Ahh the offseason. As the MLB Playoffs near their end, the hot stove is beginning to warm up. The Mets will have several questions to answer this offseason and none bigger than the multi million dollar question in left field. However in their first move of the offseason in regards to the big league roster, the Mets have announced they will be bringing back shortstop turned third baseman Jose Reyes. Extending the four-time All Star will only cost the Mets the league minimum of $507,500, as the Colorado Rockies are still on the hook for $22 million.
It’s a move many Mets fans will not oppose to after Reyes provided the club with unmeasurable energy and leadership down the stretch of the season. He proved many doubters wrong including a portion of the Mets fan base who were originally opposed to his return to Queens. There were obvious reasons as to why a portion of the fanbase did not want Reyes back, including his domestic violence arrest and his declining play a season ago. However Reyes proved to be the ultimate professional during his time last season with the Mets and proved he still has plenty of baseball left in the tank. The 33-year old third baseman hit .267 with eight home runs and 24 RBIs in 60 games. He also accumulated nine stolen bases and 45 runs scored during that timeframe.
Reyes is expected to split time with David Wright next season at the hot corner. There is no guarantee as to how Wright will look coming off another serious season-ending injury, but either way Reyes provides the club with insurance at third base. Reyes could even be viewed as the Opening Day third baseman at this point with many questions surrounding the health of David Wright.
In another move the Mets have declined the $10 million option on Jon Niese’s contract and instead will buy him out for $500,00. This move was all but expected after Niese struggled in his return to New York after the Trade Deadline, and then ultimately had a knee injury end his season early. I think it’s safe to say, I don’t believe we will see Niese back with the Mets a third time around.
- Jon Niese will be going under the knife today to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The arthroscopic procedure is expected to sideline the left-hander for 4 weeks and it is very possible we have seen the last of Niese this season. If his season is indeed over he ends the year with an 8-7 record with a 5.50 ERA between the Mets and the Pirates. The 29-year old lefty carries a $10 million club option that surely will be bought out by the Mets this offseason for the smaller rate of $500,000.
- After leaving last night’s game in the second inning after hitting a double, Jay Bruce was diagnosed with a right leg cramp. Bruce was pulled from the game and pinch ran for by Alejandro De Aza who took Bruce’s position on the field. Manager Terry Collins had stated after last night’s game that Bruce’s calf had knotted up during the first inning while he was in the field. The injury reportedly stems from Bruce fouling a ball off his leg. We can safely consider Bruce day-to-day but the amount of injuries the Mets have faced this season is beyond ridiculous.
- The Mets will recall left-handed pitcher Sean Gilmartin (pictured) from Triple-A Las Vegas prior to tonight’s ballgame and demote recently promoted reliever Erik Goeddel. The 26-year old Gilmartin has pitched nine innings for the Mets this season and posted a 7.00 ERA. The lefty has primarily functioned as a starting pitcher over in Las Vegas and has posted a 9-7 record with a 4.86 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 107.1 innings. Goeddel allowed two runs in 1.2 innings pitched last night while allowing one walk and striking out three.
The Mets have placed left-handed pitcher Jon Niese on the 15-day DL with a left knee injury that has not been exactly diagnosed at this point. In a corresponding move the Mets recalled recently demoted right-handed reliever Erik Goeddel.
Niese who is having a season to forget lasted only a third of an inning last night before departing with the knee injury after feeling a “pop.” The knee has been bothering Niese for sometime and it certainly has become a question as to why Manager Terry Collins let an injured Niese pitch in a critical game last night. With all due respect, Niese isn’t on the level of Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, and to me it wasn’t a good idea to put a pitcher who has been ineffective this season on the mound with an injury that has been well known for quite some time. As a matter of fact Niese has been dealing with knee pain since his time with the Pirates but it seems to only have gotten worse as the season has wore on. In 11 innings pitched thus far, Niese has produced a 0-1 record with a 11.75 ERA since being acquired by the Mets. It is not known how long Niese will be sidelined as there has been no official diagnosis reported in regards to his knee. Robert Gsellman will occupy his rotation spot after picking up his first career victory last night.
Goeddel will give the Mets a fresh arm in the bullpen after the Mets used six pitchers in relief last night. In 28 innings for the Mets, the 27-year old has produced a 4.18 ERA with 27 strikeouts.
- Zack Wheeler who has joined the Mets in Miami, as he rehabs in nearby Port St. Lucie, has told reporters that his 2016 debut has been pushed back until after the All-Star Break. The current timetable now puts Wheeler’s debut at 16 months off of recovery coming off of Tommy John Surgery. Wheeler was orginally scheduled for a July 1st return but after having an undissolved stitch removed from his throwing arm earlier this season, the Mets plan to play it safe and give Wheeler a little extra time to get up to speed. Wheeler is expected to throw 30 pitches off a mound today for Mets coaches prior to this afternoon’s game.
- It is being reported that catcher Travis d’Arnaud could possibly begin a Minor League rehab assignment as soon as this weekend. The only issue however is that d’Arnaud would appear in those rehab games as a designated hitter. The Mets still do not have a solid estimate as to when he will begin throwing, as he is currently still nursing that strained right rotator cuff injury. D’Arnaud has been on the disabled list since April 26.
- When the Mets open a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, the Mets will face a familiar foe in left-handed pitcher Jon Niese. Niese is currently scheduled to start on Monday against another lefty in Steven Matz. It could be argued that Matz arrival in the big leagues last season pushed Niese out of his rotation spot, and it will be an interesting matchup nonetheless to watch two southpaws do battle. Niese was acquired in the offseason by the Pirates in a trade for second baseman Neil Walker. Niese holds a 5-2 record with a 4.36 ERA for the Pirates in 11 starts, although he has been pitching his best baseball of the season over his last five starts.