Results tagged ‘ Rick Ankiel ’

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/5

The Mets split up on Wednesday but lost both games, anyway. Here’s a picture of palm trees to distract you:

palmtrees

What we learned: David Wright will play in a Minor League game Thursday, in advance of what will likely be his Grapefruit League debut on Friday. … Terry Collins is strongly considering batting his pitchers eighth this season, according to the New York Post, in an effort to generate more RBI opportunities for Wright.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

“I dedicate the rest of my career to him. Everything I do, I do it for all my family. But I do it for him, mostly. I hope he’s watching from somewhere.” –Mets roster hopeful Anthony Seratelli on his late father, Russell

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Do the Mets really have the best outfield in baseball?

Back in November, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson turned heads by glibly answering, “What outfield?” when asked about the makeup of that unit heading into the season. It became a rallying cry for frustrated fans later in the winter when the Mets did nothing to address the situation, heading into April with a starting trio of Marlon Byrd, Lucas Duda and a Kirk Nieuwenuis/Collin Cowgill platoon.

Predictably, that unit scuffled over the first half of the season, to the extent that the Mets promoted and demoted various outfielders, even signing Rick Ankiel for a stretch. So it was interesting Wednesday to hear Alderson offer this choice quote:

“Interestingly, we spent the first half of the season adding players,” the GM said on a post-trade deadline conference call. “We’ve added to the starting rotation, we’ve added in the bullpen, we’ve taken what seemed to be a fairly barren outfield in the beginning of the season, and turned it into maybe the most productive outfield in baseball.”

Can that be? A quick look at the numbers reveals that, amazingly, Alderson is not far off in his assessment. Mets outfielders compiled 3.4 Wins Above Replacement in July, according to Fangraphs, second behind only the Rays (see the top 10 in the Fangraphs chart below). Compare that to June, when their 0.6 mark ranked 25th in MLB, or May and April, when their 0.0 and -0.3 marks indicated that the Mets, in theory, would have been better off with a random group of minor leaguers.

metsOFwarchart

The biggest difference has been Juan Lagares, who (along with Duda’s absence) has transformed this bunch from a poor defensive outfield into a significantly above-average one. Lagares has also hit with aplomb since taking over the everyday center field job, just as Byrd has transformed into a reasonable cleanup option for the Mets. In left field, the Mets have also received unexpected production from Eric Young, Jr.

Can they keep it up? Probably not. WAR is a flawed stat, the offensive figure above is partially BABIP-fueled, and nothing in Lagares’ profile suggests he will continue to hit like this (a .369 average in July). A slump also seems inevitable for Byrd, who has been white-hot since May, while Duda’s return from the DL will damage the unit’s defensive production.

But at the least, it appears Alderson’s “What outfield” quip no longer applies. And that, for the Mets, is an unexpected accomplishment.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Nationals 3, Mets 2: Three Up, Three Down

Jeremy Hefner just may be the unluckiest man in baseball.

Three Up:
1. RHP Jeremy Hefner:  With Zack Wheeler waiting in the wings, Hefner just keeps on thriving. He holds a 3.60 ERA over his last eight starts, the first uninterrupted stretch of his career spent as a starting pitcher.

2. SS Omar Quintanilla: Have the Mets found their new leadoff man? Quintanilla’s history suggests that his hot streak is a fluke, but the Mets will certainly ride it for as long as it lasts.

3. RHP Brandon Lyon: On a night when the closer did not do his job, the setup man certainly did. These guys get even less love than closers when they do their job, but the same amount of blame when they don’t.

Three Down:
1. 2B Daniel Murphy: Is the league’s streakiest hitter (or one of them, at least) heading into a cold snap? Just like that, he’s 0-for-13, dragging his average down 20 points or so.

2. OF Rick Ankiel: Terry Collins bumped Ankiel down to eighth in the lineup, but he might soon consider leaving him off the card altogether. If not for Adam LaRoche’s error, Ankiel would have finished 0-for-3 with a popup, a strikeout and a double play.

3. RHP Bobby Parnell: Parnell can’t be perfect every time. But his propensity for allowing leadoff doubles, even when he does convert the save, is somewhat troubling.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
RHP Matt Harvey
+5
C John Buck, OF Marlon Byrd, 2B Daniel Murphy
+4
INF Justin Turner,
RHP Jeremy Hefner, SS Omar Quintanilla
+2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Jon Niese, OF Mike Baxter, OF Lucas Duda
+1
LHP Robert Carson, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Juan Lagares, 3B David Wright, LHP Scott Rice
-1
RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Bobby Parnell
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Scott Atchison, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker, RHP Shaun Marcum, RHP Collin McHugh
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin, SS Ruben Tejada, RHP Dillon Gee, OF Rick Ankiel
-13
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Marlins 11, Mets 6: Three Up, Three Down

David Wright said “there’s probably a lot of teams” who think they can beat the Mets right now. The Marlins are certainly one of them.

Three Up:
1. SS Omar Quintanilla:  His three-hit night included a home run, but also another fielding error. Still, the Mets have been starved for this type of offensive production atop their order.

2. 1B Ike Davis: Is he finally on track? It’s way too soon to tell, but Ike’s home run to center field was a monster, and his multi-hit day was his second in the past two weeks.

3. OF Marlon Byrd: A nice day for Byrd, who walked twice, drove in a run and, unlike both of his fellow outfield starters, did not do anything embarrassing in the outfield.

Three Down:
1. RHP Matt Harvey: Not a good start from Harvey, who gave up a season-high 10 hits in a season-low five innings. Not everything was his fault — the defense played poorly behind him. But Harvey certainly struggled.

2. LHP Scott Rice: The Mets were in the game until Rice walked the bases loaded in the sixth, then gave up Marcel Ozuna’s back-breaking double. He probably shouldn’t have still been on the mound at that point, but still.

3. OF Rick Ankiel: Breaking forward (instead of back) on Ozuna’s double in the first inning was unacceptable, costing Harvey big time. What Ankiel has done at the plate is not entirely unsurprising, but his defensive struggles have been a bit of a shock.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
2B Daniel Murphy, RHP Matt Harvey
+5
C John Buck, OF Marlon Byrd
+4
INF Justin Turner

+3
RHP Jeremy Hefner, SS Omar Quintanilla

+2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Jon Niese, OF Mike Baxter, OF Lucas Duda
+1
LHP Robert Carson, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Juan Lagares, 3B David Wright, LHP Scott Rice
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Scott Atchison, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Shaun Marcum, RHP Collin McHugh
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF Rick Ankiel

-4
LHP Josh Edgin, SS Ruben Tejada, RHP Dillon Gee
-13
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Marlins 5, Mets 1: Three Up, Three Down

Six good innings does not a good outing make.

Three Up:
1. 2B Daniel Murphy:  Murphy was responsible for the Mets’ only run, part of a two-hit night for the second baseman. His white-hot May has some people thinking he could be an All-Star.

2. 1B Ike Davis: Now 6-for-his-last-19, Davis lashed a double into the left-center field gap, one of his hardest-hit balls of the season. Maybe he really is coming out of this season-long funk?

3. SS Omar Quintanilla: His error in the eighth inning may have cost the Mets a run, but his 2-for-4 night on offense out-weighed that. If Quintanilla can keep hitting, perhaps the Mets can finally stop worrying about their leadoff spot.

Three Down:
1. RHP Shaun Marcum: This seemed like a surefire “Up” until the seventh inning, when Marcum turned into a different pitcher. Five baserunners over a seven-batter span resulted in four runs, and that was that.

2. 3B David Wright: Wright has had a solid-but-not-spectacular first two months of the season. The Mets should be fine with that, as long as it means his production will not crash in the second half as it did a year ago.

3. OF Rick Ankiel: Ankiel’s 0-for-4 night included a double play, a strikeout, and no meaningful contributions on defense. His early hot streak seems to have come to a rapid end.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+7
RHP Matt Harvey
+6
C John Buck, 2B Daniel Murphy
+4
OF Marlon Byrd

+3
INF Justin Turner, RHP Jeremy Hefner

+2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Jon Niese, LHP Scott Rice, OF Mike Baxter, 3B David Wright
+1
LHP Robert Carson, OF Lucas Duda, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Juan Lagares, SS Omar Quintanilla
-1
RHP Collin McHugh
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Scott Atchison, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Rick Ankiel
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin, SS Ruben Tejada, RHP Dillon Gee
-14
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets 2, Yankees 1: Three Up, Three Down

Twice, Daniel Murphy tried to give the Mets the lead. Once, he even succeeded.

Three Up:
1. 2B Daniel Murphy: It took a sensational grab by Brett Gardner to prevent Murphy from putting the Mets ahead with his shot over the wall in the sixth inning. He simply waited two innings later instead, driving in the game-winner on a single up the middle.

2. LHP Jon Niese: That’s the Niese the Mets signed to that big extension a year ago. Seven innings, one run ought to do for New York’s Opening Day starter.

3. 3B David Wright: No one on this team comes through in big spots more consistently than Wright. Which is why he is David Wright, and always will be.

Three Down:
1. 1B Ike Davis: Three at-bats, three strikeouts has everyone quickly forgetting Sunday night’s game-winning single. Let the Minor League talk begin anew.

2. OF Rick Ankiel: Another 0-fer with two strikeouts means Ankiel is turning back into the Ankiel he was with the Astros earlier this year. The last thing the Mets need is another strikeout machine in the middle of their lineup.

3. OF Lucas Duda: The Mets certainly could have done without his 0-for-4, which included two strikeouts (one of them with the bases loaded and two outs). And they really, really could have done without his misplay of Gardner’s sixth-inning triple, which led to the Yankees’ only run.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
RHP Matt Harvey, C John Buck, 2B Daniel Murphy
+4
OF Marlon Byrd

+3
INF Justin Turner, OF Mike Baxter, 3B David Wright

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Juan Lagares, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Greg Burke, LHP Jon Niese
+1
LHP Robert Carson, LHP Scott Rice
-1
RHP Collin McHugh, RHP Bobby Parnell, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Rick Ankiel
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Scott Atchison, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker, SS Ruben Tejada, RHP Brandon Lyon
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-5
RHP Dillon Gee
-15
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets lose two of three to Braves: Three Up, Three Down

A delayed reaction to this weekend’s series against the Braves:

Friday/Saturday: Braves 7, Mets 5
Three Up: RHP Jeremy Hefner, C John Buck, 2B Daniel Murphy
Three Down: RHP Brandon Lyon, LHP Scott Rice, 1B Ike Davis

Saturday: Braves 6, Mets 0
Three Up: RHP Greg Burke, SS Ruben Tejada, OF Mike Baxter
Three Down: RHP Dillon Gee, 3B David Wright, OF Marlon Byrd

Sunday: Mets 4, Braves 2
Three Up: 1B Ike Davis, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Lucas Duda
Three Down: OF Rick Ankiel, SS Ruben Tejada, 3B David Wright

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
RHP Matt Harvey, C John Buck
+5
 2B Daniel Murphy
+4
OF Marlon Byrd

+3
INF Justin Turner, OF Mike Baxter

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Juan Lagares, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Greg Burke, 3B David Wright
+1
LHP Jon Niese, LHP Robert Carson, LHP Scott Rice, OF Lucas Duda
-1
RHP Collin McHugh, RHP Bobby Parnell, RHP Shaun Marcum
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Scott Atchison, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker, SS Ruben Tejada, RHP Brandon Lyon
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-5
RHP Dillon Gee
-14
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Reds 7, Mets 4: Three Up, Three Down

Today, on “As the Ike Turns”…

Three Up:
1. 2B Daniel Murphy: Three hits, two runs, two RBI…a nice little game for the new leadoff man.

2. OF Rick Ankiel: Three extra-base hits, including the game-tying RBI triple.

3. RHP Brandon Lyon: A fine relief effort for Lyon, who struck out a pair in his 1-2-3 inning.

Three Down:
1. 1B Ike Davis: Is Ike’s offense spilling into his defense? More and more, that seems to be the case.

2. RHP Bobby Parnell: The game-winning rally was not necessarily his fault, but Shin-Soo Choo’s leadoff double certainly did not help.

3. 3B David Wright: A fat 0-for-4 in the middle of the lineup was not what this struggling offense needed.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
RHP Matt Harvey
+5
OF Marlon Byrd, C John Buck
+4
2B Daniel Murphy, 3B David Wright

+3
INF Justin Turner

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Mike Baxter, OF Juan Lagares, LHP Scott Rice
+1
LHP Jon Niese, LHP Robert Carson, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Greg Burke, OF Rick Ankiel
-1
RHP Collin McHugh, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Bobby Parnell
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker, SS Ruben Tejada
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin, RHP Dillon Gee
-14
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Reds 4, Mets 0: Three Up, Three Down

“Boo,” the fans at Citi Field say to Ike Davis. “Boo.”

Three Up:
1. OF Lucas Duda: Duda was the only Mets player to reach base safely more than once, which says more about the rest of the team than it does about Duda.

2. LHP Scott Rice: This guy pitches every day, and he just continues to pitch well. More than a great story for Rice, it’s a boon for the bullpen.

3. C John Buck: He and Jon Niese made the necessary adjustments after a tough first inning, and Buck added what should have been an RBI double in the fourth. It wasn’t.

Three Down:
1. 3B David Wright: His error, plain and simple, lost the Mets the game. And it was an easily-preventable error, a ball right through his legs. Wright also finished 0-for-4 at the plate.

2. 1B Ike Davis: Another hitless game for Davis, including a groundout with two men in scoring position and two outs in the fourth. The boos at Citi Field are growing in intensity.

3. OF Rick Ankiel: So much for that little hitting streak. Ankiel finished 0-for-4 with — guess what? — a strikeout.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
RHP Matt Harvey
+5
OF Marlon Byrd, C John Buck, 3B David Wright

+3
INF Justin Turner, 2B Daniel Murphy

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Mike Baxter, OF Juan Lagares, LHP Scott Rice
+1
LHP Jon Niese, LHP Robert Carson, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Greg Burke
-1
RHP Collin McHugh
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker, SS Ruben Tejada
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin, RHP Dillon Gee
-13
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Reds 4, Mets 3: Three Up, Three Down

Still no offense. Still no offense.

Three Up:
1. OF Marlon Byrd: Byrd’s three-run homer off Johnny Cueto was the only offensive spark for the Mets, who continue to struggle consistently at the plate.

2. OF Rick Ankiel: In the lineup due to his success against Cueto, Ankiel reached base in each of his first two at-bats. That might be enough for the Mets to try him out in the two hole again.

3. RHP Greg Burke: This is more a makeup call for last weekend in Chicago, where Burke continued to establish himself as a consistent performer. He has not allowed a run since returning from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Three Down:
1. 1B Ike Davis: Another 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, plus an obstruction call at first base. Even at the nadir of his slump last season, Davis never struggled on defense to the extent he is now.

2. 2B Daniel Murphy: All hot streaks must come to an end; Murphy’s came crashing down with an 0-for-4 performance, including a key strikeout in the seventh inning with the tying run in scoring position.

3. SS Ruben Tejada: Tejada looks absolutely lost offensively, and he’s not enough of a difference-maker on defense to make up for it. At what point do the Mets consider giving Justin Turner some starts at short?

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
RHP Matt Harvey, 3B David Wright
+5
OF Marlon Byrd

+4
C John Buck
+3
INF Justin Turner, 2B Daniel Murphy

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Mike Baxter, OF Juan Lagares
+1
LHP Scott Rice, LHP Jon Niese, LHP Robert Carson, RHP Jeremy Hefner, OF Rick Ankiel, RHP Greg Burke
-1
OF Lucas Duda, RHP Collin McHugh
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker, SS Ruben Tejada
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin, RHP Dillon Gee
-12
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

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