In the event Jon Niese is not the Opening Day starter, Terry Collins said Tuesday that Dillon Gee or Bartolo Colon will get the ball (Ehalt, Mar. 11).
Niese made his first official start of the spring Tuesday, throwing two innings, while giving up six hits and four runs. He traveled to New York at the start of camp to have an MRI of his shoulder.
Niese said his shoulder felt good after Tuesday’s game, despite hitting only 79 mph with his fastball during the first inning.
“I kind of started off slow and was able to gradually build up,” he said after the game (ESPN NY, Mar. 11). “The more times I get off a mound, the better it will be. … I’m not 100 percent as far as where I want to be pitching-wise, but I think they’re getting more crisp.”
Niese told SNY on Monday that he expects to get three or four more starts before Opening Day.
The team has yet to officially announce its starting pitcher for the season’s first game. Niese said he has yet to be told anything, as well.
David Wright told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Tuesday that his goal this season, and every season, is to make the playoffs (WFAN, Mar. 11).
“I want to go to the playoffs, everyone’s goal here is to go to the playoffs,” he said.
According to Wright, he believes the Mets have the ability to make the postseason, so long as everyone delivers the kind of season each player is capable of having.
“I’m not talking career years, just go out there and have the seasons we’re all capable of having,” he said.
The Mets beat the Cardinals, 9-8, in Jupiter on Tuesday afternoon.
allowed four earned runs in just two innings of work, his first true game action of the spring. He surrendered six hits and walked two, giving up one home run.
Rafael Montero allowed one earned run on one hit and one walk, striking out one in his inning. Jose Valverde allowed two earned runs in his inning of work.
Josh Satin, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Zach Lutz all homered for the Mets. Nieuwenhuis’ home run drove in three.
Omar Quintanilla went 3-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Wilmer Flores went 2-3 with a walk, double and two runs scored.
For the full recap, visit SNY.tv.
The Mets play the Cardinals at Tradition Field on Wednesday, a 1:10 p.m. start.
Michael Baron, Contributor
On Monday, the Mets optioned LHP Josh Edgin to minor league camp. Later in the day, Terry Collins told reporters LHP John Lannan will still work as a starting pitcher this spring, but he is also being considered as a second left-handed reliever for the bullpen.
LHP Scott Rice is on the 40-man roster and expected to make the Opening Day roster.
Lannan is open to pitching in relief, because his primary goal is to make the Opening Day roster (Rubin, Mar. 11).
“I’ll do anything to help the team,” he said.
The last couple of years, the Mets have been burned by not carrying a second quality left-handed reliever to start the season. That has often led to overusing Rice and Tim Byrdak. It has also reduced flexibility late in games, and has forced other relievers to pitch in situations that exposed their weaknesses.
Lannan has never made a major league relief appearance. He’s held left-handed hitters to a .267 average in his seven-year career, which isn’t great. The Mets have some flexibility with him, since he cannot opt out of his minor league contract until June (Rubin, Jan. 30). That could allow the team extra time to work Lannan in relief at Triple-A to see how he’ll transition in to the role. Of course, this wouldn’t help the short-term, Opening Day roster situation.
At the same time, if Lannan is a reliever, the race for the last rotation spot will likely come down to Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jenrry Mejia. Early in the offseason, it sounded as though the preference was to give Mejia the job if he was healthy at the end of camp. However, Terry Collins recently suggested his preference is for a veteran to win the spot, which could result in Mejia starting the year in the rotation at Triple-A. It doesn’t sound like the organization views Mejia as a reliever anymore, and that’s good news considering how much he’s been jerked around over the years.
The Mets should choose the best option for each role and not deliberately handicap themselves because they fear losing somebody on waivers. If players aren’t performing, they shouldn’t be on the roster.
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
Record a question for the MetsBlog Q&ACast
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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.