Morning Briefing: Matz and Wheeler Face the ‘Stros

Good morning Mets fans!

Steven Matz will get the ball for New York this afternoon as he looks to build off a strong finish to his last start. Zack Wheeler will also pitch one inning today before jumping into the rotation on Thursday.

Yesterday, the Mets scratched out a 5-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida.

Noah Syndergaard started for the Mets, and although he didn’t have his usual high strikeout numbers, Thor got the job done against a solid Orioles lineup. He lasted seven innings, gave up one run on eight hits and struck out five.

Seth Lugo pitched the eighth, and he gave up three runs including a home run to Danny Valencia. Robert Gsellman pitched the ninth inning and earned the save for New York. He pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.

Travis d’Arnaud led the way offensively for New York. The catcher homered in the second, and later doubled home two runs against Dylan Bundy. The Mets catchers haven’t been the issue this spring, as both d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki have hit well.

Brandon Nimmo had an RBI single in the game while also reaching base once. Nimmo has just about locked up the starting centerfield/leadoff spot over Juan Lagares.

Latest Mets News

Jason Vargas was examined at Hospital for Special Surgery on Sunday. The doctors there recommended he undergo surgery on his right hand, which will occur on Tuesday. Vargas will return to his throwing progression five days after surgery, and there is currently no timetable for his return.

With Gsellman and Lugo destined for the bullpen, it’s looking like the Vargas injury will enable Syndergaard, deGrom, Harvey, Matz and Wheeler to all be in the rotation at the same time for the first time ever.

Dominic Smith’s quad injury is still causing discomfort when he runs. Smith is hoping to be able to return to Grapefruit league action, but he is running out of time.

Michael Conforto played in another minor league game yesterday, he took another step forward as he played the outfield for the first time.

Latest MLB News

According to the Washington Post, a massive government spending bill that Congress is expected to consider this week could include a provision exempting Minor League Baseball players from federal labor laws.

Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports discusses how the Minnesota Twins brought in seven players at a very reasonable rate and took advantage of the slow market this offseason.

Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco has received an 80 game suspension from Major League Baseball after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance enhancing substance.

Texas Rangers pitcher Martin Perez told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram that he killed and ate the bull from his ranch that caused his elbow injury earlier in the offseason.

As part of his new contract with the Astros, Jose Altuve will receive a $21 million signing bonus, also Altuve’s average salary of $30.2 million is the second highest ever for a position player.

Latest NL East News

Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia writes about how former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel kept his promise to Roy Halladay’s son, Braden.

In a great interview with Hall-of-Famer John Smoltz for MLB Network’s 30 Clubs in 30 Days, Marlins reliever Brad Ziegler shares the keys to his submarine delivery.

Latest on MMO

Christina Cola ponders if Luis Guillorme is on the horizon.

Tim Ryder makes the case for signing Alex Cobb if Jason Vargas misses significant time.

Dilip Sridhar gives us an insight of what we should expect from Yoenis Cespedes in 2018.

This Day in Mets History

Richie Ashburn turns 91, Don Rose turns 72, Tim Corcoran turns 65.

Let’s go Mets!

About John Flanigan 266 Articles
I'm from Breezy Point, NY and attend Sacred Heart University in CT where I study Communications/Sports Media. My goal is to pursue a career in sports journalism. I'm a lifelong Mets fan and I look forward to contributing at MMO. Hope you guys enjoy my work. Follow me on Twitter @jflan816