Bobby Parnell warms up 2

Mets’ team surgeon among best in baseball

Mets’ team surgeon Dr. David Altchek is considered by injury expert Will Carroll as one of the top “Super Surgeons” tasked with putting MLB’s broken arms back together (Bleacher Report, July 16).

Altchek went to medical school at Cornell and worked initially for the ATP and NBA, specializing in shoulder issues, before becoming the Mets’ team doctor at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. His specialization includes elbow and knee injuries as well, meaning he’s dealt with some of the Tommy John surgeries the Mets have had in recent years.

In April, he performed the operation on Bobby Parnell. Last August, he operated on Jeremy Hefner.

He’s also performed anterior capsule surgery, on Tim Byrdak last year and Johan Santana in 2010.

Dr. Altchek has been the Mets’ director of medical services since November of 1991 (NY Times, 4/12/92).

Will Carroll was recently a guest on SNY’s Mostly Mets podcast >> Click here to listen

Mets among teams to check out Cuban SS/OF Rusney Castillo

The Mets will be among 11 teams flocking to Miami to watch 26-year-old Cuban OF Rusney Castillo hold a workout this weekend (CBS Sports, July 25). Castillo will also work out as a shortstop.

Castillo became a free agent last month and quickly joined Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports.


He is 5’9″, 185 pounds, a right-handed hitter with a line-drive stroke and plus-plus speed, according to Ben Badler (Baseball America, July 20).

“Scouts also like his athleticism,” writes reporter Jesse Sanchez (, July 19). “He’ll have to start the season in the Minor Leagues, but there’s a belief that he could be in the big leagues by the end of the season. He’s expected to compete for a starting job in Spring Training.”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

People in baseball talk about him being some place between Brett Garnder and Endy Chavez, maybe Jacoby Ellsbury, but not Jose Abreu or Yoenis Cespedes, i.e., more doubles, more stolen bases, fewer home runs. He’s a little guy, with a kind of a long, level swing, as you can see in the video below. I’m not sure how this type of player fits in with the Mets, who seem to want to acquire power more than speed. But, in this era of so few impact hitters, I think you take whatever you can get, regardless of how it happens…

Bartolo Colon 5

Mets would pay some of Colon’s salary to deal him

The Mets would pay some of Bartolo Colon’s remaining salary this season in an effort to deal him (Martino, July 25).

Colon is due roughly $2 million for the remainder of the season.

Interested teams are asking the Mets to pay a portion of Colon’s $11 million salary for 2015, according to columnist Joel Sherman (NY Post, July 23). However, Sandy Alderson would prefer not to do that (Carig, July 22).

In other words, “I think there is zero chance they find someone to take him,” a scout told Sherman. “You have to pay him $11 million next year when he will be 42 and no one wants to do that. No one is going to trust to give up prospects and take on that risk.”

The Mets could choose to let Colon get claimed off waivers and, though they’d get nothing back in return for him, they also wouldn’t be on the hook for his salary in 2015, a front office executive told Sherman, predicting that this is exactly what the Mets will try to do.

Read More: There is no good reason for a team to acquire Colon before July 31 >> Click here

Mets keep Young, demote Nieuwenhuis; promote Wilmer, but will play Tejada

Lacking a true back-up infielder on the bench, the Mets promoted Wilmer Flores from Triple-A Las Vegas and sent down OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis on Thursday after Ruben Tejada was hit in the helmet with a fastball the night before.

Flores is 24-years-old and had been hitting .323 with 13 home runs in 55 games for Las Vegas, during which he also had a 22-game hitting streak.

Nevertheless, while Mets manager Terry Collins said he expects Flores to stay with the big-league team, he intends to use him as a platoon middle infielder, splitting time with Tejada and occasionally filling in for Daniel Murphy at second base.

MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

“We’re playing pretty good,” Collins said, who’s team has won 11 of their last 17 games. “I’m trying to keep things from being disrupted as much as I can, because I like the way things are going right now. I’m trying not to disrupt that.”

Meanwhile, Nieuwenhuis was batting .246 in 30 games, compared to Chris Young, who is batting .176 with five extra base hits in the same timespan.

“He’s been pretty good,” Collins said about Nieuwenhuis. “Unfortunately, you reach a situation where there’s only certain guys you can move. He was aware of that. I told him it’s going to allow him to go down and be an everyday player which, as we’ve seen before, is very beneficial, because when they come back they’ve gotten off to pretty good starts.”

Young signed a one-year, $7.5 million contract this past winter, while Nieuwenhuis will earn the league minimum.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

In regard to Young, I actually don’t mind keeping him around and demoting Nieuwenhuis, though I realize lots of fans probably disagree. I’m frustrated with Young too, believe me. These are two mediocre players in a mostly mediocre outfield. And, while Young has been worse, he’s also experienced, he can help guide the other young players through a time of year when young players tend to lose focus and struggle. There is no statistical category for this, but it is valuable and part of helping direct and lead young players that a team expects to one day step up and be leaders themselves, I think.

So, fine, keep Young for now, let him do his thing off the field, try to get better on the field, let Nieuwenhuis go get at bats in Triple-A and then then revisit the situation in August. In a month or so, if the Mets are still under .500, if Young is still struggling and if the Mets need a roster spot, I bet Young gets released. But, for now, I understand this decision…

MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Mets

In regards to Wilmer’s playing time, I prefer he get regular at bats. He was hitting well, probably feeling good and I hate to see that come to a screeching halt, simply because Terry doesn’t want to distract the other eight guys in the lineup. I mean, if Tejada is going to end up getting the bulk of at bats — whether because he’s playing well or not, but because  the team is doing well — then why promote Flores at all? At that point, bring up Omar Quintanilla instead and let him ride the bench, while Flores keeps hitting well in Vegas. Unlike the outfield situation, this one doesn’t make a ton of sense to me, but I’m willing to keep an open mind and see how it plays out before saying it’s a total mistake…

Dillon Gee has struggled since return from ASB

Mets RHP Dillon Gee struggled through five innings, giving up six runs to the Brewers during a 9-1 loss in Milwaukee on Thursday night.

Gee had a rough outing in his previous start against the Padres, his second since being on the disabled list for nearly two months.

He has given up five home runs in his two starts since the All-Star break, during which he has a 9.00 ERA.


“There’s no excuses,” Gee said Thursday night. “The ball’s just not coming out right the last couple of starts.”

Prior to going on the DL, he had the fourth-best ERA in baseball among pitchers with at least 175 innings since June 2013.

He started the year 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA.

I’ve been in this situation before,” Gee said. “I’m confident I’ll get it turned around and get back out there and keep us in the ballgame.”

Terry Collins said he left Gee in the game because he needs the mound work, considering how much time he missed the last two months.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I’m not too worried. Dillon has proven to be a smart pitcher over the last calendar year. He’s not making adjustments like he had been doing during his incredible stretch for a full year before hitting the DL. My hunch is he’s just a bit rusty, probably isn’t feeling his fastball, which is down in velocity. I’m sure he’ll get it back. He missed a ton of time there, sitting idle, waiting for that muscle to get better.

Ordinarily, he would have changed up his game mid start on Thursday. He didn’t, and that tells me didn’t have confidence in his fastball, because he just wasn’t throwing it in situations he normally would. Hopefully, he gets the kinks out soon and gets back on track… I think he will. He’s proven too good over the last year or so to think he’d just lose it overnight.


Thursday’s Highlights: Collins and Gee talk loss, Duda’s HR, Murphy’s catch

Terry Collins and Dillon Gee discuss Gee’s tough start and the offense’s struggles in their 9-1 loss to the Brewers on Thursday >> Watch here.

Lucas Duda hit a solo home run in the seventh inning to break up the shutout >> Watch here.

Daniel Murphy made a leaping catch on Jonathan Lucroy‘s line drive to get the first out of the inning >> Watch here.

Before the game, Kevin Burkhardt talked with Mets OF Chris Young about Bartolo Colon and what needs to happen for him to take off >> Watch here.

Mets have contacted Rockies about Tulowitzki and Gonzalez

The Mets have contacted the Rockies to say they’re interested in SS Troy Tulowitzki and OF Carlos Gonzalez, according to columnist Joel Sherman (NY Post, July 25).

However, Sherman writes, “Keep in mind, Tulowitzki has indicated he has become frustrated playing his prime mainly in non-contention,” and “There is belief if he were to request a trade, ownership would strongly consider fulfilling his wishes.”


According to Sherman, “Tulowitzki has a no-trade provision, wears No. 2 in honor of Derek Jeter and is thought to be considerably more interested in being a Yankee than a Met.”

The Cardinals, who tried and failed to get Tulowitzki last winter, continue to have interest in acquiring him as well, says Sherman.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

July 24: The Rockies are not going to trade SS Troy Tulowitzki this season, a good friend who works with the Rockies predicted when I talked to him earlier this week. Instead, despite how they’ve handled him in the past, Colorado will seriously consider moving him for three or four, top major-league prospects this winter. … The Mets are going to check in on him, if they haven’t already, I’ve heard. In addition, I talked to a National League scout last week who believes the Mets have more than enough pitching prospects, along with one of their young catchers, to acquire a player like Tulowitzki, especially if they’re taking on his contract. … I still think Tulowitzki is Alderson’s White Whale. … That said, my bet is Tulowitzki — again — doesn’t get dealt in the next 18 months >> Read more.

What’s on tap for Friday, July 25

The Mets (48-54) and Brewers (58-45) continue their four-game series at 8:10 pm ET in Milwaukee on Friday.

Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.78 ERA) will start for the Mets against Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo (5-5, 3.79).

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 6.25.22 AM

In case you missed it…

Dillon Gee gave up six runs in three innings as the Mets lost to the Brewers, 9-1, in Thursday’s series opener.

Ruben Tejada said he felt fine a day after getting hit in the head with a fastball from M’s starter Taijuan Walker. Nevertheless, the Mets promoted Wilmer Flores, who started at shortstop on Thursday.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis was optioned to Las Vegas.

Curtis Granderson returned to the lineup Thursday after missing two games with “flu-like symptoms.”

Game Recap: Brewers 9 – Mets 1

Result: The Brewers routed the Mets, 9-1, in their series opener on Thursday at Miller Park.

Dillon Gee


Need to KnowDillon Gee struggled for his second straight outing, surrendering six runs and six hits in five innings. Jonathan Lucroy’s first-inning home run was the first of three Milwaukee dingers, and the Brewers broke the game open with four runs in the second inning.

Lucas Duda drove in the Mets’ lone run with a seventh-inning home run.

Game BallMatt Garza. The Brewers starter allowed just two hits, including Duda’s dinger, in eight innings, picking up his seventh win of the season.

Links: | Box Score

What’s Next: Game two of the four-game set will be Friday night with Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.78) getting the ball for the Mets. The Brewers will counter with Yovani Gallardo (5-5, 3.79). First pitch will be at 8:10 p.m.