Luis Castillo arrived at Digital Domain Park in Port St. Lucie this morning and immediately met with manager Terry Collins. Castillo told Collins that there was a medical issue in his family that prevented him from arriving earlier. On Friday and again on Saturday, Collins commented that he would have preferred that Castillo arrived earlier, but today said if he knew there was a family issue he would have never raised the issue. Adam Rubin says we should all Stop Picking On Luis Castillo.
Meanwhile, catcher Ronny Paulino is still being delayed by visa issues. One report said the issue is a complication from his suspension for using banned substances. He is now expected to arrive in Port St. Lucie either Tuesday or Wednesday.
Having parted ways with Howard Johnson, the Mets have officially re-assigned two other members of their big league coaching staff from last season. Randy Niemann, who was the bullpen coach the past two seasons, will re-assume his former role as the organization’s rehab coordinator in Port St. Lucie, according to a source. Dave Jauss, who served as bench coach last season under former manager Jerry Manuel, will be in charge of staff development, working closely with the coaching staff. He will be based in New York. Johnson, the former hitting coach, was offered another position within the organization but opted not to accept.
MetsBlog is at Port St. Lucie and has been posting a series of cool pictures and videos of pitching grips by R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese and Mike Pelfrey, so if you’re interested in seeing the different grips between the three head on over there and check it out.
Speaking of Dickey, unlike closer Frankie Rodriguez who drives to camp in his Lamborghini, Dickey enjoys coming to the Mets complex by riding his bicycle 12 miles from his rental apartment in town. Dickey makes the 12-mile pedal to and from camp every day. Knuckleballers are really weird… just kidding!
Now it’s the Mets position players’ turn for taking their physicals and that will be todays first order of business, after which the entire team will go bowling as part of Terry Collins’ team building idea. David Wright says that he has been practicing and is looking forward to competing and winning.
For all you Seinfeld fans out there, poor Uncle Leo has passed away. Len Lesser, who appeared in a total of 15 episodes died on Wednesday from cancer-related pneumonia, his family said. He was 88.