 2007 with Tampa Bay. Kazmir’s 2.78 ERA ranks eighth in the AL. He allowed a season-high seven runs in three innings against the Mets at Citi Field on June 24, including three homers.

Stephen Vogt is hitting .355 (11-for-31) with three homers and eight RBIs in his past nine games (eight starts), while manning first base. He previously had been mired in an 0-for-21 drought. Vogt is one of three catchers on the A’s, but has not appeared behind the plate since July 7 because of a bone bruise in his right foot. He is unlikely to catch again this season.

• Shortstop Jed Lowrie landed on the disabled list Thursday with a hairline fracture to his right index finger. Call-up Andy Parrino and Eric Sogard have shared duty at the position in Lowrie’s absence.

• Oakland has outscored opponents by 161 runs. That’s the most in the majors by a wide margin. The Washington Nationals are second at plus-93. The A’s franchise record is plus-239, in 2001.

• Left-hander Fernando Abad has stranded all 23 inherited runners this season. That’s the most in the majors among relievers who have not allowed an inherited runner to score in 2014.

Toxicology report -- bad MLB contracts

September, 25, 2012
9/25/12
8:18
AM ET

US Presswire
Vernon Wells, Juan Uribe and Chone Figgins (l to r) are among the bloated contracts around Major League Baseball.
The Mets’ first task this offseason regarding Jason Bay, and for that matter Johan Santana, likely should be to see if any team has trade interest. A swap appears unlikely, though, even discounting the no-trade clause each possesses.

After all, Bay is hitting .155 with eight homers in 187 at-bats. And he is owed $19 million next season including a 2014 buyout, making it a toxic contract.

Similarly, Santana -- despite the June 1 no-hitter -- finishes the season on the DL after allowing six-plus runs in each of his final five starts. Santana is owed $31 million next season including a ’14 buyout.

Still, if the Mets were to find another team with toxic contracts to swap, who is logical? With the help of reporters around baseball, here’s a look …

THEY’VE GOT POTENTIAL

Angels: “Oh, you've come to the right place,” our friend who covers the Angels says. “The Angels have the deadest of dead weight -- Vernon Wells. The Angels are paying Wells $21 million this year to be their fourth outfielder. They owe him $21 million more in 2013 and again in 2014.”

Blue Jays: Left fielder/first baseman Adam Lind (.240, 10 HR, 40 RBIs) is owed $5 million in 2013. With buyouts of option years, the minimum owed is $7 million. “He cleared waivers at one point this season and the Blue Jays would love to get rid of his contract -- even though it's unlikely that can happen,” a team observer said.

Braves: Second baseman Dan Uggla (.215, 19 HR, 73 RBIs) is owed $39 million over the next three seasons.

Cubs: Alfonso Soriano ($18 million apiece in 2013 and ’14) and Carlos Marmol ($9.8 million next season) are the remaining sizable contracts.

Dodgers: The Dodgers inherited Carl Crawford ($102.5 million through 2017) and Josh Beckett ($31.5 million through 2014) while acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, but both should contribute. The least-productive contract: Juan Uribe, who finally pinch hit Sunday after going unused for nearly a month. Uribe, with one year remaining, is still owed $8 million.

Mariners: Left fielder Chone Figgins (.183, 2 HR, 11 RBIs) is owed $8 million next season. Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez (.258, 4 HR, 14 RBIs) is owed $7.5 million in 2013 with a buyout of the following season. Says one observer: “Gutierrez has been hurt or sick for most of his deal and might produce if ever healthy. Figgins is literally dead weight.” Bay does live in the offseason in Seattle. And the combined $15.5 million owed to those two are close to Bay's $19 million.

Marlins: Heath Bell has two years, $18 million guaranteed remaining. He also has a $9 million option for 2015 based on games finished -- 55 the previous season or 100 combined in 2013 and '14. (The Mets have been down that route before.)

Pirates: Clint Barmes is signed for 2013 at $5.5 million. He's hitting .228/.266/.325 with eight homers.

Red Sox: John Lackey (12-12, 6.41 ERA) has two years left for a combined $30.5 million, with a 2015 club option at the major league minimum because of a preexisting elbow injury.

Twins: Nick Blackburn (4-9, 7.39 ERA) and middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka -- both relegated to the minors -- are under contract for 2013 and “practically sunken cost.” Blackburn is owed $5.5 million. Nishioka is owed $3.25 million including a 2014 buyout. The Twins likely would never trade Joe Mauer, despite him being owed $23 million annually through 2018.

Yankees: Alex Rodriguez to Flushing? Don't hold your breath. Still, A-Rod is owed $114 million over the next five seasons. Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia could emerge as bad contracts, with $90 million over four seasons and $119 million over five seasons owed, respectively.

(Read full post)

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187