Alderson expects Wright to return when DL stint is up

Update:

David Wright rode a stationary bike on MondUSATSI_8519722_110579513_lowresay and is on track to be activated when his 15-day disabled list stint ends, Sandy Alderson said (Braziller, April 20).

Wright is eligible to return on April 30, when the Mets open a four-game series against the Nationals at Citi Field.

Previous Reports

Wright was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with a “mild” right hamstring strain, after tweaking his leg sliding into second base on Tuesday night.

“It’s disappointing anytime you have to go on the DL and miss games,” Wright said. “But if there’s a silver lining, I guess it could have been worse.”

Wright received a cortisone shot in his leg and rested for a few days before recently beginning workouts.

In Wright’s absence, Eric Campbell – who was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas – has been starting at third base.

Harvey writes about fastball command in The Player’s Tribune

In his latest article for The Player’s Tribune, Matt Harvey looks back on what made him the pitcher he is today, especially how he worked to refine his fastball command. Harvey also praises Bartolo Colon, talks about the importance of mixing his pitches, and writes about how relieved he was when his fastball velocity returned post-Tommy John surgery.

Read Harvey’s full article in The Player’s Tribune.

Get to Know: RHP Hansel Robles

Toby HydeToby Hyde, SNY


Right-handed reliever Hansel Robles has been promoted to the Mets to fortify the team’s bullpen after Jerry Blevins’ forearm fracture.

The 24-year-old Robles was off to a terrific start for Triple-A Las Vegas. In 7 2/3 innings over five outings, he had not allowed a run, while striking out 10 batters and walking one of the 30 opposing hitters he had faced. Two of the six hits he had allowed were doubles, but he had not allowed a hit to lefties in nine at-bats.

The Mets moved Robles out of the Double-A starting rotation in 2014 and into the bullpen at midseason, and his results have been excellent ever since.

As a starter, he ran a fairly pedestrian 4.86 ERA in Double-A with a 9 percent walk rate and 21 percent strikeout rate. However, as a reliever between Double-A and Triple-A he owns a 1.30 ERA in 27 2/3 innings with 34 strikeouts against eight walks, good enough for a strikeout rate of 30.6 percent and a walk rate of 7 percent. As a starter, in Double-A, his fastball was below average — often in the 89-91 range, although he would reach back for more at 93. However, his velocity has jumped in of the bullpen and multiple reports had him working off a 93-96 mph fastball.


Read more on SNY’s Mets Minors…

Citi surprises young fan with Citi Perks First Pitch

Citi Perks First Pitch PhotoHey, you never know!

Young James Vitucci from Staten Island sure felt like he was a lottery winner yesterday thanks to Citi, as he was selected to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Marlins vs. Mets game.

The surprise First Pitch is part of Citi’s season long Citi Perks program offering Mets fans and Citi Cardholders special benefits and experiences at Citi Field.

With the team off to a fast start, Mets fans certainly have a lot to be excited about when coming out to Citi Field these days, and now thanks to Citi, there are sure to be a few more surprises coming their way.

For more info on Citi Perks visit Mets.com/citi.

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Jenrry Mejia not guaranteed a spot in bullpen when he’s back

Andrew Vazzano, @AVSNYAndrew Vazzano, SNY


GM Sandy Alderson recently said he hopes there’s no room for Jenrry Mejia in the Mets bullpen when the reliever is ready to return from his 80-game suspension for PEDs.

“I hope our bullpen is pitching so well that there is not a spot for him,” Alderson said, according to SNY’s Steve Gelbs during Friday night’s broadcast.

I followed up with Alderson at an event on Saturday and he reiterated that his quote is more about the team doing well than punishing Mejia, though he acknowledged there was some anger and resentment in his statement.

If all the relievers are pitching well, he told me, Mejia will not be guaranteed a spot on the roster when he’s able to return from the restricted list. Nevertheless, he added, the front office is upset with Mejia, as are many of his teammates, because – in addition to being suspended for 80 games – he is now ineligible for the postseason.

Mejia said in a statement that he did not knowingly take the banned substance and had no idea how it got into his system. He is eligible to return from suspension in July.

Conforto

Conforto named FSL Player of the Week, scout calls him incredible

Mets OF prospect Michael Conforto was named his league’s Player of the Week on Monday, after the starting the year batting .366 with four HR and 13 RBI through 11 games.

According to beat reporter Adam Rubin, Mets officials discussed having Conforto open the season at Double-A Binghamton instead of Single-A St. Lucie, where he currently leads the Florida State League in home runs and total bases (April 20).

“Get him out of this league,” a scout watching Conforto recently told Rubin. “The kid has been incredible.”

Conforto, 22, was drafted with the team’s first-round pick (No. 10 overall) in 2014. He appeared in five Grapefruit League games before being demoted this spring, during which hit .364 he had four hits and three RBI in 11 at bats.

“I think I spy another hitter,” an excited Keith Hernandez said about Conforto on SNY after seeing him hit an RBI double in early March.

MLB.com recently ranked Conforto as the organization’s third-best position prospect, placing him behind only Brandon Nimmo and Kevin Plawecki (Jan., 2015). Baseball America ranked him fifth-best (Dec. 2014).

According to MLB.com’s prospect insider Jonathan Mayo, Conforto has the potential to regularly hit 25 home runs in the big leagues.

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Travis d’Arnaud out at least 3 weeks with fractured finger

Travis d’Arnaud will be in a splint for three weeks after being diagnosed with a fracture of the little finger on his right hand (April 20, 2:50 pm). He will be evaluated and allowed to resume baseball activities when he has healed and is no longer in pain.

Triple-A C prospect Kevin Plawecki will be promoted Tuesday and take d’Arnaud’s spot on the roster (April 20, 3:00 pm).


cerrone avatarMatthew Cerrone: I think Memorial Day is a good estimate for d’Arnaud’s return. I hope it’s sooner, but after rest and rehab, I expect he’ll be back end of May. Frankly, that’s good news given the possible outcome. It’s also worth noting that d’Arnaud has suffered a lot of fluke injuries during his professional career and – with this situation – the trend continues. Plawecki will be a step down, but could do enough to justify challenging Travis for a starting role later in the summer. In the event Plawecki plays well, and d’Arnaud isn’t back until June, I would not be surprised to see them both stick on the roster during what will hopefully be a playoff run.


D’Arnaud was hit in the hand with a pitch in the seventh inning Sunday. He was removed from the game after the trainer and Terry Collins visited with him at first base.

He was hitting .315 with a .356 OBP, a double, triple and two home runs.

Plawecki was hitting .216 for Las Vegas, but had five RBI Saturday and was 8-for-18 in the four games before Sunday.

Collins said Sunday that Plawecki would be the No. 1 catcher if he is added to the 25-man roster.

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Blevins out for at least 6 weeks with left-arm fracture

LHP Jerry Blevins has a distal radius fracture of his left arm and will be in a splint for six weeks. Blevins will be re-examined at the end of that time and resume throwing if he is healed.

RHP rookie reliever Hansel Robles will be promoted Tuesday and replace Blevins on the roster.

Blevins was hit by a line drive during Sunday’s game, though he was able to scoop the ball and shovel it to first base with his glove for the out. He later went for X-rays, where it was determined he has a fracture in his pitching arm.

Blevins was unscored upon this season after being acquired from the Nationals in late March. He retired 14 of 15 batters, including two Sunday. The other reached on a fielder’s choice.

Robles, 24, hadn’t allowed a run in five appearances (7 2/3 innings) for Triple-A Las Vegas this season, with 10 strikeouts and one walk. He has not pitched in the majors. He was a starter and reliever last season.

Vic Black fires 4v

Vic Black has herniated disk in neck

Vic Black has a herniated disk in the right side of his neck, the team announced Monday (April 20, 2:57 pm).

The herniated disk is causing weakness in his triceps, according to his recent examination at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

“This represented an improvement in his condition since his last exam,” according to the Mets.

Black will undergo therapy and will be reexamined in one week.

He pitched for Double-A Binghamton Saturday, during which his velocity was down, Sandy Alderson said the next day. Black also complained of neck and shoulder pain after the outing.

“I can tell when my arm feels good and when it doesn’t,” Black recently told the Press & Sun Bulletin (April 20, 10:30 am). “Not that it hurts, but when the ball is coming out. … At the same time, it all comes back as you get back into the rhythm and the groove.”

Terry Collins said last week that Black was close to returning, but needed to show he could pitch on consecutive days, which he has still not done. Alderson was not as specific, saying he wasn’t sure when Black would return from the disabled list.

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Right-Track, Wrong-Track poll

cerrone avatarMatthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com


The Mets, who have won eight in a row, moved up 12 spots to No. 6 on this week’s ESPN.com’s MLB Power Rankings (April 20). I’m still torn, I have no idea if the streak can or will continue.

I wish they could win 10 of every 13 games, regardless of who gets hurt. Unfortunately, losing David Wright, Jenrry Mejia, Travis d’Arnaud, Jerry Blevins and Vic Black  not to mention Zack Wheeler will eventually catch up with them.

“The best teams go through times like this,” backup C Anthony Recker said after Sunday’s game, during which Blevins and d’Arnaud went down (April 20). “We just have to push through.”

If there is one thing giving me hope this team can side step a major losing streak it’s the front end of their starting rotation. The Mets are 8-1 when Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey or Bartolo Colon take the mound. It’s been a very long time since the Mets had three of five pitchers that I had so much faith in, all capable of stopping another team’s momentum and getting their team back on track.

“I think the same attitude, the same commitment and determination is going to keep us moving ahead,” Terry Collins said Sunday, speaking about a winning culture and attitude that is shaping his clubhouse in the wake of adversity. “I’m confident the most important thing here is not who are the replacements but the atmosphere that they will find when they get here.”

Terry makes an important point. However, because I’ve seen too many similar teams totally fall apart when the competition amped up later in the summer, I’m holding back my confidence in their chemistry. That said, I like what I see. They’re fun to watch. There is a lot going for this team, but also a lot to still be concerned about it.