Hoffman is the Ace the Rockies Spent 20 Years Searching For

Hoffman is the Ace the Rockies Spent 20 Years Searching For

Jeff Hoffman has flown under-the-radar since turning pro in 2014, but his most recent start on Sunday against the San Diego Padres solidifies his place among the best young pitchers in baseball.  The youthful starting pitching of the Colorado Rockies has warranted high praise from the baseball world thus far in 2017, but Hoffman has a higher ceiling than teammates Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela, and German Marquez.  Baseball pundits often write off pitchers who call Coors Field home, simply due to the fact that their numbers will become inflated from pitching in the hitters’ heaven.  But Hoffman is different; his repertoire, poise, and pedigree give Hoffman all the makings of a future ace.

Drafted ninth overall out of East Carolina by the Blue Jays in 2014, Hoffman would sit out the remainder of the year recovering from Tommy John surgery.  If not for his injury, Hoffman was positioned to be drafted higher, possibly even first overall by the Houston Astros.  Hoffman wouldn’t make his debut until the middle of the 2015 season.  The New York native quickly put together a solid debut campaign in thirteen starts between High-A Dunedin and Double-A New Britain.  In July, though, Hoffman was one of the main prospects traded to the Rockies in the deal for Troy Tulowitzki.  Colorado obviously coveted Hoffman in order for them to trade their franchise cornerstone.

Hoffman has now been called-up on five separate occasions since 2016 to make spot-starts.  In his six starts last season, Hoffman struggled, pitching to the tune of a 4.88 ERA with an alarmingly high BB/9 rate.  The righty has always featured a plus package of pitches, but he struggled with his command upon being called-up .  He allowed seven home runs in just 31 and 1/3 innings, forcing Colorado to have him begin the 2017 season in Triple-A.

Hoffman has yet to make a permanent stay in the big leagues thus far in 2017, but he’s certainly been compiling a compelling case.  In three starts, Hoffman has a 2.33 ERA and 24 strikeouts in just over 19 innings.  The East Carolina alum’s most impressive improvement lies in his command; Hoffman has surrendered just two walks in his three starts.  Most recently, he carved up the San Diego Padres lineup over seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out nine.

Some may claim that Jeff Hoffman’s stellar outing is a fluke, or it was due to the fact that he faced a not-so dangerous Padres’ lineup in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.  But based on Hoffman’s ability and pitching prowess, this was hardly a fluke.  So far in 2017, Hoffman has been nearly unhittable when ahead in the count.  Opposing hitters who fall behind against Hoffman are hitting just .103, and they often fall victim to the devastating curveball he relies on with two strikes.  His four-seam fastball averages nearly 95 MPH while also running in on right-handed hitters.  His hook had San Diego guessing all afternoon, especially when he followed it up with fastballs up in the strike zone.  Hoffman also features a change-up and a slider, but he doesn’t use them nearly as often as his two best pitches.  Thus far in 2017, albeit a small-sample size, Hoffman has an impressive Fangraphs Soft-Contact Rate of 20.4%, similar to Max Scherzer (21%), Jacob deGrom (20.6%), and Zack Greinke (20.3%).

Hoffman is scheduled to start on Saturday against the Cubs, which will be a solid test for the 24 year-old to prove his dominance is legitimate.  After this week, Rockies’ manager Bud Black will have to decide whether or not to keep Hoffman in the rotation as Tyler Anderson will be coming off of the 10-day DL.  If Hoffman has a strong outing against the defending World Series champs, the Rockies may have no choice but to let their new ace take his rightful place in the rotation for the long haul.

Mets Draft Spotlight: Austin Beck

Mets Draft Spotlight: Austin Beck

Two months ago, Austin Beck was projected to be a top-ten selection on June 12th, when the MLB Draft takes place in Secaucus, New Jersey.  Beck backed up his hype with a tremendous senior spring at North Davidson High School in North Carolina.  But with the draft approaching, Beck has seen his stock fall.  It’s not because of injuries or performance, but rather based on the high number of prep-outfielders and Beck’s lack of major pedigree.  Beck’s talent screams future all-star, yet teams may pass on the 18 year-old for other young prospects.  If Beck falls to the New York Mets, they should be all over him.

Beck is a 5’11”, 175-pound outfielder who displays four potential plus tools.  In his senior campaign at North Davidson, Beck batted .590 with 12 home runs and an OPS over 1.200.  His hitting ability is top-flight, as he shows the ability to drive the ball to all fields.  Beck’s power to the opposite field is especially impressive for a prep-hitter.  Beck also demonstrates the ability to punish breaking balls over the plate, turning on hanging curveballs.  His smaller frame for a player of his height also leaves plenty of room for added power once he begins to add more muscle.  In his final high school game in the North Carolina 4A State Tournament, Beck went 4 for 4 with three home runs.  The opposing pitcher was Garrett Blaylock, a Vanderbilt commit, which shows that Beck can hang with next level pitching.

Beck played centerfield in high school, and while he could stick there as a pro, he would better profile as a corner outfielder.  Beck displays great ability tracking fly balls and he often takes extremely efficient routes to the ball.  He also has a plus arm that could easily translate to right field.  As a corner outfielder, Beck could be an above-average defender at the next level.  However, the prep-star definitely has the potential to stick in center.

Beck’s speed certainly isn’t a negative, but it is his weakest tool.  Beck tore his ACL last year, but it hasn’t hampered his speed.  His 60-yard dash time is around 6.6-6.7, which would make him a slightly above-average runner in the big leagues.

Austin Beck has some serious potential, yet his draft stock is falling for reasons that he cannot control.  The talk of his slide may be just that- talk- but if the high school star falls, the New York Mets should pounce.

Tuesday Takes: All Rise for the MVP Front-Runner

Tuesday Takes: All Rise for the MVP Front-Runner

A new institution on this blog will be Tuesday Takes, dedicated to my hot takes on the current news and events in the world of baseball.  After Memorial Day Weekend, there are so many hot topics around the league, and here’s how I feel about them.

Aaron Judge Will Win the American League Most Valuable Player Award

Mike Trout’s unfortunate thumb injury has put him on the shelf for 6-8 weeks.  Is it possible that he can return after the All-Star Game and put up monster numbers and still win the MVP award?  Absolutely.  But in the next 6-8 weeks, Aaron Judge will pull away from Trout and secure the hardware.

Judge currently leads the American League in runs and home runs.  He ranks in the top ten in RBI’s and batting average, and is second to only Trout in OBP, slugging, and OPS.  He has the second highest WAR among position players to- you guessed it- Mike Trout.  Judge has his flaws and can be pitched to, but opposing pitchers can’t seem to consistently attack his weaknesses.  For the time being, Judge has showed no signs of slowing down and is on track to become the youngest MVP winner since Mike Trout (Who Else?).

The Harper-Strickland Brawl is the Best in Years, and the Punishments will be Historic

When Hunter Strickland inexplicably plunked Bryce Harper with a 98 MPH fastball in the 8th inning on Memorial Day, Bryce Harper didn’t take exception.  Harper’s charge to the mound, including his helmet throw, which was either pathetic or strategic depending on whether or not he meant to hit Strickland, was pure insanity.  This is the best baseball brawl since the benches cleared in a Diamondbacks and Dodgers battle back in 2013.

While I have no problem with pitchers exacting revenge on hitters for pimping home runs, Strickland was completely in the wrong here.  The home runs he surrendered to Harper occurred three years ago, and the Giants got the last laugh in 2014 when they captured their 3rd World Series trophy since 2010.  To hit Harper where and when he did made it all the more obvious that this was completely intentional.

Harper likely will face a three game suspension for attacking Strickland.  The Giants reliever should receive more than that; as little as five games but as many as 10.

The Cubs Might Not Be As Great As We Thought

If you had the Cubs going into June with a 25-25 record, hats off to you.

The defending champs have struggled much more than expected in 2017.  Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo haven’t been awful, but they were certainly expected to be better offensively.  Bryant’s batting average has dipped to .276, while Rizzo’s is set to be his lowest since 2013 when he hit at a .233 clip.  Fellow slugger Kyle Schwarber has been pitiful, hitting .173 with an OPS of .634 in 45 games.  Addison Russell hasn’t taken the next step offensively, as he also has a sub-.700 OPS and a lowly .220 batting average.

The rotation has been horrendous relative to last season when they had the lowest team ERA in baseball.  This year, they currently rank 10th, which is mainly due to their outstanding bullpen featuring Wade Davis, Carl Edwards Jr., and Mike Montgomery.  The four aces of 2016 have all struggled this year.  Jake Arrieta has a 4.92 ERA and has allowed ten home runs in ten starts.  Arrieta’s command has been non-existent at times; the 2015 Cy Young Award recipient leads baseball with nine wild pitches.  John Lackey has been the worst of the quartet, pitching to the tune of a 5.18 ERA.  Lester and Hendricks have both regressed as well.  Last season, the pitching staff had two of the top ten leaders in Fielding Independent Pitching, which essentially measures how well a pitcher performs without factoring in the defensive performance behind him.  This season, none of the four aforementioned starters rank inside the top ten.

The Boston Red Sox Will Trade for Mike Moustakas in the Next Two Weeks

The Boston Red Sox offense is starting to click, but there is still one glaring spot in the lineup.  Third base seems to offer no production for a loaded Red Sox team, and it doesn’t seem as though the solution will come from inside the organization.  Deven Marrero is not a Major League hitter, and while calling up Sam Travis could lead to offensive improvement, the former Indiana star can’t defensively play at the hot corner.  Boston could call up top prospect Rafael Devers from Double A Portland, but they seem hesitant to rush the 20 year-old stud.

Enter Mike Moustakas.

The Kansas City Royals will be sellers this summer, so why not start now?  Mike Moustakas has been putting together a solid season in his walk year as he is set to hit free agency for the first time this winter.  Moustakas presents a viable option at third for Boston, and he also can be the perfect bridge to Devers, who should receive the call to the Sox sometime in 2018.  The Royals could expect a prospect like 2016 fourth-round draft pick Bobby Dalbec in return for their third baseman.  Dalbec played third for the University of Arizona last year.  The 21 year-old has a high offensive ceiling and should offer above-average defense at the hot corner.  Boston has a deep farm system where they could afford to deal a different top-eight farmhand as well.  The trade is a match made in heaven with Boston needing immediate production and the Royals looking to build for the future.

The State of the Mets: May 30th, 2017

The State of the Mets: May 30th, 2017

Despite just going 4-3 since last Tuesday, things are starting to look up for the New York Mets, both offensively and from a pitching perspective.

Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, and Neil Walker all have come alive in the last week of May, giving the offense a jolt as Michael Conforto has cooled down a bit.  Granderson went 7-24 in the past week, amassing 4 RBI’s and 3 extra-base hits.  Perhaps the prospect of becoming a fourth outfielder has ignited the former all-star.  However, Lucas Duda’s recent performance will force New York to sit Granderson when Yoenis Cespedes returns.  Duda has gone 11-27 with 3 home runs and 9 RBI’s.  He has been mashing at the plate, hitting 60% of his batted balls were categorized as “hard contact” by FanGraphs.  His soft contact percentage was only 5%, explaining his red hot week.  Walker has also come alive, going 10 for his last 27 with 2 homers.  The recent offensive outburst from the Mets should scare opposing pitching staffs, especially once Yoenis Cespedes returns.

The pitching staff has also shown significant signs of improvement.  In his two starts last week, Matt Harvey finally resembled the Dark Knight of old, even if he wasn’t nearly as dominant as he has been in the past.  Harvey posted a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings en route to picking up his third and fourth wins of the 2017 season.  If Harvey can come close to his 2015 form, the Mets pitching staff will have another reliable arm that can take pressure off of the bullpen.  Jacob DeGrom had the best performance of the week, lasting 8 and 1/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night at PNC Park.  The former Rookie of the Year struck out ten while allowing just one run in the 8-1 victory.  Perhaps the most important week came from Robert Gsellman.  After being moved to the bullpen following his struggles in the rotation, Gsellman made two quality starts in the past week.  While his start against the Padres was impressive, Gsellman’s seven inning gem against the first place Milwaukee Brewers on Memorial Day provides hope that the 23 year-old has a future as a starter.  Gsellman allowed just one earned run and three hits in a big win to end the month of May.  Gsellman may be in line to move back to the bullpen as Seth Lugo and Steven Matz are set to return next week, but the righthander is giving Terry Collins reason to think twice about the potential move.

As they prepare to enter June, the Mets sit five games under .500, but the upcoming schedule provides an opportunity to improve their record.  They have three more games against the Brewers, who lead the National League Central but are not viewed as serious contenders by many baseball pundits.  Then, they will face the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second straight weekend, this time at Citi Field.  With the offense clicking and the pitching staff getting on a roll, the Mets are positioned to gain ground in the National League Wild Card race.

If the Mets Are Going to Be Sellers, They Might as Well Start Now

Following their devastating loss in Pittsburgh on Saturday evening, the New York Mets currently sit at 20-27.  They are 9.5 games behind the Washington Nationals for the National League East lead, and 8.5 games back for the second wild card.  There is still time to turn things around for New York, especially considering the nearing returns of Yoenis Cespedes, Steven Matz, and Seth Lugo.  But when you look at the current Mets roster, there are more holes than returning players to plug up those holes; Steven Matz won’t be pitching in the 8th inning on a nightly basis.  If the first two months of the season have been any indication, the New York Mets will likely be sellers this summer.  If they’re smart, they will start to pounce on the market as soon as possible, maybe even in the next week or two.

In past summers, teams who have traded earlier have been the big winners more times than not.  Just look at the respective trades in July 2014 that the Oakland A’s made for Jeff Samardzija and the deal that sent David Price to Detroit.  The Chicago Cubs sparked the market by sending Samardzija to Oakland, and in doing so they received a huge haul, headlined by current all-star Addison Russell.  On the other hand, the Tampa Bays Rays patiently waited for the trade offer they felt Price warranted, and it never came.  The Tigers sent Drew Smyly to Tampa along with now top-prospect Willy Adames.  While the Rays certainly didn’t do all that bad in hindsight, one would think that David Price would have fetched a greater return.  If Tampa attacked the trade market earlier, perhaps they could have gotten more for the 2012 Cy Young Award winner.

The summer trade market has always been a sellers market in recent years, as six or seven buyers must compete with each other to acquire impact players.  This summer is shaping up to be no different, with roughly 14 clubs all looking to increase their odds of winning the World Series.  The Mets may not have any major impact players available this summer, but they have plenty of upgrades that could serve as upgrades for contenders.

Lucas Duda

Duda may not have the greatest track record of staying healthy, but the 31 year-old has been putting together his best season so far in 2017.  Duda has only racked up 86 at-bats, but he has six home runs and a .975 OPS to go along with his .267 batting average.  Duda is on pace for the best season of his career, and it couldn’t have come at a better time as the longtime Met is set to hit free agency this winter.  Duda brings lofty power to the plate that could benefit a contender such as the Minnesota Twins, who rank in the bottom third in home runs in Major League Baseball.  Despite having less at-bats than any Minnesota starter, Duda has more home runs in 2017 than all Twins except Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano.  The Twins would not need to send any major prospects back to New York in the potential trade, and minor league closer Nick Burdi would be a piece the Mets should be ecstatic to receive.  Burdi was a second-round draft pick in 2014 out of Louisville, but has dealt with some serious injury problems including Tommy John Surgery earlier this month.  Burdi was surging prior to the injury, though, giving the Mets reason to take him for Duda.  Trading Duda would also allow the Mets to give Wilmer Flores more at-bats to see if he can hit for a full season, or call up prospect Dominic Smith and let him take over first base for the foreseeable future.

Jay Bruce

Trading Bruce would signal the team has given up on 2017.  Bruce has been a revelation in 2017 after his embarrassing finish to 2016 with the Mets.  He has slugged 12 home runs in 44 games with 31 RBI’s.  The three-time all-star could’ve been had this offseason for a low cost, but now the value is surely higher after his solid start.  Bruce profiles similar to Duda, except he has a much better track record and is a more refined hitter as a whole.  He would likely command a mid-level prospect if traded now, even though he would be a rental whose contract expires after the season.  One team that may make a play for Bruce could be the St. Louis Cardinals.  St. Louis has lacked consistent offensive production from corner outfields Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty.  Neither of the aforementioned players has an OPS above .700, which could prompt St. Louis to make a move in the competitive National League Central.  St. Louis has a deep farm system filled with potential impact players, and two names that New York could target are Harrison Bader and Jack Flaherty.  Bader was a third-round selection in the 2015 draft out of the University of Florida, and he has risen rapidly through the minors.  Bader is putting together an impressive season in Triple-A Memphis, hitting .293 with 8 home runs in 47 games.  Flaherty was a first-round pick in 2014.  He has dominated the Texas League in Double-A in 2017, and has further room to improve if he can develop more speed on his fastball.  Either Bader or Flaherty could make an impact for the Mets next season, which should be their focus if 2017 continues to trouble them.

The Case For the Mets to Keep Starting Curtis Granderson

The Case For the Mets to Keep Starting Curtis Granderson

With the return of Yoenis Cespedes looming, the New York Mets are faced with a decision that would see them place either Curtis Granderson or Lucas Duda on the bench.  If Granderson was to ride the pine, Cespedes would simply slide back into left field, pushing Michael Conforto to center.  If the Mets decided to sit Lucas Duda, Jay Bruce would likely move back to first base where he saw action earlier this season, and Curtis Granderson would become the everyday rightfielder.

After last night’s disaster, where the Mets loaded the bases in the ninth inning with no outs and down just one run, it seems apparent that Curtis Granderson will become the odd man out upon Cespedes’ return.  In his at-bat, Duda laid off some tough sliders in the ninth inning en route to drawing a walk from Padres lefty Brad Hand.  Duda has been susceptible to sliders tailing away in the past, so his demonstration of patience is a positive.  On the other hand, Granderson stuck out against Hand with the bases loaded and nobody out.  A fly ball, and perhaps even a grounder that could turn into a double play would’ve tied the game and likely led the Mets to a second straight victory over San Diego.  Yet Granderson failed to come up in an important spot, giving Terry Collins further reason to remove him from the lineup.  His .168 batting average and dreadful .565 OPS are more evidence that maybe the three-time all-star has lost a step in a major way.  Numbers aside though, the Mets would be better off keeping Granderson in the lineup and instead sitting Lucas Duda.

Looking at the numbers, it’s pretty obvious that although Lucas Duda hasn’t been setting the world on fire in 2017, he has been much more productive than Curtis Granderson.  Duda has played twenty less games, yet he has hit just as many home runs as Granderson.  In terms of WAR, Granderson currently sits around -.5, meaning he has played at sub-replacement level.  However, the month of May has shown Granderson’s strong improvement from April, and also Lucas Duda’s regression.

Since the calendar flipped, Granderson has doubled his OPS from .395 in April to .791 thus far in May.  His slugging has also jumped up to .476 in May, which is right around his career average, showing that the veteran is getting back on track.  In April, his BABIP was .154, which would indicate that he was unlucky at times when squaring the ball up.  Maybe the most promising aspect of Granderson’s month of May has been his improved walk rate.  He is walking in 11% of his plate appearances this month as opposed to just 5.4% last month.  When Granderson was starring as a dynamic leadoff hitter in 2015, he was extremely patient and often got on base via the walk.  His increased discipline and refined eye have increased his performance.

As Granderson has been trending up, Duda has seen some of his numbers fall since April, but not all of them.  Duda’s walk rate and strikeout rate have both improved, resulting in a nice bump in his on-base percentage.  However, his batting average has fallen and his slugging percentage has drastically decreased from .571 in April to .313 in May.  Duda’s BABIP in May is also suspiciously high at .292.  Based on his career batting average of .246, Duda’s average is likely to continue falling once his BABIP inevitably returns to normal.  Duda has yet to hit a home run this month, albeit he has only played in 10 games.

Another aspect to consider is how Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda individually effect the overall dynamic of the team.  Granderson provides more speed than Duda and arguably better defense assuming he will be playing right field, not center.  Duda is a slightly bigger power threat at the plate, but Granderson also can provide plenty of pop at times.  In the clubhouse, Granderson is a great leader and role model who sets good examples and also keeps a positive attitude, even when the team is struggling.  That’s not to say Lucas Duda doesn’t embody a positive attitude, but when he tells the media after a tough game, “I’ve been bad at baseball for the last week.  I’ve been terrible…”, it’s hard to see how he remains positive.

The easy decision would be to remove Curtis Granderson from his everyday spot in the outfield and allow Lucas Duda to continue starting at first base.  However, the metrics show that Curtis Granderson is on the verge of getting his bat going, whereas Lucas Duda may be set for a slump.  Granderson may be having the worst year of his career to this point, but he still holds greater potential value to the New York Mets than Lucas Duda does.

Mets Draft Spotlight: Jordon Adell

Mets Draft Spotlight: Jordon Adell

The 2017 MLB Draft is shaping up to feature a deep, talented class of amateurs.  Hunter Greene was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in April, making him the first high school baseball player since Bryce Harper to grace the cover.  Louisville’s Brendan McKay is almost a lock to be a top-three selection, and he could be drafted as either a first baseman or a starting pitcher; he’s that good.  College arms JB Bukauskas and Kyle Wright have the look of future aces, and prep hitters such as Royce Lewis and Austin Beck should be big league contributors down the line.  But perhaps no prospect in this draft has the upside of Jordon Adell.

“Jo” Adell is a 6’3″, 200 pound outfielder at Ballard High School in Louisville, Kentucky.  Baseball America pegged Adell as the 14th best draft prospect back in March, and the senior outfielder has certainly lived up to the hype in his final high school season.  Adell is hitting .554 in his senior campaign with 24 home runs in just 33 games.  Adell’s hitting ability just scratches the surface of his sky-high ceiling, though.  Don’t believe it?  Check out his highlights in the video below.

Adell is often described as “toolsy” by draft scouts, but that term doesn’t really do the Oklahoma State commit justice.  Adell is a true five-tool potential player, displaying serious ability to hit, defend, and run.  His offensive numbers this season speak for themselves, but this is hardly the first time Adell has shown his hitting potency.  The future star has dominated top-flight pitching in events like the Tournament of Stars, which features the premier high school players in the country.  His power isn’t anything new either; he won the 2016 Area Code Games Home Run Derby.  Adell uses a high leg-kick to generate torque from his lower half, and uses an efficient launch angle and displays great extension to create loft and drive the ball.  His balance at the plate is near-perfect, and he consistently hits for power to all fields.  Adell has filled out physically at a young age, making his projection as a solid professional hitter an easy one.  Another promising sign is Adell’s patience.  He has 32 walks in his senior season, showing that he prioritizes getting on base and resists chasing bad balls.

On the basepaths, Adell could be a terror for opposing pitchers.  Adell ran a 6.4 sixty yard dash last summer, which is comparable to Mike Trout.  He has 18 steals in his senior year, a number that is likely depressed because he has been getting so many extra-base hits.  Adell has plus-plus speed that should grade somewhere between 70 and 80 on the MLB 20-80 grading scale.

As an outfielder, “Jo” projects as an above-average defender who may even have Gold Glove potential.  He is a true centerfielder with great range and quick reaction time, allowing him to cover balls gap to gap.  Adell has also pitched throughout his amateur career, which would explain his plus-plus arm strength.  The Kentucky native has been clocked at 97 MPH from the outfield.

Adell’s wide skill set gives him the look of a top-five selection, but it is highly unlikely that he would be drafted that high.  There are some signability concerns surrounding the prep star since he has a full ride to Oklahoma State.  Moreso now than ever, teams have started drafting strategically, especially near the top of the draft in order to save their bonus pool money.  This makes Adell more likely to go in the Compensation A round, where teams who took a player willing to sign for less money in the first round can give Adell above-slot money to entice him to forgo college.  However, Adell’s talent and ceiling should prevent him from falling that far.  Enter the New York Mets.

The Mets have followed a blueprint in the first round over the past 5 years or so.  With the exception of Michael Conforto, the Mets have preferred to draft high school position players or college pitching with their first selections.  In 2012, 2013, and 2015, the Mets selected Gavin Cecchini, Dominic Smith, and Desmond Lindsay with their first selections, all prep hitters at the time.  In 2016, New York selected pitchers Justin Dunn out of Boston College and Anthony Kay from the University of Connecticut with their two first-round selections.  Adell would follow that trend for New York.  Top college arms Kyle Wright, JB Bukauskas, Alex Faedo, and Tanner Houck will likely be gone by the time the Mets are up at 20.  Adell shouldn’t last that longer either, but if he does, he would be an absolute steal for the Mets.