Mets Notes: K-Rod Throwing Heat, Beltran’s Slide Show, Bay Confronts Wall, Don’t Forget Tejada

An article by posted on March 7, 2011

Carlos Beltran put a scare into Terry Collins when he was waved around third base and scored on a Daniel Murphy single in the second inning of Sunday’s game at Digital Domain Park. He laughed about it afterward and confronted third base coach Chip Hale about it in the dugout. “I can’t tell you what was going through my mind when I saw Carlos being waved around. As a matter of fact, I asked Chip, ‘What the hell, to score him? ‘ But Hale said, ‘I’m testing him. What the heck.’ Collins did add that it was a big step for Carlos and the team, “That was a brighter spot than what he did at the plate, for me.”

For those of you concerned about Francisco Rodriguez who is coming off of thumb surgery, you can breathe easy. K-Rod has looked great and has drawn rave reviews from Dan Warthen and Terry Collins this spring. Yesterday, Rodriguez was in mid-season form as he retired the Red Sox 1-2-3 in his inning of work. He overpowered them with some major league heat that was clocked at 94 mph. “That’s a fast gun,” joked Rodriguez, who has not allowed a run in two appearances. “The ball’s jumping out of my hand and I can feel that snap at my release point. I felt strong and everything was positive.”

Today and tomorrow will be a big test for reliever Jason Isringhausen who is attempting to come back from three Tommy John surgeries on his right elbow. The 38-year-old is scheduled to pitch in back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday. His velocity appears to be down, but his off-speed stuff has been sharp. Izzy has tossed just eight innings in the big leagues since 2009. He’ll need to prove he can pitch on consecutive days if he expects the Mets to hand him a major league deal.

Don’t look now, but young infielder Ruben Tejada continues to impress both in the field and at the plate this spring. While the second base battle wages on, he continues to do his thing which is to play a spectacular defense. His improved hitting may not be enough to secure a spot on the 25-man roster come April 1st, but he could still find himself back on the Mets as a utility middle infield role later in the season if anyone falters. Collins is expected to narrow down the second base battle to -23 players by next Monday.

Jason Bay had two hits yesterday, both singles, as he continues to get back his timing at the plate. He also came face to face with the outfield wall again on Sunday while trying to rob a Bosox homerun. It was only some light contact, but it was worth noting that he showed no fear. Afterward, Bay said he was somewhat relieved he survived without incident. “I didn’t even think about it, which I guess is a good thing. This one had a lot more pads than the last one, though. I guess we can check that off the list.”

Catcher Ronny Paulino is still being delayed which has Terry Collins very concerned. The delay is due to drug testing that was performed on Paulino who has to prove he is no longer taking banned performance enhancing drugs. This probably bodes well for Mets farmhand Mike Nickeas who is having a solid spring and has gotten to know most of the pitchers in camp who seem to like his game-calling abilities.

 That’s it for now, more later.

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