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In pictures: Duda does Japan

My notebook wasn’t the only tool I brought to Japan with me. Check below for a collage of some of the best Duda pics I snapped across the Pacific:

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Turning Japanese? I really think so.

You may have noticed a conspicuous absence in this space the past couple weeks, as I traveled to Japan to cover the Major League Baseball All-Star Series. Though only one Met — first baseman Lucas Duda — made the trip, I hope you’ll appreciate all of the coverage anyway. The full list is here, with some of the highlights below:

IMG_5258

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Uniform changes aplenty for Mets

The Mets unveiled a series of uniform changes this morning, ditching their creamsicle pinstripe and plain white home uniforms for a bright white pinstriped model. They also introduced two new caps: a white-on-orange-on-blue model, as well as an orange-themed Mr. Met batting practice cap:

metsjerseys2015

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What might a Mets playoff roster look like?

Imagine if the Mets had made the playoffs this season. Given so many season-ending injuries and so much roster uncertainty, constructing a capable playoff roster would be a monumental task. Here’s a stab at what one might have looked like:

metsplayoffs

Catcher: Anthony Recker, Juan Centeno
Travis d’Arnaud
had surgery earlier this week to remove a bone chip from his right elbow, in what sounded like a painful injury. It’s doubtful d’Arnaud would have been able to contribute to the playoff push, leaving the Mets stuck with Recker and Centeno. Top prospect Kevin Plawecki, even if ready (he’s not), would not have been eligible for the postseason roster.

Infield: Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy, Wilmer Flores, David Wright, Ruben Tejada, Eric Campbell
A monster plot line would have been Wright’s left shoulder health heading into the playoffs. Assuming an in-contention Mets team would have shut their third baseman down at the same point they actually did this September, Wright would now be two weeks into a six-week rehab and strengthening program. Would that have been enough for the Mets to carry him on their postseason roster? Perhaps they would have proceeded how the Nationals are with Ryan Zimmerman, using him off the bench with potential for a spot start against left-handed pitching.

Outfield: Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Matt den Dekker, Eric Young Jr.
Granderson and Nieuwenhuis are locks, while Young provides the late-inning speed that most playoff teams crave off the bench. The big question here would have been the health of Lagares, who sprained his right elbow late in September. If Lagares was not ready to go, the Mets would have been forced to use Nieuwenhuis in center on an everyday basis (assuming he had fully recovered from the infection that hospitalized him over the season’s final weekend — yeesh, the Mets really were a mess heading into October).

Rotation: Zack Wheeler, Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee
Sorry, Matt Harvey, but the Mets would certainly have mimicked the 2012 Nationals, who lost a five-game Division Series to the Cardinals while Tommy John patient Stephen Strasburg sat unused on the bench. Though Harvey likely would have protested both publicly and privately, the Mets would not sacrifice any part of his future for this fictional playoff run.

Sorry, also, to Rookie of the Year favorite Jacob deGrom, who rubbed up against an innings limit late in September. DeGrom had a few innings left at the end of the season, but not enough to start. Instead, the Mets might have placed him in the…

Bullpen: Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin, Carlos Torres, deGrom, Buddy Carlyle, Rafael Montero, Dario Alvarez
Mejia, Familia, Edgin and Torres would have been the four locks, with deGrom a strong bet to make this group as long as he was not starting. Injuries to Vic Black and Dana Eveland may have been serious enough for the Mets to give them more rest, perhaps hoping to add them to the roster in later rounds. That left room for both Caryle and Montero, another rookie up against an innings limit. Though Alvarez did not do much to distinguish himself in September, Terry Collins would have adored the idea of a second left-hander in his bullpen.

Snubs: Harvey (have to protect that shoulder), Black (likewise), Eveland (his elbow was cranky), d’Arnaud (too injured), Bobby Abreu (too ineffective), Dilson Herrera (not quite ready at age 20), Gonzalez German (the Mets had better options).

Mets WAR leaders, end of season

Highest and lowest Mets WAR scores in 2014, according to the web sites Fangraphs and Baseball Reference:

Fangraphs
1. Juan Lagares, 3.8
2. Lucas Duda, 3.3
3. Jacob deGrom, 3.0
4. Daniel Murphy, 2.6

5. Bartolo Colon, 2.1

41-(t). John Lannan, -0.4
41-(t). Omar Quintanilla, -0.4

41-(t). Scott Rice, -0.4
44. Chris Young, -0.6
45. Gonzalez Germen, -0.7

Baseball Reference
1. Lagares, 5.5
2. Duda, 3.7
3. deGrom, 3.1

4. David Wright, 2.8
5. Murphy, 2.0

40-(t). Juan Centeno, -0.3
40-(t). Josh Satin, -0.3
42-(t). Lannan, -0.4
42-(t). Rice, -0.4

44. Bobby Abreu, -0.6
45. Jose Valverde, -0.8

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Three Up, Three Down: Final standings

Friday: Astros 3, Mets 1
Three Up: Jon Niese, Erik Goeddel, Curtis Granderson
Three Down: Carlos Torres, Anthony Recker, Daniel Murphy

Saturday: Mets 2, Astros 1
Three Up: Rafael Montero, Lucas Duda, Jeurys Familia
Three Down: Daniel Murphy, Anthony Recker, Curtis Granderson

Sunday: Mets 8, Astros 3
Three Up: Matt den Dekker, Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada
Three Down: Curtis Granderson, Juan Centeno, Wilfredo Tovar

Season Standings
Jacob deGrom +14
Jon Niese +10

Bartolo Colon +6
Lucas Duda +6

Zack Wheeler +6
Travis d’Arnaud +5

Josh Edgin +4
Matt den Dekker +3
Daniel Murphy +3
Kirk Nieuwenhuis +3
Buddy Carlyle +2

Ike Davis +2
Dana Eveland +2
Jeurys Familia +2
Dillon Gee +2
Juan Lagares +2

Erik Goeddel +1
Daisuke Matsuzaka +1
Rafael Montero +1

Bobby Abreu -1
John Lannan -1
Jenrry Mejia -1
Bobby Parnell -1
Omar Quintanilla -1
Anthony Recker -1
Wilfredo Tovar -1
Vic Black -2
Juan Centeno -2

Wilmer Flores -2
Gonzalez Germen -2
Curtis Granderson -2

Dilson Herrera -2
Josh Satin -2
Taylor Teagarden -2
Jose Valverde -4
Kyle Farnsworth -5
Scott Rice -5
Carlos Torres -5

Eric Young, Jr. -6
Chris Young -8
Ruben Tejada -9
David Wright -10

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Three Up, Three Down: Final road trip edition

Only three scant home games to go.

natsparksunsetFriday: Mets 5, Braves 0
Three Up: Daniel Murphy, Jeurys Familia, Zack Wheeler
Three Down: Travis d’Arnaud, Eric Campbell, Anthony Recker

Saturday: Mets 4, Braves 2
Three Up: Dilson Herrera, Curtis Granderson, Jon Niese
Three Down: Daniel Murphy, Wilmer Flores, Travis d’Arnaud

Sunday: Mets 10, Braves 2
Three Up: Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Anthony Recker
Three Down: Wilmer Flores, Daniel Murphy, Matt den Dekker

Tuesday: Nationals 4, Mets 2
Three Up: Josh Edgin, Wilmer Flores, Kirk Nieuwenhuis
Three Down: Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, Bartolo Colon

Thursday (Game 1): Mets 7, Nationals 4
Three Up: Matt den Dekker, Wilmer Flores, Curtis Granderson
Three Down: Dillon Gee, Juan Centeno, Josh Satin

Thursday (Game 2): Nationals 3, Mets 0
Three Up: Daniel Murphy, Curtis Granderson, Daisuke Matsuzaka
Three Down: Eric Young, Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores

Season Standings
Jacob deGrom +14
Jon Niese +9

Bartolo Colon +6
Zack Wheeler +6
Travis d’Arnaud +5

Daniel Murphy +5
Lucas Duda +4
Josh Edgin +4
Kirk Nieuwenhuis +3
Buddy Carlyle +2

Ike Davis +2
Matt den Dekker +2
Dana Eveland +2
Dillon Gee +2
Juan Lagares +2

Jeurys Familia +1
Daisuke Matsuzaka +1
Anthony Recker +1

Bobby Abreu -1
Juan Centeno -1
Curtis Granderson -1
John Lannan -1
Jenrry Mejia -1
Bobby Parnell -1
Omar Quintanilla -1
Vic Black -2

Wilmer Flores -2
Gonzalez Germen -2
Dilson Herrera -2
Josh Satin -2
Taylor Teagarden -2
Carlos Torres -4
Jose Valverde -4
Kyle Farnsworth -5
Scott Rice -5
Eric Young, Jr. -6
Chris Young -8
Ruben Tejada -10
David Wright -10

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Poll: Do you care that Matt Harvey attended Derek Jeter’s final home game?

In case you missed it, Matt Harvey showed up at Yankee Stadium tonight to pay his respects to Derek Jeter. The issue? His own teammates were playing a game against the Nationals a few hundred miles to the south, with Zack Wheeler on the bump.

All of which begs the question: do you care?

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Three Up, Three Down: Three series to go edition

That means it’s 27 Up, 27 Down to go.

citifieldcenter

Monday: Marlins 6, Mets 5
Three Up: Jacob deGrom, Wilmer Flores, Travis d’Arnaud
Three Down: Jeurys Familia, Dilson Herrera, Jenrry Mejia

Tuesday: Mets 9, Marlins 1
Three Up: Wilmer Flores, Bartolo Colon, Ruben Tejada
Three Down: Juan Lagares, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Matt den Dekker

Wednesday: Marlins 4, Mets 3
Three Up: Lucas Duda, Matt den Dekker, Kirk Nieuwenhuis
Three Down: Curtis Granderson, Ruben Tejada, Bobby Abreu

Season Standings
Jacob deGrom +14
Jon Niese +8

Bartolo Colon +7
Travis d’Arnaud +7
Daniel Murphy +6
Lucas Duda +5
Zack Wheeler +5

Josh Edgin +3
Dillon Gee +3
Buddy Carlyle +2

Ike Davis +2
Matt den Dekker +2
Dana Eveland +2
Juan Lagares +2
Eric Campbell +1

Kirk Nieuwenhuis +1
Anthony Recker +1

Bobby Abreu -1
Wilmer Flores -1
John Lannan -1
Jenrry Mejia -1
Bobby Parnell -1
Omar Quintanilla -1
Josh Satin -1
Vic Black -2

Gonzalez Germen -2
Taylor Teagarden -2
Dilson Herrera -3
Curtis Granderson -4
Carlos Torres -4
Jose Valverde -4
Kyle Farnsworth -5
Scott Rice -5
Eric Young, Jr. -5
Chris Young -8
Ruben Tejada -10
David Wright -10

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