New York Mets: Colorado Rockies

Morning Briefing: In Your Grasp?

February, 24, 2015
Feb 24

FIRST PITCH: Even though it is still two days until position players participate in the first full-squad workout, the gang essentially is all here.

Pitchers continue their fielding drills Tuesday. Half the group, which should include Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, again should be scheduled for bullpen sessions, too. A pitcher throws off a mound every other day this time of spring training.

Tuesday’s news reports:

Michael Cuddyer addressed the media at Mets camp on Monday. He insisted he is undaunted by Citi Field compared with his former home, hitter-friendly Coors Field. He also suggested former teammate Troy Tulowitzki would be a great fit for the Mets. Still, Cuddyer added, he would never trade Tulo if he ran the Colorado Rockies. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Record and at and

• Ben Baumer, who spent nine years as a statistical analyst for the Mets before departing to become an assistant professor at Smith College, wrote an article for on the sabermetric inclination of each MLB team. On the Mets, Baumer writes:

Adam RubinZack Wheeler throws off a mound Monday at Mets camp.

With no scouting background, Alderson's greatest strength as a GM is his objectivity, and with him at the helm, analytical information is as likely to be put into practice in Flushing as it is anywhere in the game. Alderson's first two moves as Mets GM were to bring in former A's executives Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi. Both have been hyped as analysts because of "Moneyball," but they're underrated as scouts.

With DePodesta overseeing amateur scouting, and analytically minded executives Adam Fisher and Ian Levin directing baseball operations and player development, respectively, the Mets have a tightly integrated group that shares ideas freely -- both within the front office and with the field staff. Manning the keyboards of a mature baseball information system are T.J. Barra and developer Joe Lefkowitz.

One significant limitation: Though the Mets are a big-market club, they have a mid-market payroll and just haven't made the investment in highly trained personnel that teams like the Royals and Cubs have made in recent years.

• The SportsCenter Bus Tour will roll into Mets camp in Port St. Lucie on Thursday. Due to visit are Karl Ravech, Curt Schilling and Buster Olney.

• Matt Reynolds is likely ticketed for Triple-A Las Vegas, to play shortstop in a double-play tandem with Dilson Herrera. Still, Terry Collins pledged Monday to give Reynolds plenty of time at shortstop during Grapefruit League play. Read more in the Post and at

• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post suggests that the Mets hired a celebrity hitting coach in Kevin Long, which is not a bad thing. Essentially, he’s the Rick Peterson of this Mets era, Davidoff asserts. Davidoff, who was not allowed to speak with Long, writes:

Long is friendly, passionate and extremely hard-working, and he’s the opposite of media-shy. A handful of times in The Bronx over his eight years on the job, his words got him into hot water with his boss, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

Yet Cashman never would have fired Long if not for the Yankees’ 2013-14 offensive outage to which Alderson referred. Here’s all you need to know about Long and the regard his players hold for him: When he published “Cage Rat,” an autobiography/hitting manual, in 2011, Rodriguez agreed to pose for the cover photo with him. And Jeter attended a release party for the book. The legendary frenemies could agree on their respect for Long.

• Tim Rohan in the Times writes about Dave Pearson, the Mets’ minor-league rehab coordinator, giving a coin to players once they complete rehab from a significant injury. Harvey received one Monday. Writes Rohan:

Pearson got the idea for the coin a few years ago after he noticed that players in the Mets’ strength and conditioning program were getting new T-shirts every year. He wanted something for the rehab program. But, he figured, “Nobody wants to wear a shirt that says ‘rehab.’” Then he remembered a gift he had received, before he worked with the Mets, from a patient who had served in the military. As a sign of thanks, the man had given him a challenge coin, a special token that signified the unit to which he belonged.

Peterson thought the idea might work with the Mets. He sketched out a design for a coin that represented the Mets’ rehab program. The result was a mash of Mets history, medical references and, of course, a motto. Pearson searched Google and found “Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim,” which is Latin for, “Be patient and tough; this pain will be useful.”

But on the coin, “Perfer” is misspelled as “Prefer.”

Wilmer Flores told Mike Vorkunov at that he has the mindset in camp of fighting for a job. Read more in the Record.

• While the Washington Nationals are heavy favorites to win the NL East, they respect the Mets, they told Anthony Rieber in Newsday.

"The Mets are going to be good," Jordan Zimmermann told Rieber. "They do have the young pitching and Harvey's coming back. The young pitchers they have, they all have good stuff and throw really, really hard. So they're going to be good and we have to play our best to beat them. Everyone's got us in first in the division, but we've still got to go out and play the games."

Said Gio Gonzalez: "Don't take anything away from them. They've got great arms, they've got great position players, great offense. I see a great group of guys. A young, talented team. That rotation is going to be very impressive with Harvey coming back. They're still putting pieces together. It just shows you the Mets are in it, too. They want to go out there and compete."

• Jared Diamond in the Journal offers a fan’s guide to Port St. Lucie.

• SNY and WPIX released their spring-training telecast schedule for Grapefruit League games.

• The Mets placed blue T-shirts in players’ lockers that read: “Win: It’s in Your Grasp” on the front and “Take the Damn Thing” on the back, the Daily News writes.

From the bloggers …Mets Report suggests a reason the Mets won’t announce a set plan for Harvey.

BIRTHDAYS: Hall of Famer Eddie Murray turns 59.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Is Michael Cuddyer’s two-year, $21 million contract a good deal or a bad deal for the Mets?

Cuddyer weighs in on Coors vs. Citi, Tulo

February, 23, 2015
Feb 23

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Michael Cuddyer has alternated between hitter-friendly and pitcher-friendly ballparks throughout his career. He relocated during his time with the Minnesota Twins from the Metrodome to spacious new Target Field. Then he moved back to hitters’ paradise when he signed as a free agent with the Colorado Rockies.

So Cuddyer maintained Monday that he is undaunted by now shifting from mile-high Coors Field to Citi Field after signing a two-year, $21 million deal with the Mets in November.

During his three-year Rockies tenure, Cuddyer hit .329 with 26 homers and 103 RBIs in 499 at-bats in Denver. He hit .286 with 20 homers and 70 RBIs in 538 at-bats on the road during that span.

Adam Rubin
Michael Cuddyer addresses the media Monday in Port St. Lucie.

“The last transition taught me that your approach can remain the same,” Cuddyer said. “No matter what ballpark you’re playing in, as long as you keep that same hitting approach, you can take that approach that I’ve been able to hone to pretty much any stadium in the big leagues. Now, are some balls going to leave the yard? Are some balls going to fall in? You play in so many different parks, that’s the nature of the beast.

“I don’t foresee it being a problem at all. I was able to learn in going from a decent hitters’ park in the Metrodome going to a terrible hitters’ park in Target Field that if I start changing my swing, well, that’s when trouble starts.”

Cuddyer, addressing the media on Monday morning for the first time in camp, also said:

• The Rockies ought never let Troy Tulowitzki go.

“Whether or not they eventually trade him, I don’t know,” Cuddyer said. “Nobody in baseball has a player like Tulo except for the Colorado Rockies. In my opinion you never let a guy like that go. I’m also not a front-office guy. I don’t know the payrolls in and out, the ins and outs of rebuilding and that nature. I don’t know and I don’t pretend to know.

“He’s a great player, and he’s tenacious out there on the field. He has no interest in anything but winning. I think that type of player and that type of attitude is a fit everywhere, not just here [with the Mets]. I don’t know if that [trade to the Mets] will ever come to fruition because I don’t know if the Rockies will ever trade him. If I was the Rockies, I never would. But that’s just me because of the respect I have for him.

“The injuries have been unfortunate, but there’s no denying that when he does get out on the field he’s, in my opinion, the best shortstop in the game.”

• Cuddyer again downplayed playing in only 49 games last season with Colorado. He said his non-displaced shoulder fracture was a fluky thing during a rare appearance at third base. His arm was in a sling while healing and he could not do much general athletic work. He unwisely rushed back from the shoulder injury and jumped into the lineup and injured a hamstring.

• Cuddyer’s passion for signing with the Mets was cemented late last season, when the Rockies played from Sept. 8-10 in Queens. Wilmer Flores had a walk-off sacrifice fly against LaTroy Hawkins in the Mets’ series-opening win, demonstrating the team’s resilience in what essentially was a meaningless game. Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero then started consecutive 2-0 shutouts, demonstrating the strength of the Mets pitching. That led Cuddyer to conclude the Mets could be very competitive in 2015 with him on board.

In fact, Cuddyer said this Mets team is similar to his early years with the Twins, except that the Mets are more equipped for postseason success because they have power pitchers. He played in six different postseasons with Minnesota, although only once beyond the division series.

• Cuddyer would have returned to the Rockies and accepted that team’s qualifying offer if the Mets did not act aggressively in early November, in the days before he had to give a verdict to Colorado. The $15.3 million qualifying offer was too much to decline and pursue full-fledged free agency.

David Wright and Cuddyer were ultracompetitive in Norfolk, Virginia, as younger players after Wright was drafted and signed with the same athletic trainer. During racquetball games, the athletes threw rackets because of their competitiveness and nearly got ejected from their gym. Wright is roughly four years younger and idolized Cuddyer.

• Growing up in Norfolk, Cuddyer estimated he attended 20 or 25 Norfolk Tides games a year, while the Triple-A club was affiliated with the Mets. Jeromy Burnitz and Rey Ordonez were a couple of the players he most enjoyed watching in that era.

Tulo to Mets 'not happening'

January, 16, 2015
Jan 16
NEW YORK -- It should have been obvious already, but in case you needed to hear it again, with attribution ...

At the owners meetings Thursday in Paradise Valley, Arizona, Colorado Rockies owner Charlie Monfort unequivocally said the club is not trading shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Mets.

"It's not happening," Monfort told the Post.

Mets-Tulo? 'Five percent' chance ... at best

December, 19, 2014
NEW YORK -- The Mets and Rockies have engaged in some talks this offseason regarding Troy Tulowitzki, but a well-placed source told the chances of something ever materializing are five percent at best.

No talks are believed to have been overly recent. And an insider said the Mets fans clamoring for a Tulo acquisition would go "bat s---" if they knew the package the Rockies wanted for Tulowitzki.

The comment came in response to a report about dialogue between the Mets and Rockies. That report acknowledged the chances of a trade between the clubs involving Tulowitzki were "slim."

Mets like Brothers in potential Rockies deal

December, 10, 2014
SAN DIEGO -- If the Mets were to swing a deal with the Colorado Rockies for Dillon Gee, the Amazin's apparently would like to address left-handed relief in that swap. And the Mets are intrigued by Rex Brothers, a team insider said.

Brothers, who turns 27 on Dec. 18, went 4-6 with a 5.59 ERA in 74 relief appearances for Colorado last season. Lefty batters actually hit .309 against him in 2014, versus .271 against righty batters.

Brothers is eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason, so his salary is due to begin rising.

Rockies make Cuddyer qualifying offer

November, 3, 2014
NEW YORK -- Michael Cuddyer will be expensive as a free agent ... if he even decides to leave the Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies made Cuddyer a $15.3 million qualifying offer. He has until next Monday at 4 p.m. ET to accept or reject the one-year offer.

If Cuddyer declines and remains a free agent, the Mets would need to forfeit their first-round pick to sign him. And clearly they would need to commit to a multi-year deal at a high annual salary, given how much Cuddyer would be walking away from with Colorado.

Cuddyer is one of the outfielders who most makes sense for the Mets -- because he figures to get a shorter-term deal and has power.

Morning Briefing: Nats rule Citi Field

September, 11, 2014

FIRST PITCH: Well, if the Mets have designs on reaching .500 and beyond, they will have to accomplish it against a tough nemesis.

Of the 16 games remaining for the Amazin’s this season, seven are against the Washington Nationals. That includes a four-game series at Citi Field that begins Thursday at 7:10 p.m., when Bartolo Colon (13-11, 3.96 ERA) opposes right-hander Tanner Roark (12-10, 2.97).

The Mets remain 5 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second wild-card spot. The Amazin’s are four games under .500, at 71-75, and have won a season-high-matching four straight.

The Nats have a 10-2 record and have outscored the Mets 62-34 this season.

Washington has won 11 straight games in Queens. That’s the longest-ever winning streak by a visiting team against the Mets. The Atlanta Braves won 10 straight games at Shea Stadium in 1991 and '92.

The Nats are 25-4 at Citi Field since September 2011.

“I’m very pleased,” Terry Collins said about the Mets’ recent play, which includes winning seven of their last eight games and four straight series wins. “We’ve still got a tough road ahead here. We’ve got the Nats coming in, who we have not played very well, [and] who play absolutely great here. We’ve got our work cut out for us. We’re aware of that.”

Thursday’s news reports:

• A civil lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn alleges chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon “humiliated” the club’s senior vice president overseeing ticket sales because she was pregnant and unmarried. The Mets responded that former employee Leigh Castergine’s lawsuit is “without merit.”

Read more in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Times, Newsday and at

• Read columnist Mike Vaccaro’s take on the Mets’ wild-card pursuit and the lawsuit in the Post and columnist David Lennon’s take in Newsday. Jeff Passan has a scathing critique of the latter topic at Yahoo!, as does Bob Klapisch in the Record.

• Despite a high pitch count, Rafael Montero tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings and earned his first major league win as the Mets swept the Rockies with a 2-0 win Wednesday. Eric Young Jr. went 3-for-3 with an RBI triple and Jenrry Mejia became the youngest player in franchise history to notch 25 saves in a season. Mets pitchers have logged 19 straight scoreless innings, two shy of matching the season high (April 20-22), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Newsday, Star-Ledger and at

Daniel Murphy was shifted to third base Wednesday with David Wright done for the season because of persistent left-shoulder woes. Murphy received no fielding chances in his first start at the position since July 21, 2011. The move allows rookie Dilson Herrera to get continued playing time at second base. Read more in the Times and Star-Ledger.

• ESPN’s Buster Olney suggests it could be a quiet offseason for the Mets, at least spending-wise. Writes Olney:

The reality appears to be that the Mets' front office will be left with little money to improve the roster, perhaps bypassing pricey veterans who could represent pivotal upgrades, such as shortstop J.J. Hardy. It appears Alderson will instead pick through the bargain bin for short-term gambles, which is how Chris Young came to be a Met last winter; he was a bargain for a reason.

The Mets' ownership could choose to take a different path and look to spend money to make money. But once again, that does not appear to be the route this team will go, and it's bad for the sport when a New York City team pretends it must adhere to its budget the way the Tampa Bay Rays do.

ESPN Insiders can read Olney’s full analysis here.

Matt den Dekker remained sore and did not appear in Wednesday’s game a day after getting plunked on the back of his left hand with a pitch.

• Binghamton is one win from the Eastern League championship after a 5-1 victory at Richmond on Wednesday. Xorge Carrillo and Travis Taijeron homered and Greg Peavey limited the Squirrels to one run in seven innings as the B-Mets took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. Binghamton will go for the sweep at home on Friday with Steven Matz on the mound. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Matz and Herrera were named the pitcher and player of the year in the Mets organization, the club announced. Sterling Award winners at individual levels of the organization were Matt Reynolds, Kevin Plawecki, Brandon Nimmo, Dario Alvarez, Akeel Morris, Vicente Lupo, Marcos Molina, John Mora, Ali Sanchez and Walter Rasquin.

• Wright and Dillon Gee visited FDNY Squad 288/Hazmat 1 in Maspeth, Queens, on Wednesday.

Chris Young homered and had two RBIs as the Yankees rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Rays. Young became the second player ever to homer for the Mets and Yankees in the same season, joining Dave Kingman in 1977, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

• Andrew Beaton in the Journal looks into the Mets being 16-2 this season in games started by Kirk Nieuwenhuis. That’s the best winning percentage for any player in the majors with a minimum of 15 starts.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at NY Mets Report doesn’t believe Wright’s injury and Herrera playing second base could pave the way for Murphy to be traded this offseason.

BIRTHDAYS: Former closer Frank Francisco turns 35.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Can the Mets reach .500? Can they reach the postseason?

Rapid Reaction: Mets 2, Rockies 0

September, 10, 2014
NEW YORK -- Reaching .500 may not be an insurmountable goal after all.

The playoffs? That still seems too ambitious.

Rafael Montero tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings and earned his first major league win as the Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 2-0 victory Wednesday at Citi Field.

With their seventh win in their past eight games, the Mets improved to 71-75. They have not been this close to .500 since Aug. 2 (53-57).

The Pittsburgh Pirates, who occupy the second wild-card spot, won 6-3 in Philadelphia, so the Mets remain 5 back with 16 games remaining.

The Mets won despite mustering five hits. Eric Young Jr. had three of the hits, including a run-scoring triple in the second for the game’s opening run. Juan Lagares provided a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the seventh.

For those into run differential, the Mets are back in the black at plus-one for the season.

The Mets tossed consecutive shutouts for the first time since June 29-30, 2012 at Dodger Stadium.

Jenrry Mejia tossed a perfect ninth to record the save.

Spot shine: Despite a high pitch count and effort that included issuing four walks, Montero took a no-hit bid two outs into the fifth inning. Opposing pitcher Tyler Matzek then doubled over Young’s head in left field to place two in scoring position. Montero rebounded. He coaxed a flyout from Charlie Blackmon that stranded two in scoring position.

Still nursing a 1-0 lead in the sixth, Montero allowed a leadoff double to Drew Stubbs and single to Justin Morneau that placed runners on the corners with none out. He struck out Nolan Arenado and then departed with his pitch count at 106.

Fellow rookie Dario Alvarez entered and retired Corey Dickerson on a squibber that moved Morneau to second base. Carlos Torres entered and retired Michael McKenry to leave both runners in scoring position.

Montero’s final line: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 7 K.

Terry Collins said pregame that it is undecided whether Montero would get another start this month. The Mets promoted him in part to gauge his ability in a relief role. And the Mets are reluctant to have their incumbent starting pitchers work with more than one extra day of rest between outings. Monday already is a team off-day.

Quiet night: In his first game at third base in more than three years, Daniel Murphy had no grounders he was required to field.

What’s next: If the Mets are going to make it interesting over the final 16 games, they’ll have to make noise against the first-place Washington Nationals. Two series remain between the teams, including a four-game set at Citi Field that opens Thursday. Bartolo Colon (13-11, 3.96 ERA) opposes right-hander Tanner Roark (12-10, 2.97) in the opener.

Wednesday Mets-Rockies lineups

September, 10, 2014
NEW YORK -- Here are the lineups for Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. game as the Mets aim to sweep the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field.

Daniel Murphy returns to third base for the first time since July 21, 2011, which allows Dilson Herrera to start in David Wright's absence. Rafael Montero gets a spot start, allowing Bartolo Colon and the rest of the starting pitchers to get an extra day of rest without being skipped.

Juan Lagares, cf
Wilmer Flores, ss
Murphy, 3b
Travis d'Arnaud, c
Eric Campbell, 1b
Curtis Granderson, rf
Herrera, 2b
Eric Young Jr., lf
Montero, rhp

Charlie Blackmon, rf
Drew Stubbs, cf
Justin Morneau, 1b
Nolan Arenado, 3b
Corey Dickerson, lf
Michael McKenry, c
Josh Rutledge, ss
DJ LeMahieu, 2b
Tyler Matzek, lhp

Morning Briefing: Even with Yanks

September, 10, 2014

Getty ImagesJacob deGrom added to his resume with eight scoreless innings, but David Wright (rotator cuff) is done for the season.

FIRST PITCH: The Mets are even with the Yankees in one respect: Both teams are now 5 games out in their respective wild-card races.

Still, that seemingly speaks more to the Bombers being out of postseason contention than the Amazin’s being in it.

With 17 games remaining, the Mets have a 70-75 record.

The San Francisco Giants seemingly are firmly entrenched in the No. 1 wild-card spot at 79-65.

Pittsburgh currently occupies the second wild-card spot at 75-69. Atlanta (74-71), freefalling Milwaukee (74-71) and Miami (71-72) also are ahead of the Mets.

The Pirates and Brewers play three more times, meaning that’s at least two additional wins for one of those teams. And Pittsburgh and Atlanta play four times, meaning that’s a minimum of two wins for one of those teams.

So .500 seems like a more realistic goal for the Mets. If the Mets fall short of breakeven, they would finish with their sixth straight losing season, which would be tied with the Houston Astros for the longest active streak in the majors.

Bill Kostroun/Associated PressRafael Montero gets a spot start Wednesday against the Rockies.

Meanwhile, the Mets -- winners of six of their last seven games -- on Wednesday try to complete a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies for the second straight season at Citi Field.

Rafael Montero, who joined the Mets from Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday, gets a spot start that allows the other members of the rotation to receive an extra day of rest. Montero (0-3, 5.23 ERA) opposes left-hander Tyler Matzek (5-9, 4.32), a fellow rookie.

Montero last pitched last Wednesday in Vegas’ Pacific Coast League playoff opener at Reno. He allowed three runs on seven hits and four walks in a 103-pitch effort spanning 4 1/3 innings.

Matzek is coming off a three-hit shutout against the San Diego Padres. He became the first Rockies pitcher to go the distance in a scoreless effort at Coors Field since Jhoulys Chacin on April 15, 2011 against the Chicago Cubs. Overall, Matzek has an active 21-inning scoreless streak.

Wednesday’s news reports:

David Wright has been shut down for the remainder of the season after undergoing an MRI and examination of his troublesome left shoulder at the Hospital for Special Surgery on Tuesday. The captain is not expected to require surgery to address what was labeled “persistent inflammation” in the rotator cuff.

Wright finishes the season with a .269 average, career-low eight homers and 63 RBIs in 535 at-bats. He went homerless in his final 189 at-bats, which is the longest drought of his career.

Wright had experienced discomfort since jamming the shoulder while sliding headfirst on a steal on June 12 on a muddy surface at Citi Field. He missed a week late in the first half and then received a cortisone shot heading into the All-Star break.

“David did what captains do -- he persevered, he kept going, he gutted it out,” Sandy Alderson said. “Numbers or no numbers, he did what we expected. He made a major contribution to the team by continuing to perform. And when a player is injured, all you can expect from him is honesty about the injury and willingness to go out there and make the effort. There’s no question David did that throughout the last two and half months.”

Alderson and Terry Collins said they would huddle to determine the best infield alignment in Wright’s absence. Dilson Herrera figured to see vastly diminished playing time with Daniel Murphy having returned from a calf injury on Tuesday. Now, though, one option is to use Murphy at third base and Herrera at second. Otherwise, the likely option is to use Eric Campbell at third base -- although Josh Satin and Wilmer Flores also are capable of manning the position, too.

Murphy last played third base, his natural position, in 2011 when Wright missed time with a stress fracture in his lower back.

Read more on Wright in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record and at

Jacob deGrom retired the final 14 batters he faced and was sitting at 100 pitches through eight scoreless innings when Collins pulled him three outs away from a complete game. Collins, under pressure from his bosses to keep his young hurlers’ pitch counts in check late in the season, went to Jenrry Mejia for the ninth. Mejia eventually was pulled with the bases loaded and one out. Josh Edgin and Jeurys Familia combined to bail the Mets out and preserve a 2-0 win against the Rockies on Tuesday.

Edgin had been dealing with elbow discomfort from bone spurs and had received a cortisone injection last Tuesday. He was making his first appearance since Aug. 23.

DeGrom improved to 8-6 and sliced his ERA to 2.62. He becomes the third pitcher in franchise history to have a sub-3.00 ERA through 20 starts in his debut season, joining Dwight Gooden (1984, 2.80) and Tom Seaver (1967, 2.92), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. DeGrom has not allowed an earned run in his past 22 innings.

Read game recaps in the Post, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and at

• Alderson acknowledged the Mets are considering further revising the dimensions in right-center/right field at Citi Field. According to ESPN Stats & Information’s Mark Simon, who made a crude calculation using Inside Edge data that plots of fly balls:

The Mets have hit 16 balls to right-center this season that traveled more than 395 feet -- and seven have fallen short of being home runs. Opponents have hit 15 balls to right-center that traveled more than 395 feet -- and four have been short of being home runs.

So the Mets, very roughly, could have a pickup of seven long balls for a season potentially with such a wall adjustment.

The Mets’ analysis, according to Alderson, is that Curtis Granderson could have seven more homers with particular wall tweaking.

Read more in the Journal and Newsday.

Matt den Dekker was struck in the left hand by a pitch from Yohan Flande in the seventh inning and departed the game after the frame. X-rays were negative.

• Binghamton won Game 1 of its best-of-five Eastern League Championship series, 5-2 at Richmond. Starter Tyler Pill allowed two runs in six innings against the San Francisco Giants’ Double-A affiliate. Brandon Nimmo went 2-for-5 and drove in a pair of runs. Greg Peavey starts Game 2 for the B-Mets on Wednesday. Read the full recap here.

• Collins, Zack Wheeler and Travis d'Arnaud visited the 9/11 Memorial & Museum on Tuesday. Read more in the Daily News.

• Joe Torre has sent a memo to umpires dissuading them from calling runners safe when catchers are blocking the plate unless it’s a bang-bang play, writes Jayson Stark at That should avoid clearly out runners being awarded home plate on a technicality.

• Jeff Passan at Yahoo! examines the trouble with WAR, and uses Juan Lagares as an example.

From the bloggers … John Delcos, who had been hospitalized for five months and remains in a wheelchair, is back blogging. Check out the explanation for his absence here. … Blogging Mets wonders if Collins deserves another year as Mets manager. ... Faith and Fear finds every deGrom start is a good hair day.

BIRTHDAYS: Outfielder Andrew Brown, who was passed over for a September call-up, turns 30. ... Minor-league infielder Phillip Evans is 22.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets move Daniel Murphy to third base for the remainder of the season in order to get Dilson Herrera in the lineup at second base?

Rapid Reaction: Mets 2, Rockies 0

September, 9, 2014

NEW YORK -- What more can Jacob deGrom do this season?

That's what.

He can go to the mound for his 20th big league start and make it the best of what has already been a brilliant rookie season. He can go eight innings for the first time in his career -- make that eight shutout innings -- and allow only three hits to the highest-scoring team in the National League.

He can give the New York Mets a 2-0 Tuesday night win over the Colorado Rockies.

That's what.

Manager Terry Collins said Tuesday afternoon that the Mets had already seen all they needed from deGrom, the 26-year-old right-hander who has exceeded all expectations.

"There's not much he needs to do except stay healthy," Collins said. "That's going to be our goal."

How about shutting down the team that leads the National League in scoring?

DeGrom allowed a Wilin Rosario double and a Josh Rutledge infield single in the second inning, and a Nolan Arenado double in the fourth. He struck out nine, he didn't walk a batter, and he kept his pitch count enough under control that Collins could have considered letting him try to finish the shutout.

Instead, with deGrom at 100 pitches (75 strikes), Collins went to closer Jenrry Mejia to start the ninth. Mejia loaded the bases with one out, so Collins went to Josh Edgin and Jeurys Familia for the final two outs. Familia got credit for his second save.

It was the fifth time in 20 starts that deGrom didn't allow a run and the seventh time he didn't allow an earned run, but it was the first time he pitched this deep into a game, and DeGrom became just the third pitcher in Mets history to have a sub-3.00 ERA 20 starts into his debut season. Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden were the other two.

"He's shown us everything we need to see," Collins said before the game.

Tuesday night, deGrom showed us even more.

Murphy's return: As Collins said Tuesday afternoon, Daniel Murphy's two-week stay on the disabled list cost him any chance at 200 hits. Murphy returned from the DL on Tuesday and had a third-inning infield single for his 160th hit.

The fence report: With the talk about whether the Mets will move the right-field fence in next year, it's probably worth noting that there were a couple of balls hit Tuesday that might have been helped by shorter fences. The first was by Rockies' Rosario, but there was also one by Curtis Granderson in the sixth inning (it went for an RBI double instead).

Lucas Duda hit a fly ball to the wall in the first inning, but it was caught in front of the right-field foul pole, a spot where the fence is unlikely to be moved.

The Flores report: When general manager Sandy Alderson said this week that he considers Wilmer Flores a viable option to be the Mets' 2015 shortstop, the biggest reaction from rival scouts was, "He can't be serious, can he?"

Alderson said he believes Flores has made all the routine plays, and he did make the routine plays again Tuesday. He did concede an infield hit on a Rutledge ground ball, but it was on a play that only a very good shortstop would make.

The Grand return: Granderson's triple in the ninth inning Monday was his first extra-base hit at Citi Field since July. His sixth-inning double Tuesday was his second, and it brought home the Mets' second run.

Den Dekker hits, gets hit: Matt den Dekker doubled in the fifth inning and scored the Mets' first run. But den Dekker was hit on the hand by a Yohan Flande pitch in the seventh inning and left the game at the end of the frame.

What's next: Rafael Montero (0-3, 5.23) makes his seventh major league start and his first since Aug. 17, when the Mets and Rockies close out this series on Wednesday night at Citi Field. Left-hander Tyler Matzek (5-9, 4.32) starts for Colorado.

Tuesday's Mets-Rockies lineups

September, 9, 2014
NEW YORK -- Here are the lineups for Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. game against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field.

Daniel Murphy (calf) returns from the disabled list. David Wright (shoulder) is back out of the lineup and will be examined by doctors. Dilson Herrera goes to the bench with Murphy's return.

Juan Lagares, cf
Daniel Murphy, 2b
Eric Campbell, 3b
Lucas Duda, 1b
Travis d'Arnaud, c
Curtis Granderson, rf
Wilmer Flores, ss
Matt den Dekker, lf
Jacob deGrom, rhp

Charlie Blackmon, cf
Michael Cuddyer, rf
Justin Morneau, 1b
Nolan Arenado, 3b
Corey Dickerson, lf
Wilin Rosario, c
Josh Rutledge, ss
DJ LeMahieu, 2b
Christian Bergman, rhp

Morning Briefing: Murphy or Herrera?

September, 9, 2014

FIRST PITCH: The Mets were nine games under .500 when they lost their lone .300 hitter to a calf injury.

They went 8-5 in the 13 games Daniel Murphy missed.

Murphy figures to return from the DL for Tuesday night's game against the Colorado Rockies, and general manager Sandy Alderson said Murphy will take back the second base job that Dilson Herrera held in his absence. The Mets are still trying to win games, and as Alderson said, while Herrera has played well for a 20-year-old, "he hasn't done enough to displace Murphy."

Jacob deGrom (7-6, 2.79) makes his 20th Mets start, and tries to improve on a season already good enough that he should get Rookie of the Year consideration. He'll face another rookie, Rockies right-hander Christian Bergman (2-2, 5.23).

Tuesday's news reports:

• The Mets had only three hits through eight innings, but a two-run rally in the ninth inning against LaTroy Hawkins gave them a 3-2 win over the Rockies. Read game stories in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Record and

• Sandy Alderson explained the Mets' decision not to call up Noah Syndergaard, citing the 40-man roster as the biggest reason. Alderson also admitted that the Mets are concerned about making sure they don't overwork their young pitchers, and said he has spoken with manager Terry Collins and his staff about it. Read more in the Post, Newsday and Star Ledger.

• Alderson won't guarantee that the Mets will spend big this offseason. That's not exactly a shock, given everything else the organization has said this season. Read more in the Post.

BIRTHDAYS: Todd Zeile turns 49 today. ... Mike Hampton is 42. ... Kaz Ishii is 41.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU'RE UP: Would you rather see Daniel Murphy or Dilson Herrera playing second base?

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Rockies 2

September, 8, 2014
NEW YORK -- Who needs home runs?

The New York Mets don't hit many of them at home, and they gave up two to the Colorado Rockies on Monday night. But a ninth-inning rally off ex-Met LaTroy Hawkins gave the Mets a 3-2 win.

Travis d'Arnaud began the rally with a leadoff double, the Mets' fourth double of the night. Curtis Granderson followed with a game-tying triple, the Mets' second triple. Wilmer Flores followed with a sacrifice fly to center field.

The Mets didn't hit any home runs, and they haven't homered twice in the same game at home since July. Their opponents have had seven multihomer games at Citi Field since then.

But who needs home runs when you have four doubles and two triples?

Nice start for Niese: Last week in Miami, Jonathon Niese became the first Mets pitcher in 14 years to allow six run on 10 hits and get a win. Monday, he became just another Mets pitcher to fail to win because the offense struggled. Niese went 6 2/3 innings and allowed just one run, on a Michael Cuddyer home run in the second, but he left a 1-1 tie because the Mets managed only three hits off Rockies starter Jordan Lyles.

Another Lagares save: Juan Lagares is so good in center field that he doesn't often need to leave his feet to make a catch that ends up on a highlight tape. But he can dive to catch a ball, and he did exactly that to rob Nolan Arenado and save Niese with a runner on first base and one out in the first inning.

And an assist to Carlyle: Niese allowed a leadoff double to DJ LeMahieu in the seventh inning, but the Rockies didn't score. Niese got two ground-ball outs, and when manager Terry Collins went to the bullpen for Buddy Carlyle, Carlyle struck out Josh Rutledge to end the threat.

Black is back: The Mets activated Vic Black from the disabled list before Monday's game. Black, who missed two weeks with a herniated disk in his neck, hung an 0-2 curveball to Arenado, the first batter he faced.

Recognize these names? The Rockies are playing without their two biggest stars, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, both out for the season with injuries. They've spent most of the past three months without Cuddyer, too, and the Mets and Niese wish he had missed at least one more game.

Cuddyer came off the disabled list Monday, and his second-inning home run off Niese tied the game at 1-1.

Small "crowd": With school back in session and with the New York Giants opening their season on "Monday Night Football," the Mets and Rockies played before what had to be one of the smallest gatherings in Citi Field history. The Mets' announced attendance was 21,710, and possibly two or three of those numbers actually reflected the number of people in the ballpark.

What's next: Jacob deGrom (7-6, 2.79) makes his 20th big league start Tuesday night against the Rockies. Right-hander Christian Bergman (2-2, 5.23) starts for Colorado.

Monday's Mets-Rockies lineups

September, 8, 2014
NEW YORK -- Here are the lineups for Monday's 7:10 p.m. series opener against the Rockies:

Juan Lagares, cf
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, lf
David Wright, 3b
Lucas Duda, 1b
Travis d'Arnaud, c
Curtis Granderson, rf
Wilmer Flores, ss
Dilson Herrera, 2b
Jonathon Niese, lhp

Corey Dickerson, lf
Josh Rutledge, ss
Nolan Arenado, 3b
Michael Cuddyer, 1b
Drew Stubbs, cf
Michael McKenry, c
Brandon Barnes, rf
D.J. LeMahieu, 2b
Jordan Lyles, rhp



Daniel Murphy
.289 9 57 79
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187