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Alderson says Black unlikely to be ready for Opening Day

Vic Black threw a bullpen session at Tradition Field on Monday, but Sandy Alderson later told reporters it is unlikely Black is ready for Opening Day.

Instead, he’ll likely begin the season on the disabled list.

Black hasn’t pitched in a game since March 9 because of weakness in his throwing shoulder. However, pitching coach Dan Warthen said Black could return to game action Wednesday (March 28).


Speaking of Black, earlier today, SNY.TV uploaded video from last month, when Black and host Rob Brender took a boat across the Florida everglades in search of alligators >> Watch here.

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One week until Opening Day, but four questions remain for Mets

cerrone avatarMatthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com

Who will be in the Opening Day bullpen? Sandy Alderson acquired left-handed relievers Alex Torres and Jeremy Blevins on Monday, after which he said Vic Black is not likely to be ready for Opening Day. So, that said, assuming Dillon Gee is in the starting rotation, I’d say Torres and Blevins will join Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys FamiliaCarlos Torres, Rafael Montero and either Sean Gilmartin or Buddy Carlyle in the bullpen on April 6. Of course, this all changes when Bobby Parnell returns from the disabled list a few weeks later. It also changes if Gee is traded in the next few days, which is still a distinct possibility.

Who will be the starting second baseman, and how will it impact the bench?

This will depend on how long the Mets think Daniel Murphy will be on the disabled list. He’s struggling with a hamstring injury. So, if they think he’s going to be out for a while, I”ve heard they’ll go with Triple-A infield prospect Matt Reynolds. However, if Murphy is going to be back the first week of April, they’ll likely carry Daniel Muno as a bench player and start Ruben Tejada.

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Sandy Alderson talked to reporters about Monday’s trades and the team’s roster and said…

1) Newly-acquired left-handed relievers Jeremy Blevins and Alex Torres were acquired to be in the Opening Day bullpen.

2) It’s possible the Mets also carry Rule 5 pick Sean Gilmartin, which would give them three left-handed relievers.

3) The Mets talked to at least six or seven teams in regards to acquiring a left-handed reliever.

4) The big spring Kirk Nieuwenhuis is having, plus him being out of options, made it easier to trade away Matt den dekker to the Nationals, especially considering the organization finally has outfield prospects moving up the system.

5) “Dillon Gee has the experience, but Rafael Montero has the upside,” when it comes to deciding who will replace Zack Wheeler in the starting rotation.

6) Daniel Murphy believes he’ll be ready for Opening Day, “but it’s touch and go,” and something that has yet to be determined.

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Mets trade Matt den Dekker for LHP Jerry Blevins

The Mets have traded OF Matt den Dekker to the Washington Nationals for left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins, the team announced.

Blevins has posted a 9.00 ERA in eight games this spring for the Nationals.

Last season, in 64 games for Washington, Blevins posted a 4.87 ERA and 1.238 WHIP. He held lefties to a .160 average and .202 on-base percentage in 117 plate appearances in 2014. Righties hit .298 with a .398 OBP against him in 123 plate appearances.

In his career, Blevins has held lefty hitters to a .212 batting average and .264 on-base percentage.


Blevins is set to make $2.4 million in 2015.


Sandy Alderson said both Blevin and recently-acquired LHP Alex Torres are “definitely” in the Mets bullpen to start the season.

He said the team is even considering keeping LHP Sean Gilmartin, too, according to ESPN’s Adam Rubin (March 30).

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Fred Wilpon delivered a positive, winning message in closed-door meeting

At the request of Terry Collins and David Wright, Fred Wilpon addressed the Mets in a closed-door meeting Friday morning at Tradition Field, the manager told reporters (March 30, 4:01 pm).

“Applause could be heard as the 20-minute meeting broke up inside the team’s clubhouse,” according to beat reporter Adam Rubin (March 30, 10:51 am).

The message was very positive and about ‘winning,’ an anonymous player told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo (March 30, 9:36 am).

“Anytime you have those types of meetings you take a lot out of it and I think everybody in here took a lot out of it,” David Wright said, who could not remember the last time Wilpon addressed the team this way.

Wright would not share details of what Wilpon said in the meeting.

However, an anonymous player said, “It was the best meeting I’ve ever been a part of,” according to DiComo.

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Mets, Duda cruise to 7-1 win

Lucas Duda knocked in five runs as the Mets beat the Marlins, 7-1, on Monday afternoon at Tradition Field.

Need to Know

Duda hit a two-run home run and a three-run double, driving in five runs on the day >> Watch here and here.

Rafael Montero threw six shutout innings, allowing just two hits. He struck out six batters and did not walk anyone.

Michael Cuddyer hit a two-run home run, his sixth of the spring >> Watch here.

Jenrry Mejia surrendered a run in the top of the ninth inning.

What’s Next

The Mets travel to play the Cardinals on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

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Mets acquire Padres LHP Alex Torres for Mazzoni and PTBNL

The Mets have traded RHP prospect Cory Mazzoni and a player to be named later to the Padres for left-handed reliever Alex Torres, the team announced Monday.

Torres, 27, had a 3.33 ERA and 1.46 WHIP last season in 54 innings, during which right-handed batters hit .209 with a .275 on-base percentage and lefties hit .256 with a .415 OBP against him.


cerrone avatarMatthew Cerrone: I liked Mazzoni, but this move potentially fills a short-term need. Also, because it’s a PTBNL, I assume it’s someone from last year’s draft, meaning he can’t technically be moved until later this summer.

My hunch is they’ll still carry Sean Gilmartin to the start the season, then bring up Torres shortly after if needed. Or, they’ll carry both, which is a real possibility as well.

The knock on Torres is that he relies a lot on his change-up and he goes through stretches when he struggles with command. However, when he’s in a groove, he’s an effective pitcher from both sides of the plate.


Torres will make the league minimum this season and is not eligible for arbitration eligible until 2017.

“He has a strong lower half that helps him produce lively stuff,” a scout once told Baseball America about Torres. “His low-90s fastball has outstanding movement, and his changeup is just as effective.”


In October, 2014, Triple-A pitching coach Frank Viola said Mazzoni has the potential to make a difference in the big leagues, either as back-end starting pitcher or reliever

Mazzoni ended 2014 in Triple-A where he ranked in the team’s Top 20 prospects entering this season.

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Today’s Game: Mets vs. Marlins, 1 p.m. on SNY

The Mets host the Marlins at Tradition Field on Monday.

The game is scheduled for 1 p.m. on SNY and MLB Network.

Rafael Montero (1-0, 4.00) starts for the Mets, opposed by Dan Haren (1-1, 1.93) for Miami. This will be Montero’s fourth spring appearance.

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Dillon Gee could still be traded, still doesn’t know if he’s in the rotation

The Mets could still trade Dillon Gee, according to ESPN reporter Adam Rubin (March 30).

Gee has yet to be told if he’ll start the season in the rotation or bullpen, he told Newsday reporter David Lennon (March 29), despite a spot opening up after Zack Wheeler had season-ending Tommy John surgery.

In 35 starts the last three seasons, Gee is 25-26 with a 3.85 ERA. He hasn’t pitched in relief since 2011.

According to Lennon, because of uncertainty in the bullpen, “the Mets are kicking around a number of options to patch those holes,” and pitching prospect Rafael Montero or Gee may factor in to the solution.

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