Tonight at 9 pm ET on MetsBlog, Mets On the Air host James Flippin will take your calls at (347) 996-3165 about Noah Syndergaard and lunch-gate, as well as Matt Harvey’s first start in a live game since August 2013…

Listen at 9 p.m. to Mets On the Air

Tonight at 9 pm ET on MetsBlog, Mets On the Air host James Flippin will take your calls at (347) 996-3165 about Noah Syndergaard and lunch-gate, as well as Matt Harvey’s first start in a live game since August 2013…

Listen in separate window | Subscribe with iTunes | RSS


Wright ready to back up big talk, praises Flores

David Wright joined Mike Lupica on ESPN radio Wednesday, and the Mets captain said his squad is ready to back up their big talk during the offseason on the field (ESPN Radio, March 4).

“I’m real excited about the team, we had our time to talk about it and be confident with our words in the media,” Wright said. “But as I’ve been saying lately, now it’s time start playing games, now it’s time to do the talking to go out there and do the talking with our gloves, do the talking with our bats.

“At this point whatever you talk it doesn’t matter, you have to back it up on the field. We’re in a tough division, we understand the challenge in front of us.  I’m very confident in the guys we have in this clubhouse and I’m really excited about this year.”

One of those guys Wright has put his trust in is Wilmer Flores, he said. Even though he left the Mets game against the Braves after being hit by a pitch, Wright said he’s confident in Flores’ attack at shortstop.

“When you look at Wilmer Flores’ offense I think he’s going to be above average shortstop,” Wright said. “Now, defensively, he’s really worked his butt off to be adequate at the position… I think he’s going to open up some eyes. I can see at the end of this year us looking back and with all the question marks surrounding short stops, breathing a sigh of relief and saying I’m glad we didn’t go get this guy, I’m glad we let Wilmer take control of the shortstop position and go out there and play the game.”


Terry Collins wants his Mets to have swagger

Terry Collins wants the Mets to have ‘swagger,’ he told SNY’s Mets Hot Stove on Tuesday.

“You know, for years and years, you used to watch those teams that won all of the time, they had an air about them,” he ruminated. “You used to play the Braves and they’d walk out there and, they weren’t cocky, but they were confident. They weren’t overbearing, they knew how to play, they knew what they had to do to win games.”

cerrone avatarMatthew Cerrone,

It’s Matt Harvey and Juan Lagares. They’re the guys. It’ll come from them. Harvey is swagger, that much we know. But, Lagares is capable of a certain style, a certain flash, that we haven’t seen since Jose Reyes, I think.

Look, I’m a huge Lagares fan, so I’m easily swayed. But, I watched him closely during my week in Mets camp and the kid is oozing confidence. He’s strong, bigger and he walks around camp like he’s about to be boss, chin up, sunglasses on, casual and – I’ll say it – kind of cocky. And you know what, he should be. He plays center field like Andruw Jones and, frankly, he looks to have Andruw’s self-assuredness as well…

For instance, when asked to detail his best catch in centerfield, he smiled and told the New York Post, “I’d have to watch the video. There’s a lot.” Similarly, the Post asked if he would pay money to watch himself play baseball and he said, again with a smile, “Everyday.”

Lagares says he believes he can hit .300 and have 20-30 stolen bases. Obviously, winning comes first. However, if he does that, and hits 10 HR with another Gold Glove, and with Harvey doing Harvey things, the Mets will have all the swagger they need.


Mets win first Grapefruit League game, beat Braves, 8-2

Dillon Gee allowed two hits, two walks and two earned runs as the Mets won their first Grapefruit League game of the spring defeating the Braves, 8-2, at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports.

Wilmer Flores left the game in the top of the fifth inning after being hit in the wrist by a pitch.  Terry Collins later said Flores if fine and could return to the lineup on Thursday.

Matt Reynolds replaced Flores and went 1-for-2 with an RBI and two runs scored. Kirk Nieuwenhuis had four hits and an RBI. Triple-A catcher Johnny Monell had a three-run, pinch-hit home run in the top of the sixth. Braves OF Eric Young Jr. was safe stealing second off a poor throw from Travis d’Arnaud. Jack Leathersich walked consecutive batters, but managed to pitch a scoreless inning in relief.

Juan Lagares, batting leadoff, drew a walk to start the game. He later doubled and scored a run.

The Mets travel to Viera on Thursday to face the Nationals at 5:05 p.m. ET. Bartolo Colon will start for the Mets, after which Gabriel Ynoa, Cory Mazzoni and Josh Edgin are scheduled to throw. Max Scherzer will start for the Nationals.

Wilmer Flores homers

Wilmer Flores leaves game after being hit in the wrist by a pitch

Mets SS Wilmer Flores left Wednesday’s Grapefruit League game against the Braves after he was hit in the wrist by a pitch.

Terry Collins said after the game Flores is ‘fine,’ the ball hit his finger on the glove hand and he could be back in the lineup on Thursday (Twitter, Mar. 4).

Flores had a single, struck out, and had a fielding error charged to him before being replaced by Terry Collins with Triple-A SS Matt Reynolds.

Flores, 23, is projected to be the team’s Opening Day shortstop. However, Collins has repeatedly said that Flores, Ruben Tejada and Reynolds will get equal time early in camp to earn the job.

Matt Harvey has always had a curveball, it’s just better now

March 4, 2015, 1:15 pm

Matt Harvey has always thrown a curve ball, going as far back as high school.

However, because he was having so much success with his slider, he got away from using the curveball in 2013, he told SNY’s Mets Hot Stove on Tuesday.

“In the 16, 17 months not playing in a game, you have all of that time to work on things that might not have been a major factor before,” he explained. ”

Harvey is smart to rely more on his curveball

March 4, 2015, 1:15 pm

maggieMaggie Wiggin,

It’s true that Harvey’s preferred breaking ball is his slider, making up 17% of the pitches he’s thrown during his major league career. His reliance on it makes a lot of sense. His average slider velocity was 89 mph and he could dial it up as high as 93. Opponents have managed just a .476 OPS against it and struck out more than a third of the time.

Harvey’s no stranger to the curveball, though, which he’s thrown 12% of the time (his third most common pitch, followed by 9% changeups and a handful of two-seamers). Not surprisingly, he throws it hard, averaging 83 mph (compared to league average 77 mph). Also, not surprisingly – this is Matt Harvey, after all – the curveball has been effective. Opponents have a .492 OPS against it and an even higher strikeout rate than against the slider.

So, why the new focus on the curveball? Well, there are a couple of reasons…

To read more of this story, click here

Photos from PSL: Tools of the trade

cerrone avatarAndrew Vazzano,

Baseball is a sport that relies on equipment. Players can’t preform play without bats, gloves, hats, sunglasses and more. Some players go exclusive with one brand, while others mix and match their gear based on their preferences.

When the players are out on the fields, their stuff is scattered everywhere. Coaches carry bats, gloves balls from one field to another. Team assistants shuttle buckets of stuff from one field to another.

During the morning stretches, players toss their gloves aside in no discernible place. Thankfully, most are stitched with their name, nickname or name of the glove. Noah Syndergaard famously has a glove called “Thor,” while former Met R.A. Dickey named his gloves after characters and items from The Hobbit books.

Other items will have their names or numbers written on the inside, such as Matt Bowman‘s cap and glasses, marked with his spring training number, 79.

To read more of this story, click here