Hello Legs…

The News

  • Jose Reyes suffered a right hamstring strain during the Mets’ 6-5 win over the Twins yesterday.  According to the AP, no MRI was taken, but GM Jim Duquette announced that at least 24-48 hours will be needed to get a “sense of severity.”  Art Howe told the NY Post that he believed Reyes would be back for opening day. 
  • Kazuo Matsui told the Star-Ledger that he is still only 60 percent and isn’t sure when he can play shortstop.
  • FOX Sports reports that Ricky Bottalico has been throwing hard and looks like a Major League pitcher. Bottalico says he would go to the minors, however, if their is no room in the Mets opening day bullpen.
  • Lenny Dykstra arrived at Mets camp yesterday.  As the Star-Ledger puts it, he arrived talking “old-school toughness, intelligent play, and respect for the game.” Dykstra told a bevy or reporters, “It’s something I’m pretty good at…I’m not afraid to say that I was always associated with winning teams. Some people are winners, some people are not. It’s not by accident that I went to the World Series with the Mets and I went to the World Series with the Phillies.” Dykstra is in camp as a motivator, advisor and throwback leader.
  • As reported by the Daily News, Victor Diaz, whose hitting just .154 this spring, played right field during Saturday’s split-squad game against Baltimore.  Diaz caught two pop-ups in swirling winds. Diaz has been rough in the infield, both at second and third.
  • Scott Ridge of ESPN.com reports on possible players that could be traded this spring. The following are available players that could interest the Mets.
  • Ridge believes Angels starting pitcher Ramon Ortiz is available in a salary dump trade, i.e. a cash for player type deal that would allow the Angels to part with all of Ortiz’s $3.1 million 2004 salary. 
  • Once Torri Hunter returns from a wrist injury, the Twins could look to trade Jacque Jones in return for cash, to subsidize his $4.35 million 2004 salary, and young Major League ready pitching. 
  • Ridge also reports that the Rangers will trade Alfonso Soriano to the Mets for Scott Kazmir, but that the Mets are reluctant to part with its top pitching prospect. 

MetsBlog.com’s Take…

The first five batters in the Mets’ presumed opening day lineup have all battled or are battling some form of injury this spring – Kaz Matsui and his finger, Reyes and his latest hamstring pop, Mike Piazza an his upper leg saga, Cliff Floyd with his ankle and Mike Cameron and his toe.  

Of all the injuries, however, it is Reyes’s that is most disturbing.  At 20-years-old, he has now been hurt five times in the last 15 months.  What’s worse, is that they are all injuries below the belt.  It appears that Reyes will have chronic leg injuries throughout his career, which, considering his game is built on running, is something the Mets and their fans have got to be concerned about – though we are sure nobody really wants to talk about it. 

Best case scenario would be this is the final injury in a stretch of healthy years to come.  Worst case is that Reyes could still be the second coming of Lou Brock, but in the body of the post-millennium Ken Griffey Jr.  The unfortunate reality is likely to be someplace in between.

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After reading today’s post, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being most confident, how confident are you that the Mets will play “meaningful games” in September of 2004?

Apollo Creed

The News

  • Aaron Hielman pitched four scoreless innings in the Mets 3-2 loss to the Expos yesterday.  Heilman threw 51 pitches in four innings, striking out five and allowing only one base runner.  As Newsday points out, however, Terrmel Sledge, Valentino Pascucci and Matt Cepicky were batting 3,4 and 5 in the Expos lineup, while Jose Vidro, Carl Everett, Nick Johnson and Orlando Cabrera had the night off.
  • Kaz Matsui went hitless with a walk and a run scored.  According to Newsday, Kaz will continue to DH as the split middle finger on his right hand continues to heal. “He’s a little behind everyone. He just needs at-bats,” Art Howe told Newsday.  According to the NY Post, Kaz may be ready to play the field sometime this weekend.
  • Nine games into the exhibition season, the Met starting pitchers have an ERA of 0.36. Tom Glavine, Steve Trachsel, Al Leiter, and Jae Seo have yet to allow a run in 17 innings. MLB.com highlights Rick Peterson’s involvement at Mets camp this spring.
  • “It’s getting there,” Mike Piazza told the Star-Ledger, regarding his strained left adductor muscle. “It’s still tender, but it’s better. It’s not 100 percent, so we’re treating it gingerly.”  Meanwhile, Cliff Floyd told the Star-Ledger that he wouldn’t be 100 percent for the beginning of the season either.  “I don’t care, I’m going to be playing. I’ve had no setbacks, and I’ve played in every game,” Floyd told the paper.  Additionally, Mike Cameron is suffering from a bone spur in his right big toe. “I don’t think it’s going to be a factor,” Cameron told the paper.
  • David Weathers, who pitched two scoreless innings in yesterday’s game against the Expos, was announced into the game as “Carl Weathers.”  Weathers told the Star-Ledger he believes it was the result of a friendly prank played by John Franco.
  • The Mets will take on the Tigers today.  Newsday reports that Tom Glavine will start the game, while John Franco and Braden Looper are scheduled to pitch in relief.
  • Bob Herzog of Newsday writes a fantastic article detailing the on-field work between Matt Galante and Ty Wigginton.

MetsBlog.com’s Take

Reap What You Seo…

The News

  • Jae Seo threw four scoreless innings, allowing three hits, two walks and one hit batter in the Mets 1-0 loss to the Astros yesterday.  Scott Erickson was also impressive, allowing the game’s only run in three innings.
  • The Mets cut outfielders Kenny Kelly, Esix Snead and Wayne Lydon, catcher Joe Hietpas and pitchers Matt Peterson, Scott Sedlacek and Pat Strange.
  • Aaron Heilman will start tonight against the Expos at Port St. Lucie.  Heilman has had one solid start and one poor start.
  • With regards to when Kaz Matsui will be able to play the field during a spring game, as opposed to being only a DH, Matt Galante told the Daily News, “We’re talking the weekend maybe. I don’t want to put a date on it because we go day-by-day as he gets better, but we’re talking a few days away.
  • James Baldwin told the NY Post, “I haven’t felt this way since 2000.”  Baldwin has pitched in only two innings this spring.  He has allowed one run while striking out two batters.  Baldwin started yesterday’s “B” game, allowing five hits and three runs over three innings.
  • According to the NY Post, Magglio Ordonez can be had if the team will take on the entire $14 million owed on Ordonez’s contract.

N.L. East news

Because I'm A Met…

Mets News…

 

  • When
    asked why he wouldn’t want to go to the Yankees, assuming they begin
    looking for additions to their starting rotation during the season,
    Al Leiter told the NY Post, “Because I’m a Met…I’m a lifelong Met fan…This is the team I root for, the team I care about.” 

 

  • Kaz Mastui went hitless in two at-bats as a DH in the Mets’ 6-4 victory over the Cardinals yesterday.  Batting
    in the leadoff spot, Kaz fouled off three of the first four pitches
    thrown to him, ultimately fouling out in foul territory.  In
    his second at-bat, he took a called strike, fouled off the second
    pitch, then took two balls inside before lining out to second base.

 

  • Steve Trachsel pitched three scoreless innings against the Cardinals, allowing one hit.  “He looks like he’s in a groove already,” Art Howe told the Star-Ledger.  Grant Roberts allowed just two hits and struck out six in three shutout innings, leading the NY Post to declare him the early front-runner in the race for the Mets’ fifth starter position.

 

  • The Bergen Record reports that the Mets continue to look for a team to take on Roger Cedeno.  By starting Cedeno in four of their six games this spring, the Mets hope Cedeno will get hot and display a sense of value.  The Record adds that no team has expressed interest thus far.

 

Other N.L. East News…

 

  • The Star-Ledger reports that the broken middle finger on Jim Thome’s right hand will not require surgery.  Thome should be ready to play by opening day.

 

  • The Braves are winless this spring.  In yesterday’s loss to the Indians, the team walked 11 batters – four in two innings by starter Mike Hampton.

 

  • The Braves factory of young, dominant pitching appears to be back in business.  Though Jose Capellan is not completely ready for the big leagues, according to the MLB.com, he has impressed everyone that has seen him, hitting 101 mph on a consistent basis.  John Smoltz 2.0?

The Straw…

The News

 

  • Glavine pitched three scoreless innings yesterday in the Mets 8-3 win against the Dodgers. “This year’s spring training,” Glavine told the NY Post. “Last year was a circus.”

 

  • Scott Kazmir and Scott Erickson each pitched two scoreless innings in the Mets “B” game yesterday.  The Bergen Record reports that a Texas Rangers’ scout in attendance “insisted no talks are active between the Mets and Rangers for second baseman Alfonso Soriano”.

 

  • The Mets have been given permission from both MLB and the Cardinals to allow Kaz Matsui to be a designated hitter today, as he is still not fully recovered enough from an injured finger to play the field.

 

  • Unaware of the organization’s sour view of Darryl Strawberry, Mike Cameron arrived at the park yesterday wearing an old school Mets jersey, complete with thick blue pinstripes, with Strawberry’s name and number, 18, on the back.

 

  • Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Jim Thome broke the middle finger of his right hand.  He will be out for three to eight weeks.

 

MetsBlog.com’s Take

 

It’s a touchy situation.  MetsBlog, however, still holds good memories of Darryl Strawberry.  Sure, he is a traitor, having run for Los Angeles and then into the arms of George Steinbrenner, but when I think of the mid-to-late 1980’s, I think of Darryl, and I just can’t help it.  Maybe it’s because he is the first Met superstar my generation experienced, or maybe I have still not forgotten the rush that it ensued on a Strawberry home run, but no matter how many times he stands next to Steinbrenner, MetsBlog still sees him in blue and orange. 

 

His days with the Mets were his days as a superstar.  His days with the Yankees were his days as a stumbling man whose flaws were exposed for all to see.

 

MetsBlog prefers to remember him as a superstar, and so he will always be a Met to me.

 

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Scoreless…

The News

 

  • Grant Roberts and Steve Trachsel pitched two scoreless innings as the Mets defeated the Cardinals by a score of 4-2 yesterday.

 

  • All reports indicate that Mike Piazza will be in the lineup tonight when the Mets take on the Cardinals for the second straight day.

 

 

  • Kaz Matsui appears to be recovering quickly from his right middle finger injury. Kaz took ground balls and was allowed to turn double plays yesterday in practice.  GM Jim Duquette told the Star-Ledger that Matsui would be back in the lineup by Sunday or Monday.

 

  • John Franco will not only serve as a lefty set-up man this season, but he will also play the roll of bullpen coach.  Franco paced back and forth in the Mets bullpen with a clipboard and walkie-talkie yesterday reports the Star-Ledger.

 

 

MetsBlog.com’s Take

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