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Mets Morning News: Mets set to begin big homestand, original Met Al Jackson passes away

Your Tuesday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

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Miami Marlins v. New York Mets Photo by Lizzy Barrett/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Meet the Mets

The Mets are set to begin a nine-game homestand against tough competition, and Deesha Thosar writes about what’s ahead for the team. And Tim Healey wrote about that topic, too.

Joel Sherman writes about the Mets’ dominance of the weakest teams in baseball and how the team can use a blueprint of doing that—and finishing strong—as he looks at how the A’s have succeeded.

In sad news, Al Jackson, who was an original Met and worked for the organization for decades following his playing career, passed away at the age of 83. The Times covered Jackon’s death, as well.

J.D. Davis has been downplaying his calf injury, even though it was enough of an issue to force him out of the game after running the bases on Sunday.

There’s a sensational headline here, but Mike Puma wrote about Joe Panik’s success thus far in his brief time with the Mets, as Panik has hit .333/.379/.444 in 29 plate appearances since the Mets signed him.

Kevin Kernan wrote up 82-year-old Mets pitching coach Phil Regan, how he’s working with the team’s pitchers to help them improve, and what he’s learned in the role at the major league level.

Justin Toscano took a look at the teams the Mets are competing with for a wild card spot.

Tim Britton profiled three of the Mets’ top prospects, all of whom are playing with the Columbia Fireflies: Ronny Mauricio, Mark Vientos, and Shervyen Newton.

The Mets purchased the contract of pitcher Nick Rumbelow, who had been pitching for the Sugarland Skeets of the Atlantic League—though the terminology of “purchased the contract” in this case merely means he’s joining the Mets’ organization.

It might still be August, but the Mets’ spring training schedule—which begins on February 22—was announced.

Around the National League East

The Nationals destroyed the Pirates in a game that got out of hand early and ended with a 13-0 score.

The Braves claimed recently-DFA’d outfielder Billy Hamilton off waivers from the Reds. They do not plan to give him at-bats.

The Phillies were off yesterday, but the Good Phight wrote about how the struggles of Zach Eflin and Nick Pivetta have hindered the team as it tries to make the postseason. Hey, at least they have Jason Vargas.

Also at the Good Phight: a good piece on Charlie Manuel’s potential success as hitting coach not being an indictment of analytics.

Fish Stripes took a painful look at which former Marlins would have been the best hitter on the 2019 team. There are, uh, several candidates.

Around Major League Baseball

Home runs aren’t bad, and Michele Catalano writes in defense of them over at the Hardball Times. Some cranky former players don’t like them.

The Brewers lost to the Cardinals, which put the Mets ahead of the Brewers in the Wild Card standings, with the Mets now 2.0 games back of the Cubs for the second spot and the Brewers a half-game behind the Mets.

Speaking of writing in defense of baseball things, Ken Rosenthal wrote about good old veteran presents.

The A’s called up pitching prospect A.J. Puk, who was a consensus top-100 prospect on the national lists coming into the season but had a 4.91 ERA with 2.5 home runs allowed per nine innings in the Pacific Coast League this year.

Rafael Devers of the Red Sox and Nick Ahmed of the Diamondbacks were named player of the week in their respective leagues.

The Red Sox have said that Chris Sale will not pitch again this season—but does not need Tommy John surgery.

Zack Meisel of the Athletic writes about Carlos Carrasco, who has been battling leukemia and is staying in touch with his teammates in Cleveland as he tries to rejoin them on the field.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Monday was Meter Avenue day, as Allison McCague wrote up the performance of the Mets’ pitchers and position players over the past seven days.

The latest episode of From Complex to Queens went up while Steve Sypa continues his road trip to get his eyes on some of the Mets’ freshest prospects.

This Date in Mets History

Dwight Gooden and Howard Johnson are relevant to this date in franchise history.