Spring Training Recap: Mets 9, Cardinals 8

Jon_Niese

After the 11-1 drubbing the Mets received at the hands of the Marlins on Monday at Tradition Field, they traveled to Jupiter today to play the Cardinals and after a back and forth game, the Mets out-clubbed the Cardinals 9-8.

The Mets improved their Spring record to 5-6 and the Cardinals dropped to 2-7.

Two of the major story lines in the game were the spring debut of Jonathan Niese on the mound and top prospect Wilmer Flores starting at shortstop.

Niese didn’t fair well in his first start and was roughed up in his two innings of work, allowing four runs on six hits including a two run homer to Kolten Wong. Niese walked two and didn’t register a strikeout.

“I’m not 100 percent as far as where I want to be pitching-wise,” Niese said. “Some of the pitches, obviously I’m not really consistent right now.”

Highlights:

Rafael Montero tossed two innings, gave up a hit, a walk and struck out a batter. He also gave up his first run of the spring on a Sac Fly by Matt Holliday.

Jose Valverde, who tossed one inning, gave up three hits and the big one, a two-run double to Daniel Descalso which put the Cardinals back up 7-6 in the fifth inning.

Vic Black pitching in his fourth game without giving up a run, continued his streak and tossed an inning, giving up two hits with three strikeouts.

Leading off for the second game in a row, Eric Young Jr was 1 for 3, with a run scored and a RBI.

Juan Lagares, the Mets human highlight reel, made a great diving catch coming in on a ball in center field to take a hit away. Don Juan also went 1 for 5 with a run scored.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who is making a strong bid to break camp with the Mets, hit a three-run homer in the top of the fifth to temporarily put the Mets in the lead 6-5. He finished the game 1 for 5 with three RBI, and he struck out twice.

Josh Satin hit his first homer of the spring in the top of the first off Adam Wainwright, to put the Mets in the lead 1-0. He finished 2 for 2, with a run scored, a RBI, and a walk.

Wilmer Flores went 2 for 3 with a double, two runs scored and a walk. He had a so-so day in the field but held his own.

Matt den Dekker entered the game as a pinch hitter and doubled for Eric Young Jr in the 6th inning. MDD has been hot with the bat and finished 2 for 2 with an RBI.

Omar Quintanilla, came into the game hitless and had his best performance of the spring, going 3 for 4, with a run scored and two RBI.

Zach Lutz hit his second home run of the spring in the top of the ninth, to put the Mets back on top to stay 9-8.

Coming up: The Mets will return to Tradition Field to take on the visiting the St. Louis Cardinals, on Wednesday with first pitch at 1:10 pm.

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About David Conde 205 Articles
David was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and is a lifelong Mets fan.
  • Vic Black’s stuff looked especially sharp today.

  • Metfan9876

    How was Niese’s velocity today?

  • shouldaswung

    Looks like the battle for RH bench bat between Satin and Lutz is still close, with Satin having to lose the spot. Also, Den Dekker probably trumps Captain Kirk IF the team moves forward with either of the two on the bench.

    No big deal for Niese, it’s early, and Montero looked good. Black looked good too, and with Valverde struggling to get ready for the season, another set-up option emerging is just what the bullpen needs.

    Wilmer. Looked good with the bat, not so much with the glove. Give him more starts at short and let him work out the jitters. I look at him as having the same defensive upside as Murphy, which is to one day be slightly below average (at SS). The question could be where he takes his lumps, NYC or Vegas.

  • WillisReid

    If Duda ends up the winner of this sad 1B competition, I could see Kirk getting the 5th OF gig. The OF defense would be solid and it would give them another lefty bat.

  • Metstheory22

    I know Flores made an error and I don’t see him as a middle infielder anyway but you can’t go by one game.. I think 1b / 3b would be his positions.

  • shouldaswung

    I think MDD has a little more to offer (than Capt. K) from the bench. They are both free-swinging lefties with a penchant for striking out. They have similar power too. MDD has more pinch-run speed and ability, and a better glove too, in my opinion.

  • MetsPedes

    His first full game at SS in years, yet I guess Rubin expects him to be Omar Vizquel right off the bat.

  • Metfan9876

    I don’t think SS is Flores’ position either way, but I do still think he deserves every opportunity to try and prove that it is

  • WillisReid

    I like either guy more than Duda, who will probably end up there with Davis at 1B.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  • WillisReid

    If they decide he’d be passable at SS, the other options look so uninspiring, they might as well let him learn at the big league level.

    I think Satin has his spot locked down. Sadly he’s probably the best 1B right now.

  • Benny

    He didn’t make an error.

  • shouldaswung

    I could see a bench of Recker, Satin, Flores, Duda, and Lagares over one where MDD/Kirk replace Lagares.

    Yeah, I’m pretty tired of the 1B “battle” too. Screw it, just cut Ike, and let Dobber (Duda) and Eyebrows (Satin) platoon. Flores can be the last resort option, with Allen and Lutz being minor league depth.

  • I am one of Flores’ biggest fans, but today was good for him because he hit. It’s not that I could care less about defense…I only…mostly could care less about defense. I get that SS is traditionally seen as a defense-first position, but….IF…this kid gets hot and starts hitting the next 2-3 weeks, he’s your opening day SS. Then again, Tejada has been so atrocious, and the Mets have been so lax about getting Flores game reps at SS, that maybe Flores already should be the starter.

    P.S. The reason I am willing to overlook Flores’ “defense” at SS is because I’ve been subjected to watching Tejada for the last year and a half. And Flores has a much better bat.

    P.S.S. Flores playing everyday makes our lineup much more dangerous.

  • WillisReid

    Agreed. Neither underachiever has been healthy enough to show anything really. Duda is more consistent albeit with a lower ceiling, and he’s got the OBP and price tag the Mets appreciate as well.

  • jdon48

    If Kirk was any good teams would be calling about him. He is big and has power and he has done his time in AAA. He is a AAA player. Cannot handle high hard stuff. Our bench promises to be especially weak this year. Why didn’t Montero get more innings?

  • shouldaswung

    I think Wilmer should start at SS in Vegas, myself, with the idea being to bring him and a few others up as reinforcements when the smoke clears from some of the experiments.

    Montero, Mejia, Syndergaard, Flores, and Puello could really energize the club from June on, and the first few months in the minors would give all of them a chance to work on the few things they need to in order to thrive in NYC.

    Until then, I’d start Q or Seratelli over Tejada. Tejada looks mentally gone for this team.

    I agree with you about Satin. I feel bad because Lutz has never really gotten a shot.

  • WillisReid

    He doesn’t really belong anywhere on an NL roster.

  • MetsPedes

    Neither do I but yeah, he deserves more opportunities to play and see what he has to show.

  • shouldaswung

    And Ike looks TERRIBLE when he is struggling, which is more times than when he is “on”. Flailing and whining are demoralizing and embarrassing.

  • WillisReid

    Flores getting reps at SS in Vegas would have been the way to go if they got Drew on a 1yr deal or Tejada looked even close to the 2012 version. They seem to have painted themselves into a corner at SS. At least 1B and the BP have multiple fallback options.

  • WilponsNeed2Go

    Campbell is much better than Allen. Campbell might even take Lutz’s job.

  • shouldaswung

    The Mets don’t seem to have ANY idea what to do with Flores, and also no real options at SS. Unless a plan is in place for either, they might as well try to address both at the same time.

  • WillisReid

    I think they badly overestimated his value to other teams this winter. I’d be pleasantly surprised if he ends up elsewhere by Opening Day. Otherwise he should be in Vegas until he’s needed.

  • shouldaswung

    I think Allen probably falls just before Campbell on the pecking order but I agree, Campbell is a better player, at least offensively.

  • shouldaswung

    Sandy seems to be an exceptional trader when he has a slam-dunk asset like Beltran and/or Dickey. When it is time to be more creative he falls back to being average.

    There are a few GMs that I think would have handled our offseason MUCH better, and a few that would have handled it MUCH worse. In Sandys’ defense, not making bonehead trades just to DO something also shows some ability.

  • sperry

    Obviously ST means nothing, but the Mets getting rocked by the Marlins then beating the Cardinals couldn’t be any more 2013

  • shouldaswung

    I wouldn’t either if I was the manager. I think TC is likely to have Flores on the bench at some point in the season though, and barring injury or trade, for a large portion of it.

  • RS

    “Collins said Flores (2-for-3, walk Tuesday) will get “more” opportunities to play shortstop during spring training. Still, the priority is to get Ruben Tejada ready for the season. Tejada is due to start the next two Grapefruit League games at shortstop, according to Collins.”

  • mr. belvedere

    Even if they don’t think Flores can handle SS everyday they should still be playing him a lot more there, it’s ST play the kid a few innings every day or every other day at SS…what is it hurting?

  • jason bay

    I’m sure Flores is getting a ton of work in at SS on the back fields which is what the Mets should be doing with him.

    Realistically though there are plenty of guys who don’t make it at SS having played it all through the minors right up to AAA and Flores hasn’t played it since 2011 and it was his winter league team that moved him off SS first so the odds that he could play SS regularly and competently enough in the Majors is really a stretch.

    Not a stretch I mind them persuing but not one that I would count on at all.

  • jason bay

    It is very difficult to move 3 or 4 AAAA players for a real one because there are few teams that have 3 roster spots available and fewer still that need AAAA players.

  • shouldaswung

    I don’t make excuses for Sandy, and I don’t judge him too harshly either. Being average in this league is an accomplishment, no matter the position. But clearly, Sandy made his “brilliant” moves with VERY tradeable assets in hand.

    Also, I never mentioned trading 3 or 4 AAAA players for one “real” player.

  • BehindTheBag

    Flores was not a complete disaster at SS. Great news!!

    I’m so hoping that our opening day lineup is:

    Wheeler
    TdA
    Davis (I still believe, but he’s making it SOOOO hard these days)
    Murphy
    Flores
    Wright
    Grandy
    Lagares

    Young

  • jason bay

    I realize that you didn’t say that but other than the boneheaded variety of trade, that was likely all that was available to him.

    Having Harvey go down precluded shopping Niese or Gee so other than Wheeler, Montero, Syndergaard and Puello, what else was there? IMO opinion AAAA players.

  • shouldaswung

    Which Young is starting in the left field stands?

  • BehindTheBag

    EY Jr

  • shouldaswung

    CF Lagares
    LF
    LF-stands Young

    🙂

  • Metfan9876

    I prefer Chris Young, but I understand the reasoning with the other Young

  • shouldaswung

    Well, who says that none of the four you mentioned shouldn’t have been involved in a trade? Also Murphy could have been moved.

    I’m not endorsing anything specific, mind you, I’m just curious as to why other GMs did more with about the same options.

  • BehindTheBag

    Ha, some reason Disqus loves double spaces when I make lists.

  • shouldaswung

    Yeah, Disqus can be annoying…anyway, just pulling your leg amigo

  • Peter S

    Unfortunately he doesn’t mention the fact that he is one of the hitter mets at the plate. He cost the mets 1 run but he got on base 3 times.

  • Destry

    Sandy messed up big time by not trading Ike to the Rays for Matt Joyce. He could’ve then signed Granderson, and been done with the OF.

  • Destry

    He’s not a SS. This is embarassing

  • shouldaswung

    I would have preferred Aoki for Ike, and the couple million saved going to a better bullpen option than Valverde.

  • Peter S

    And Reuben Tejada isn’t?

  • Peter S

    They reported 85-87

  • AndyB

    Anyone want to speculate on the chances of Chris Young not making the team?

  • BarnRat

    Ironic that for SS and 1B our discussions revolve around one player who probably can’t play the position and another who almost certainly can’t and we argue over which one is which.

  • EzRider

    From what my unprofessional eyes have seen of him at 2nd it seems the same way. Everything is just coming at him too fast. Hitting should be fine in the long run.

    It’s the exact opposite for Murph. It just seems like he does everything at hyperactive speed. If he could just slow his brain down some he might be a tick or two better defensively.

    Take with a grain of salt, i’m not a scout.

  • ill_egl

    New year same old collins. You truly cannot believe the slightest bit of what comes out of his mouth and he is stubborn to the point of embarressment. For weeks we heard Flores would get his shot, he plays one full game and does a decent job. This would leave most managers in his position wanting to see more. Not this guy though. Time to go back to beating a dead horse with Tejada. Why bother trying to put the best overall talent out on the field when you can remain loyal to underachievers?

  • mad met

    That was the worst signing period i have nothing more to say about that

  • ColoradoMetsFan

    Let’s give Wilmer more than one game at SS before we label him a failure (not your words). One plus: Even with the defensive hiccups, he produced offensively. Small sample size, of course, but a small victory and hopefully something to build on…

  • mad met

    Could be the worst signing of the year for any team considering our lack of funds

  • BronxMets

    I think some people should start looking at d’Arnaud he isn’t a very good catcher and when is he ever going to hit?

  • mad met

    I want florez to play ss everyday in the majors to see if he can mash real pitchers .have to see what this kid can do offensive to see if we have to trade him or find him a spot at first or second …this year is a push anyway its all about 2015

  • ColoradoMetsFan

    Teddy, that’s certainly a reasonable suggestion given the circumstances. The thing is, there’s this tendency to assume anyone can play 1b, and it doesn’t always work out that well (Mike Piazza for example). Not saying Wilmer can’t play 1b, just that it isn’t a given…

  • MetsPedes

    True.

  • mad met

    I will add to that .. we need to see what we have in his major league bat… i would like to see if his bat is as good or better then murphy incase our dumb a$$ gm does not sign murph

  • mad met

    Tehada has made like 4 already

  • I’m mostly with you. In fact, I can be ok with everything except your opening line. Is Flores getting tons of work at SS on the backfields?? Hmmm. He should be. Is he?? I have no clue.

  • VfJ

    How about we bat D’Arnaud 2 behind EY so that he sees some pitches…gets on track…

  • ill_egl

    Its true. Do you think Arizona would take him in exchange for Cliff Pennington straight up? Then we could move Flores to catcher. We wont have to worry about his foot quickness there and we’ll have our starting ss. Get Alderson on the phone now!

  • DrDooby

    To make the team, Nieuwenhuis needs Ike Davis or Lucas Duda to be traded over the next couple of weeks. In that case, the LHH PH off the bench spot is up for grabs and basically he’s the main candidate (besides MDD who figures to see more time at AAA though).

  • DrDooby

    But which GM got more out of similar options ???
    The Pirates just non-tendered 1b Garrett Jones, an Ike Davis / Lucas Duda clone with similar issues and similar career numbers and a similarly bad 2013 season – just 5 years older.

    The Marlins then promptly signed Garrett Jones to a 2-year, 7.75 million $ deal, i.e. pretty much Ike Davis’ 2014 salary if you break it down. The Marlins then promptly traded their player resembling Ike Davis or Lucas Duda, Logan Morrison to Seattle for a reliever in the Vic Black mold.

    That’s your comparables. Sandy Alderson apparently tried shooting for more, a Top 100 in Baseball caliber prospect – but nobody was wiling to pay the price.
    The comparable options would have been non-tendering Ike (he can still cut him as the contract isn’t fully guaranteed) amd act like the Pirates did with their version.

  • DrDooby

    …or trading Ike for a useful reliever prospect, well outside any Top 100 list like the Marlins did with ” LoMo”.

    The problem some fans seem to have with Alderson is the fact that he’s not a super-hero magician who can constantly turn rags into riches. Which no GM does btw.

    My main point with him is the lack of honesty about the situation and at times insulting the intelligence of Mets fans. The process and most of his moves have been very sound though (except for the stupid FF waste of money)…,

  • Eyeball

    Flores might be a better glove than Tejada at this point. Not sure what’s going on with Ruben

  • Metstheory22

    Sorry Benny, Did not mean error as in E-6 error. Botched DP.

  • Sunshine

    Maybe it’s time to throw his hat in the ring at 1B?

  • jason bay

    I don’t either Henry but if your going to be putting him out there it would make sense that you would prepare him as best you can.