Morning Briefing: Wilk Takes The Mound, Lugo Making Mets Think, First Camp Cuts

seth lugo

Good Morning Mets Fans. The New York Mets make the long trip to Lakeland, Florida today and not too many regulars are expected to be traveling with the team. Adam Wilk will start for the Metropolitans and will be opposed by the 2016 American League Rookie of the Year, Michael Fulmer and the Detroit Tigers.

Today’s game is scheduled for a 1:05 PM ET start and unfortunately will not be televised nor able to be heard on WOR.

LATEST METS NEWS

Seth Lugo, once thought to be an afterthought for the fifth spot in rotation, has opened some eyes in the organization with his terrific performance in the World Baseball Classic. Lugo pitched 5.1 scoreless innings against Venezuela on Friday, looking purely dominant at times. Manager, Terry Collins is not surprised at what Seth has shown thus far. “He’s a strike-thrower,” Collins said. “We saw it last year, we saw it during the season and ultimately when we get down toward the end [of camp], when we decide where we are standing in our bullpen and need a guy that can perhaps give you some innings, he might be in that mix.” Read more from columnist Mike Puma in the NY Post.

The New York Mets made their first round of cuts on Saturday which included Dominic Smith, one of the team’s bigger prospects. Smith batted just .185 to go along with a .535 OPS this spring, in just 27 at-bats. Manager, Terry Collins though was pleased with how Smith came into camp. “I thought he didn’t hit like he normally does. I think he’s always hit. The thing I was impressed most with is he came into camp in great shape. That’s impressive for a young guy,” Collins said. “It probably hit me more than anything that he was willing at his age, ‘Hey, look I am going to come into camp and show everybody I can get ready to play.” Read more from columnist Kristie Ackert in the NYDN.

Steven Matz had himself a successful start on Saturday, his second of this spring. The Long Island lefty pitched three innings while allowing one unearned run on three hits and striking out two. After the goal Matz spoke on the measures he took this offseason to make sure his health is kept in check throughout the grueling 162-game campaign. “I think I tinkered with some stuff here and there in my routine, workouts, throwing program,” Matz said. “Different stuff here and there where you just try to work out what’s the best formula to keep you on the field and I’m still learning everyday how my body’s responding to stuff. Every time they call my name I want to go out there and take the ball and that’s the goal for this year.” Read more from Brendan Kuty on NJ.com.

NL EAST RUMBLINGS

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Nationals have placed catcher, Derek Norris on Waivers. Heyman writes, “There is no likelihood anyone would claim him and take his $4.2-million salary at this stage, but the Nats are believed only responsible for 30 days termination pay (around $700K) if, as expected, they wind up releasing him. Arbitration year salaries are generally not fully guaranteed. Teams can release those players and pay only one-sixth the contract if the player is released by March 15.”

Vince Velasquez, the breakout star pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies is using this spring to work on his timing and control. Velasquez spoke on how he is attempting to sharpen up his craft this spring in order to keep hitters off balance. “You look at [Johnny] Cueto and he has a little fancy delivery,” Velasquez said. “Things like that come into play. He gets lit up sometimes and sometimes he doesn’t but that’s the game of baseball. You got to keep them guessing. In this game, you can’t be [predictable] all the time or the hitters are going to time you.” Read more from Ralph Long on CSN Philly.

RECENTLY ON MMO

John Flanigan breaks down Zack Wheeler‘s first Grapefruit League start of the spring.

Over at MetsMinors.net, Daniel Muras continues the site’s top 100 prospects with #76-80.

TODAY IN METS HISTORY

New York Mets players born on this day include, Darryl Strawberry (55), Carlos Muniz (36), David Williams (38), Shawn Gilbert (52) and Joe Moock (73).

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About Brian Greenzang 532 Articles
A Senior Writer for MMO, Brian was born the year that ball got by Buckner and the Mets went on to win the World Series. He is still waiting to watch the Mets win a World Series of his own. You can follow Brian on Twitter @briangreenzang