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

Ouch…

The News

  • The Mets lost to the Dodgers yesterday by a score of 13 to 4 in their first Spring Training game of the season.
  • The Star-Ledger reports that the cut on Kaz Matsui’s right middle finger is improving.  Kaz is expected to take ground balls today, but will not make any throws.  Mike Piazza isn’t expected to play today as he continues to recover from a tweaked adductor muscle on Tuesday.  “I told Art (Howe) I could catch, but he told me they were going to shut me down for a couple of days to be safe,” Piazza told to the Star-Ledger.
  • “He has a dynamic personality, and it’s absolutely welcome,” Mike  Stanton told the Journal News.  “His positive attitude and his approach to the game can be contagious. What he adds on the field is a given, but he also adds a lot to the clubhouse.” 

ERA 189.00

The News

  • Today’s Mets-Dodgers game will be on ESPN.  Hideo Nomo is scheduled to start for the Dodgers.  Steve Trachsel, Grant Roberts, Dan Wheeler and Ricky Bottalico are scheduled to pitch for the Mets.

  • The Daily News reports that Kazuo Matsui asked to make the trip to Vero Beach even though he’s out a week with a lacerated finger. Art Howe has been impressed with Matsui’s team-first attitude, says the Daily News.  The manager spotted Matsui picking up balls after a fielding drill yesterday.

  • In one-third of an inning, Scott Erickson allowed four hits, two walks, and six earned runs. “Obviously I would have liked to do better,” Erickson told the Bergen Record. “Not enough strikes. Plain and simple. But it was a meaningless game.”

  • On a bright note, 23-year-old pitcher Jose Diaz, acquired from the Dodgers last season for Jeremy Burnitz, pitched a scoreless inning yesterday, striking out all three batters he faced.  Diaz’s fastball reportedly clocked in around 94 mph, according to the Star-Ledger.

  • Mike Piazza played three innings at first base in yesterday’s game.  He pounced on a line drive off the bat of Cliff Floyd and stepped on first for a double play in the first inning.  Piazza did have a throwing error, tossing the ball to first before Scott Erickson was there to cover.  The Journal News reports that Piazza slightly hurt one of his adductor muscles in his upper left leg during infield practice.  Piazza and the team did not seem overly concerned.

  • According to the the Mets’ stat gurus,  nearly 70 balls that dropped in the outfield last season would have been caught had Mike Cameron been a Met, the Daily News reports.

  • The Daily News reports that Scott Strickland threw off the mound for the first time since his Tommy John elbow surgery from last season.  Strickland hopes to return by mid-May.

  • Tatsunori Hara, the former manager of the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants and Kazuo Matsui’s idol as a player, visited Met camp yesterday. Hara believes Matsui will hit .300, 15 home runs and steal 50 bases, says the Star-Ledger.

  • Sports Illustrated previews the Mets and the National League East.

  • Lastly, Bill Madden does a wonderful job explaining the Mets current philosophy.

MetsBlog.com’s Take…
Jose Diaz, 23, touched 98 mph two years ago, ” but had no command of his pitches unless he toned down his velocity and even then struggled to throw strikes,” says Baseball America. Last year he showed better command of his splitter and has consistently threw in the low 90’s. Before joining the Mets in Class A, Diaz went 6-3, 3.12 with a 76-51 strikeout-walk ratio and .181 opponent average in 69 innings.  Rick Peterson and Art Howe have stated Diaz is far from off their radar, and is a sleeper for the fifth starter spot, currently being fought over by a countless number of pitchers…I may be a candidate, I’m not sure yet.