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How will the Mets align their outfield throughout the World Series?

Conforto Cespedes Cuddyer Granderson Lagares

Andrew HartsThe Mets will begin their quest for their third World Championship in franchise history beginning Tuesday night against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

But now come some difficult decisions on how to not only construct their World Series roster, but aligning their pieces in a manner that puts them in the best position to win that third World Championship.

The Mets will be challenged by a Royals team which makes a lot of contact, battles in counts and doesn’t strike out a lot (they had the best strikeout rate in baseball at 15.9 percent in 2015), hits a lot of line drives, can turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples, and can lockdown a game late with a lights out bullpen.

2015 Mets World SeriesThey do all of that playing in a big ballpark in Kauffman Stadium, and their game certainly would play very well in the expansive outfield at Citi Field.

On Saturday, Terry Collins said it’s crucial the Mets emphasize defense against the Royals in the World Series, which could hint at how the Mets intend to align their outfield against Kansas City in the final showdown of the 2015 season.

The Mets will have the luxury of having a designated hitter in four of the potential seven games in the World Series, which could help them strategize their defensive alignments.

Here is a look at the alignment options in the Mets outfield as well as their associated designated hitter solutions… (more…)

Jacob deGrom can add to a rich history of series-clinching wins for the Mets

Dodger Stadium 1 slice

Andrew HartsThursday night will be a game that will live in the minds of Mets fans for many years to come, regardless of the outcome.

“A game like game 5 is a legend making game for a guy like deGrom,” A fan exclaimed at Citi Field on Tuesday.

Indeed it is.

DeGrom, the Mets clear-cut ace of 2015, will once again toll the mound at Dodger Stadium and will try to outduel LA’s other ace, Zack Greinke.

DeGrom fared well versus Clayton Kershaw last Friday, throwing seven brilliant innings of shut-out ball with 13 strikeouts. While it might be hard to replicate that performance on Thursday night, deGrom has a chance to pitch his way into Mets lore.

The organization known for their rich pitching history has already seen dominant pitching performances in series clinching games. Here are a few to refresh your memory… (more…)

Tyler Clippard has emerged as a leadership figure in an otherwise inexperienced bullpen

Clippard 1 slice

Andrew HartsIndeed, the Mets made several acquisitions to retrofit their roster in late July, highlighted by Yoenis Cespedes who single-handedly transformed their lineup.

But the acquisition of Tyler Clippard has arguably been as critical of an acquisition for the Mets as Cespedes was, as he provided instant credibility to the back-end of the bullpen as a reliable bridge to Jeurys Familia in the ninth inning.

Previously, the Mets were excited to have Jenrry Mejia back from his PED suspension, as he could help solidify and and help create a lockdown formula for the seventh and eighth innings. But seemingly a split second after returning, Mejia was banned again for a second PED violation, this time for a full 162 games.

Fortunately and conveniently, the Mets had secured Clippard in a deal with the A’s that sent prospect Casey Meisner to Oakland, and the Mets moved on from Mejia’s suspension easily and seamlessly. (more…)

The turbulent season for Wilmer Flores ultimately became his greatest lesson

Wilmer FLores

Andrew HartsTo say Wilmer Flores has had one of the more busy regular seasons of anyone on the Mets – or in baseball for that matter – would be an understatement.

The 24-year-old broke camp with the ball club as the starting shortstop amid uncertainty about his defense, whether his offense could carry his defense, and how long the experiment would actually last.

Unfortunately for Flores, doubts set in about his abilities virtually immediately when he had a disastrous series against the Braves in Atlanta before the Mets had played a single home game. (more…)

A humbled, yet confident Jeurys Familia is ready for the big October stage

Jeurys Familia 1 slice

Andrew HartsThe Mets are playoff bound for the first time since 2006. That’s still almost hard to believe.

The Mets have gotten so many key contributions from their roster, from players who have been with the club all year to the new arrivals GM Sandy Alderson acquired in late July for what has really been an incredible run towards October.

Many of their homegrown stars – mainly their starting pitching – have gotten the bulk of the attention from the media and industry as a whole, some of which are becoming household names.

But one of their quiet stars and most underrated players has been closer Jeurys Familia.

Familia was always believed to eventually be this team’s closer, perhaps as soon as 2015 even with a healthy and active Jenrry Mejia on the staff. But nobody – not even Familia – expected him to be the closer right out of the gate.


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