Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
The possible friendly rivalry between Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard is exciting to think about, so long as it remains friendly.
Harvey was first to arrive. He made 12 starts in 2012, and then took over baseball in 2013 before ending his season with what would eventually be Tommy John surgery. Wheeler debuted last summer, pitching the second half of a double-header with Harvey starting game one. Let’s hope Wheeler has a similar 2013 to Harvey, minus the elbow issue, of course. While we’re at it, it would be awesome if Syndergaard could make his debut during an equally dramatic double-header, with Wheeler pitching earlier in the day.
The comparisons between Wheeler, Harvey and Syndergaard, and all three compared to Generation K, and Doc Gooden and Tom Seaver, etc., is all just beginning.
This isn’t fair. These are three separate guys who are deserving of three separate storylines and three sets of expectations. However, it’s impossible to see them that way, which is going to lead to them being forced to compare themselves to one another, which will give inevitably give birth to some sort of rivalry.
For instance, columnist John Harper (Daily News, Mar. 11) recently talked with Wheeler about following in Harvey’s footsteps, and Wheeler said:
“We’re different. Everybody expects all of us to love everything about being a star. I’m just laid-back. But I love playing baseball and the attention that comes with it — I guess I just don’t show I love the attention. … I’m ready to take the next step. I’m ready to take on (the Harvey role) and everything that comes with it. Does that include dating models?’ Whatever comes, we’ll see. I don’t go out that much. Last year I didn’t even go out one time in New York because I was so concentrated on what I was doing, just being called up at the time. But we’ll see. If a hot model comes along, so be it. Why not, right?’’
I love this quote. Imagine life if these two (hopefully three) are dominating together, each contending for awards and rings, all in the same uniform? I get chills thinking about it. But, what if the pressure and competition consumes them? What if it creates jealousy, or an unhealthy resentment? What if someone isn’t working hard enough, partying too much or doing too much media, garnering attention for the wrong reasons? Then what?
It’s a good problem to have, I suppose. I don’t know any of these three guys well enough to know if this is even a possibility. For all I know, their pin-straight morals and lovely personalities will turn the pitching mound at Citi Field in to a drum circle. I’m willing to bet, instead, that like most young men, ego and pride can get the best of them.
In case you missed it…
The Mets plan to continue the same aggressive, heads-up play on the basepaths they used in 2013, explains Marc Carig in Newsday. According to FanGraphs.com, their base running was worth a big league-best two extra wins in the standings >> Read More
Ike Davis and Lucas Duda are among the most interesting position battles around MLB, according to the New York Post’s Ken Davidoff >> Read More
Chris Young’s ground-rule double on Tuesday resulted in a run-away child in a wagon nearly crashing in to the outfield wall >> Watch Here
The Mets will travel to Jupiter, Florida to take on the Cardinals at 1:05 p.m.
The game will air on MLB Network and 710 WOR AM. Follow it live online with SNY GameDay.
Jonathan Niese will make his first spring start, with Scott Rice, Rafael Montero, Vic Black, Jose Valverde, Gonzalez Germen and Miguel Socolovich also expected to pitch.
|1. Eric Young Jr – LF
||1. Mark Ellis – DH
|2. Juan Lagares – CF
||2. Jhonny Peralta – SS
|3. Kirk Nieuwenhuis – RF
||3. Matt Holliday – LF
|4. Josh Satin – 3B
||4. Allen Craig – RF
|5. Matt Clark – 1B
||5. Yadier Molina – C
|6. Travis d’Arnaud – C
||6. Jon Jay – CF
|7. Andrew Brown – DH
||7. Xavier Scruggs – 1B
|8. Wilmer Flores – SS
||8. Kolten Wong – 2B
|9. Omar Quintanilla – 2B
||9. Daniel Descalso – 3B
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Bartolo Colon made his first official start of the spring for the Mets on Monday. He faced 18 batters in four innings, gave up five hits, three runs and struck out one hitter.
“I was happy I was able to locate my pitches and pitch well,” Colon said after the game (Bergen Record, Mar. 11). “I’m in line and I feel good.”
Colon again relied on his fastball, which sat around 90 mph most of the afternoon.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Colon is fun to watch. The things he can do with his fastball are impressive. He changes speeds, uses different grips, gets a variety of movement, and he has presence on the mound and command of the game. I also like how he walks in what is seemingly slow-motion off the mound at the end of the inning. No rush, it’s his game. It’s all on his clock.
However, it’s obvious that Terry Collins will have to play his best defense on days Colon starts, which is all the more reason why Juan Lagares needs to be on the roster and in center field at least every fifth day… The ball is going to be in play a lot.
Read More about Bartolo Colon’s multifaceted fastball…
“Bartolo Colon makes the ball dance, he’s like Meadowlark Lemon,’’ J.P Ricciardi, the Mets assistant to the GM, told the New York Post, referring to the former star of the Harlem Globetrotters >> Read More
His formula of keeping his pitches primarily low and tight to the strike zone forces hitters to confront his fastball, explains Michael Fensom in the Star-Ledger >> Read More
“It’s like Mariano,” said Mets OF Chris Young, Colon’s teammate on the A’s last season, according to the New York Times >> Read More
Jon Niese makes his 2014 Grapefruit League debut Tuesday at 1:05 pm against Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals in Jupter.
The game will air live on WOR 710 AM radio and on MLB Network.
Niese was sent to New York early in camp for an MRI of his left shoulder. He threw three innings during an intrasquad game last week. He told reporters he feels fine and expects to get in three starts before Opening Day.
In case you missed it…
LHP John Lannan is competing for the final spot in the rotation. He will start Wednesday’s game, but Terry Collins said he will soon get work in relief.
Left-handed relievers Josh Edgin, Jack Leathersich and Adam Kolarek were sent to minor-league camp Monday.
Wilmer Flores will start at shortstop Tuesday against the Cardinals.
The Mets are hoping Lucas Duda will to return from a left-hamstring injury by Thursday >> Read More
Ike Davis arrived to camp Monday in a boot, which the team hopes will help heal his tight calf muscle. Terry Collins said he hopes to see Davis DH in a minor-league game later this week.
Bartolo Colon and Jenrry Mejia will start for the Mets this weekend against the Cubs in Las Vegas. David Wright, Curtis Granderson, Travis d’Arnaud and Bobby Parnell are also expected to make the trip.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Look out, the Mets have created a Mr. Met account on Twitter, and it’s being presented as the actual Mr. Met writing the tweets.
The team told me this morning this is an official account.
So, Mets, please, please don’t make him say or do something that will end up making me dislike him. He’s the best. Don’t mess this up. Plus, my kids love him as well. They think he’s hysterical. My wife is a die-hard Yankees fan. Mr. Met may be my best shot at making my little girls Mets fans.
Mr. Met has been essentially voiceless since he stepped on field in 1964. Sure, his actions often speak louder than words. However, fans are always able to project on to him whatever we want. For the most part, despite some tumultuous times on field, Mr. Met remains popular, mostly because he never says anything stupid about winning or losing, he doesn’t make excuses, he doesn’t talk about spending, or selling things. Frankly, his only interaction is pointing at people. Now, for the first time ever, he’s talking…
Proceed with caution, Mets. Remember, you are what you tweet…
Michael Baron, Contributor
On Sunday, Terry Collins suggested to reporters only Eric Young Jr. and Chris Young are being considered as the team’s leadoff hitter heading into the regular season.
Collins said, if Juan Lagares is the center fielder, Chris Young would be the leadoff hitter and left fielder. Otherwise, Eric Young Jr. would be the everyday left fielder hitting in the leadoff spot, with Chris Young in center.
“It’s going to be a tough call,” Collins said on Sunday. “We know what Juan is defensively — he’s as good a center fielder as there is. But we’ve gotta take a look at both sides of the baseball. We’ve gotta make sure we can do something about producing some runs. We can’t have a lot of holes.”
No matter what, it’s highly likely Lagares will be on the active roster when camp breaks later this month (Rubin, March 9).
Eric Young Jr. certainly has shown glimpses of being a quality leadoff hitter. I love his speed and his potential to transform the lineup and disrupt games on the base paths. However, he is probably best suited as a fourth outfielder or utility infielder. Otherwise – as was the case last year – he runs the risk of being overexposed.
On the flip side, there might be just as many questions about Lagares. He swung at way too many pitches outside the strike zone last year and he needs to get on-base more frequently. He did show promise in the Dominican League this past winter, but the regular season is a different animal.
However, his ability to take runs away from the opposition with his glove might outweigh his offensive deficiencies. Team insiders acknowledged the value of outfield defense during the off-season, especially at Citi Field and the other big ballparks in the division. I agree, and I ultimately believe Lagares has a greater ability to contribute towards winning – with his defense alone – than any other current centerfield option on the 40-man roster.
I have to believe the Mets will value Lagares’ superior defense to what Eric Young Jr. might be able to contribute offensively. Lagares, flanked by Chris Young and Curtis Granderson, form one of the best defensive outfields in baseball. If winning is as important as people within the organization say it is, then putting the best combination out there, which plays to the strengths of their ballpark, should be the top priority.
Read More about the Outfield competition…
John Harper of the Daily News believes Juan Lagares should get the nod in the center field >> Read More
In the end, it may simply be a battle between offense and defense, according to Matt Ehalt of the Bergen Record >> Read More
There is also a scenario that puts Chris Young hitting leadoff, Terry Collins, according to ESPN New York >> Read More
The Marlins got 19 hits and three walks and defeated the Mets, 11-1, at Tradition Field on Monday.
faced 18 batters in four innings, he gave up five hits, three runs and struck out one.
Jack Leathersich gave up two runs, including a home run by Giancarlo Stanton that hit the fence on the practice field behind Tradition Field.
Mets RHP Ryan Ried faced nine batters, gave up six hits and four runs in the eighth inning.
The Mets had just seven runners in scoring position.
SNY.TV’s full recap and boxscore >> Click Here
Jon Niese makes his first official start of the spring as the Mets travel to Jupiter to face the Cardinals 1:10 pm on Tuesday.