Good Morning everyone. The New York Mets officially named their opening day starter on Thursday as Noah Syndergaard gets the nod.
The 24-year-old flame thrower spoke with the media on what an accomplishment it is to be given such a task. “It’s just a huge honor. It’s something I’ve been working for ever since I’ve been with the Mets, to be the Opening Day starter at one point,” Syndergaard said. “But certainly I’m thrilled that Terry instills that kind of confidence in me, so I’m just going to go out there and get the job done.”
LATEST METS NEWS
Jay Bruce arrived in Port St. Lucie Thursday and spoke with the media regarding the whirlwind of rumors surrounding himself this offseason. “I’m not surprised by anything at this point,” Bruce said. “I keep a pretty level head about whatever happens. Obviously they traded for me and they feel like they probably gave up some quality prospects. I don’t believe they were going to let five or six weeks or whatever completely determine my fate with the organization.” Read more from columnist Marc Carig in Newsday and Ken Davidoff at the NY Post.
Zack Wheeler participated in morning drills on Thursday, taking pitcher fielding practice as well as making approximately 40 throws. Manager, Terry Collins understands that there is worry surrounding the health of his pitcher. “It was the first time in two years he got on the mound (with the rest of the rotation) and (I) thought he had to start exerting himself a little bit and so his elbow is a little flared up,” Collins said. “He took some anti-inflammatories, felt a lot better today and we’re hoping that tomorrow he can throw off the mound.” Read more from columnist Kristie Ackert in the NY Daily News and Marc Carig in Newsday.
The Mets’ new third base coach and catching instructor, Glenn Sherlock spoke with the media on Thursday regarding his mission of getting Travis d’Arnaud back on track. Sherlock sees a lot of upside in the team’s incumbent catcher. “I see a real good athlete. That’s what excites me the most about him. Usually athletes can do some pretty amazing things,” Sherlock said. “He’s an excellent receiver, really can catch the low pitch. I like how he moves behind the plate. We’re working on a lot of things as with all the catchers.” Read more from columnist Matt Ehalt on NorthJersey.com.
Mets top prospect, Amed Rosario kept a promise to finish high school, something many of his ilk from the Dominican Republic fail to do before going for a career in major league baseball. “My parents were always there, supporting me to finish my studies,” Rosario said. “And for me, too, really, you never know. Baseball can be a short career.” Read more from columnist James Wagner in the NY Times.
NL EAST RUMBLINGS
The Washington Nationals star pitcher, Max Scherzer may not start opening day as reported by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Nationals manager, Dusty Baker spoke on the possibility of not having Scherzer to start the 2017 season and being extremely cautious with the veteran pitcher going forward. “We have to prepare in the event that he can’t make Opening Day,” said Baker. “We won’t rush it. You hate to rush it and have it lead to something else.”
The Philadelphia Phillies have a new hitting coach in Matt Stairs. The former major league slugger looks to bring his hitting philosophy to the team he played for from 2008-2009. “The biggest thing I’m teaching them right now is [hitting from] left-center to right-center and how to use the top hand when you hit. I think when they start realizing less body, more hands, that’s when the exit velocity jumps.”
The Atlanta Braves will reportedly go without an official closer to start the 2017 season as their General Manager, John Coppolella prefers it this way. “We aren’t locked into anybody as our ‘closer,’” Coppolella said. “I think that Jim Johnson, the way he finished last year, was really good. He showed that he could close. Viz (Vizcaino) has shown that he can close, too. I think it’s great when you have two or three guys that could close games for you. I feel like we’re in that spot.”
RECENTLY ON MMO
Over at MetsMinors.net, Mets Daddy continues MMN’s top 100 prospects with numbers 46-50 on their list.
TODAY IN METS HISTORY
On this date in Mets history, original Metropolitan, Roger Craig was born in 1930. Craig started and lost the very first game in Mets history. He would pitch just three innings on the day while allowing five runs on eight hits as the Mets fell to the Cardinals by a score of 11-4.
Also born on this day was Juan Padilla, who turns 40.
TWEET OF THE DAY
— Metsmerized Online (@MetsMerized) February 17, 2017