Mets Merized Online » Mets News & Notes Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:50:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Alderson Discussed Extension Deal With Walker’s Agent On Saturday Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:45:56 +0000 neil walker

Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters in Port St. Lucie on Sunday, that he spoke with the agent representing Neil Walker yesterday regarding a contract extension for the veteran second baseman.

Next on the agenda is to try and speak to Walker directly, which Sandy is hoping to do in the next day or two. Both of them have already discussed the possibility of an extension back in December.

Beat reporter Matt Ehalt has been covering this story for The Record, and he cites a source that confirmed the sides discussed a three-year deal in the range of $40 million dollars.

“We’ve had some discussions and nothing has come to fruition. For me, looking at this, there is no other place I’d want to be and looking down the road and looking at what’s here and what the potential next two, three, four years look like,” Walker said. “This is an exciting place to be as a big-league ball player.”

I totally agree with Ehalt, that at these numbers the deal seems fair for both parties, and he does a nice job of showing where Walker ranks among other MLB second basemen both statistically and financially.

But I wonder with what the Mets have coming in the pipeline plus that very reasonable $8.5 million option on Asdrubal Cabrera, if they really want to lock themselves up at second base with third base already in a quagmire. Especially with all our young pitchers now entering or already in their arbitration years.

Joe D.

Original Report – Feb 15

Neil Walker spoke with reporters today and mentioned that he and the Mets have discussed a contract extension.

Since the Mets traded prospect Dilson Herrera for Jay Bruce last summer, they have been without a high-level prospect at second base. An extension could solidify the position for years to come, however we at MMO just don’t see it happening.

The Mets won’t sign an extension deal until they see what they are getting for the $17.2 million dollars they’re paying him after he accepted a qualifying offer. If anything happens with an extension, it probably won’t before the All Star break.

Furthermore, the young Mets pitchers are starting to get paid so Alderson will probably look for cheaper position-player options for second base such as Wilmer Flores, T.J. Rivera, or Gavin Cecchini for additional payroll flexibility.

Walker said accepting the qualifying offer was an easy decision for him because he felt comfortable in New York and wants to be part of a winning team. “It seems like a confident group to me. We have the potential to do some damage this year.”

In 113 games for the Mets last season, Walker hit .282/.347/.476 with a career-high 23 home runs and 55 RBIs.

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Alderson On Payroll: “Mets Are All In” Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:03:53 +0000 New York Mets Spring Training

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson spoke with the media in Port St. Lucie on Sunday and alleviated any payroll concerns despite still having right fielder Jay Bruce on the roster by convincingly asserting that, “the Mets are all in” financially.

While there are no ongoing trade discussions at the moment to move Bruce, Alderson said the team is prepared to enter the season with its current contingent of players and then make adjustments from there.

Alderson also credited ownership for giving him the flexibility and the resources to bring payroll to where it is now and that he still had room for in-season additions if necessary. Currently, Mets payroll stands at roughly $152 million dollars.

“I feel we have the potential to be better than we were last year,” Sandy said about his team which has him more excited and he can’t wait to see good they will be.

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Update: Wright Made Roughly 30 Throws Today, Felt Good Afterward Sun, 19 Feb 2017 18:54:56 +0000 david wright

According to manager Terry Collins, third baseman David Wright made about 30 throws at about 60-70 feet and took took 25 grounders today as eases his way back into playing condition. Wright also got into the cage and took batting practice, Collins said, but “still has a long way to go.”

Wright met up with reporters and told them that the plan going forward is to throw every other day and to increase the distance a little each time. ”It was fun, but there’s still a ways to go before I start to feel comfortable,” he explained. “Hopefully it will get better and better each day.”

Wright remains hopeful that he’ll be ready for Opening Day but was still non-committal. It was nice to see him go out and take outdoor batting practice with Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce. And then he stuck around for a long time to sign autographs for fans with Matt Harvey and others.

Original Report – 10:20 AM

New York Mets third baseman David Wright threw a baseball on Sunday, indoors at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie. It was the first time he threw a ball since last June before he had season-ending neck surgery.

When I probed to find out a little more regarding how Wright’s throwing went, I was told no cameras or reporters were allowed.

Wright, 34, did not participate in fielding practice with his teammates later in the morning on Sunday a few beat writers reported. Hopefully, we’ll get an update from Wright himself later today or tomorrow.

Last week, Wright admitted that he has tempered expectations for himself but still believes he can help the team which he believes is good enough to win a World Series.

“You’re talking about a back issue that affects the way I have to prepare before a game everyday. Hopefully the neck issue is resolved. There’s not really much that I have to maintain for that. The main focus now is getting my back ready for a long season.”

“This is a fun time to be a Met and I want to be part of this winning season that I think we are going to have. I think I really have some good baseball left in me.”

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Familia’s Absence Due To Domestic Violence Case, Will Not Return Until Monday Sun, 19 Feb 2017 14:00:02 +0000 jeurys familia

For a second straight day, Mets closer Jeurys Familia was excused from the team’s morning workouts at Tradition Field and left camp early on Saturday due to a personal matter and he is not expected to return until Monday.

A report by Mike Puma of the New York Post says that the absence is related to his case with MLB which continues to investigate his arrest on domestic violence charges last Oct. 31 at his New Jersey home.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said earlier this month that he will have a determination on Familia’s case by the end of spring training.

Familia is expected to be suspended at least 30 games to start the season, despite having all charges against him dropped last month. He has been advised by his lawyer and the team not to discuss his case with anyone.

Manager Terry Collins is preparing to go into the season with the mindset that Addison Reed will be his closer and fully expects to be without Familia.

“I think you’ve got to be smart enough to realize there probably is going to be some type of penalty,” Collins said earlier in the week. “I don’t know what it is. I have no idea yet.”

“So I think you’ve got to go into this right now making sure that Addison Reed is ready to pitch the ninth inning starting the season. Familia, we know he’ll be back sometime. But we’ve got to get our bullpen in shape in case he’s going to be gone for a period of time.”

Familia, 27, is coming off a huge season posting a 2.55 ERA and 1.21 WHIP 77.2 innings last season with 84 strikeouts. He became the first Met reliever to lead the majors in saves with 51, and the 13th pitcher in MLB history to reach the 50-save plateau.

Reed, 28, was actually even more impressive than Familia last season in almost every statistical measure including a 1.97 ERA, 0.940 WHIP, 10.5 K/9 and 7.0 K/BB.

A month ago I was a bit concerned about how Familia’s suspension would impact the team, especially given how rarely our young starters can pitch very deeply into games.

However whatever concerns I had were quickly diminished once the Mets re-signed Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins. The Mets should be able to ride this coming storm out no matter how long the suspension is. At least that’s the way I see it.

(Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

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Mets Morning Report: Yoenis Cespedes Is Focused On Baseball Sun, 19 Feb 2017 12:00:06 +0000 cespedes

Good Morning everyone. Yoenis Cespedes enters the 2017 season with big expectations and a new found security as he signed a four-year, $110 million contract in the offseason to stay in Queens.

Manager, Terry Collins believes that his star slugger is poised to have a huge season. “Cespedes is determined to have a huge year,” Collins said. “He knows he’s now the guy on this team, and I think he’s going to run with it. He is driven right now.”

Cespedes spoke with the media on Saturday with a renewed focus on winning, also advising that his hobbies are no distraction to his performance.

“I don’t think my focus was ever not on baseball,” Cespedes said. “I think last year with the cars, that was something off the field. I think the second I was on the field, that focus was always on baseball, and that is the way it continues to be.”

For the first time in his career, Cespedes has the knowledge of knowing he will not be dealt as a no-trade clause was included in his contract. He also says the Mets have “a great chance to win the World Series.”

Collins believes this will go a long way to building even more confidence in his player.

“I just think he’s relaxed,” Collins said. “Everybody knows he’s a great player. This is where he wanted to be. We didn’t think [the contract] was going to get done, believe me, but I knew he wanted to play here. I just want him to be himself. I just want him to go out and enjoy playing.”


The New York Mets will hold their first full-squad workout on Sunday. Manager Terry Collins spoke with the media on Saturday advising on just what a big day this is for himself in setting a tone for the upcoming season. “You set down your ideas and your policies that day,” Collins said. “So for me, it’s making sure it’s set right with the same passion that I’ve always had, which it will. I think tomorrow is the biggest day of the spring for me.” Read more from columnist Glenn Sattell at

Brandon Nimmo finds himself in an unenviable position with no clear path to a major league role. He though is attempting to find solace within his current status in the organization. “They have a ton of outfielders, and that is a good thing for this team,” Nimmo said. “It’s a good thing for me, too, because I get to learn from a lot of guys who have been doing this for a long time and know the ins and outs of the outfield and every situation, so I get to learn from them. I am just taking it as a positive. It’s a great thing for this team.” Read more from columnist Mike Puma in the NY Post.

In Nationals camp on Saturday, Bryce Harper was confronted to give his thoughts on the unflattering comment Mets pitcher, Noah Syndergaard had left on an instagram post of his from New Year’s Eve. Harper was not amused, “I don’t know, Syndergaard does what he does and the Mets do what they do. So we are going to worry about what we do in our clubhouse and do everything we can do win ballgames and hopefully have a better record than any team in Major League Baseball.” Read more from Kevin Kernan in the NY Post.


Manager of the Miami Marlins, Don Mattingly spoke to the media on Ichiro Suzuki‘s desire to continue playing the game he loves, regardless of his age. ”The good thing about Ich is he talks about playing until he’s 50,” Mattingly said. “So it’s not like, ‘This is my last year.’ He talks about wanting to keep playing. Then you know, this isn’t about just trying to do something or reaching a milestone.” Read more from columnist Joe Frisaro over on

Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals is prepared to take over shortstop for the defending National League East champions, a position he played in college and the minor leagues. “I’m excited to go back and prove that I can play there at a high level and try to be consistent and make as many plays as I can for our team,” Turner said. “It’s a very demanding position and a lot of responsibility and I’m excited to take it on and see what I can do.” Read more from Patrick Reddington at

The Atlanta Braves seemed to have gotten one over on the Arizona Diamondbacks with the acquisition of the 2015 No.1 overall pick, Dansby Swanson as part of a package for starting pitcher Shelby Miller. Ex-General Manager of the D-Backs, Dave Stewart vented his frustration of doing so in an interview on MLB radio. ”I should have stuck to my gut, although I think that Shelby Miller is going to be everything I thought he was going to be when I traded for him. But my gut the whole time said not to trade Dansby Swanson,” Stewart said. Read more from Brandon Wile at


Mathew Brownstein spoke with Justin Dunn in an exclusive interview with MMO.

John Flanigan takes a look at Travis d’Arnaud‘s new batting stance.

Over at, Michael Mayer reviews Baseball America’s top 31 Mets prospects.


On this day in 1962, pitchers and catchers reported to camp for the very first workout in New York Mets franchise history, which took place in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Mets players born on this day include, Miguel Batista (46), Alvaro Espinoza (55) and Tim Burke (58).



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Statcast: Mets Pitching Staff Projected To Throw Hardest In MLB Sat, 18 Feb 2017 18:38:16 +0000 harvey-degrom-syndergaard-matz-e1446430110764

It doesn’t come as a surprise when you have guys like Noah Syndergaard throwing 100 MPH gas with regularity, but the Mets as a whole possess the hardest fastballs in the MLB, according to Statcast.

Last season, the Mets averaged 93.6 MPH on their fastballs which ranked third in the MLB. They go into this year as the projected kings of the hill.

While Noah Syndergaard averaged 98.2 MPH on his fastballs last year, Jeurys Familia (97), Josh Smoker (95.7), Hansel Robles (95.5), Matt Harvey (95), Robert Gsellman (94.1), Jacob deGrom (93.4) each came in above the league average of 93.1 MPH, and Steven Matz‘s two-seamer (93.9) put the Mets ahead of the pack with flamethrowers for the upcoming season.

This bodes well for Mets pitchers, especially Noah Syndergaard, considering opposing batters hit a meager .180 when making contact on fastballs over 100 MPH, and hit .290 with fastballs at or just under 90 MPH.

With Zack Wheeler also returning, and Matt Harvey hopefully assuming a healthier form, the Mets are well oft to overpower the best of the best hitters. Very intimidating :)

The Yankees and the Pirates are tied for second with a projected average four seam fastball velocity of 94.2 MPH.

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Pitching Expert Says Noah Syndergaard Is At Risk For Injury Sat, 18 Feb 2017 15:30:47 +0000 noah-syndergaard

New York Mets fans might want to look away from this one. One of baseball’s best pitching gurus has some potential bad news for the Mets and their ace. Noah Syndergaard will likely be injured by “the second week of June.”

Those are the words of pitching expert Tom House. House was formerly the Texas Rangers pitching coach. Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan credited him with prolonging his MLB career. Ryan said about House, “Tom taught me things I hadn’t heard about in my 22 years in the game. He helped me slow down the aging process.”

House is a strong believer in pitchers pitching year round. He believes Syndergaard will get hurt this season due to the fact that he put on 17 pounds of muscle without pitching throughout the winter.

House told Bob Klapisch of via phone, “unfortunately, this is an injury waiting to happen by the second week of June. Unless you’re picking up a ball while you’re getting stronger, you’re just adding muscle that doesn’t know how to throw.”

Syndergaard told Klapisch that he hasn’t thrown all between November and the beginning of camp. The big righty said he gets what House is saying but is “not worried.”

Syndergaard probably isn’t worried because of the Mets strong belief that throwing less is the key to injury prevention. Thus far in camp there is a whole new injury prevention method in place. Starters throw off a mound every three days as opposed to every two. Also during fielding drills, pitchers aren’t allowed to actually throw.

At the beginning of camp Syndergaard also said he hopes to throw harder this upcoming season. Noah is already up there as one of, if not, the hardest throwing starting pitchers in the game today after averaging 98.86 MPH on his fastball during the 2016 according to Brooks Baseball.

House added that he is really a fan of Thor. “He’s tremendous … Baseball needs more young players like him … Im praying for Syndergaard. I really hope I’m wrong.” Mets fans hope you are wrong too Mr. House.

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Mets Hope New Batting Stance Helps Travis d’Arnaud Sat, 18 Feb 2017 14:00:30 +0000 travis-darnaud

Travis d’Arnaud was a huge disappointment for the New York Mets this past season hitting only .247/.307/.323 in 75 games. His swing has so much going on, and the Mets need to fix it, and fast. He spent time this offseason working with hitting coach Kevin Long rebuilding his batting setup.

This week as pitchers and catchers reported to camp, Long talked to Marc Carig of about the Mets starting catcher. Long told Carig that Travis can “change like the wind sometimes,” he noticed that d’Arnaud’s bat angle and his hand position would change from pitch to pitch last season.

Thus far during the first week of pitchers and catchers, d’Arnaud’s batting routine has looked very different. The drastic bat wrap, sometimes so bad his bat pointed directly at the pitcher, is long gone. To go with that, the long and unneeded leg stride is gone as well. This will hopefully make his swing quicker and more consistent.

Steve Gelbs of SNY provided video evidence of d’Arnaud’s swing in the cages.

Travis told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post earlier in the offseason, “we wanted to eliminate the wrap. We watched a lot of film, too. A lot of the balls I hit well, I thought I was wrapping and I wasn’t actually wrapping. I know now where to start my hands to stay consistent.”

“He just got away from some stuff that had been really beneficial for him in the past,” Long said. d’Arnaud was expected to come in and be the Mets catcher of the future. In the minors, he was a .290 hitter with 206 doubles, 106 home runs, and 441 RBI’s.

Thus far in his MLB career, d’Arnaud has had trouble staying on the field, playing in only 142 games over the past two seasons.

However, when he has been on the field he hasn’t been as productive as expected. He has hit to a career line of .245/.311/.393 with 46 doubles, 30 home runs, and 102 RBIs.

The Mets didn’t go out and acquire a catcher this offseason with hope for some big improvements from the 28-year old backstop. The Mets are hopeful that d’Arnaud can return to the offensive threat he was in 2015 when he hit .268/.340/.485 with a career high 130 wRC+. 

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Mets Morning Report: Jose Reyes Is Ready For A New Challenge Sat, 18 Feb 2017 11:00:43 +0000 jose reyes

Good Morning Everyone. Jose Reyes spoke with the media on Friday regarding his upcoming challenge of learning a new position as the Mets look to get him familiar with center field.

For the second consecutive season, the speedy Reyes will look to conquer a new spot on the field as last year he showed his ability to play third base. “It’s a new position for me,” Reyes said. “Last year was a little different, because I moved to third base. Third base is in the infield. Now, it’s the outfield, so it’s not the same. But I’ve got the right mindset. I’m going to work every day and try to go from there. I try not to put too much stuff in my head. Whatever they ask me to do, I’m going to be open to doing it.”


Former Texas Rangers pitching coach, Tom House believes that Noah Syndergaard is at great risk for injury this season as he added 17 pounds of muscle over the winter without continuing to pitch. “Unfortunately, this is an injury waiting to happen by the second week of June,” House said. “Unless you’re picking up a ball while you’re getting stronger, you’re just adding muscle that doesn’t know how to throw. It’s unskilled muscle.” Read more from columnist Bob Klapisch over at the Record.

The Mets’ second-ranked top prospect, Dominic Smith arrived at camp sporting a much slimmer frame as he dropped 24 pounds over the offseason and spoke of his struggles to do so as he prepared himself for the coming season. ”There were a lot of weekends where I wanted to sneak out and get a burger or two,” Smith said. “But I really just told myself: ‘Work hard. Fast food’s not good for you.’ Now if I eat a burger or something, I feel really sluggish. That healthy food does so much for your body, gives you energy — and I just feel great.” Read more from columnist Anthony DiComo on and Marc Carig in Newsday.

Curtis Granderson enters camp in the final year of his four-year pact with the Mets as he readies for a season that will likely see the majority of his playing time in center field at the ripe age of 36, as always though, he is ready for the challenge. “I’m going to be the best outfielder I can be whether that is left, center or right, but the fact that our first [exhibition] game is in February will be helpful,” Granderson said. “If I happen to be out there one of the first couple of games, I am going to test it. Fans, if you see we let balls drop, we are just out there testing a lot of things because we are going to see what we can cover. Read more from columnist Mike Puma in the NY Post.


Former New York Met and current Atlanta Brave, R.A. Dickey reflected on his time in Queens and how special it will be for him to take on his former team at Citi Field for the first time since being traded in 2012. “I don’t have any ill will towards the Mets. I had a great relationship with Sandy [Alderson], Terry [Collins]. I absolutely loved playing for him,’’ Dickey said. “I wish them the best and I look forward to battling them now in the division. When I was in Toronto, I wanted it to be Mets-Toronto in the World Series.’’ Read more from columnist Kevin Kernan in the NY Post.

Another former Met, Daniel Murphy arrived at Washington Nationals camp on Friday and spoke to the media regarding his success at the plate the previous two seasons. “You never think you’re going to go and hit whatever, .340, in this league,” Murphy said. “It’s really, really difficult to hit a ball at 95 mph, but if you can get it off the barrel at 100, I can speak from personal experience: It’s really hard to catch.” Read more from columnist Chelsea Janes at the Washington Post.

The Philadelphia Phillies have received an early scare with one of their young starters, Zach Eflin, who is coming off a pair of surgeries that addressed chronic tendinitis in his knees. The 22-year-old pitcher did not throw yesterday as he experienced knee soreness. Manager, Pete Mackanin advised the media that this was just a precautionary measure. “It’s very mild,” Mackanin said. “He said it was fine, but it’s so early we decided to back him off a little.” Read more from columnist Jim Salisbury at CSN Philly.


Michael Mayer takes a look at how Curtis Granderson should be utilized in center field.

MMO photographer, Ed Delany helps us experience the sights of spring training through his camera lens.

Over at, Michael Mayer spoke with pitching prospect Tyler Bashlor in an exclusive interview.


On this date in 1977, the Mets and New York Jets of the NFL reached an agreement that would allow the football team to continue to play at Shea Stadium.

Mets players born on this day include, Shawn Estes (44), John Valentin (50), Kevin Tapani (53), Jerry Morales (68), Bob Miller and Jeff McKnight.


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Five Things We Learned From Terry Collins Friday Fri, 17 Feb 2017 19:03:39 +0000 jose reyes

1. Zack Wheeler played catch on Friday and felt fine. He will throw a bullpen session soon, possibly on Sunday. On Wednesday, it was reported that Wheeler felt “tenderness” in his right elbow after his most recent bullpen.

I think it’s safe to say that there was some overreaction to the tenderness news from Wheeler. He has barely pitched the last two plus seasons coming off Tommy John Surgery. 

2. Collins is unsure of who will bat leadoff when Jose Reyes isn’t in the lineup. Collins said that the Mets would like to get Reyes in the lineup 3-4 times a week. Reyes talked to reporters as well, saying he will be playing some third base, second base, shortstop and will take some fly balls in the outfield as well.

I would expect Curtis Granderson to leadoff when Reyes isn’t in the lineup, having done so 82 games in 2016 and 140 the season before. 

3. Pitching coach Dan Warthen was impressed by new submariner (watch him here) Ben Rowen in his bullpen session today. The Mets signed Rowen to a minor league deal with an invite to big league camp this offseason.

Rowen has struggled in the majors with 6.94 ERA in only 11.2 innings. However, he has posted great minor league numbers with a 1.85, 1.02 WHIP and has allowed only eight home runs in 384.2 innings. 

4. David Wright is scheduled to play catch on Sunday for the first time since having neck surgery.

This is a huge step for the Captain in his recovery and let’s hope the throws look better than they did last season. 

5. As I previously reported, Mets first base prospect Dominic Smith has lost a significant amount of weight this offseason. Smith said today that he lost 24 pounds while working out and watching what he eats.

Smith’s weight was a big topic of conversation this past season despite him having a career season. Smith has spent a majority of the offseason living with a personal trainer then headed to the Barwis camp. I would expect a huge year from him in Triple-A Las Vegas. 

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David Wright Scheduled To Throw Sunday Fri, 17 Feb 2017 17:57:01 +0000 david wright

New York Mets third baseman David Wright is scheduled to play catch on Sunday per multiple reports from Port St. Lucie today.

Wright, 34, hasn’t played in a Major League game since last May and hasn’t thrown a ball since last June.

Previous Report – Feb 14

Mets third baseman David Wright spoke to reporters this afternoon at Tradition Field and discussed a few things, chief among them was an update on his spinal stenosis condition and his offseason rehab from neck surgery.

“You’re talking about a back issue that affects the way I have to prepare before a game everyday. Hopefully the neck issue is resolved. There’s not really much that I have to maintain for that. The main focus now is getting my back ready for a long season.”

The biggest hurdle for Wright will be throwing which he has yet to do. For now his biggest challenge is to work toward getting ready for Opening Day.

Wright said that mentally he’s had to temper the expectations for the kind of player he can be offensively for the Mets. But his goal is to help the team as much as he can to win a championship. ”This is a fun time to be a Met and I want to be part of this winning season that I think we are going to have.”

Manager Terry Collins said that Wright will start throwing later this week and that he could not rule out giving Wright some playing time at first base at some point during spring training but not for now.

Original Report – Feb 7

New York Mets Captain, David Wright, again will be working his way back from injury as he readies for the 2017 season. The 34-year-old third-baseman has arrived at camp early to get a jump start on getting his body equipped for the grueling campaign ahead.

Kevin Kernan of the NY Post reports that Wright did some light running as well as took grounders at third base but had yet to make any throws. Wright is taking a step-by-step approach as to not overdo anything and risk injury at this early juncture of the year.

As Kernan points out, the real test for Wright will be when he does begin to throw the baseball. The neck injury that Wright had suffered from in 2016 had caused an inability to throw the ball correctly due to having an issue with raising the right arm above his shoulder, causing him to flip the ball when throwing.

The medical issues have hampered Wright greatly over these past few seasons. He appeared in just 38 games in 2015 and only 37 in 2016. It has become harder and harder for him to manage through his health problems. From spinal stenosis to the most recent herniated disk.

“I think I really have some good baseball left in me,’’ Wright said.

It is hard to think anything different of the face of the franchise for the last decade. He has been an all-time Met. A true great example on the field with how he plays the game and conducts himself off of it.

Many have already written him off, wishing he would retire to save the team the $67 million left on the seven-year deal he signed in 2012. He though has earned the right to play out what could be the final days of a great career.

I would like to believe that Wright has one more good run left in him, just because of the hard worker that he is. You cannot help but root for a player of his character and caliber.

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How Should Granderson Be Utilized in Center Field? Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:30:15 +0000 curtis granderson

In the past three seasons Juan Lagares has been the New York Mets center fielder on Opening Day, but that will most likely change in 2017 with Curtis Granderson getting the start.

Granderson, now the Mets elder statesman at 35, is in the final year of his four-year contract and could be playing a majority of his time in his old home, center field. Grandy has been the Mets Opening Day starter in right field the past three seasons and has played 401 of his 471 defensive games for the Mets in right.

Grandy has played 53 games in three seasons with the Mets in center field including 36 in 2016, the most since 2012 for the New York Yankees at 31 years old.

The veteran Granderson told Mike Puma of the NY Post this about playing center field daily, “It is doable definitely, but we also have a lot of great guys who at any time, if needed, can go out there.”

Indeed, the Mets have former Gold Glove center fielder Juan Lagares that will give Granderson rest against lefties (assuming he stays healthy). The 27-year old Lagares played in only 79 last season due to thumb surgery in August. Lagares has hit lefties better in his career (.276/.322/.412) than Granderson (.224/.297/.401).

Lagares bounced back defensively last season with eight defensive runs saved in just 325.2 innings in center field. He also posted a 5.2 UZR and showed off a better arm than we saw in 2015.

Granderson himself put up respectable numbers defensively in center last year (albeit in small sample size/250 innings) with one defensive run saved, 0.3 UZR and that tremendous catch in the Wild Card game. If he could repeat that performance in 2017 the Mets will certainly be very happy given that in the previous five seasons in center he had -9 defensive runs saved.

The Mets also have Michael Conforto as a center field option, whom was better than expected in center last year, in a very small sample size of 39 innings. Conforto is likely to start the season in Triple-A given the presence of Jay Bruce and his offensive struggles in 2016 with a disappointing .220/.310/.414 slash line.

One thing the Mets have made pretty clear is that Yoenis Cespedes is left fielder and that’s where he will stay this year. Cespedes played a career high 63 games in center last season, but had trouble keeping his legs healthy and his offense is too important to worry about stretching him in center.

With Cespedes locked into left and Jay Bruce (currently) locked into right field, one question is how many games will Grandy play in center? Collins said this to the NY Post, “Yeah, I have got to get Grandy out of there a little more than I have in the past. I think he’s got to be smart, and he certainly is, that you have got to make sure he can have some days off so you can maintain that quality of play you are going to need in that position.”

Granderson is coming off a solid offensive season in which he hit .237/.335/.464 with 24 doubles, five triples, 30 home runs, 59 RBI and a 114 wRC+.

He proved he can still be an important part of the offense, however, it would probably be best for him and the team if they used Lagares as much as possible for defense late in games and against most lefties. But is that how Terry Collins will use the soon-to-be 36-year old that hasn’t played center field regularly in the past four seasons?

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Jeurys Familia Leaves Camp For Personal Matter Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:00:04 +0000 jeurys familia

Jeurys Familia left camp in Port St. Lucie today before workouts because of a personal matter according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Familia is expected back in camp on Saturday according to Terry Collins.

The New York Mets closer already arrived to camp late because of visa issues.

Uncertainty still surrounds Familia and the Mets bullpen situation as they await the news on whether or not the valuable reliever will be suspended to start the 2017 season.

Original Report – Feb 14

New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia arrived to camp today at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie.

Familia, 27, had been detained in his native Dominican Republic due to a visa issue that kept him from arriving to Mets Spring Training camp by Sunday’s reporting deadline for pitchers and catchers. The visa delay was unrelated to his domestic violence issue and most likely a clerical issue with one of his forms.

Major League Baseball has not yet ruled on Familia’s domestic violence investigation, but the Mets are expecting some sort of suspension even though the charges were dismissed.

Familia is coming off a huge season for the Mets, becoming the first Mets reliever to lead the majors in saves with 51. He became the 13th pitcher in MLB history to reach the 50-save plateau and his 51 saves are tied for the ninth-most in major league history.

Jeurys will be pitching for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic which he will leave to train for later this month.

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The Mets Approach to Using Zack Wheeler Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:30:19 +0000 zack wheeler spring

Spring training is a time for practice, high hopes for the upcoming season, and storylines that are blown out of proportion. One of the biggest storylines right now is Zack Wheeler and the tenderness in his elbow.

The Mets know that Wheeler needs to be eased back into Major League action after not pitching a Major League game since September 25, 2014. Back in December, Sandy Alderson considered the idea of using Wheeler in the bullpen at first

“There’s no reason for us to say, ‘Oh he’s got to be a starter,’” Alderson told the media at the Winter Meetings. “Now, he may feel that way himself. But it may be that coming back after two years, he’s better off pitching out of the ‘pen. He might have to be careful. He might not be able to pitch back-to-back. It might have to be two innings at a time. These are all hypothetical at the moment, but I don’t see any reason to just eliminate the possibility.”

However, Wheeler has stated his desire to be a starter some time again during the season. Terry Collins also said on Monday that Wheeler would go into camp as a starter, but that he was unsure of the number of innings he can pitch this season.

When Dan Warthen told the media that Wheeler had tenderness in his elbow on Wednesday, he, like nearly all the Mets brass, downplayed it. He also added that having Wheeler pitch out of the bullpen would not be a great idea since he doesn’t recover very well and would need multiple days off from just pitching a few innings.

The approach that Warthen described to the media on Wednesday would be to hold Wheeler’s innings to the low 100s. Warthen also discussed a plan which would have Wheeler make 25 starts and still stay under around 150 innings. For that to happen, he would skip Wheeler once in a while and limit him to five innings per start for the first few months of the season.

On Thursday, John Harper of New York Daily News mentioned a source that said the organization is coming to grips with the idea that it may just make the most sense to have Wheeler start the season in extended spring training while Robert Gsellman or Seth Lugo fills the Mets fifth starter spot.

Right now many things regarding Wheeler are unclear, but they will become clearer as spring training progresses and the actual nature of his elbow is known.

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Mets Morning Report: An Opening Day Starter Is Crowned Fri, 17 Feb 2017 11:00:03 +0000 noah syndergaard

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.”


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

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.


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.”


John Flanigan remembers “The Kid,” Gary Carter who passed away on February 16, 2012 after he lost his battle with brain cancer.

Chris Gaine looks back to when the Mets almost traded Jose Reyes for Roberto Alomar.

Over at, Mets Daddy continues MMN’s top 100 prospects with numbers 46-50 on their list.


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.


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Terry Collins Names Candidates For Final Two Bullpen Spots Thu, 16 Feb 2017 20:00:22 +0000 josh edgin

In a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post, Terry Collins said that Addison Reed, Hansel Robles, Jerry Blevins and Fernando Salas are all locked into bullpen spots (Collins seems to be presuming a Jeurys Familia suspension) to begin the season and mentioned the following pitchers as candidates for the final two spots:

LHP Josh Smoker

2016 Stats: 3-0, 4.70 ERA, 20 G, 15.1 IP, 1.304 WHIP, 14.7 K/9

While Smoker is a left-handed pitcher, he has reverse splits. In total, he struggled against left-handed batters and pitching multiple innings. Despite these issues, he can make a strong case for himself with his high strikeout rate.

LHP Josh Edgin

2016 Stats: 1-0, 5.23 ERA, 16 G, 10.1 IP, 1.548 WHIP, 9.6 K/9

Edgin struggled in his return from Tommy John due in large part to his not fully regaining his velocity. Despite these struggles, and with the caveat of an extremely small sample size, Edgin pitched well to left-handed batters limiting them to a .235/.300/.235 batting line.

Edgin may have the inside track to making the bullpen as he is out of options.

RHP Erik Goeddel

2016 Stats: 2-2, 4.54 ERA, 36 G, 35.2 IP, 1.318 WHIP, 9.1 K/9

Heading into the 2016 season, Goeddel had a 2.48 career ERA. The poor numbers from the 2016 season may be the result of a bone spur in his elbow that needed to be surgically removed in the offseason. With the successful surgery, it is reasonable to expect Goeddel can pitch like he had prior to 2016.

RHP Seth Lugo

2016 Stats: 5-2, 2.67 ERA, 17 G, 8 GS, 64.0 IP, 1.094 WHIP, 6.3 K/9

After struggling in the rotation in Vegas, he was moved to the bullpen where he thrived.  Before being thrust into the starting rotation late in the season, Lugo had made nine relief appearances going 0-1 with a 2.65 ERA, 0.941 WHIP, and an 8.5 K/9.

He also thrived in the rotation earning his way into a three man competition for the fifth starters role. Should he lose the question is whether he’s better suited to a bullpen role or if he’s better suited being stretched out in Vegas?

RHP Robert Gsellman

2016 Stats: 4-2, 2.42 ERA, 8 G, 7 GS, 44.2 IP, 1.276 WHIP, 8.5 K/9

Like Lugo, Gsellman was thrust into the starting rotation due to injuries, and he thrived. While in the majors, Gsellman found an extra gear or two with his fastball making him even more lethal on the mound.

Now, given his young age and service time issues, it’s doubtful the Mets move him in the bullpen should he lose the fifth starter competition.  

RHP Zack Wheeler

2014 Stats: 11-11, 3.54 ERA, 32 G, 32 GS, 1.85.1 IP, 1.327 WHIP, 9.1 K/9

In the second half of the 2014 season, Wheeler seemed to realize his potential. During that stretch, he was 6-3 with a 3.04 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, and a 9.6 K/9.

He would then need Tommy John surgery on the eve of the 2015 season. He was supposed to return in 2016, but he couldn’t due to a number of setbacks. Now, no one knows what to expect from him either today or years down the road.

Certainly, whatever concerns you had were not alleviated by his having a sore elbow on the first day he started throwing this Spring.

LHP Tom Gorzelanny

2016 Stats: 1-0, 21.00 ERA, 7 G, 3.0 IP, 3.000 WHIP, 12.0 K/9.

Gorzelanny has had a rough few years, but he is still capable of getting left-handed batter out. Last year, he limited them to a .111/.273/.111 batting line in 11 PA. His career numbers are .229/.302/.356. With numbers like these, he’s got potential as a LOOGY.

Like Edgin, it appears Gorzellany may have a good shot to make the bullpen with Collins saying of him, “We will see how effective he is against lefties [b]ecause certainly having that experience down there will be a big factor if he shows us this spring he can get outs.”

For what it’s worth, Collins indicated he would not be adverse to carrying two additional left-handed relievers. This comment would appear that Collins is prepared to give Smoker, Edgin, and Gorzelanny a long look during Spring Training.

Ultimately, it appears who will join the bullpen will depend on who claims the fifth starters job and whether the Mets feel the two are better suited to joining the bullpen or being stretched out in the majors.

Collins fails to mention Jeurys Familia in the piece as we wait to hear if he will be suspended or not, and possibly for how long.

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Noah Syndergaard Will Officially Get Opening Day Start Thu, 16 Feb 2017 18:00:54 +0000 noah-syndergaard

According to multiple reports, New York Mets manager Terry Collins announced that right-handed pitcher Noah Syndergaard will be the Opening Day starter.

Syndergaard, 24, went 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 10.7 K/9 and a major league leading 2.29 FIP in the 2016 season. He was an All-Star, finished eighth in the Cy Young voting and 19th in the MVP voting.

The Mets open the 2017 season at home against the Atlanta Braves at 1:10 PM on ESPN.

Original Report – Jan 30

Noah Syndergaard will be the Mets’ Opening Day starter, reports Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. While an official announcement will not come until spring, sources tell Kernan that Syndergaard will get the nod.

At just 24 years of age, Syndergaard took the reigns of the Mets’ rotation with ease in his second year in the big leagues. The hefty right-hander posted a 2.60 ERA over 183.2 innings pitched in 31 appearances. He struck out 10.7 batters per nine innings while walking just 2.1 He also limited opposing hitters to just 11 home runs, finishing the year with a league-leading 0.5 HR/9 rate.

Syndergaard came up huge in the Wild Card playoff game this past season, tossing seven shutout innings against the Giants, allowing just two hits while striking out 10.

The young ace has already proven he can pitch on a big stage. He now owns a 2.42 ERA over 26 big league postseason innings, over which he has struck out an incredible 36 batters.

The Mets will begin the 2017 season on April 3 at Citi Field against the Atlanta Braves.

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Zack Wheeler Plays Catch, Aiming For Weekend Bullpen Thu, 16 Feb 2017 16:45:36 +0000 zack wheeler spring

Zack Wheeler played catch today for about 10 minutes with New York Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen with no ill effects. This coming the day after it was reported that he felt some “tenderness” in his right elbow after a recent bullpen session.

Wheeler was scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Friday in Port St. Lucie. He will now throw his next bullpen session on Saturday or Sunday.

Original Report – Feb 15

New York Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler experienced what he called ”tenderness” in his right arm after a recent bullpen session according to multiple reports from Port St. Lucie on Wednesday.

Wheeler is still scheduled to play catch on Thursday and throw a bullpen on Friday as the Mets believe it’s just scar tissue causing the tenderness.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen also said on Wednesday that Wheeler will be limited to the low 100′s for innings in 2017.

Wheeler has not pitched for the Mets since 2014, but was being counted on to be a significant part of the club’s plans going into the 2017 season.

In two seasons with the Mets, Wheeler has a 3.50 ERA over 285.1 innings. Over that span, he posted an 8.5 K/9 rate as well as a 3.9 BB/9 rate.

In March of 2015, just before the start of the season, Wheeler tore his UCL, requiring Tommy John surgery. He required extra recovery time for another minor procedure on his elbow.

Last season, in his effort to return to the Mets by season’s end, he suffered numerous setbacks. Wheeler threw a grand total of 17 pitches in the minor leagues before being shut down for the year.

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Bruce Expects To Be Everyday Right Fielder Thu, 16 Feb 2017 16:00:47 +0000 jay bruce

New York Mets outfielder Jay Bruce spoke to the media in Port St. Lucie on today and one of the things he said was that the front office told him to be ready to be the everyday right fielder.

The Mets seem intent on keeping the veteran outfielder (for now) after having shopped him most of the offseason which would clear up the outfield logjam and presumably shed some of his $13 million salary for this season.

Instead, the Mets didn’t find any offers they liked and will head into spring training action with left-handed hitting corner outfielders Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto vying for playing time alongside Bruce.

Yesterday, manager Terry Collins mentioned that Bruce could also get some reps at first base this spring and here is what Bruce said about that, “If they want me to do it I will bust my ass to do it the best I can.” He went on to mention that the team has yet to approach him about playing at first.

Bruce, who’s no stranger to trade rumors, “I refuse to be a distraction in the clubhouse.” The Reds had put him on the trading block for the past few seasons before actually trading him to the Mets in August of last year for Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell.

Right now the Mets starting outfield looks like Yoenis Cespedes in left field, Granderson in center field (with Juan Lagares against lefties) and Bruce in right field. Which could mean that Conforto goes back to Triple-A and awaits his chance.

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Mets Morning Report: Mets Receive First Scare Of Spring Thu, 16 Feb 2017 11:00:35 +0000 New York Mets Spring Training at their Minor League practice facility located within Tradition Field in Florida

Good Morning everyone. The Mets received their first minor scare of spring training on Tuesday as Zack Wheeler experienced tenderness in his elbow following a throwing session.

Pitching coach, Dan Warthen spoke to the media, advising that the team will be taking baby steps with it’s pitcher. “We’re not going to push it because we want to see this kid healthy and once we get healthy, we want him to stay healthy, so we’ll have kid gloves with him,” Warthen said.

Wheeler is reportedly working with a cap in the low-100 range for innings pitched in the upcoming season, according to Warthen. He though believes that going out as a reliever is not the way to ease Zack back into the game. “I think it would be difficult for him to go out there as a reliever,” Warthen said. “Because if he didn’t have success, I think it would be difficult doing something that he has never done before and having to come back.”

Warthen laid out the perfect scenario through his vision of how Wheeler may be used in 2017. “A number of us would like to see him go out there every fifth day for 25 starts and put that extra starter in there once a month, limit (Wheeler) to five innings, and that puts him for 125 (innings) so we have enough pitches in September if we need him,” Warthen said.


Mets manager, Terry Collins stated that from his perspective he currently has two openings in the bullpen up for the taking. Collins has a keen eye on veteran, Tom Gorzellany who was brought into camp on a Minor League deal. “We will see how effective he is against lefties,” Collins said. “Because certainly having that experience down there will be a big factor if he shows us this spring he can get outs.” Read more from columnist Mike Puma in the NY Post.

Neil Walker spoke with the media on Wednesday regarding his free agency this past offseason and the reasoning as to why he stayed with New York. “When we started to look around and see what other potential landing spots there could be over the course of an offseason, I came to realize it wasn’t going to be with a better team than New York, and this was my first choice going into the offseason,” Walker said. “It worked out the way I wanted it to.” Read more from Matt Ehalt at and Kristie Ackert in the NY Daily News.

Columnist, Bob Klapisch in the Record speaks of Noah Syndergaard‘s 17 pound weight gain as being the talk of training camp thus far, with the pitcher hoping to be able to throw harder with his new physique. Klapisch voices his concern on the matter as he writes: “Already averaging 97.9-mph, it’s reasonable to ask why Syndergaard needs more. An even more pressing question is how Thor can balance the additional mass against the risk of blowing out an elbow or a shoulder.”


Former beloved New York Met and current Atlanta Brave, Bartolo Colon, believed he would be staying in New York when free agency began. ”Yeah, I definitely had the idea that I was probably going to stay with the Mets at the end of the season,” Colon said. “My family is up there, but it’s a business and I had to do what was right for me and my family.”

The Washington Nationals reportedly are interested in free agent catcher, Matt Wieters according to Jayson Stark of ESPN. The team though is not willing to go beyond a one-year deal at this time to acquire the All-Star catcher. Wieters remains the most prominent player left on the free agent market and could help Washington who has a big void to fill with losing Wilson Ramos.

The sale of the Miami Marlins may have hit a snag as the Kushner family has stated they will not buy the team if current owner, Jeffrey Loria becomes ambassador to France as recent reports suggest. “If that is true, we do not want this unrelated transaction to complicate that process and will not pursue it. The Kushners remain interested in purchasing a team and would love to buy the Marlins at another time.”


Ryan Finkelstein wonders if the Mets should plot a course to help David Wright last the entire 2017 season.

Mets Daddy debates if Zack Wheeler’s future is in the bullpen after all?

Over at, both Amed Rosario and Gavin Cecchini have been named top 20 prospects at the shortstop position by Baseball America.


The New York Mets signed ace, Tom Seaver to a new contract on this day in 1972 that would pay him $120,000 a year. The deal would make him the highest paid player in New York history at the time and youngest player ever to reach the $100,000 a year mark.

Born on this day are former Mets, Barry Foote, who turns 65 and Bill Pecota, who turns 57.


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Mets To Play Army To Conclude Spring Training Wed, 15 Feb 2017 18:45:38 +0000 army baseball

The Mets officially announced via Twitter that they will play the Army baseball team to conclude spring training. They will play at West Point’s Doubleday Field at Johnson Stadium on Friday March 31st at 3:00pm.

Original Report – Jan 12

On March 31, the New York Mets will play the Army baseball team at West Point in an exhibition game according to Adam Rubin of ESPN.

Pitchers and catchers for the Mets will report on February 12 and their first Grapefruit League game will be on February 24 against the Boston Red Sox.

The game will come three days before the Mets open the 2017 regular season against the Atlanta Braves on April 3 at Citi Field.

Fun Fact: Army has it’s own Shea Stadium which is used for spring football, lacrosse and track and field.

This match-up is another example of the Mets fostering a good relationship with our nation’s military. During the season, the Mets work in conjunction with the Wounded Warrior Project to honor a veteran at each and every home game.

Also, at some point during each season, the Mets visit Walter Reed Hospital to honor our nation’s injured and ailing veterans. Additionally, active and retired military receive discounts at the Mets team store.

Overall, while many fans gripe about the team and its ownership, this is one area where they get things right, and the Mets should be commended for how it treats our nation’s military and veterans.

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