The Cubs have had a crappy year, but it's been just about as bad for the Mets. I'm sure Ron Santo is smiling somewhere that at least if the Cubs are going to be bad, the Mets are just as awful. They've gone 2-8 in their last ten games, and there's been a roster shakeup or two. Manager Terry Collins's seat must be pretty warm. Oddly enough, his last job outside the Mets organization was as the manager of the Northwoods League's Duluth franchise. Summer college leagues are a scam if I ever saw one – the players can't get paid thanks to the NCAA doing NCAA things, and I know the Madison franchise always seemed to draw plenty of people (who drank plenty of beer).
|wRC+||89 (12th)||84 (13th)|
|BSR||0.5 (8th)||7.2 (1st)|
|UZR||6.3 (6th)||-16.0 (14th)|
|DRS||-5 (11th)||-18 (13th)|
|SP FIP-||93 (4th)||95 (5th)|
|RP FIP-||106 (12th)||115 (15th)|
The Mets bullpen is pretty awful, but their starting staff is pretty good. Luckily the Cubs will miss Matt Harvey and the soon to be promoted Zack Wheeler, the two of the only three bright spots on the roster. The other, 3b David Wright, has been the primary source of the Mets first place baserunning numbers. Wright has been worth half a win on the basepaths this year. He was a very good baserunner earlier in his career, stealing as many as 34 bases in a season, and has 12 so far this year.
SS Ruben Tejada is on the DL with a quad injury, but everyone else on the Mets injury report is a pitcher. Mets SP Dillon Gee has been bothered to various degrees by finger tendinits all year. The Mets are going to a (ugh) six man rotation after calling up Wheeler to accomodate Gee and Niese, who has been similarly banged up. Most of the other injuries are to relievers, but the biggest one of all is Johan Santana, who his out for the year following shoulder capsule surgery.
Not an injury here per se, more an injustice. The Mets DFA'd Rick Ankiel the other day following a 20 inning game of offensive futility against the Marlins, eventually losing 2-1. You go twenty innings and don't try to pitch Ankiel? I just don't know, Mets.
For the Cubs, Zach Putnam was diagnosed with a bone spur in his elbow following an MRI. Shawn Camp is pitching for Kane County right now, and could be back soon, unfortunately. Though if whatever his injury was is gone and he pitches like he did last year, that would be cool. Not holding my breath here though. Steve Clevenger has been rehabbing in Iowa for nearly two weeks now. I wouldn't be surprised if his rehab time is up soon. No new news on Scott Baker or Arodys Vizcaino since their last setbacks.
News, notes, blood oaths, etc.
The Cubs signed 11th round pick Jordan Hankins. He was an infielder in college, but they're converting him to catcher. Maybe that's just to get his time behind the plate in so they can convert him to a pitcher later, since they've had a lot of success there (laughing).
Brett's got a story breaking down the latest Wrigley renovation news. The short version of it was that there was no interesting news, which is good news considering all the posturing and whatnot that surrounds this process. It sounds like there's still going to be lots of negotiating/palm greasing for all the construction around Wrigley, but the team will be able to start improving the stadium itself this offseason (priorities: outfield signage/tyranovision, player facilities).
I don't have anything new to add about Jackson that I didn't say in a recent facepalm, so here's that paragraph again:
The 'real' Edwin Jackson showed up for the first time this season, striking out eight while allowing one run, one walk, and four hits in seven innings. More importantly, his fastball averaged 94.78 on the day, much closer to his career avg of 95 mph than the paltry low 93.x mph he had been throwing earlier this year. The velocity bump showed up in the rest of his pitches that well. We had a false start of excitement in his rain-shortened start against the White Sox last week – his stuff looked a lot better (maybe more movement), but the Cell has a hot gun and a historically bad offense. He was pummeled for 12 hits and five walks by the DBacks in his next start, averaging 92.4 on his fastball. He said the key to his good start was that he was just "having fun out there", so I guess he got a pep talk from Brett Favre before the game.
The Mets signed Marcum to a 1/4 contract this offseason, which is a little puzzling if you see his numbers over the last three seasons. Granted, he did miss the last month or so of last season with an elbow injury, but still. He's had some problems with strand rate this year, which is not surprising considering how his defense rates behind him.
Paul Maholm 2.0 has had two meh starts in a row, giving up two runs in six innings to the Angels and five runs in six innings to the Reds. Between those two starts, he struck out just three batsmen. He should be pitching for a contender a month or two from now.
Niese has seen a huge drop in his strikeout rate and a big jump in his walk rate this year. He has no significant changes in velocity, so that's not the problem. It looks like he's lost command of his cutter and curveball, as both have been hit way harder than in previous seasons.
Garza was simply destroyed in his last start. I'd say more about it, but his numbers seem to be messed up for that start in the BB database, so I'll stop in case any drunk baseball execs are reading this and forgot what happened in that start.
Hefner's a pitch to contact type of pitcher, so he cold do well against this lineup. The Cubs tagged him for four runs in four innings in their last matchup. He's coming off four straight quality starts, striking out 21 in those 25 innings with four walks.