Mets Merized Online » Grapefruit League Sun, 01 Feb 2015 01:16:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Spring Training Recap: Mets 10, Marlins 2 Sat, 22 Mar 2014 20:17:03 +0000 USATSI brad barr travis d'arnaud

The Mets banged out 13 hits including three home runs to beat the Miami Marlins by a score of 10-2 on Saturday at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.

There were a lot of great story lines in this game for the Mets, but let’s begin with Travis d’Arnaud, who blasted a two-run homer against Miami Marlins lefthander Brad Hand. The home run snapped a hitless streak that had lasted 21 at-bats for the Mets Opening Day catcher.

Apparently, d’Arnaud and hitting coach Dave Hudgens spent some considerable time together on Friday and hopefully this was a sign that things will now improve for 25-year old backstop.

“I’m seeing the ball well,” d’Arnaud said. “I’m just over-swinging. Yesterday me and ‘Hudgy’ just worked on keeping my eye on the ball. If you keep your eye on the ball, you have a higher chance of succeeding than when you don’t see the ball hit the bat.” 

More Highlights:

Perhaps the biggest star on the day was Bartolo Colon  who pitched all the way into the seventh inning and got the win. Colon tossed 6.2 innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits while walking none and striking out three. He threw over 80% of his pitches for strikes including 18 of them in a row at one point in the game. Collins was right – this guy is a strike-throwing machine. Additionally, Colon singled, drove in a run, and nearly beat out a grounder for an infield hit, much to the delight of the crowd who gave him a big ovation. This guy is going to be a lot of fun!

Wilmer Flores with a three hit, four RBI day that include a three-run shot – his second homer of the year. Flores leads the Mets in RBIs this Spring, but will likely begin the season in Triple-A Las Vegas. That’s unfortunate.

Ike Davis had his second big day in a row. After going 3-for-3 on Friday, Davis celebrated his 27th birthday by ripping a two-run homer off Marlins closer Steve Cishek. It was his second home run of the spring and he’s now 5-for-15 with four extra-base hits. Lucas Duda had the day off.

How about Chris Young? He reached base 5 times today and is having himself a fantastic spring. Young finished his day going 3-for-3 with a walk and two steals.

Eric Young Jr. batted leadoff and collected a single and a walk in four plate appearances while stealing a pair of bases including third.

Up Next:

The Mets play a pair of split squad games on Sunday. Jenrry Mejia opposes Washington Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark at 1:10 PM at Port St. Lucie, while John Lannan opposes Atlanta Braves right-hander Freddy Garcia at 1:05 PM at Disney.

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MMO Game Thread: Cards vs Mets 1:10 PM, Cubs vs Mets 4:10 PM Sun, 16 Mar 2014 15:35:34 +0000 Jon_Niese

(Photo by David Conde, Metsmerized Online)

The Mets play another pair of split-squad games today beginning at 1:10 PM when lefthander Jonathon Niese makes his second Grapefruit League start against Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals. This game will be broadcast only on WOR 710 AM.

Niese missed ten days this Spring with what the team called shoulder fatigue and has 15 days to show he’s ready to make the Opening Day start against the Washington Nationals on March 31 at Citi Field. His average fastball velocity of 88-89 in a start five days ago is a concern. 

The Mets wrap up their two game series in Las Vegas this afternoon at 4:10 PM when Jenrry Mejia gets the start against the Chicago Cubs who will counter with lefthander Chris Rusin. This game will NOT be broadcast on TV or Radio.

Mejia’s odds of making the rotation are very long and he could very well end up beginning the season in Triple-A Las Vegas as Terry Collins opts for Daisuke Matsuzaka as his fifth starter.

Mejia has tossed just two scoreless innings in one Grapefruit League appearance this Spring and also pitched in a “B” game. He has looked dominant each time he’s taken the mound.

Here are the lineups for the 1:05 PM game against the Cubs:


  1. Ruben Tejada, ss
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2b
  3. Chris Young, cf
  4. Josh Satin, 3b
  5. Matt Clark, 1b
  6. Anthony Recker, c
  7. Taylor Teagarden, dh
  8. Matt den Dekker, rf
  9. Cory Vaughn, lf


  1. Matt Carpenter, 3b
  2. Jhonny Peralta, ss
  3. Matt Holliday, dh
  4. Allen Craig, 1b
  5. Yadier Molina, c
  6. Stephen Piscotty, rf
  7. Kolten Wong, 2b
  8. Jon Jay, cf
  9. Randal Grichuk, lf

Here are the lineups for the 4:10 PM game against the Cubs:


  1. Eric Young Jr., dh
  2. Juan Lagares, cf
  3. David Wright, 3b
  4. Curtis Granderson, rf
  5. Travis d’Arnaud, c
  6. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, lf
  7. Zach Lutz, 1b
  8. Wilmer Flores, ss
  9. Anthony Seratelli, 2b

Enjoy the games and Lets Go Mets!

casey stengel

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Spring Training Recap: Mets 8, Braves 2 Mon, 10 Mar 2014 03:25:58 +0000 Wheeler (Photo by Brad Barr, USATSI)

Zack Wheeler pitched three scoreless innings in his second start of the spring, as the Mets defeated the Braves by the score of 8-2 at Tradition Field on Sunday. Wheeler allowed just three hits, walked one and struck out three in the game and has now tossed six scoreless innings this Spring.

What else happened:

Kyle Farnsworth followed Wheeler and threw two scoreless innings of relief allowing just one hit, while Jose Valverde pitched a perfect sixth inning. Lefthander Josh Edgin allowed a Braves run in the seventh to tie the game at 1-1.

The Mets would break things open with a seven run eighth inning that featured two-run doubles by Kevin Plawecki and Matt den Dekker.

Anthony Seratelli went 1-for-2 and scored a run after stealing second and third base.

Juan Lagares was hitless in two at-bats but showed off his defensive prowess when he gunned down Andrelton Simmons trying to advance from first to third on a single.

David Wright (0-for-3) and Ruben Tejada (0-for-2) have yet to get a hit this spring.

Curtis Granderson went 1-for-3 with a run scored and is batting .357 this Spring.

Bobby Parnell made his Grapefruit League debut and allowed a run on one hit while striking out one in the ninth. “I felt like I was in the zone, especially at the end, had my second gear …it went really well” 

On Deck:

The Mets remain home and host the Miami Marlins in Port St. Lucie tomorrow at 1:05 PM as Bartolo Colon makes his first start of the Spring for the Mets.

(Photo by Brad Barr, USATSI)

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Steven Matz Makes Grapefruit League Debut Mon, 03 Mar 2014 13:03:28 +0000 steven matz

Matz displaying the changeup grip.

You’ve heard the name before, but 2013 was the first real look at the Mets’ LHP prospect Steven Matz due to him missing significant time recovering from arm injuries.

I recently named him as my Mets’ pitching prospect to watch in 2014, as he seems to be on a path to be named a top-five prospect very soon. When a scout finds a left-handed pitching prospect that bring an electric 95 mph fastball, it’s like a fisherman landing an 800 pound marlin. It’s easy to see why the Mets protected Matz from the Rule 5 Draft, and added him to the 40-man roster—every angler looking to hook an 800 pound marlin would have cast their line into the water.

Not many Mets fans have gotten a chance to see this young man pitch and see why everyone is so excited. Unless you live in the Savannah area, odds are you are limited to the one video that can be found on YouTube that shows Matz throwing about 15 pitches—some better than others. You may have also seen a Vine of him spinning things on his finger like a Harlem Globetrotter. However, if you hung around long enough in the Mets game yesterday, you would have gotten a chance to see Matz on the bump.

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 8.00.38 AM

Matz came in the fourth inning of yesterday’s matchup against the Cardinals, and gave Mets fans another glance of what the future holds. The first batter he faced was Yadier Molina—talk about pressure. He quickly got behind 3-0 in the count, as he couldn’t spot his fastball. But Matz battled back, and struck out Molina on six pitches.

Facing his second batter, he flashed two very good curveballs before giving up a base hit on a fastball.

Here is some further analysis of what we saw in Matz’s appearance yesterday.


This is a plus offering for Matz. The command was a little shaky yesterday, but it’s very early in the year. With more innings, the command will come. He wasn’t afraid to come inside on the right-handed hitters, and was very aggressive with his fastball, which was very nice to see from a guy who brings a mid-90s heater.

Curve Ball

I have heard that Matz has scrapped the slider in favor of a more effective curve ball, and yesterday was the first chance I got to see it. His curve didn’t have the 12-to-6 break you normally see, it was more like 11-to-5, but it was extremely effective. However, he stuck to fastballs for the majority of the pitches he threw.


Matz throws a very solid changeup that has plus-potential. It has excellent movement—tailing away from the right-handed hitters/in on lefties. He struck out a batter with a changeup to end the fourth inning yesterday and it looked nasty. With his velocity, he can pepper fastballs on the inside half, and changeups on the outside half to keep the hitters off-balance, and be very successful.

In all, Mets fans should definitely look for great things from Matz in 2014. It’s easy to see why he is creating a buzz and there is a ton of excitement building for the young fireballer again. He struck out over 28% of the batters he faced in 2013 and put up a FIP of 2.63, which is excellent. He will probably start the season in St. Lucie and be a nice replacement as the ace of the staff after Noah Syndergaard set St. Lucie ablaze in 2013.

Bold Prediction: After watching him pitch in yesterday’s game, he has the stuff to skip to Binghamton. If he doesn’t start there, he should join Binghamton right around the All-Star break. He could be in the mix for a 2015 call-up and possible bullpen option for late 2014 if he doesn’t exceed his innings limit.

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Rafael Montero To Throw First Pitch Of Mets Grapefruit League Season Sun, 23 Feb 2014 15:09:25 +0000 rafael montero

Rafael Montero will throw the first pitch of the Mets’ Grapefruit League schedule, on Friday at 1:10 p.m. against the Washington Nationals at Tradition Field.

Montero, 23, went a combined 12-7 with a 2.78 ERA in 27 starts between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas last season.

This amazing control artist allowed 136 hits and walked 35 while striking out 150 in 155 1/3 innings.

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York posted the upcoming starting-pitching schedule as follows:

I am freaking pumped!

By the way, we are at Port St. Lucie. We don’t really do photos and videos, but we have been compiling about a dozen player interviews so far that we plan to post beginning tomorrow. Some great stuff coming up over the next few weeks.

Lets Go Mets!

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Matt den Dekker Is Raking In Vegas Tue, 20 Aug 2013 16:59:28 +0000 Matt-Den-DekkerAs we draw towards the end of the season and wild card hopes slowly dissipate for the New York Mets, it might be time for Marlon Byrd to ease into a lesser role to have as take a glimpse at Matt den Dekker, just as John Buck steps aside for Travis d’Arnaud.

There’s still ten days before rosters expand, so Byrd can still be the word for now. But the way that den Dekker is crushing it in Vegas, I’d like to see what he can do in left or right field before this season expires.

There’s virtually no chance that den Dekker will supplant Juan Lagares in center, but if he’s as defensively apt as they say, lets see if he brings anything to the table at the corners.

Den Dekker, now 26, has reached a tipping point in his career. After a slow start since his return from a fractured right wrist he suffered in a Grapefruit League game that cost him nearly three months, the talented defender is turning it on with his bat.

Over the last ten games, den Dekker has batted .314/.429/.667 in 46 plate appearances with a 1.086 OPS. During that span he has scored ten runs while driving in ten, and has nine walks, a double, a triple and three home runs including a pair last night. Overall, he has raised his average to .287 with an .860 OPS in 45 games played.

I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do at the major league level. At his age he needs to stand and deliver, and the Mets should give him every opportunity to do so. Is he a piece of the puzzle or isn’t he? Only one way to find out.

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Matt den Dekker Ready To Start Playing In Games Fri, 07 Jun 2013 14:51:59 +0000

Center fielder Matt den Dekker, who suffered a fractured right wrist during a March 24 Grapefruit League game, is ready to get into games according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Den Dekker was scheduled to DH in a back-field game in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Thursday until heavy rains forced a postponement. Den Dekker should be in the lineup today.

Here is a video of Den Dekker who talks about what it was like for him on Draft Day when the Mets selected him.

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Backman Praises D’Arnaud After Impressive Debut Last Night Fri, 05 Apr 2013 17:02:41 +0000 travis d'arnaud

Las Vegas manager Wally Backman had some nice things to say about Mets catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud after his impressive debut last night against Sacramento.

In the 51′s season-opening 10-5 victory over the River Cats, the 24-year old prospect went 2-for-3 with two doubles, two walks, a career-high four runs scored and an RBI.

“I think it’s just a matter of time before he gets to the big leagues,” 51s manager Wally Backman said. “He got hurt last year and only played about 70 games at this level, so the organization doesn’t want to rush him.”

“But he’s an outstanding player, plays hard, plays right. In the short time I’ve seen him, I’ve seen he’s a very intense player. D’Arnaud knows how to handle the pitching staff. He’s gonna be a very good player when he gets to the Major Leagues, which is probably not a long ways away.”

D’Arnaud had a solid spring with the Mets where he batted .343/.415/.457 with four doubles and four RBI in 16 Grapefruit League games.

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NO SURGERY For Matt Den Dekker! Mon, 25 Mar 2013 19:16:46 +0000 dekker cast

There’s a shot of Matt den Dekker’s cast which has been “Dekked Out” in Mets’ Orange & Blue. Matt tweeted the photo with the good news that no surgery will be required.

It’s the best news I’ve heard all day… :-)

One of the things I love about our staff here is how freaking enthusiastic they are about the team. In the space of about five minutes, I got no less than a dozen texts or emails about the good news on den Dekker.

Now that’s what I call Bleeding Orange & Blue…

For those of you who love to follow the money, Adam Rubin posted that den Dekker will not receive major league service time and pay while opening the season inactive. That’s because den Dekker was injured in major league camp while on a minor league contract — not as a 40-man roster member.

Follow Matt on Twitter at @UpperDecker.

Get well soon, Matt…

bleed orange & blue  button

Original Post 3/24

Center fielder Matt den Dekker was pulled out of today’s game after landing hard on his glove hand trying to make a leaping catch on the warning track.

X-rays later determined that Matt den Dekker had suffered a broken wrist.

He is on his way to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, at which point it will be determined whether or not he needs surgery.

Our prayers for a speedy recovery and some good news, go out to our daredevil center fielder who has dazzled us all spring-long with some of the best center field play we’ve seen in a long, long time…

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Murphy Feels Great After Sunday’s Game, Hopes To Be Ready For Opening Day Sun, 24 Mar 2013 20:23:21 +0000 daniel murphy 2Ahh, the luck of the Irish…

According to Newsday’s Marc Carig, second baseman Daniel Murphy played five innings at second base today, going 1-for-2 at the plate with a walk in a minor league game. It was his first appearance at the plate this spring since straining his intercostal just over a month ago.

“It felt good, it felt really good,” Murphy said afterward. “This is the best I’ve felt all spring. I think I should be ready for Opening Day and that’s how I’m preparing himself.”

Murphy now believes that he could still start the season on time, although it’s not clear if the team shares his enthusiasm. Carig brings up an interesting point:

Because he has not had any big league at-bats, Murphy faces an uphill climb if he is to begin the season in New York. If the Mets play him in a Grapefruit League game but decide to put him on the DL to start the year, Murphy wouldn’t be eligible to come off until April 15.

The Mets would have to be clearly convinced that Murphy is ready to play and I doubt that they will allow him to see any Grapefruit League action until he’s played at least three successive nine-inning games in the minors. Still, today was a good day for the Irish Hammer.

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Mets Notes: Turner Injury Update, Spin Leading Off, Niese Starts Tonight Fri, 22 Mar 2013 18:34:20 +0000 justin turner

The Mets will be in action tonight against the Miami Marlins at 7:05 at Roger Dean Stadium. Newly appointed Opening Day Starter Jonathon Niese will be on the hill, and Jordany Valdespin will bat leadoff. Including tonight’s contest, the Mets have just ten Grapefruit League games left to play, and will play their final game on March 30. Four of the Mets ten remaining games will be televised; two will air on SNY and two on PIX 11. You can check the television schedule here.

Today, Justin Turner started at third base in a minor league game. On Thursday, Turner had a pinch-hit single in what was his first game action since injuring his ankle last week.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis started in center field in a minor league game in Port St. Lucie today. He also played in a minor league game on Thursday, and went 1-2 with a double and three walks, but did not play the field.

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Harvey Lights Up Radar Guns, Says He Strives For Perfection Every Time Tue, 19 Mar 2013 14:22:43 +0000 matt harvey

If you want to get your Matt Harvey fill on this Mets off-day, check out this post by Marc Carig of Newsday, who caught up with the Mets right-hander after yesterday’s start against the Cards.

Carig says that during one point in the game, Harvey reached back and unleashed a 100 mph fastball against the Cardinals’ Jon Jay according to the scoreboard at Roger Dean Stadium.

Scouts behind home plate, who he said were “armed with more accurate radar guns,” had the pitch at 98 mph, but that’s still incredible considering we are still in March. I can’t wait to see what Harvey does once he’s in mid-season form.

Harvey allowed two runs in 51/3 innings in yesterday’s 3-2 win over the Cardinals, and is now 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA in five Grapefruit League starts spanning 18.1 innings. In those innings, the young fireballer has racked up an impressive 24 strikeouts.

“The arm feels great and pretty much, I’m ready to go,” said Harvey.

“Obviously, I’m not happy about giving up runs,” he said. “But my body felt great, my arm felt great. I felt like I was throwing a lot of good off-speed pitches for strikes and I’m really happy about my curveball.”

The 23-year old has a goal of not only dominating and giving his best effort every time he takes the mound, but he wants to be efficient with his pitches because he wants to cross the 200 innings pitched threshold.

“I strive for perfection every time,” Harvey told reporters.

I myself, strive to make sure never to miss any of his starts. You should too.

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Murphy’s Opening Day Chances Are Fading Fast Mon, 18 Mar 2013 11:00:06 +0000 daniel murphyAccording to a report from Anthony DiComo of, for the first time this spring, the Mets are considering the realistic possibility that second baseman Daniel Murphy will not be ready for Opening Day.

Murphy has been complaining of stiffness since playing some second base in simulated game for five innings on Friday. He did not swing a bat. Since then, he has been complaining of stiffness and it appears his intercostal injury will keep him off the playing field indefinitely.

He was originally scheduled to participate in Minor League games this past weekend and then join the team in some actual Grapefruit League games at some point this week. Now that plan has been scratched.

“He’s pretty stiff again today,” said Mets head trainer Ray Ramirez on Sunday. The Mets plan to rest Murphy until at least Wednesday according to manager Terry Collins.

DiComo speculates that if Murphy is not ready to play by next weekend, there’s a good chance he will begin the year on the disabled list.

“If he’s not back in a game, we’re down to seven days,” Collins said. “That’s not a lot of time to get somebody that hasn’t done anything all spring ready.”

valdespinThe backup option would be none other than Jordany Valdespin, who many thought would have no spot on the roster after working his way into Collins’ doghouse. But his hot play this spring changed everything and now guarantees ‘Spin not only a bench spot, but regular playing time somewhere in the lineup.

In 37 at-bats during Grapefruit League play, Valdespin is batting .378/.425/.703/1.128 with a team leading four home runs and eight RBIs.

As I said last week, I don’t really care how brash or how cocky a player is as long as he produces on the field. To me, performance always comes first and all the other stuff is just background noise.

There’s a catalyst-type quality about Valdespin that I love and he has a little bit of Jose Reyes in him. He brings a certain kind of electricity to the lineup when he’s in it and I always get the feeling that something good could happen at any moment when he’s in the game. I don’t get that with many of the other players on this team.

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Santana and the Mets Clear The Air Wed, 13 Mar 2013 20:35:18 +0000

johan santana spring

Updated on March 13 at 2:00 PM

According to Andy Martino of the Daily News, Johan Santana spoke with Sandy Alderson today to clear the air about what’s been reported about him and his coming to camp unprepared and not ready to pitch.

Santana didn’t say anything all the newsworthy, says Martino, but the Mets lefthander looked like he was in a better mood, talking, and clearly wanting the subject changed.

“I’m not going to get into you said, I said, all that,” Santana said. “But we’re all on the same page now.”

Well, I’m glad to see him finally take a proactive approach, but until he gets on that mound and starts pitching like he’s capable of, I won’t be completely satisfied.

That said, I’m pulling for his success…

Originally Posted on March 12 at 11:00 AM

It’s amazing to me how just one player’s status can have such a widespread reaction on the whole team. Take Johan Santana for example. He was supposed to be all rested and ready to go and instead he showed with his arm in no condition to participate with the rest of his teammates in drills, bullpens, live batting practice and appearing in Grapefruit League games.

One little comment from Sandy Alderson who simply stated that Santana’s arm was not ready, and all of a sudden the world stopped turning.

Immediately the GM is getting blasted by some for igniting a powder keg big enough to blow Tradition Field to Iowa. But give me a break, all he did was answer a question and did so honestly. My problems with Sandy have always been when he did the opposite so I’m sure as hell not going to get into his face for being forthright.

And for those fans who seem intent on blaming him for what has ensued ever since with regard to Santana’s piss-poor behavior, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

The problem here is Johan Santana, not Alderson, not Terry Collins, and not the Mets.

For a player whom I’ve always looked up to as a warrior, he’s been acting more like George Costanza; always whining or pouting and blaming everyone in the world except himself for his problems. For crying out loud, quit your bitching and just try to remedy the situation rather than making it worse.

Santana has yet to make his spring debut because he is still in the process of building strength in his shoulder, or basically exactly what Sandy Alderson told reporters over a week ago. Nothing’s changed.

If things have gotten worse it’s because Santana decided upon himself to toss an unscheduled bullpen session – weakened shoulder and all – just to prove that he was the ultimate macho man – the ultimate warrior. But instead he came away looking like a big sour puss and worse yet risked another potentially costly setback, and now a trip to the DL is all but inevitable.

Compounding things even further is Santana’s continued whining and moaning. He told columnist John Harper that he remains bitter toward the ballclub and is barely communicating with club officials. Are you freaking kidding me?

Santana, 33, is still owed $25 million this season and more like $31.5 million when you include his buyout. What is this guy’s major malfunction? In a matter of two weeks, Santana has gone from warrior to wimp. I’m tired of wasting time on him and this situation…

Onward and upward.

jon nieseInstead I’m quite happy with the way Jonathon Niese has performed thus far in Spring Training, and I’m glad that it looks like he’ll be the Opening Day starter. The Mets couldn’t have picked a more deserving pitcher and I’m sure Niese will rise to the occasion.

“He’s really gotten better; he’s growing up,” Collins said. “To me, he deserves that opportunity to start on Opening Day this year. He’s reached that point where I think you can look up, hopefully, at the end of the year and this guy’s one of the top pitchers of the game.”

As for Johan’s spot in the rotation, and as I’ve been saying all along, we’re in capable hands with Jeremy Hefner. A pitcher with average stuff, but an above average heart and above average instincts on the mound. He’ll be just fine until Zack Wheeler is ready to contribute and if Hefner does falter, I have no problem with Collin McHugh or Jenrry Mejia getting a few starts.

Would I prefer that Santana was healthy and ready to go on Opening Day? Of course I would, but I’m not going to cry over spilled milk if he goes on the DL. Maybe the time off will do his brain some good as well as his shoulder, because clearly he’s got some emotional issues going on, and we don’t need him spreading that negative karma onto our very young rotation who did come to camp early, ready to pitch, and eager to help this team win some ballgames.

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Zack Wheeler, Collin McHugh, Darin Gorski Among Ten Players Cut From Mets Camp Sun, 10 Mar 2013 13:47:43 +0000 zack wheeler

MMO’s John Delcos just reported that the Mets have reassigned RHP Zack Wheeler, RHP Collin McHugh, RHP Gonzalez Germen, RHP Hansel Robles, RHP Elvin Ramirez, LHP Darin Gorski, 2B Reese Havens, OF Juan Lagares, IF Wilfredo Tovar, and OF Cesar Puello to minor league camp.

Wheeler said he was disappointed, but not surprised. Was told at start of camp this would happen

One major league executive estimated the Super 2 cutoff may be around June 15 this year, so we may not see Wheeler until after that date.

With the cuts, the Mets now have 45 players in major league camp.

Original Post 3/9

The Mets announced they have assigned RHP Cory Mazzoni, RHP Rafael Montero and catcher Juan Centeno to minor league camp.

Mazzoni finished the Spring with with a 3.38 ERA in eight innings, Montero had a 4.50 ERA in four innings, and Centeno was 0-for-1 in two Grapefruit League games.

The Mets currently have a full 40-man roster, but they also have many non-roster invites that are vying for spots on the 25 with a legitimate shot to make the team.

Those players include Scott AtchisonLaTroy HawkinsPedro Feliciano, Brian Bixler, Omar Quintanilla, Marlon Byrd and Andrew Brown. If any of them make the active roster, some cuts will need to be made.

Players on the bubble who could get removed from the 40-man include: Gonzalez Germen, Elvin Ramirez, Robert Carson, and then it starts getting a little dicey. Any of those players can be optioned to the minors without being exposed to waivers.

Currently, the only player in camp without any options is infielder Brandon Hicks. If he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster, there’s a good chance he would be picked up by another team once he is exposed to waivers. The Mets acquired Hicks from the Oakland A’s during the offseason.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, a player with significant MLB experience the previous season who comes to camp the next year on a minor league deal gets an early decision on whether he has made the team.

Three players in Mets camp qualify: LaTroy Hawkins,Pedro Feliciano and Tim Byrdak. By noon on March 26, the Mets must either inform those players they’ve made the team, pay them $100,000 to go to the minors, or release them.

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Duda Thumping The Ball Again, Another Santana Setback, Hefner Keeps Rolling Sun, 10 Mar 2013 02:49:11 +0000 Marlon Byrd, Lucas DudaLucas Duda is showing signs of snapping out of his spring slumber going 3-for-3 with two RBIs as the Mets defeated the Astros 9-6 this afternoon at Tradition Field. Duda now has six hits in his last 15 at-bats after an agonizing start that sent him to the sidelines for a couple of days to work on his swing. It looks like those two days off did the trick.

“I feel like I’m a good hitter.” Duda said. “I’m going to continue to work hard and let the chips fall where they may.”

Ike Davis has shown no signs of slowing down and is batting .368 after picking up two more hits and a walk. He erased all concerns about last season’s ankle injury when he took off for second base and slid in safely with a stolen base.

WHERE’S JOHAN: Johan Santana continues to make himself the big story at Mets camp and not for the right reasons. Today he was nowhere to be found on the field practicing with his teammates or in the locker room where his chair stood empty. It turns out he needs extra treatment for his arm, Terry Collins said he’s day-to-day.

We also learned that Santana has been given permission to do his own thing. Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen are going to let the lefthander dictate his own regimen and proceed at his own pace while keeping both of them in the loop regarding his progress. ”You tell me when you’re ready and when you’re ready to get in a game,” Collins told Santana.

It now appears that Santana will not make his first start of the spring next week which was supposed to be the plan according to what Collins said two days ago. It looks like everything regarding Santana has been scrapped and that they are back on square one. ”We certainly would hope something next week but if it’s not, it’s not,” Collins said.

HEFNER KEEPS ROLLING: My pre-season sleeper, Jeremy Hefner, continues to impress and tossed another three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and walk while striking out a pair. He threw 23 of his 36 pitches for strikes. It’s not even a question anymore that if Johan Santana can’t start the season, Hefner will get his spot in the rotation. “He’s been fantastic,”: said Collins.

CENTER OF ATTRACTION: Matt den Dekker is also getting a lot of buzz in Mets camp, but for all the right reasons. The defensive whiz-kid made another jaw-dropping catch in center field this afternoon against the Astros, turning a likely double into an out. After the game, Collins said he wasn’t sure that many centerfielders could have made that catch. That’s like his fifth web gem in only two weeks. But like Keith Hernandez said during the broadcast, the Mets can’t afford a defense-only player in that outfield. “If he don’t start hitting, he’s going to Triple-A.”

ZACK COMING BACK: Zack Wheeler is expected to pitch in a simulated game on Sunday. The team’s top pitching prospect has not pitched since being scratched on February 27 due to a mild oblique strain. Wheeler threw a bullpen session on Thursday and it looks like he’s coming along.

METS NOTES: Marlon Byrd doubled and scored to lift his average to a team leading .400 and it won’t be long until Collins officially announces that he’s made the team… John Buck, who will start the season as the Mets everyday catcher, had two hits including an RBI double. But more importantly, he is scoring points with the Mets pitchers who all like the way he calls a game… Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Daniel Murphy are both expected back in the lineup after the weekend. Both have been dealing with nagging, but not serious injuries… The Mets will present Bill Parcells with a signed jersey on Sunday to honor him for being selected to the NFL Hall of Fame.

Okay, so while I teach John Delcos the nuances of blogging and social media, he’s giving me lessons on how to do an AP Style post game report. This is my first… How’d I do? Don’t be cruel… :-)

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Morning Update: Collins Concerned With Offense, Santana Making Progress, No Timetable For Murphy’s Return Thu, 07 Mar 2013 12:45:41 +0000 johan santanaJohan Santana will make his first Grapefruit League next Thursday, March 14, when the Mets play the Detroit Tigers, according to John Delcos of Metsmerized Online. That would leave three starts before the start to the season.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen told Delcos that Santana is making progress after throwing a long-toss session on Monday and that notable gains have been made on velocity and arm strength.

Terry Collins said that both he and Johan Santana are on the same page now, though the left-hander was silent yesterday after learning of the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

Regarding the slow start by some of the players expected to head North with the team, Collins has expressed concern about the offense. “We’re not swinging the bats very good,’’ he said. “But, we still have around 40 at-bats (per starter) to go.’’ He’s hoping to see some improvement across the board with three weeks to go, but particularly with hitters making more contact. Collin Cowgill and Jordany Valdespin are the hottest hitters in camp and yesterday against Venezuela, Spin was in center field after playing mostly second base with the absence of Daniel Murphy in Grapefruit League play.

Murphy, sidelined with a strained right side muscle, played catch, took grounders and hit in the cage on Wednesday. He followed that up by saying he didn’t have a timetable for when he’d take live batting practice and appear in a game.

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Feliciano, Hawkins and Marcum Updates Wed, 06 Mar 2013 06:11:06 +0000 MLB: New York Mets-Pitchers & Catchers

With Jenrry Mejia in New York for an exam, several other Mets pitchers took the mound today in a B game against Miami. We expect to get a full report on Mejia at some point tomorrow and I’ll post as soon as I hear something from John. For now, Sandy Alderson called it an “undisclosed medical issue.”

Shaun Marcum, who didn’t endeared himself to manager Terry Collins when he arrived to camp out of shape, and asked out of his last game, pitched okay today. The righthander didn’t give up a run in his two innings of work and more importantly said his arm and elbow felt good afterward.

The 40-year-old LaTroy Hawkins also worked two innings in his first appearance of the spring. After allowing a leadoff walk, the baserunner stole second and scored on an RBI double, before retiring the side in order in the fourth. Hawkins was satisfied with his performance and knows he has a few things to work on.

PEDRO BACK: Pedro Feliciano returned to action today and made his first Grapefruit League appearance since being diagnosed with a genetic heart condition. Feliciano will wear a heart monitor for two weeks and doctors do not believe he will be at any risk by pitching during this period. I bet he felt great to get up on a mound again. He was happy with his outing hopes to show signs of gradual improvement as he gets more work in. He was most concerned with his velocity which was in the 81-83 mph range.

PIAZZA TENSIONS: Mike Piazza is like royalty to Met fan and one of the most beloved Mets player of all time. That said, reports are circulating that Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and Piazza’s relationship has deteriorated over the last few years. Apparently, Piazza did himself no favors by saying he was “encouraged to play while being injured” in his autobiography, “Long Shot”. Would that really surprise anyone?

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Shaun Marcum Pulled From Rotation, Out Until Early To Mid March Thu, 28 Feb 2013 08:18:52 +0000 shaun-marcumAnthony DiComo of, is reporting that

right-hander Shaun Marcum has been temporarily removed from the Mets Grapefruit League rotation, but is not injured.

Manager Terry Collins said Marcum wants to concentrate on a long-toss program designed to strengthen his shoulder, which gave him trouble last spring. He will return to game action in early to mid-March.

The Mets aren’t calling it a setback, but it sort of sounds like one to me especially when you consider that Marcum dealt with both elbow and shoulder issues last season.

Marcum, 31, missed over a month and was limited to just 124 innings last season going 7-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 21 starts for the Brewers.

The Mets signed Marcum to a one-year, $4 million free agent contract last month and incentives could make the deal worth $8 million.

In the last 36 hours, the Mets have scratched Marcum (shoulder), Zack Wheeler (strained oblique) and Johan Santana (very low velocity) from their Grapefruit League rotation.

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With Concerns About Santana’s Arm, Niese Could Be Mets’ Opening Day Starter Fri, 22 Feb 2013 19:48:06 +0000 johan santana springSandy Alderson told reporters today the Mets Spring Complex, that left-hander Johan Santana‘s first Grapefruit League start would be pushed back by as much as two weeks.

Alderson said that there was no structural issue and that it is just a matter of building up strength in Santana’s arm. Initially, Santana was scheduled to make his first Grapefruit League appearance on March 2nd, but a lack of velocity during his last bullpen session raised concerns.

The Mets ace says he is in no pain, but obviously this is something to keep an eye on and it now appears he will be not be ready to make his Opening Day start on April 1st as was announced last week by Terry Collins.

The delay will push him back to a probable March 10th or 12th appearance – not nearly enough time to build up to a regular start two weeks after that.

According to the Mets GM, Santana will do some long-tossing once he gets back on a mound and no timetable for his return will be set until further evaluation.

Santana, 33, has not pitched in a game since being shutdown by the Mets last August and was prescribed rest for the offseason.

We’ll keep you posted as this story further develops, but it looks to me that Jon Niese could now be the Mets’ Opening Day starter.

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