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July 11, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Mark Simon

Mark Simon
  (1:56 PM)

Hi everyone. Psyched to pinch-hit for Adam Rubin, who is checking out the Triple-A team in Las Vegas today.Mets are hot, who would have figured?Let's chat...

Chris Fiegler (Latham NY)

Prior to 2013 at Citi Field, When was the Last time that the New York Mets Hosted a Major League Baseball All-Star Game?

Mark Simon
  (2:00 PM)

1964 at Shea Stadium is the only other one...Great story on the game from Steve Wulf on ESPN.com right now ...http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/9459622/johnny-callison-1964-walk-home-run-last-all-star-game-hosted-new-york-metsWanted to get that plug out ... on to some questions on the current team...

Bill (Lewes, De)

Where do the mets need to finish for Collins to remain manager next season?

Mark Simon
  (2:03 PM)

If you had asked 3 weeks ago, I would have thought that the chances of him returning were slim.But this little surge has me thinking. He will be a popular choice to stay if this team overachieves the rest of the season. If they finish .500 or better, I'd guess he's back, but my basis for that is just gut instinct.

Tom (New Jersey)

Eric Young Jr has had a very small sample size since coming to the Mets. Any chance he continues with this success the rest of the season?

Mark Simon
  (2:07 PM)

I like what EY Jr. has brought a lot. Admittedly, I am wondering when the "thrilled to prove everyone wrong" phase ends...maybe it lasts through the end of the season.But keep in mind, his stats are a little skewed by the abundance of lefties he's faced (better hitter vs LHP).I feel like hitting .260 the rest of the season would be the most likely scenario ... but he's shown nice plate discipline too, so maybe that's with a .330-.450 OBP

Brian (NJ)

Do you expect to see Montero in the rotation this season?

Mark Simon
  (2:08 PM)

No. But if he's on the roster in 2014, I'd expect he'd be on the team

david (flushing)

Mets BA last 28 days is .255. prior to that it's about .228. That is my main explanation for their recent success. do you have any other explanations?

Mark Simon
  (2:10 PM)

Combo of really good starting pitching and replacing players whose contribution was of negative win value (Duda and Tejada) with players who were (at worst) zeroes or positives (Satin, EY Jr.)

Brian (NJ)

Honestly, do you see this team continuing their winning ways and making a run for the division or wild card?

Mark Simon
  (2:12 PM)

There was an awful lot of optimism the last 2 days ...But one hot stretch does not a season make. I remember when they looked like world-beaters when they beat up on the Rays last season.These things happen. Teams go through hot/cold.Do you REALLY think that this team is better than the Nationals/Pirates/Reds/Dodgers enough to make up ground on all of them?

david (flushing)

hey man I love your statistical approach to things. Something that has been bothering me for awhile: Ike davis WAR last yr was 1.2 (borderline starter). maybe even with big power numbers he's just not that good?

Mark Simon
  (2:15 PM)

Think I wrote/tweeted this entering season ... for Ike to be an upper-end first baseman, he's gotta be able to put up some sort of numbers vs LHP, whether it be OBP or power.Until he does that, it would seem his statistical ceiling is mid-level starter, rather than the high-end guy that people want him to be.

Puneet (CT)

With all this money coming off the books this offseason, will it be spent and who do you think they'll go after?

Mark Simon
  (2:18 PM)

I've been trying to figure this out because I want to write about it.I think Stanton or Cargo will be the primary target. After that, it will be Choo or Ellsbury and then someone we're not thinking of.

david (flushing)

Do you see Jeremy Hefner maintaining any of his recent success. What's the conventional wisdom?

Mark Simon
  (2:20 PM)

I would have said no after 3-4 starts, but I'm more inclined to say yes after 7 ...Hefner's K, BB, HR allowed numbers last year were more befitting a pitcher with a 3.7 ERA than a 5.1 (that one start really crushed him last yr) ... this year he's more befitting of a 4.2 than a 3.4I think he meets somewhere in the middle and is a credible 3.8 ERA pitcher because when he's going well he limits walks and home runs allowed. But since he can't overpower, he'll have his bad days too.

Sam (LA)

Would the Mets consider trading Wright at the deadline?

Mark Simon
  (2:21 PM)

Seriously????

Kevin (Midtown, NYC)

Do you think the Mets should trade Bobby Parnell if the deal is right?

Mark Simon
  (2:24 PM)

Seeing a lot of Parnell questions ...I think it goes against the philosophy of the current administration to trade someone who is under (very affordable) team control for 2 more seasons who (now) has an established role. Particularly when the budget ISN'T going to be $120 millionIE: if you're trading him, you better be getting something of an A-level back

Mark Simon
  (2:24 PM)

Give me some names on who the closer would be in 2014 if they trade Parnell...

Alfonzo Fan (NJ)

What's the ERA for lefty relievers on the Mets? Last time I checked it was over 6.00 for the year. Does TC realize how his bullpen deployment is killing the team?

Mark Simon
  (2:26 PM)

looks like it's at about 5.5 now ...What more can Collins do about that? He's dealing with the hand he's been dealt.

Kevin (Midtown, NYC)

Grant Balfour is a Free agent

Mark Simon
  (2:28 PM)

So is Fernando Rodney ...

Mitch (NJ)

John Buck and Marlon Byrd have much trade value or do other teams realize that, deep down, they're John Buck and Marlon Byrd?

Mark Simon
  (2:29 PM)

I think Buck's trade value is pretty limited. Name a team that needs a catcher for whom he would be an appealing option...I do think they should trade Byrd and that maybe he's played his way into getting a B+ prospect.

ravi (NYC)

How do you see Satin fitting in the mix? How long of a leash will Davis have if he continues to struggle and the mets continue this resurgence. Also why not considering testing the market for Murphy with Flores coming up behind him

Mark Simon
  (2:31 PM)

I think he needs to be more aggressive at the plate.He swings at only half of the pitches in the strike zone ... that would be the lowest rate in baseball. I think that would be a long-term issue for him. He's had a lot of close calls go his way on pitches, and I don't think that will last.

Stan (Baltimore)

Better player right now. Wright or Longoria?

Mark Simon
  (2:34 PM)

I enjoy this debate. Longoria has a better glove and hits for more power.Wright has tbe better OBP.I'd go Longoria though ... his last 163 games-- .287/.365/.519 slashline with 34 HR and 105 RBI.Wright can't replicate that.

Puneet (CT)

Any chance they can bring in Stanton or other big bat w/out giving up either Wheeler, Syndegaard, or Montero?

Mark Simon
  (2:34 PM)

So your package starts with ...Hefner? Ike?You have to give up something to get something, right?

Stan (Baltimore)

2014 closer. Carlos Torres or Greg Burke?

Mark Simon
  (2:35 PM)

Neither ... but if you told me Torres was the 7th/8th inning guy next season, I could buy it.

ElvisCat (NC)

Mets are 8-3 in last 11 games that Recker has started. What does he have to do to get more playing time?

Mark Simon
  (2:36 PM)

Be a better hitter than one who is 4-for-his-last-30

david (flushing)

From watching the games it seems that Omar Q has been more than serviceable defensively. However, his Range factor is really really low. Am i missing something?

Mark Simon
  (2:38 PM)

Fair number of balls hit in the shortstop-third base hole that he's either not getting to, or stopping, but not getting outs on ...

Stan (Baltimore)

Who's having the better season. Wainwright or Harvey?

Mark Simon
  (2:40 PM)

Tie...Seriously. Too close to call.

Brian (Manhattan)

Yo Mark! Why not bring up Noah S into the rotation?

Mark Simon
  (2:41 PM)

Yo...A- He's only 20B- He's 3 starts into being at Double-AC- He has pitches that need to polish ...If you thought Wheeler had a couple rough gos ... do you really want to throw Syndegaard into the fire.Think mid-season 2014

James (NYC)

Hypothetical - would you trade Ike Davis for Brett Gardner straight up? Mets need outfield help, Yankees could use insurance for Teixeira if he gets hurt again/DH flexibility.

Mark Simon
  (2:43 PM)

Without question ...But would the Yankees? I'd think the chances of that are very very very slim ...Gardner would be a great fit on the Mets. EY Jr's 21 games have basically been Gardner-like, minus the defense.

ElvisCat (NC)

So, his .050 BABIP is what's holding Recker back.I think it's important to note that he has 3 HR in that stretch and the Mets are 5-1 when he starts, despite the poor luck on balls in play.

Mark Simon
  (2:45 PM)

He has 26 K in 72 AB ... that's the bigger issue.I do think he'll see more time now.

TeddyBallgame (NYC)

FA signings: Nelson Cruz? Corey Hart? Paul Maholm? Saltalamacchia? Hughes as a relaimation?

Mark Simon
  (2:48 PM)

Creative thinking, I like it...Nelson Cruz has the Biogenesis scandal looming.Corey Hart would be a buy-low guy with minimal appeal.Maholm ... I think one thing the Mets SHOULD do is build up starting pitching depth if possible, so that would be intriguing.Hughes ... I think he would be a good pitcher in Citi FieldGetting one of those latter two would also allow you to package a pitcher in a deal.

Alfonzo Fan (NJ)

Juan Lagares did not have a good defensive reputation from the scouts when he was in the minors. He looks really good out there. Did scouts miss the boat or has there been a bunch of improvement from Lagares in the field over the last four months?

Mark Simon
  (2:49 PM)

Actually, I had been told a few games into his career that his "go and get it" rep was about the same as Den Dekker's. They adjusted where he is positioned to suit his skill sets and it seems to have taken well.

Richard (Dallas,Tx)

So Mark do you see the Mets making a move before or at the trading deadline for a young outfielder or shortstop that can hit?

Mark Simon
  (2:50 PM)

I don't see them outbidding teams that are in legit contention for those players.

Jonesy (Shavertown, PA)

Will it cause clubhouse problems in the clubhouse if Harvey misses saturday's start but pitches in the ASG? Keith seemed pretty passionate about it sending the wrong message during yesterday's broadcast.

Mark Simon
  (2:52 PM)

I was fascinated to hear the way that was talked about yesterday. I would expect that Adam and some of the other Mets beat writers will get a feel for that in the next 24-36 hours

Mike (OBX)

Mark, Carlos Torres's stuff looks filthy so far. What's the skinny on him?

Mark Simon
  (2:53 PM)

He's had a REALLY good slider for the last few weeks. He only throws 91-93, so I wonder how long it will last. I think he'll be a better fit in a relief role, but am curious to see how his start goes.

Paul (Jersey City)

Some names for closer next year to replace Parnell. Familia, Mejia, Mazzoni, Lethersich. Aardsma for the rest of the year.

Mark Simon
  (2:55 PM)

So you've finally gotten Parnell to the point of being a good closer and now at the first chance you get rid of him.I'd just say that if they do trade him, the returning player needs to be an immediate fit.

Puneet (CT)

When do you see Niese coming back and how big a problem you think this rotator cuff thing's gonna be?

Mark Simon
  (2:56 PM)

I've heard interviews in which it was said he's probably a month away.Google some of the statistical studies on pitcher injuries. If I recall right: What they will tell you is that past injuries tend to predict future injuries. So yes, some concern for sure.

Mark Simon
  (2:56 PM)

Rapid-fire for last 5 minutes.

Scot (Washington, DC)

What's your opinion on the Alderson regime's three drafts to date? Do you see any or all of Nimmo, Cecchini and/or Smith as productive major leaguers?

Mark Simon
  (2:57 PM)

Almost impossible to project those 3 at this point ... though it seems Nimmo's progress has been SLOW.Hit Keith Law with that question on one of his chats...

david (flushing)

CHOO!

Mark Simon
  (2:57 PM)

Bless you. :)Expect to shell out 5 for 75...

Stan (Baltimore)

Feasible that Torres could be the closer if Parnell is dealt?

Mark Simon
  (2:58 PM)

Unlikely.

david (flushing)

wats your take on the harvey blister thing? Is it just made up to keep him fresh for all-star game

Mark Simon
  (2:58 PM)

He has a blister. I see nothing wrong with skipping a start and then starting him 4th coming out of the break...then skipping his last start of the season.That should almost get you to what you want for innings.

Matt (Steinway)

Hefner's xFIP was 3.35 in June and 3.34 in July. I am starting to believe he can be a true talent 3.5 ERA pitcher, whcih is a huge change in valuation from the start of the season, when he looked to be a AAAA guy.

Mark Simon
  (2:59 PM)

Good info.As I said ... 3.8 range, which is basically what Dillon Gee was thought to be.

rick (Murray Hill)

Mark, do you see the team playing better because of this mix of players? If so, what happens when some of the previous playeres are due to come back. Or what should happen, in your opinion?

Mark Simon
  (3:00 PM)

I think it's only fair that Duda and Tejada have to earn their way back and that the Mets should ride this out a bit more, particularly with Young moreso than Quintanilla.

david (flushing)

wright- HOF?

Mark Simon
  (3:01 PM)

Class of 2025 ... Oy, I'll be 50 years old then. I'm getting old.

david (flushing)

Sandy rating 1-10?

Mark Simon
  (3:01 PM)

Incomplete

Dave (NJ)

Traded or stays?1. Parnell2. Buck3. Byrd4. Gee5. Rice6. Murphy

Mark Simon
  (3:01 PM)

StaysStuck with himTradedTradedOn another team next yearStays

Mark Simon
  (3:03 PM)

Let's wrap this up...Couple things to plug1- Please check out the @espnstatsinfo Twitter if you don't follow it already. Lots of good numbers/nuggets on all teams.2- Just did a "Where are they now?" on ex-MLB All-Stars at ESPN.com ... Among the 8 I talked to-- ex-Met Lee Mazzilli. Check it out on the MLB page.