Afternoon Spring Training Notes: Turner, Beato, Mejia and Spring Opener

An article by posted on February 21, 2012

Here’s a quick update from Mets Camp this afternoon, just a few minor notes and happenings…

  • It didn’t take long to find out who would be wearing Jose Reyes’ number this season. It turns out it’ll be new Bench Coach Bob Geren, who wore No. 17 when he was with Oakland.
  • Mooooook! Ousted first base coach Mookie Wilson will remain with the organization at the minor league level as a roving instructor, according to team a team official. He will not be assigned to a particular team in the system.
  • Earlier today, Collins said that he planned on giving utility infielder Justin Turner some time at first base so that he can give Ike Davis an occasional rest during the season. Turner had no problem with it and is very excited to get his first baseman’s glove. He has played only one game at the position in the minors. ”Obviously it’s a little different over there, but I’ll put some work in and get acclimated to it as quick as possible and see what happens.”
  • That bullpen session that Jenry Mejia was expected to throw today has been delayed until the Mets get medical clearance from their doctors.
  • Mark this down on your calendars. The Mets are going to pitch Johan Santana in Grapefruit League opener against the Washington Nationals in Port St. Lucie on March 5. The game will be televised on SNY and I know we’ll all be watching.
  • Terry Collins is toying with the idea of converting Pedro Beato from a reliever to to a starting pitcher even though Beato strongly prefers to pitch out of the bullpen. Apparently the team is still considering it, but have not made an official decision yet.

That’s all for today, Mets fans….

Tuesday Morning Update

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Elvis is in the building. Zack Wheeler, the Mets’ top pitching prospect, reported to minor league camp Monday and was swarmed by every beat writer in town. Wheeler, 21, said that he had been working to refine his changeup and now thinks it’s his best pitch. Wheeler is working out on the minor-league side of camp because he was not invited to big-league camp. I don’t recall L-Milz, Pelf or F-Mart getting this rock star treatment when they were top Mets prospects.

It’s been all good news for Johan Santana since he arrived to camp a week early. The Mets ace missed all of last season after having major shoulder surgery in September of 2010. After throwing a bullpen session on Friday, Santana has given the thumbs up and has reported no ill effects. He’ll be on the mound again this morning for his second bullpen session. This is getting interesting. The Mets desperately need Santana to give them at least 20-25 starts this season if they are tio have any shot at contending this season. Miguel BatistaChris Schwinden or Jeremy Hefner are the Mets’ only options for every start that Johan misses.

Anthony DiComo of MLB.com tells us that R.A. Dickey is the last of the Mohicans:

Baseball’s knuckleball fraternity lost half its membership last week, when Tim Wakefield officially retired following a 19-year career. With Wakefield gone, Mets starter R.A. Dickey is the only knuckleballer left in the Major Leagues.

“I’m sad because I want him around,” Dickey said after reporting to Mets camp on Monday. “It’s fun to be able to watch somebody who does what you do.”

Jenrry Mejia, who is coming off TJ surgery, is in camp and is hoping to throw a bullpen session today. However when he was asked how his elbow felt, the right-hander replied, “Sometimes I feel tight. Sometimes I feel good,” he said. “That’s the situation.”

Pitching coach Dan Warthen indicated that a Tuesday bullpen was not yet a done deal because the team was waiting for Mejia’s initial medical examination to be completed. Recovery from Tommy John surgery is typically about 12 months.

Jose Reyes‘ uniform number (No. 7) has not yet been re-issued to any current player, but Jason Bay called first dibs on Reyes’ old locker at Digital Domain. Hopefully, Reyes left some of his magic from last season in that locker.

Finally, David Wright talked about expectations for this season, his glee over the shortened walls at Citi, and even about turning 30. Wow, 30, really?

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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