Mets Notes: Let The Games Begin, Wheeler On Tap, Flores And Valdespin Go Yard

beer hot dog baseball

The beer will be flowing and hot dogs will be devoured as Grapefruit League play is set to begin today. SNY coverage will begin at 11:30 AM, and will carry through the game as the Mets take on pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals. First pitch is slated for 12:10 PM.

Some of the Mets notables scheduled to pitch today are Shaun Marcum and Zack Wheeler, along with Cory Mazzoni, Jeurys Familia, and Darin Gorski.

John Harper of the Daily News wonders if Johan Santana has something wrong with his shoulder.

The Mets are being careful to call this a conditioning issue for Johan Santana, not a medical or, in their words, “structural’’ issue. But they can call it anything they want — it’s clear that something isn’t right with his left shoulder. And after everything Santana has been through the last couple of years, you have to wonder if it will ever be right again.

Wilmer Flores flexed his muscle yesterday, as he launched a three-run blast and drilled a deep sac-fly to drive in four during Friday’s intrasquad game. Meanwhile, Jordany Valdespin gave new Mets reliever Brandon Lyon a rude welcome, as he touched him up for a homer to lead-off the game.

Terry Collins came away from yesterday’s exhibition impressed with some of the Mets young arms, saying that lefty reliever Scott Rice had “great movement”, and described Greg Burke as “very interesting.”

Collins also noted that he is happy to see Kirk Nieuwenhuis using a “shorter swing” this Spring, and he may be able to live with his propensity to strike out if he can hit 16-plus homers and run the bases well.

Baseball is officially back, let the games begin.