In the wake of making the postseason in 2015 and 2016, the Mets have gone 147-177, fired their manager, watched the face of their franchise retire, and have taken a gamble by hiring a former agent to lead their revival.

In five months, Brodie Van Wagenen has modernized the organization's front office and staff, has added five former All Stars, stabilized the depth and back end of the roster, and inked Jacob deGrom to a contract extension. At the same time, during the past two years, a shift has been created in the NL East with a large crop of young talent emerging and older players either leaving or switching teams.

The dust has settled and, to the surprise of most New York fans -- myself included -- the Mets are projected to contend for the NL East title. However, so are three other teams...

Here's how things break down in Queens on both sides of the ball, what has to be avoided, what has to go right for them to be successful, and how I expect things to play out...

PITCHING PREVIEW

The health of the starting rotation from April through August will dictate whether or not the Mets are in a playoff fight during the final month of the season. If arms go down, the Mets will go down. If arms stay up, the Mets will stay up in the standings. It has been that way for years and will again be that simple...



The above, plus each of Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Jason Vargas all remaining healthy through spring training, is why most Mets fans -- myself included -- feel a zing of optimism heading in to Opening Day.

To top it off, Matz and Wheeler each set career-highs in starts and innings in 2018, Vargas (once healthy and in a routine) pitched very well toward the end of last season, and deGrom is coming off of a winter that net him a Cy Young Award and a $137.5 million contract. The group's collective momentum is palpable.

Similarly, their bullpen is projected to be one of the best in baseball.

Last year, Callaway's bullpen combined for a 4.96 ERA, which was the third-worst in baseball. The team wasn't much better the year before, either. However, the days of Hansel Robles, AJ Ramos and Addison Reed have been replaced by Edwin Diaz, Justin Wilson and Jeurys Familia in a set-up role (all three of whom were highly sought-after by other teams this past winter).

My hope is that Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman are left alone and able to pitch an entire season in relief. Because, if allowed to do so, they showed last season they are capable of being an effective, dangerous and unique asset during the middle of a game.

Luis Avilan, Paul SewaldTyler Bashlor and a collection of several other arms will get time rounding out the bullpen. Bashlor is my dark horse candidate to step up and fill a regular role in relief before the end of the season.

If there is a concern it's that, for all of the talent and leadership mentioned above, the Mets have very little pitching depth to fill in the gaps. The team used 12 starting pitchers in 2018. Ideally, they use less in 2019, but they're going to have to use more than just five.

In the event Callaway needs another starting pitcher, he's most likely to first turn to Corey Oswalt, followed by any one of Chris Flexen, P.J. Conlon or someone else from Triple-A, including promoting top prospect David Peterson.

Oswalt has the ability to surprise if called on, which he showed last year with his 3.07 ERA during his final four starts of the season. 

HITTING PREVIEW

The most common lineup in April is expected to include Robinson Cano, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, Wilson Ramos, Juan Lagares, Amed Rosario and the rookie Pete Alonso.

For now, the bench will seemingly include Dominic Smith, Luis Guillorme, J.D. Davis and Keon Broxton.

In time, Jed Lowrie (knee pain) and Todd Frazier (oblique strain) will make their way back from the injured list, at which point Van Wagenen and Callaway will need to make difficult decisions about Smith, Alonso and what is and isn't working for them in center field.



To be honest, even without Frazier and Lowrie, I like the above lineup. It's better with Lowrie, obviously, but it is more than capable of surviving without him.

The above eight opening day position players have combined to hit .326 with a .364 OBP during Spring Training. This is a monumental improvement from where the Mets were one year ago, let alone just a few months ago.

The above group also has several compelling storylines worth following throughout the year.

For instance, who will Cano be at 36 years old, returning to New York after leaving the Yankees after the 2013 season? Is Alonso the next great hitter in team history? Is 2019 the year Conforto becomes the MVP-caliber hitter so many believe he can be? Is Rosario ready to join the ranks of young, exciting shortstops? And, will last year's diamond in the rough, McNeil, continue on his path to be next Daniel Murphy?

THINGS GO WELL, IF...

  • The majority of the rotation stays healthy, specifically deGrom...
  • Diaz doesn't melt beneath the bright lights of New York...
  • Conforto plays 150 games and hits 30 home runs...
  • Ramos remains healthy and bonds with the pitching staff...

THINGS WON'T GO WELL, IF...

  • Alonso is a total bust and no one steps in to stabilize first base...
  • More than one of deGrom, Syndergaard, Diaz or Ramos are injured at the same time...
  • The Mets find themselves in need Yoenis Cespedes at any point...
  • The Phillies or Nationals catch fire and throw their weight around the division...

PREDICTIONS...

It's required of this assignment, so, what the hell, I'll pick the Mets to win the NL East. I do this not so much because I think the Mets are far and away better than the rest of the division, but because I think they and their three top rivals are each capable of taking the pennant.



To get there, I expect the Mets to exceed their PECOTA projected win total of 87, though I don't think it'll take more than another win or two to snag the division.

Frankly, the more difficult NL East prediction is guessing the team that will finish in fourth place, not first.

The downside to this four-horse race in the NL East is that it's almost impossible to predict how it will end. But that can also be viewed as an upside and is what makes this so exciting. The point is, it's going to be a wild ride.

The next six months promise to be filled with wall-to-wall stress, anxiety, ups, downs, moaning, groaning, cheering and excitement. I expect we'll spend as many days thinking the Mets will win the division as we spend thinking they will fail. I like this. The odds are always against any team running away with the pennant. In most cases, it's a bit of a dog fight. So, if the Mets aren't running away with it, which I don't expect they will, let 2019 be a wild race between four abandoned railroad cars. The crazier the better, which is exactly what I expect it will be...


HARPER: 10 Bold Predictions for 2019 season >> Read More

CERRONE: These three players could swing Mets' 2019 season >> Read More

RELATED: Why Jacob deGrom's extension is a historic win-win >> Read More


Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Juan Lagares, Justin Wilson, Luis Guillorme, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Peter Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Todd Frazier, Tyler Bashlor, Wilson Ramos, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Mar 9, 2019; Fort Myers, FL, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) triples in a run in the fifth inning of the spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Mar 9, 2019; Fort Myers, FL, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) triples in a run in the fifth inning of the spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

With Brandon Nimmo's neck stiffness persisting, he is heading to the IL, the team announced on Wednesday.

Nimmo was set to have an MRI today to see what was wrong with his neck, and it appears the Mets didn't see anything they liked. On Tuesday, Nimmo said he was "a little bit concerned" about it, while adding the stiffness from earlier this season never fully went away.

"I'm a little bit concerned about it, but we're hoping that we'll find some answers tomorrow," Nimmo said. "It's been going off and on since really Philadelphia...

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 (Amber Searls)
(Amber Searls)

Since Spring Training, the Mets have made it a point to say Dominic Smith is being viewed by the team as primarily a first baseman. That meant no outfield reps for the 23-year-old, even though he told the team he wanted to do so. 

Fast forward a few months and the Mets have been left no choice but to consider Smith for outfield time considering the recent injuries to players like Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Jeff McNeil

Manager Mickey Callaway admitted to the media before Wednesday night's game against the Nationals that Smith could be featured in the outfield if need be.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Scott Thompson
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Mitchell takes BP before game 00:01:26
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell took BP with the Mets. Mitchell's dad is the Director of Player Relations and Community Engagement.

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell was in the house at Citi Field on Wednesday night, and if his NBA career doesn't end up working out, he could potentially pick up a career in baseball.

Mitchell, who averaged 23.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game last season, took some confident swings inside the cage, met with Mets' players, and even took some infield work at first base.

Named to the 2017-18 All-Rookie team, Mitchell has family ties to the Mets, as his father, Donovan Mitchell Sr., serves as the team's Director of Player Relations and Community Engagement. 

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Gelbs and DiComo talk Mets 00:16:41
Steve Gelbs and Anthony DiComo were live from the Citi Pavilion providing the latest updates on the Mets and answering questions from fans!

Steve Gelbs and Anthony DiComo were live from the Citi Pavilion today providing the latest updates on the Mets and answering questions from fans!

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Apr 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts during the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts during the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets (22-25, 5.5 GB in NL East) have bounced back from a five-game skid to capture back-to-back victories against the Nats. Jacob deGrom toes the rubber tonight attempting to push the streak to three games.

Mets notes

After Tuesday night's walkoff 6-5 win over Washington (the team's second walkoff win of the year), the Mets can clinch their fifth series win of the season with a victory tonight. ... The Mets have posted a 16-13 record against NL East foes, the most wins by any team against its own division this season. ... deGrom is 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA in his three career duels against Max Scherzer. ... Pete Alonso's 16 home runs are the most ever by a Mets rookie before the All-Star break.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz, Washington Nationals
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Doug Williams and Andy Martino return for a special second helping of Shea Anything this week! Since the last show, the Mets committed to Mickey Callaway for the "foreseeable future" - and the guys explain how it went down and what it all means.

They also try to figure out what happened to Yoenis Cespedes on his ranch, and what could happen to his future with the Mets...

Click below to listen...

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Mickey talks Edwin Diaz's usage 00:00:48
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway explains the Mets are in a do or die situation and it may call for them to use Edwin Diaz for 4 outs.

Roughly five weeks after Mets manager Mickey Callaway suggested the team would wait until the playoffs to use Edwin Diaz for more than three outs, the Edwin Diaz rules are no longer in effect.

As part of that adjustment, Diaz -- with Callaway saying they're now treating these games like the "playoffs" -- will be available for more than three outs.

That's a big change from what Callaway said on April 16, shortly before GM Brodie Van Wagenen sang a similar tune regarding Diaz.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto leaves the game after an apparent injury during the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. (Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto leaves the game after an apparent injury during the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. (Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)

A day after GM Brodie Van Wagenen said the Mets were waiting to see what baseball activities he could participate in, Michael Conforto was seen on Citi Field looking like his normal self. 

Conforto was deemed symptom-free of his concussion over the weekend, and the Mets were awaiting his test results to see how to proceed. Well, the veteran outfielder was playing catch and "delivering throws with some zip," per MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. He even said Conforto came out of the clubhouse "smiley," which is always a good sign.

Conforto was placed on the 7-day concussion DL on Friday after leaving Thursday's game against the Nationals in the bottom of the fifth inning after getting hit in the face by Robinson Cano's shoulder while both of them were trying to field a fly ball...

Tags: Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Danny Abriano
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Apr 17, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (6) hits a single during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Apr 17, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (6) hits a single during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Jeff McNeil is out of the Mets' lineup on Wednesday night due to a hamstring issue he first felt in the ninth inning of Tuesday's win.

"Felt it last night, got some treatment," McNeil said before the game. "It's tight."

In the ninth inning on Tuesday, McNeil reached on a fielder's choice before taking second base on defensive indifference, where he said he first felt the hamstring bothering him -- "kind of tigthened up on me there and I was feeling it."

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Danny Abriano
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Pete Alonso fell behind in the count, 0-2, in the eighth inning Tuesday night, fouling off and then swinging through high fastballs at 98 mph, so the power vs. power showdown seemed to favor Tanner Rainey, a 26-year old rookie called up from the minors a few days ago.

As a National League scout said Wednesday, "I wouldn't have bet on Alonso at that point. Lately he's been getting pitched tougher and he's been chasing up in the zone a little more, which is normal for a young guy when he goes through his first rough patch.

"But I'll tell you, the more I see of him, the more impressed I am -- especially in a big spot. He's hit a lot of big home runs in the late innings, and after a while you start to think it's not an accident."

Tags: Pete Alonso, John Harper
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Former Mets catcher and Hall of Fame member Mike Piazza addresses the crowd during a ceremony to retire his number (31) prior to the game between New York Mets and the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin)
Former Mets catcher and Hall of Fame member Mike Piazza addresses the crowd during a ceremony to retire his number (31) prior to the game between New York Mets and the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin)

On this date in 1998, while working the service desk at Home Depot, I answered an urgent phone call from my mother, who, as a Mets fan herself, was eager to tell me the Mets traded for "that pizza guy," as she called him.

I laughed, knowing full well she meant Mike Piazza, who never would have become the legend he is in Queens had the Dodgers never turned their backs on his contract request.

Piazza wanted at least $91 million during his Spring Training negotiations with the Dodgers in early 1998. They never offered more than $84 million, Piazza rejected it, and Los Angeles began floating his name in trade talks with interested teams. The Mets were among several teams to show interest...

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May 5, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets outfielder Keon Broxton (23) walks back to the dugout after striking out against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports (Michael McLoone)
May 5, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets outfielder Keon Broxton (23) walks back to the dugout after striking out against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports (Michael McLoone)

The Mets have gotten something back for Keon Broxton after designating him for assignment on May 17.

New York had seven days to either trade Broxton or place him on waivers, and swung a trade on Wednesday to send Broxton to the Orioles for $500,000 in international bonus pool money.

Getting that amount of international bonus pool money for a player they would've otherwise placed on waivers -- and couldn't force to accept a minor league assignment if he cleared waivers -- is a solid get for the Mets. But it doesn't erase the fact that the initial Broxton trade was a massive failure for GM Brodie Van Wagenen.

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New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway looks on as his players warm up before a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway looks on as his players warm up before a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Following an embarrassing weekend in Miami, when the historically bad Marlins swept a Mets team that lacked any signs of life, the Mets front office knew it had only two choices: Fire manager Mickey Callaway immediately or say publicly that his job was safe.

GM Brodie Van Wagenen chose to do that latter, of course, even though it's very clear that the Mets do not view Callaway as their manager of the future, or particularly effective at his job. In a year-plus, Callaway has improved somewhat as a tactician and communicator, but clearly lacks the necessary presence or expertise.

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Washington Nationals at New York Mets
Moneyline: WAS -105/NYM -105
Over/Under: 6.5
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Jacob deGrom (3-5, 3.98 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (2-5, 3.72 ERA)

There's an Opening Day rematch set for the third game of this series, as the National League's last two Cy Young Award winners square off tonight at Citi Field.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Washington Nationals
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Alonso plays Backyard Baseball 00:01:51
If you grew up in the early 2000s, then you'll remember Backyard Baseball. Pete Alonso fielded a star-studded team.

If you grew up in the early 2000s, then you'll remember Backyard Baseball. Mets 1B Pete Alonso fielded a star-studded team.

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May 21, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) celebrates after hitting a RBI single in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 21, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) celebrates after hitting a RBI single in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Mets (22-25, 5.5 GB in the NL East) rallied late to beat the Nationals on Tuesday night at Citi Field as they won their second straight game. They host the Nats again on Wednesday night at 7:10.

Here's what went down on Tuesday, in case you missed it:


In the Mets' win over the Nats, Pete Alonso hit a mammoth game-tying homer in the eighth inning before Amed Rosario walked it off in the ninth with an infield single >> Read more

Tags: Amed Rosario, Pete Alonso, Todd Frazier, Danny Abriano
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Mets talk walk-off win 00:01:55
New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario and first baseman Pete Alonso talk about their clutch hits to help Mets walk off against Nationals.

The Mets topped the Nationals in dramatic fashion Tuesday night at Citi Field with a 6-5 walk-off win courtesy of Amed Rosario's hustle. 

The shortstop hit a chopper to short but out-ran the throw to score Adeiny Hecchavaria from third base to win the game. 

"It was an incredible feeling," Rosario said through a translator after the game. "How emotional I was just because it was my first walk-off and it's our second game in a row that we won after a bad stretch."

Tags: Amed Rosario, Pete Alonso, Washington Nationals
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Mets beat Nats 6-5 on walk-off 00:01:09
New York Mets saw home runs from J.D. Davis and Pete Alonso but it was Amed Rosario's walk-off single boosted them over the Nationals.

J.D. Davis and Pete Alonso each hit dramatic late-inning home runs, and Amed Rosario delivered a walkoff single in Tuesday's 6-5 win over Washington. >> Box score

Six things to know about Tuesday's game

1) After a back-and-forth final few innings, Amed Rosario hustled out an infield single to give the Mets a walkoff 6-5 victory on Tuesday night at Citi Field. Nats' reliever Tanner Rainey walked two batters in the bottom of the ninth, and Rosario delivered with a high-hopping infield single off of Kyle Barraclough to give the Mets the win.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Washington Nationals, Zack Wheeler
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Mar 9, 2019; Fort Myers, FL, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) triples in a run in the fifth inning of the spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Mar 9, 2019; Fort Myers, FL, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) triples in a run in the fifth inning of the spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Brandon Nimmo was penciled in to leadoff and man center field for the Mets on Tuesday night, but then he was scratched as the team announced neck stiffness sat him down. 

After Tuesday's dramatic 6-5 victory, Nimmo said that he'll have an MRI on Wednesday and that his neck stiffness from earlier this season never totally went away.

"I'm a little bit concerned about it, but we're hoping that we'll find some answers tomorrow," Nimmo said. "It's been going off and on since really Philadelphia.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo
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Aug 29, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) tips his helmet after hitting a grand slam home run against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Young)
Aug 29, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier (21) tips his helmet after hitting a grand slam home run against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Young)

Mets third baseman Todd Frazier and Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton found themselves in the center of a feud this week, which apparently stems back to 2016 when they were teammates with the White Sox. 

Frazier alluded to a locker room incident that season prior to Tuesday's game when he fired back at Eaton for calling the Mets third baseman "childish" for jawing at him on the field. 

"There are 23 of those guys, they know what happened," Frazier said. 

Tags: Chicago White Sox, Todd Frazier
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Jul 29, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins former manager Ozzie Guillen walks on the field before the game between the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jul 29, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins former manager Ozzie Guillen walks on the field before the game between the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The feud between Mets 3B Todd Frazier and Nationals OF Adam Eaton had another player jump in the argument. Well, former player. 

Ozzie Guillen, the longtime White Sox player and manager, gave his take on the Frazier-Eaton beef that has come to light this past couple of days. Though he may not have been in the Chicago clubhouse when Frazier and Eaton were teammates, Guillen said he knows well that Eaton was not the most-liked player on that team. 

In fact, he wasn't afraid to say it to Eaton himself...

Tags: Todd Frazier, Scott Thompson
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Alonso ties game with 16th HR 00:00:21
New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso smashes his 16th home run to tie the game against the Nationals in the 8th inning

The Nationals pulled away with a 3-1 lead in this one, but J.D. Davis once again showed off his pinch-hitting magic. 

With two runners on, Davis went with a pitch to right field and put it over the fence to give the Mets their first lead of the game...

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Mets prospect Anthony Kay, whose dominance so far in 2019 has put him in the conversation to jump to the majors this season, is becoming impossible to ignore. And along with his on-field success comes a demeanor that seems built for the place he grew up.  

"He's one of my favorites, if not my favorite," UConn pitching coach Josh MacDonald told SNY Tuesday about where Kay falls among the many players he's coached during his career. 

MacDonald -- who said he has been texting with Kay "two-to-three times a night" as he has dominated in Double-A Binghamton -- coached Kay during his time at UConn, after which the Mets selected the Long Island native in the 2016 MLB Draft.

Tags: Anthony Kay, Danny Abriano
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Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets (21-25, 6.5 GB in NL East) will look to keep it going Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field after taking the first game of the series Monday.

Mets notes

The Mets snapped a five-game losing streak on Monday and enter Tuesday's game winners of their last four games at Citi Field. ... Pete Alonso hit his 15th home run on Monday, which tied a Mets rookie record with Ron Swoboda for home runs before the All-Star break. Alonso leads all MLB rookies in home runs, RBI and slugging percentage. ... Todd Frazier has found his groove again over his last six games, hitting .400 with a run, double, tirple, RBI, twoo walks and a 1.071 OPS in that span. 

Tags: Pete Alonso, Todd Frazier, Washington Nationals, Zack Wheeler
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Frazier: 'pay off your mortgage' 00:03:53
Todd Frazier and Adam Eaton got into a spat between innings last night, it's become clear the former teammates are not fans of each other.

Pay off your mortgage. 

That's what Todd Frazier thinks Adam Eaton should do, as the beef between the former White Sox teammates took new life between Monday night and pregame Tuesday. 

Frazier and Eaton were seen jawing at each other during the Mets' 5-3 win over the Nationals on Monday, with the benches nearly clearing. After the game, Eaton called Frazier's behavior "childish" and said "I'm a 30-year-old man with two kids. Got a mortgage and everything and he wants to loud-talk as he's running off the field." 

Tags: Todd Frazier
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The Mets are four games below .500 and six losses back of first place. Yet, based on GM Brodie Van Wagenen's comments Monday, he and his team remain committed to getting to the postseason.

In addition, Van Wagenen said that manager Mickey Callaway has the support of the clubhouse, front office and ownership. Van Wagenen has no choice but to stick with his manager or risk losing credibility with his on-field talent.

The point is, despite the microscope of New York and a frustrated fanbase, the Mets are locked in to at least fighting their way through the NL East. However, what are the chances Van Wagenen and Company rise to the top of a playoff race and play in October?

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Anthony Kay's outing yesterday 00:01:29
Highlight of Anthony Kay throwing seven hitless innings at Binghamton's game Monday night.

For a little while on Monday -- with the Mets and Double-A Binghamton both listing their starters as 'TBA' -- it seemed that LHP prospect Anthony Kay could be hours away from making his big league debut. That didn't happen, but it didn't stop Kay from making news anyway.

Kay, the 24-year-old who has been one of the best pitchers in all of minor league baseball this season, fired 7.0 no-hit innings for Binghamton on Monday night before being removed at just 88 pitches due to his pitch-count being managed.

During the outing, Kay walked one and struck out eight, lowering his ERA to 1.07 and WHIP to 0.77.

Tags: Anthony Kay, Danny Abriano
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Eaton calls Frazier 'childish' 00:00:44
Adam Eaton and Todd Frazier were separated by teammates between innings. Frazier said nothing happened while Eaton had some opinions.

As the Mets were beating the Nationals on Monday night at Citi Field, the MASN camera caught something -- Todd Frazier of the Mets and Adam Eaton of the Nationals having to be separated between innings.

During the incident, some of the Nationals started spilling out of the dugout in preparation for a potential brawl.

So what happened?

Tags: Todd Frazier, Danny Abriano
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May 19, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) looks on from the dugout steps in the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
May 19, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) looks on from the dugout steps in the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets (21-25, 6.5 GB in the NL East) snapped a five game losing streak Monday and will face the Nationals at Citi Field again Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. on SNY.

Here's what went down on Monday, in case you missed it:


Mets prospects Ronny Mauricio and Mark Vientos are playing well for Class A Columbia. Find out how the rest of the Mets' big-name Minor Leaguers are doing in Top Prospect Watch. >> Read More

Tags: Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Yoenis Cespedes
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Pete Alonso hits home run 00:00:17
Pete Alonso hit his 15th home run giving the Mets a 2-0 lead over the Washington Nationals in the 1st inning

Mets rookie first baseman Pete Alonso voiced his support for manager Mickey Callaway after hitting a historic home run in Monday's 5-3 win over the Nationals.

"He's a great leader and all of us love playing for him," Alonso said. "He's a great manager. It would be devastating if his job was in jeopardy or he wasn't the skipper anymore. I think he deserves to be our manager. He's a great leader and we all love playing for him."

Amid the Mets' five-game losing streak that dropped them to 20-25, including a sweep at the hands of the last-place Marlins, GM Brodie Van Wagenen said earlier Monday how he envisions Callaway being the manager for the "foreseeable future."

Tags: Pete Alonso
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Mets talk win 00:01:03
Mickey Callaway and Pete Alonso discuss Monday's 5-3 win for the Mets over the Washington Nationals in Citi Field

A day after not running out a ground ball, Mets second baseman Robinson Cano hit a pinch-hit double in the eighth inning, getting to second base in 8.43 seconds, his fastest time since 2016, according to MLB.com's Andrew Simon.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway took notice.

"I think he got the hint," Callaway said after Monday's 5-3 win over the Nationals, a game in which Cano was not in the starting lineup.

Tags: Robinson Cano
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Mets beat Nats, 5-3 00:01:24
Amed Rosario and Pete Alonso homered in the 1st inning as the Mets beat the Washington Nationals on Monday night at Citi Field

Amed Rosario and Pete Alonso both hit home runs and the Mets' bullpen hang on to beat the Nationals 5-3 on Monday at Citi Field. >> Box score

Five things to know about Monday's game

1) Rosario and Alonso both hit solo homers off Patrick Corbin in the first inning. Rosario hit an 0-2 fastball to center field to make it 1-0, and two batters later Alonso hit a 1-2 fastball to left-center for his 15th home run of the season.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Pete Alonso, Todd Frazier, Washington Nationals
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New York Mets Yoenis Cespedes (52) holds his broken bat as he looks at a video replay of his flyout to deep left field during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday, April 1, 2018, in New York. (AP)
New York Mets Yoenis Cespedes (52) holds his broken bat as he looks at a video replay of his flyout to deep left field during the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday, April 1, 2018, in New York. (AP)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In light of what Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen called a "non-baseball" injury in which Yoenis Cespedes fell into a hole on his ranch and fractured an ankle, can the Mets get out of the remainder of his contract?

The answer, according to agents and executives not connected to Cespedes or the Mets, is that it depends on the specifics of how he was injured, and whether they violate certain contract language.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Andy Martino
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Van Wagenen endorses Callaway 00:02:35
Brodie Van Wagenen addressed the media stating Mickey Callaway was their guy for the forseeable future.

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen met with the media on Monday at Citi Field and threw his support behind embattled manager Mickey Callaway. But that support came with an asterisk. 

"We called a meeting today with the coaching staff and with the players," Van Wagenen said after arriving late to the press conference due to the aforementioned meeting. "The puirpose of this meeting had many different aspects to it. First and foremost, to make clear to the coaches make clear to Mickey, and make sure that the players understood that I, the front office, and the entire ownership group has support of Mickey Callaway as our manager. Mickey is our manager now, Mickey is our manager going forward," Callaway said.

After adding that there is confidence among the players, Van Wagenen explained why he thinks Callaway remains the right man for the job. 

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Carlos Gomez hits RBI double 00:00:15
Carlos Gomez gets his 1st hit as a Met in 12 years on Monday night against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field

When Carlos Gomez first came up with the Mets, they still played at Shea Stadium.

Twelve years later, Gomez recorded his first hit at Citi Field as a member of the Mets, and it was a big one.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Pete Alonso
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Cespedes fractures ankle 00:02:00
Van Wagenen surprised everyone announcing Cespedes had suffered a 'violent fall' fracturing his ankle and making his return indefinite.

Yoenis Cespedes was involved in a "violent fall" at his ranch in Port St. Lucie over the weekend and sustained right "ankle fractures," according to Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen. 

Van Wagenen said that Cespedes is being evaluated at a hospital in New York and they will need more information on doctors before fully understanding the severity of the injury.

The GM added that Cespedes did not fall off a horse, but did fall and step in a hole in which he "twisted and put his leg and foot" in a bad position.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen

Even though the Mets have struggled to a 20-25 record through late May, GM Brodie Van Wagenen still believes his current group of players has what it takes to be contenders.

"I don't have regrets from this offseason," Van Wagenen said at a press conference Monday. "When I said publicly and privately that I believed that we could create a contending team, I believed that wholeheartedly. I believed it then and I believe that there is still enough talent in this room to get back in contention this year."

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Cano responds to not playing 00:01:27
Cano says no one told him that part of the reason he was not playing Monday was because of his lack of hustle, but he does regret it.

The day after his second inexcusable transgression on the bases, Robinson Cano is not in the Mets' lineup Monday night as they open a series against the Nationals at Citi Field.

Instead, Jeff McNeil gets the start at second base while J.D. Davis starts in left field.

Asked why Cano is out of the lineup, manager Mickey Callaway -- the day after making excuses for Cano -- listed three reasons.

Tags: Robinson Cano, Danny Abriano
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May 19, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) reacts in the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
May 19, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) reacts in the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets (20-25, 6.5 GB in NL East) will look to end their five-game losing streak against with a matchup against the Washington Nationals on Monday at 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field. 

Mets notes

The Mets have lost five games in a row and are looking to get back on track against the Nationals at Citi Field where they are 9-8 this season and have won their last three games. ... The Mets have gone 19 innings without scoring a run, which last came in the eighth inning on Friday. ... Carlos Gomez is playing his first game in Citi Field as a Met, where he owns a .417/.509/1.071 slash line with four doubles, a home run and six RBI.

Tags: Washington Nationals
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Apr 19, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Seth Lugo (67) pitches during the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)
Apr 19, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Seth Lugo (67) pitches during the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets were dealt another blow on Monday when they announced that reliever Seth Lugo was placed on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder tendinitis. 

Left-hand pitcher Hector Santiago was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to replace Lugo on the roster. 

Lugo, 29, has been effective out of the bullpen this season, pitching to a 2-0 record with a 3.12 ERA,1.00 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in 26 innings pitched this season. He began to feel discomfort in his shoulder during his outing on Sunday, in which he allowed a solo home run to Curtis Granderson in an inning of work, and will be shut down for a few days before being re-evaluated. 

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May 15, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets pitcher Wilmer Font (68) throws to the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
May 15, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets pitcher Wilmer Font (68) throws to the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

After considering Drew Gagnon as their spot-starter for Monday night's series opener against the Nationals at Citi Field, the Mets have instead chosen Wilmer Font

Font, who pitched relatively well in his first start with the Mets (allowing two runs in 4.0 innings), got shellacked by the Nationals in his second start, allowing five runs on six hits while walking two and striking out two in 2.1 innings.

While Gagnon has pitched very well out of the bullpen for the Mets lately, tossing 5.2 scoreless innings over his last five appearances, he hasn't thrown more than 26 pitches in any of them.

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Doug Williams and Andy Martino drop a Monday podcast after a rough weekend for the Mets. They sort through the uncertainty surrounding manager Mickey Callaway, as the speculation grows about his status with the team. They also dive into the Robinson Cano controversy, and how his "running" issues are playing out in relation to Mickey and the struggles of the squad.

Click below to listen...

Tags: Robinson Cano
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 (Tom Priddy, Four Seam Images)
(Tom Priddy, Four Seam Images)

Every Monday, we'll be taking a look at how the Mets' top prospects (their MLB.com Mets Top 10 rankings are in parenthesis) are faring.


Andres Gimenez, SS, Double-A Binghamton (No. 1) -- ETA 2020

The 20-year-old Gimenez -- who is the Mets' No. 1 prospect now that Pete Alonso's prospect status has expired -- is viewed by most minor league experts as one of the best 50 or so prospects in baseball.

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May 19, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) reacts in the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
May 19, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) reacts in the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets (20-25, 6.5 GB in the NL East) return home after a nightmare trip to face the Nationals at Citi Field on Monday at 7:10 p.m. on SNY.

Here's what went down on Sunday, in case you missed it:


As the Mets were swept by the Marlins, they managed just two hits -- making Sunday the first time since 1967 that they were held to two hits or fewer in consecutive games >> Read more

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Robinson Cano, Tim Tebow, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway smiles before the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. (Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway smiles before the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. (Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports)

A little more than a week ago, we heard that Mickey Callaway's job was safe -- and word on Sunday evening, following an embarrassing sweep in Miami, was that nothing had changed yet.

Make no mistake, the subject of Callaway's job security won't go away unless the team starts to win, and quickly. But after Sunday's game, Mets higher-ups had not reached the point of firing their manager.

Having said that, the team believes that its roster is severely underperforming...

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Cano?s hustle questioned 00:01:50
For the second time this week, Cano didn?t run to first on a play. Callaway defended the second baseman and his choice not to bench him

If this story seems familiar, it's because it is. 

One day after Mets manager Mickey Callaway explained why he didn't bench Robinson Cano for failing to run out a ground ball double play (something Cano blamed on the scoreboard operator), Callaway had to explain why he didn't pull Cano from Sunday's game after failing to run at all on another double play ground ball. 

And Callaway seemed to be making excuses for his second baseman. 

 

Tags: Robinson Cano, Danny Abriano
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Mar 9, 2019; Fort Myers, FL, USA; New York Mets left fielder Tim Tebow (15) looks on from the dugout priror to the spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Mar 9, 2019; Fort Myers, FL, USA; New York Mets left fielder Tim Tebow (15) looks on from the dugout priror to the spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

It's not all bad in Mets land. 

While the big league team continues its troubling ways, Tim Tebow finally hit his first homer of the season in the Minors. Batting eighth and playing left field for Syracuse, Tebow followed David Thompson's solo shot with one of his own off Columbus' Asher Wojciechowski

Tebow jumped on the first pitch and drove it over the right-field wall. 

Tags: Tim Tebow
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Syndergaard strong on Callaway 00:01:14
Noah Syndergaard defended his manager, Mickey Callaway, after the Mets were swept by the Marlins. He also said it's still early to panic

For all of the speculation regarding Mickey Callaway's job status, one prominent locker room voice expressed his displeasure in the "will-they-won't-they" dance. 

Noah Syndergaard went so far as to call rumors regarding Callaway's insecure job status "bulls---" after the Mets were shut out by the Marlins, 3-0, and swept by the last-place team. 

"I respect the hell out of Mickey," said Syndegaard, who took the loss Sunday despite pitching well. "Mickey has tremendous leadership values. It's kind of bullshit what's going on right now with this speculation that there could be a change, because we're so early in the season." 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Apr 2, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) prior to a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Apr 2, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) prior to a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

After the Mets were blanked by the Marlins for the second-straight day as Miami completed a three-game sweep, manager Mickey Callaway spoke as questions about his job security continued to swirl. 

And while GM Brodie Van Wagenen was in Miami on Friday and Saturday, he was not there after Sunday's game -- with Callaway saying Van Wagenen was "never scheduled" to be in Miami Sunday.

Callaway, who said he expected to talk with -- as he usually does -- Van Wagenen and ownership ("we always touch base") before the team opens a homestand on Monday, said he doesn't think the weekend sweep will cost him. 

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