A new daily feature that will keep you fully briefed on the current state of the Mets. One post with all you need to know until tomorrow.
Yesterday, I wrote that Nick Evans might make it too hard for the Mets to send him back to the minors. Today, Newsday writes that Jerry Manuel admitted as much. “He is definitely opening some eyes, there’s no doubt about that,” Manuel said. “Every time he performs as well as he’s performing, you look at it a little different. I hope he keeps the pressure on us.”
John Maine gave up four runs and four hits in the first inning, but settled down to throw three scoreless innings after that in a 10-5 win over the Marlins. “The first inning, I don’t know what got into me,” Maine said. “I am feeling better and better each time.
Mets outfielder Angel Pagan plans to return to the field quickly after another disappointing injury. Pagan had arthroscopic surgery Wednesday to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. The Mets estimate he will be out six to eight weeks, but Pagan thinks he can be on a faster track than that. “I have pretty good motion in it right now,” Pagan said, turning his bandaged arm inward and outward in the clubhouse yesterday morning.
Former Mets closer John Franco has wrapped up a week long stint as an instructor at Mets camp and he would like to hopefully catch on as a coach in the future. He helped pitcher Jon Niese work on his changeup last week. Franco will throw out the ceremonial first pitch March 29 at the St. John’s-Georgetown game, which will be the first game ever played at new Citi Field.
Venezuela manager Luis Sojo, alarmed some people when he asked new Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez to go out and give him a four out save on Saturday. The only time K-Rod was asked to pitch more than one inning last season was during the playoffs and he ended up losing the game.
Mike Pelfrey returned from a week off because of a strained left leg muscle and tossed four scoreless innings in the Mets’ 6-2 loss to the Nationals on Saturday at Tradition Field. Pelfrey looked strong but said he still felt the tightness. It was definitely one of the best pitching performances by a Mets starter this spring.
Livan Hernandez maintained his slight lead in the fifth-starter derby with two scoreless innings of relief. Hernandez, who will start Wednesday, walked two and struck out one.
Manny Ramirez is having a hard time getting started because of a sore left hamstring. Yesterday, he aggravated his hamstring while playing the outfield for the first time this spring.
Ramirez was hurt in the fourth inning while chasing a ball into the left-field corner. He finished the half-inning but was lifted for pinch-hitter Delwyn Young in the bottom half.
Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester finalized a $30 million, five-year contract on Sunday, a deal that could be worth $42.75 million over six seasons if Boston exercises a club option for 2014. After being diagnosed with cancer in 2006, Lester came back to go 4-0 in 2007 and then 16-6 with a 3.21 ERA last year.
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley was expected to miss about six months after hip surgery. He made his spring training debut on Sunday and said he felt good afterward. It looks like he will be ready for opening day and that the Phillies have dodged a bullet.
New York Yankees Robinson Cano and Damaso Marte are supposed to undergo MRI’s today for injuries they may have sustained or aggravated during the WBC. 2008 MVP Dustin Pedroia was also ailing due to a strained oblique and was sent to Boston for further testing. Yesterday, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was pulled from the game with hamstring tightness. Luckily the Mets, who had more players in the WBC (16) than any other team, have had no injury concerns.