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Around the NL East: Mets don’t look like they’re going away

Jul 15, 2015, 12:00 PM EST

Jul 12, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) celebrates with relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA BRAVES

The Braves headed into the All-Star break reeling on multiple fronts. For one, they were swept in a four-game series in Colorado, dropping their record to a season worst five games below .500 at 42-47.

But worst of all, Atlanta lost closer Jason Grilli for the season with a ruptured achilles tendon when he attempted to cover first base on an infield chopper in Saturday’s game vs. the Rockies. Not only are the Braves now without their best option in the ‘pen, but they’ll have one less veteran to move at the trade deadline.

MIAMI MARLINS

You know the Marlins are snake bitten when Dee Gordon, who was selected to his second All-Star Game, dislocated his thumb just days before being set to play in the Midsummer Classic. Gordon’s setback in addition to Giancarlo Stanton’s earlier injury meant that Tuesday’s festivities in Cincinnati were without a Marlins player actually playing in the game.

It looks like it’ll be up to phenom Jose Fernandez to cheer up Marlins fans once the second half of the season resumes this weekend.

NEW YORK METS

If nothing else, the Mets have proven that they’re an imperfect-but-scrappy club that’s clearly not going away anytime soon. As play resumes this weekend, they’re just two games out of first place in the NL East, so Nationals fans shouldn’t be printing out playoff tickets just yet.

As we’ve mentioned here in previous weeks, the Mets must ask themselves if they’re really committed to going big this year for an impact bat at the deadline. So far, it seems they’re leaning towards treading the tires on more affordable options. Rumors are swirling that they’re currently in a bidding war with the crosstown Yankees for the services of Oakland Athletics left fielder Ben Zobrist. The 34-year-old’s production has steadily declined in recent years (he hasn’t hit 20 home runs since 2012), but he could still help the run-starved Mets. Would he be enough to put them over the top? Who knows, but he’s a relatively low-cost bat that shouldn’t compromise the team’s future prospects.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

The Phillies’ deliberate attempts to trade veterans is taking so long that even the players are starting to get a little impatient. Closer Jonathan Papelbon has reportedly reiterated his desire to be moved to a contending team before the deadline. It’s hard to blame the 34-year-old veteran for how he feels; he’s on the worst team in baseball and won’t get many more chances in his career to compete for championship. You almost wonder if guys like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels and others are thinking the same thing.

  1. micksback1 - Jul 15, 2015 at 12:47 PM

    I posted before season Mets will be one of the WC.

    MLB showed class with the pregame, I was moved and sad by seeing my child hood these icons of MLB, Aaron and Morgan who need an aide to walk now, Wille Mays and Johnny Bench in old age, even Pete Rose. I thought Sandy Koufax looked great. man I miss those days! Say hey!!!!

    • homeparkdc - Jul 15, 2015 at 1:01 PM

      Good old days is right. Just one point to add – Pete Rose colors his hair like he colors his stories. The hooplala about him will die out now along with the ongoing arguments.

      • micksback1 - Jul 15, 2015 at 1:02 PM

        I hear you baout Pete and yes, I have issues with him. But, as a player, he was spectacular!

  2. micksback1 - Jul 15, 2015 at 12:55 PM

    So now the fun begins with what moves Rizzo makes. Let’s assume Rendon, Werth, Stras and Zim return healthy. Can one really assume they will stay healthy? With that stated, is another bat needed? I think maybe one more bat, but I am willing to see the emphasis at the trade deadline to be on 2 more BP arms and possibly one more starter because Stras is injury prone this season in my view. I heard the Post new beat guy make a really good point. he said Nats could win 90 plus as they stand now, but, does this current team have enough to advance in post season? may be not? This is where the moves have to be made. I am not confident in our BP going into any October series

    • jd - Jul 15, 2015 at 1:10 PM

      mick,

      you can augment your bullpen with smart moves although I am not as bearish about the pen as you are. I think Treinen and Barrett are getting closer and closer and I think Jansen is not bad either and nor is Carpenter. Would it be nice to have Chapman? of course but at what price? they are not giving him away for a song and a dance. They don’t need a starter; Stras is coming back, Roark is fine and Ross is close by. Don’t waste resources and energy here, we have other issues.

      Yes we need a bat. It’s foolish to count on Zim and Werth. Anything you get from them should be considered a bonus but the trick is to get someone just for this year so if Zim for example comes back healthy next year you don’t have a log jam. You also need someone who won’t cost you ‘A’ prospects. I think you need Adam Lind.

      • micksback1 - Jul 15, 2015 at 1:13 PM

        all your points are excellent. you may be right about Barrett and Treinen, I am just not that confident in them at this time.

      • adcwonk - Jul 15, 2015 at 2:13 PM

        Stras? Oblique? Might it take at least another month?

      • tcostant - Jul 15, 2015 at 2:21 PM

        I like how the NY Post think. http://nypost.com/2015/07/13/these-sensible-trades-would-shake-up-mlbs-contenders/

      • Nats Fan Zee - Jul 15, 2015 at 2:58 PM

        “so if Zim for example comes back healthy next year”

        And that has been the case what, once …. Maybe twice in the last 10 years? I love him but the expectation going forward has to be 1/2 a productive season at best. Same might be said for Werth as well. I pray that Rendon is not added to this mix.

  3. alexva6 - Jul 15, 2015 at 1:25 PM

    the Nats have 12 games vs. the Metropolitans so to a significant extent can control the division race. I still expect NY to fade a bit and if they pay .500 baseball the rest of the way I’ll be surprised.

    but I can’t seem to generate the same distain for them as I do for PHI or ATL so if they hang in there I’ll feel good for their fans. It may go back to me rooting for them to beat the O’s in ’69.

    did I mention I hate the O’s.

    • Nats Fan Zee - Jul 15, 2015 at 3:03 PM

      Get ready to be surprised then. The Mets are going to finish above .500 and may well be in striking distance of a wild card.

  4. Joe Seamhead - Jul 15, 2015 at 1:42 PM

    I actually hope that the Mets play good ball.I want to see a high Maalox use pennant race that goes down to the wire with the Nats winning it. I doubt seriously that a wildcard team will come from the NL East. What I’d really like to know is what’s up with all of the secrecy surrounding Rendon? Is the guy going to be able to play a major part down the stretch? Is the secrecy so as other possible trade partners can’t take advantage of the situation? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • jd - Jul 15, 2015 at 1:57 PM

      Joe,

      I think that at full strength we are considerably better than the Mets. We can match their pitching rotation at least and have a better lineup. Neither team has been at full strength all year with the Nats in full decimation mode of late and this kind of evens the playing field.

      The longer the Mets stay in there the more inclined (I think) they will be to make a bold move, I am not convinced they are ready to spend money but we all could be surprised and if they add a big bat like say Justin Upton they could be scary. This is why I think we should be in preemptive mode and look for a serious run producing bat now. Rizzo is a master horse trader so I am confident he can pull something off.

      I like you am quite concerned about Rendon, he doesn’t have a history of quick recovery and I would have thought he would be rehabing by now so that’s scary. Every day Desmond is penciled in the lineup is another day of futility for him and the team. I really wish he is put out of his misery and shipped somewhere else to restart his career.

  5. Joe Seamhead - Jul 15, 2015 at 1:42 PM

    I actually hope that the Mets play good ball.I want to see a high Maalox use pennant race that goes down to the wire with the Nats winning it. I doubt seriously that a wildcard team will come from the NL East. What I’d really like to know is what’s up with all of the secrecy surrounding Rendon? Is the guy going to be able to play a major part down the stretch? Is the secrecy so as other possible trade partners can’t take advantage of the situation? Inquiring minds want to know.

  6. Joe Seamhead - Jul 15, 2015 at 1:53 PM

    OK, sorry, I did a double click above.

    Anyway, just saw that our old pal Raffy Soriano has made 5 appearnces for the Tennessee Smokies and had looked pretty good:

    http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=t553&player_id=400089#/career/R/pitching/2015/ALL

    • homeparkdc - Jul 15, 2015 at 2:11 PM

      This was Joe Maddon’s idea for sure – like Rizzo and Williams take gambles on players from their past. Soriano signed for $4.1 million if he makes the roster after the break (and not share it with Boras). Maddon may bring out the best in him.

      • adcwonk - Jul 15, 2015 at 2:18 PM

        What took so long for him to get signed? He wasn’t _that_ bad at the end of last season — and is certainly better than a whole bunch of second-string bullpen guys on a number of teams.

      • virginiascopist - Jul 15, 2015 at 2:24 PM

        I agree, when you look at the disaster some teams’ bullpens are, it’s amazing it took so long. I guess Boras’ asking price was just too high, but why he couldn’t have negotiated an incentive-laden deal is beyond me.

      • tcostant - Jul 15, 2015 at 2:24 PM

        Boras demads happened, that is why he was fired and two weeks later he signed.

      • homeparkdc - Jul 15, 2015 at 2:44 PM

        Soriano made $11 mil last year, so Boras probably wanted that or more. Soriano probably was right to fire him, OR Rizzo was so “stressed” at the Nats’ price and Sorry’s decline that Boras didn’t work to hard at “stressing” anymore GMs.

      • adcwonk - Jul 15, 2015 at 2:52 PM

        Boras demads happened, that is why he was fired and two weeks later he signed.

        Wow — I didn’t realize that (or, rather, I knew it, but sort of forgot and never put 2 + 2 together).

        Yes, checking google I see that Soriano fired Boras around May 30, and by June 12 the Cubs signed him.

        Just . . . wow.

      • homeparkdc - Jul 15, 2015 at 3:02 PM

        Right, and Soriano’s visa was expired so that took some more time.

  7. rlndtln - Jul 15, 2015 at 3:42 PM

    I have said all along the Mets are a real problem especially with our injuriesThe Mets pitching will definitely keep them above .500.The hit near zero for weeks and stayed near the break even.They are hitting better and will give us plenty of trouble..Do we have a better team yes but not if we wait much longer to get healthy.Even if our guys get back soon they will need weeks to get to top form.The guys we really miss are Rendon and Span.The next month is the toughest schedule for us including the west coast trip.If we are in first place after the August WC trip we are home free.

  8. NatsLady - Jul 15, 2015 at 5:19 PM

    J.P. Hoornstra ‏@jphoornstra 59s60 seconds ago
    #Dodgers rotation @Nationals:
    Fri: LHP Clayton Kershaw (6-6, 2.85)
    Sat: RHP Mike Bolsinger (4-3, 3.08)
    Sun: RHP Zack Greinke (8-2, 1.39)

  9. nats106 - Jul 15, 2015 at 5:33 PM

    Blast from the past, Mick: Here are your picks from earlier this year:

    NL East

    Nats
    Mets
    Braves
    Marlins
    Phils

    NL Central

    Cards
    Reds
    Cubbies
    Pirates
    Brewers

    NL West

    Dodgers
    Giants
    Rockies
    Padres
    Zona

    My picks:

    My NL picks

    EAST
    Nats
    Marlins
    Mets
    Braves
    Phillies

    CENTRAL
    Cards
    Pirates
    Cubs
    Reds
    Brewers

    WEST
    Dodgers
    Padres
    GIants
    ROX
    Arizona

    I guess I know the Central best…..I maintain that the Marlins are awful because they fired Redmond, plus I caveated by 2nd place finish by saying that their bench was too thin and were 1 injury from disaster.

    We were going to do a monthly report card, but I’ve been awfully busy.. Tcostant also provided predictions earlier
    but it just the division winners, WC, etc.

    • micksback1 - Jul 16, 2015 at 1:05 PM

      love it and you do know the Central better, I was way off on Reds and I guess the manager meltdown in April did not help them either.

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

WLGB
NEW YORK9072
WASHINGTON83797.0
MIAMI719119.0
ATLANTA679523.0
PHILADELPHIA639927.0

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