July 25th, 2015

Why the “hot hand” approach won’t work

Terry Collins announced today that he will use whoever is “warm” in the lineup. Today, he has Murphy at third, Tejada at short, Johnson at second, and Duda at first. Juan Uribe will have the day off in his first game as a Met.

Niko Goutakolis: I’m extremely worried that this will make Collins’ infielders nervous about losing their everyday jobs. Consistently shifting people around might be OK for a veteran like Kelly Johnson, but for Wilmer Flores and maybe even Daniel Murphy, this will not help. I don’t want to see Murphy at third one day, second the next, and then first. The only way a player can gain momentum is by putting him in a fixed role every single day for a extended period of time. I’m not sure who should start and where they should start, but find a lineup, stick to it for a few weeks, and if you find a better idea, go with that. 

The “hot hand” approach, is a major mistake to me, you can only learn from experience and practice, and if your are being thrown around like a dice cube, then you will be more susceptible to slumps. How do I know I’m right? Collins has used the hot hand approach with the lineup order all year, and look at our batting averages. Now, the hitters aren’t the best in the league, but I’m sure they would be better off if there was some stability in the lineup.

Logan Verrett re-called from Triple-A

Logan Verrett has been re-called from Triple-A Las Vegas while Jon Niese goes on paternity leave. Verrett was pitching pretty good in his short stint with the big club earlier this year. He pitched to a 2.95 ERA, and had a 1.08 WHIP. Logan can start, pitch in long relief and can pitch in back to back days in short relief. Overall, Verrett is a quality addition to a strong Mets bullpen. Yesterday, he was scratched from the AAA game as he was the scheduled starter, which means he had full rest. Logan will be in uniform and ready for today’s game.

Why was Niese pitching last night?

It’s no secret that these are crucial games for the New York Mets, despite being only one game above 500, they are only three games out of both the wild card and the division.

Yesterday, it was announced by Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that Jon Niese’s wife had gone into labor, it was also  announced that Jon will not be pitching, and that Carlos Torres might be called in for the emergency start.

Strangely enough, Niese pitched last night. There was no official announcement why, but my guess is that Niese told the manager that he could pitch, and that Carlos Torres didn’t have time to get prepared. As a lot of fans pointed out during the game, Niese’s mind was in other places (understandably) during the game, and it prevented him from pitching well, he never got above 89 mph on his fastball, and he wasn’t aggressive with batters like he was in previous starts, he drew a lot of full counts and the 3-2 pitch was often a sub-90 mph fastball, or a pitch with little movement. Once Niese was pulled from the start, he went home, and watched the birth of his offspring on “FaceTime”.

                                  Jon Niese wasn’t at fault for yesterday’s fiasco

So, Niese came out of the game, Carlos Torres came in, and the Mets lost 7-2. A bad game overall, but there is something else: Earlier this week, it was reported that the Mets are looking to trade Jon Niese, and that he was subject to major trade rumors. So, basically, Jon is being told he might be traded within the week, his wife is in labor, and he has to pitch? Can you imagine what was going through his head? My thoughts would be having to move to a new city with a baby that is less than two weeks old, and constantly wondering what is happening at the hospital. Sure, it all ended up OK in the end, but the result of the game, and the pitching of Niese confirms that something wasn’t right. The Mets shouldn’t have let Niese pitch yesterday, it would have been better for the Mets, and most importantly, for Niese.