USA TODAY SportsJenrry Mejia (blister) and Bartolo Colon (back) both are dealing with minor medical issues.
Colon has been bothered by back spasms, but Collins said the 40-year-old pitcher pledged he would be OK for the upcoming start against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.
Meanwhile, the Mets will have a better feel for Jenrry Mejia's availability for his next start once he throws a bullpen session Friday in Queens. Mejia left his last start after 77 pitches and five scoreless innings after a blister on his right middle finger tore.
Collins said trainers are equipped to apply material that can get Mejia ready for his next start, which would be Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Sandy Alderson acknowledged Daisuke Matsuzaka's promotion does provide a safety net.
"Right now we brought up Daisuke to pitch out of the pen, more or less in a long role," the GM added. "But he does give us some insurance with any of our starters."
Getty ImagesIke Davis, Lucas Duda and Josh Satin should be unaffected by Friday's roster decision.
"I wouldn't say that's a primary consideration," Alderson said.
Although Lucas Duda has been declared the primary first baseman, Ike Davis has started there once each series so far this season. That pattern continued Wednesday, with Davis in the starting lineup against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Josh Satin has started all three games against left-handed pitchers.
"There's one first baseman and two guys off the bench," Alderson insisted. "So I don't really look at them as all first basemen. If you're referring to Josh Satin, he can play a number of positions, and as a right-handed hitter off the bench. And, right now, Ike fills a role as a left-handed hitter off the bench."
Although Duda is hitting .364 (8-for-22) with a homer and four RBIs in his past five starts, Terry Collins indicated he started Davis on Wednesday for two reasons: Davis has four career homers in 36 at-bats at Chase Field, and the manager felt it appropriate to give Davis one start in his hometown.
So who goes when Young is added to the roster? The two candidates would appear to be lefty-hitting Kirk Nieuwenhuis and righty-hitting Andrew Brown, with Brown (.150, 1 HR entering Wednesday's game) perhaps the more likely to depart. Alderson said a roster decision, even internally, remains unresolved.
Getty ImagesChris Young and Curtis Granderson both should return to the lineup Friday.
Chris Young joined the Mets on Wednesday in Arizona and is scheduled to be activated from the disabled list Friday, when he is eligible.
Terry Collins expects Curtis Granderson will return to the starting lineup that day as well. Granderson bruised his left forearm, rib cage and knee when he crashed into the outfield wall on an attempted catch Monday. He has resumed taking batting practice.
Young reached base in his first nine plate appearances during a three-game rehab stint with Triple-A Las Vegas that concluded Tuesday. Overall, he went 8-for-12 with two doubles, two homers, five RBIs, two walks and a stolen base with the 51s.
"It wasn't so much about the hitting," Young said. "It was more about getting my leg right, trying to get comfortable running the bases again, and just getting that comfortable feel. Normally when you pull a muscle, it's still a small adjustment period that you have to go through to get comfortable with running and being comfortable pushing yourself. That was pretty much the main thing I was working on. It got better every day. Yesterday I played and it was definitely the best day.
"I'll probably run around a little bit today and tomorrow and get ready for Friday."
Young had been scratched on Opening Day by the Mets with a right quadriceps injury. He tried to start Game 2 of the season two days later, but was pulled after an inning without ever coming to the plate.
So, in essence, Young's Mets debut -- at least as a hitter -- comes Friday. He signed a one-year, $7.25 million contract in November.
"I'm definitely not counting that first one," Young said about his one inning in the field two weeks ago at Citi Field. "It's tough to sit there and just watch ballgames and not be able to get out there and participate.
"I kept up with the guys. I found out how to download the app for my iPad and my computer. I was freaking out, because I had no idea how to watch the games. But I ended up finding out how to watch the games with my computer, so I was able to keep up with the guys, see how they were doing."
Associated Press/Getty ImagesDaisuke Matsuzaka replaced John Lannan with the Mets on Wednesday.
GM Sandy Alderson indicated Matsuzaka for now is here to serve as a reliever, as Lannan had been used. Matsuzaka has only pitched out of the bullpen once in the United States -- in the 13th inning of a May 4, 2011 game with the Boston Red Sox, when he allowed two runs and became the losing pitcher.
Of course, there is at least modest uncertainty about the health of Bartolo Colon (back spasms) and Jenrry Mejia (blister), so Matsuzaka could slip into a starting role if needed.
Lannan has 72 hours to decide whether to report to Triple-A Las Vegas after being outrighted. He otherwise could elect free agency.
The southpaw had signed an advance consent agreement, allowing the Mets to demote him during the first 45 days of the season without being entitled to his full $1.5 million salary. Still, Lannan did have some other rights that allow him to block being sent to the Pacific Coast League without his approval.
Lannan, a starting pitcher throughout his career, had a 15.75 ERA in five relief appearances this season. He did toss two scoreless innings to earn the win in extra innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday. Then he proceeded to allow three runs in an inning Sunday while working back-to-back days for the first time in his career.
Lannan said he had not yet learned from the Mets whether they plan to use him as a starter or reliever if he decided to report to the Triple-A club. His departure leaves Scott Rice as the lone lefty in the bullpen, although Lannan had not been used as a specialist of late anyway.
Matsuzaka had been beaten out for the final slot in the rotation by Mejia to open the season. He made two starts for Las Vegas, producing a 2.25 ERA in 12 innings. Matsuzaka took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning against Fresno on Saturday in his last appearance.
Matsuzaka did not have the right to declare free agency until June 1.
“I actually expected to be in Vegas for longer, so this is pretty just out of the blue,” Matsuzaka said through his interpreter.
As for working in relief, he added: “Coming out of the bullpen is definitely something new to me, but I understand what’s expected of me. So I just have to go along and do the best that I can and pick things up as I go along.”
Even though Lannan’s performance warranted the decision, he still said he was caught off-guard.
“I kind of wished I figured it out, but I didn’t,” Lannan said. “The team is doing really well and I wasn’t really contributing, so they had to go in a different direction. I completely understand. Back to the drawing board.”
The Mets should get another outfield jolt from the return of Chris Young, who rejoined the team Wednesday in Arizona and is eligible to be activated from the disabled list Friday.
Granderson departed Monday's series opener against Arizona with left forearm, rib-cage and knee bruises after crashing into the outfield wall. The three-time All-Star underwent X-rays, which were negative, but he will miss his second straight game Wednesday.
Eric Young Jr., lf
Daniel Murphy, 2b
David Wright, 3b
Ike Davis, 1b
Andrew Brown, rf
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, cf
Anthony Recker, c
Ruben Tejada, ss
Dillon Gee, rhp
Gerardo Parra, rf
Aaron Hill, 2b
Paul Goldschmidt, 1b
Miguel Montero, c
Mark Trumbo, lf
Martin Prado, 3b
Cliff Pennington, ss
Tony Campana, cf
Brandon McCarthy, rhp
"Baseball is a very mental game, and one of the few sports you're playing every day. So the biggest challenge is trying to keep your mind strong through that process," he told the Arizona Republic in a feature about sports mental training published Wednesday. "... I'm always training other parts of my body to get myself ready to play. A lot of times people forget the brain in that. I wanted to make sure we get everything covered from head to toe, including the brain."
While EY Jr. is open about the mental training, Freeman told the Republic other professional athletes enter her office through a back door.
"They think if people know they need help or want to have help, it's because they're not strong enough to do it on their own," Freeman told the newspaper. "The thing is, they can do it on their own. The weird thing is, they can do it without me. They just don't know how. That's what I'm trying to help with them. 'This is how you can access that mental ability to be the peak performer that you truly are inside.'
"I call it visualization and mental sports training. When they see that, they say, 'Oh, that's cool.'"
In honor of the 25th anniversary of the first "Seinfeld" show, the New York Mets' Class A affiliate in Brooklyn will host "Seinfeld Night" in July.
The first 2,500 fans in attendance at MCU Park on July 5 will receive a Keith Hernandez "Magic Loogie" bobblehead, commemorating the episode in which Kramer and Newman accused the former Mets first baseman of spitting at them after a game.
Seinfeld famously defended Hernandez by introducing the "Magic Loogie Theory." The episode was in 1992, but the original pilot, called "Seinfeld Chronicles," aired on July 5, 1989.
For the game, the team will rename its stadium Vandelay Industries Park, after the latex company George tells the unemployment office he might work for. The Cyclones say people who present legitimate business cards showing they are latex salesmen will get in for free.
Thanks to Newman, mailmen in uniform will throw out the first pitch. Fans will have a chance to take part in an eating contest featuring cereal, Jerry's favorite food, and there will be a dancing contest where fans will try to "dance" just like Elaine. To commemorate one of Jerry's most awkward moments, the Cyclones will wear puffy shirts during batting practice.
Team spokesman Billy Harner said that Hernandez's presence at the game is not likely because the Mets play the Texas Rangers that night and Hernandez is expected to be broadcasting the game. Harner said the team has gone through the Mets to request an appearance by Seinfeld.
Seinfeld, a Mets fan, joined Hernandez in the booth in September last season to call a couple of innings of a game on the local broadcast on SNY.
MLB execs claim to value defense, yet the big contracts, like Miguel Cabrera's $292M deal, routinely go to sluggers, not glovemen. Last year Cabrera had the worst Ultimate Zone Rating -- a metric that measures how many runs a player saved through his fielding -- among all qualifying third basemen. No matter. Says Mets GM Sandy Alderson, "The market is established by offense because defensive numbers are difficult to ascertain." But that's changing. Stats like UZR are gaining traction, and this season MLB is debuting technology that tracks every defensive play in glorious, granular detail. By 2015, the system will be in every MLB park. Until then, catch these defensive bargains.
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The 23-year-old Plawecki’s propensity for making contact has continued as a pro, albeit not at that unsustainable college rate. In 693 career at-bats as a Mets farmhand, Plawecki has produced a .374 on-base percentage and struck out only 80 times.
This season, he is off to a .286/.333/.357 start through seven games with Double-A Binghamton.
“And with two strikes I’m just up there battling, just trying to put the ball in play. Make them get you out any way possible -- with errors and all that stuff, any way to get on base. I’d rather have a slow-rolling groundball to third base.”
Plawecki was a non-roster invite to big-league camp during spring training, so he had the opportunity to receive tutelage from bench coach Bob Geren, visiting instructor Mike Piazza as well as Travis d’Arnaud.
“One thing Mike Piazza told us: When he wasn’t hitting really well, he focused on doing the little things -- catching and working with the pitching staff,” Plawecki said. “He felt he could make a big difference behind the plate as well.”
Throwing technique to second base became a spring-training emphasis for Plawecki. Accomplished offensively, Plawecki has thrown out 29 percent of runners as a pro (15 of 51).
“I think my throwing is getting a lot better from last year,” Plawecki said. “I worked on a few things in spring training to get my arm going a little bit. I think that’s improved. … In the past, sometimes there was a ‘hitch.’ That may be a bad term.
“Just a more fluid motion,” he continued, referring to the mechanical retooling. “I was kind of getting caught up, and my feet were working too quickly, and my arm was having to do something extra in the process. It was almost like a false movement that we’re just trying to eliminate. It takes a lot of stress off the arm in general and obviously makes it quicker in the process. That’s just one thing we’re trying to clean up a little bit, and I think we’re on the right track with that right now.”
Plawecki does not need to be added to the 40-man roster next offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, so his big-league debut may wait until 2015.
Last year, in his first full professional season, which he split between Savannah and St. Lucie, Plawecki appeared in 17 second-half games at first base. That primarily was designed to keep his bat in the lineup as he wore down from the grind. The position was open anyway with St. Lucie teammate Jayce Boyd dealing with a shoulder issue that eventually required surgery.
There is at a modest chance Plawecki could end up full time at first base eventually, depending on how he progresses behind the plate. However, Plawecki clearly envisions himself a catcher.
“I don’t think they play on using me at first at all this year. At least nobody has brought that up to me,” Plawecki said. “I’m strictly a catcher. Last year was one of those deals where Jayce, with his arm surgery and stuff like that, they couldn’t really use him at first base. I played a few games in college, and it just happened to work out that I played a few games over there, but nothing long term.”
Average: Matt Clark, Binghamton, .394; Brandon Nimmo, St. Lucie, .391; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, .390; Darrell Ceciliani, Binghamton, .367; Wilfredo Tovar, Binghamton, .355; Dilson Herrera, St. Lucie, .340; Stefan Sabol, Savannah, .323; Zach Lutz, Vegas, .318; Jared King, Savannah, .316; Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Vegas, .310.
Homers: Brian Burgamy, Binghamton, 4; Matt Clark, Binghamton, 4.
RBIs: Zach Lutz, Vegas, 12; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, 12; Eric Campbell, Vegas, 11; Jared King, Savannah, 11.
Steals: Patrick Biondi, Savannah, 3; Jeff McNeil, Savannah, 3.
ERA: Hansel Robles, Binghamton, 0.00; Jacob deGrom, Vegas, 0.50; Domingo Tapia, St. Lucie, 0.90; Darin Gorski, Binghamton, 0.93; Robert Gsellman, Savannah, 1.46; Rainy Lara, Binghamton, 2.19; Daisuke Matsuzaka, Binghamton, 2.25; Gabriel Ynoa, St. Lucie, 2.38; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 2.60; John Gant, Savannah, 2.77.
Wins: Josh Edgin, Vegas, 3.
Saves: Jeff Walters, Vegas, 3; Chasen Bradford, Binghamton, 2; Robert Coles, Savannah, 2; Randy Fontanez, St. Lucie, 2; Beck Wheeler, St. Lucie, 2.
Strikeouts: Rafael Montero, Vegas, 18; Jacob deGrom, Vegas, 15; Jack Leathersich, Binghamton, 14; Akeel Morris, Savannah, 14; Hansel Robles, Binghamton, 14.
• Right-hander Akeel Morris, a 10th-round pick in 2010 from the U.S. Virgin Islands, earned the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week award. In three relief appearances this season, Morris has struck out 14 and allowed only one hit and three walks in 6 2/3 innings. Morris, 21, had a 1.00 ERA and struck out 60 in 45 innings with Brooklyn last season.
• Right-hander Cory Mazzoni (lat) is expected to resume throwing later this week. He was injured in the final Grapefruit League game.
• 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo is hitting .391, which ranks third in the Florida State League. His .491 on-base percentage ranks second, and he leads the league with 13 runs scored. Nimmo has an eight-game hitting streak and has reached base in all 13 of his games. He has five multi-hit performances in his last six games.
• Matt Clark and Brian Burgamy are proving too advanced for the Eastern League. The 27-year-old Clark, who slugged 25 homers in Japan last season with Chunichi, has four homers through 10 games with Binghamton while splitting time between DH and first base. Burgamy, 32, also has four homers in 10 games while seeing action at third base, second base and first base. Burgamy played last season for York and Sugar Land in the independent Atlantic League as well as in Mexico with Campeche.
• Second baseman Dilson Herrera, who was acquired with Vic Black last August for Marlon Byrd and John Buck, has led off for eight straight games with St. Lucie. He is hitting .389 (14-for-36) in that span with eight runs scored. The Colombia-born Herrera has a seven-game hitting streak.
FIRST PITCH: The Mets aim to sweep the Arizona Diamondbacks and move above .500 for the first time this season when the teams play the series finale at 3:40 p.m. ET Wednesday at Chase Field.
Dillon Gee (0-0, 5.03 ERA) opposes right-hander Brandon McCarthy (0-2, 7.78) as the Mets attempt to complete their first series sweep in Phoenix since 2006.
Wednesday’s news reports:
• Juan Lagares landed on the disabled list Tuesday with a pulled right hamstring, although Curtis Granderson remained active and labeled himself day-to-day.
The Mets promoted Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who had a big day in his season debut. Nieuwenhuis went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs and made a headfirst diving catch in right-center.
Read more on Lagares’ DL trip in the Post, Newsday, Times, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.
• The Mets beat the D-backs, 9-0, behind a combined shutout from Jenrry Mejia, Gonzalez Germen and Kyle Farnsworth. However, Mejia was forced to depart after five innings and 77 pitches because of a torn blister on his right middle finger. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.
• Bartolo Colon has been dealing with a cranky bank, he exclusively told ESPNDeportes.com’s Marly Rivera. Read more in the Daily News.
• Jacob deGrom tossed seven scoreless innings as Las Vegas beat Reno, 6-3. T.J. Rivera went 3-for-5 with a double and homer as St. Lucie beat Jupiter, 11-6. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• After Chris Young hit .667 in three games in a rehab assignment with Vegas, Terry Collins expects the outfielder to rejoin the Mets on Wednesday at Chase Field and accompany the team to New York. C.Y. (quadriceps) is eligible to be activated from the DL on Friday.
• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News suggests the Mets' endless talk of prospects gets "tiresome."
• Omar Quintanilla started for the second time in four games Tuesday, but Collins said the shortstop job still belongs to Ruben Tejada.
• Lucas Duda will not see time in the outfield with Lagares on the DL. Read more in the Record and Newsday.
• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger discusses the early success of Jose Valverde and Farnsworth at the twilight of their careers.
From the bloggers … Faith and Fear enjoyed Tuesday night's romp in the desert. … NY Mets Life takes a look around the NL East.
BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets reliever Ken Takahashi turns 45. ... 2013 draft pick Tyler Bashlor, selected in the 11th round out of South Georgia College, is 21.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
“He had a 94 mph cutter that was pretty filthy. And he was locating it pretty well on the outside corner,” D-backs center fielder A.J. Pollock said after the Mets’ 9-0 win at Chase Field. “I took a couple of swings and felt like I was right on it, but that much movement that late is tough. It seemed like he really had good command of his fastball and that's what made him really hard.”
Of course, as is sometimes the case with Mejia, a physical issue sidetracked him.
Mejia departed at only 77 pitches because a blister ripped on his right middle finger.
Mejia suggested it should not prevent him from making his next start. Terry Collins noted that with Thursday a team day off, Mejia would get at least one extra day of rest before his next scheduled outing anyway.
“He’s got one helluva blister,” Collins said. “He tore it up completely. … Obviously there’s a concern.”
Mejia said the blister also was an issue in Atlanta.
Pitching coach Dan Warthen was concerned pregame Tuesday, according to Mejia.
“I said, yeah, I want to pitch,” Mejia said. “He said, ‘All right, do the best you can.’ I went out and did the best I could."
Mejia, who allowed two hits and two walks, said he did not want to show the middle finger to the staff after the fourth inning Tuesday, as the issue worsened. After he completed the fifth inning, Warthen insisted he take a look.
“Dan Warthen wanted to see it,” Mejia said. “I said, ‘No, I’m good.’ I wanted to pitch. So when I was in the fifth inning and I got out, he said, ‘Let me see the finger.’ He said, ‘You’re not going to throw anymore.’ I wanted to take care of my bullpen, because I know they were a little bit tired. They said no.”
The blister is the latest health issue for Mejia, who also has dealt with a bunion on the big toe.
“I’ve had a lot of things,” Mejia said. “I had the bunion. I’ve got the blister. In Montreal I had a ball hit me in my arm. That’s a lot. But I’m going to [pitch], because the two years before I didn’t throw a lot of innings. I want to throw innings, and my arm is good.”
Nieuwenhuis hit .189 with 32 strikeouts in 95 at-bats at the big-league level in 2013. He hit only .248 with 14 homers in 282 at-bats in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, too.
Still, Nieuwenhuis insisted Tuesday, he did not seethe over the snub.
“I’ve been up and down enough times,” Nieuwenhuis said after going 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs in his season debut with the Mets on Tuesday, in a 9-0 win against the Diamondbacks. “You can’t worry about that. You can’t think about that. I don’t like to play with a chip on my shoulder. That just doesn’t suit me. I don’t do that.
“I just went into the winter working hard. I think going through so many bad stretches last year just really got me thinking. I started watching a lot of video. Once I got a month or two off just to decompress, I was able to look at it with a fresh perspective and see some things I didn’t see before.”
Nieuwenhuis, 26, became the first Met to produce three hits, a homer and three RBIs in his season debut with the club since Carlos Beltran in his Mets debut in 2005.
Nieuwenhuis earned the promotion once Juan Lagares landed on the disabled list with a pulled right hamstring. Nieuwenhuis had at least one Lagares-type play in Tuesday’s win, lunging in right-center to take away a hit from Mark Trumbo in the fifth.
“Three years ago at this time, Kirk Nieuwenhuis was the talk of this organization, a guy that people thought was going to be an offensive center fielder who could run, play the game the right way, add some power,” Terry Collins said. “Some injuries have kept him down a little bit. Hopefully this is his chance to come up and produce.”
Nieuwenhuis tried to calm his swing during the winter, reducing the movement in order to be quicker with his bat to the baseball. He suggested he is more relaxed at the plate and overall, and cited his Nov. 16 wedding as a potential reason.
“My parents were saying it’s because I got married,” Nieuwenhuis said about his renewed confidence. “I think maybe a little bit of that. But I put a lot of work into my swing this offseason, just trying to be more relaxed. I think I play better that way, for sure. Playing uptight I don’t do well at all.
“I will say there was a lot wrong with my swing. Everybody goes through those stretches, but for me last year just wasn’t good at all. I maybe had a couple of weeks where I was feeling good, but that was about it.”
"I got the MRI today, but I don't have the answer back," Lagares said after landing on the disabled list, then watching the Mets' 9-0 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. "I think in the morning tomorrow. I hope it's nothing bad."
Lagares, who had been hitting .314 and on a nine-game hitting streak, said being sidelined even for the minimum 15 days would be difficult.
"I feel a little better," Lagares said. "At the same time, I feel bad, because I can't be out there. That's what we know to do -- just play baseball. When that happens, I just feel bad.
"I have to wait for the answer from the doctor," he continued. "I hope it's 15 [days] or less. ... I just want to make sure that I'm 100 percent. You know, I play center field. I have to cover a lot."
8:00 PM ET Toronto New York 8:00 PM ET Brooklyn Cleveland
Final R H E Cubs 0 3 0 Yankees 3 5 0 7:05 PM ET Cubs Yankees Bot 8th R H E Mets 3 8 0 Diamondbacks 0 3 0