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Mets morning briefing 3.17.12

3/17/2012

The Mets will wear green jerseys and hats in honor of St. Patrick's Day as they send Jon Niese to the mound Saturday in Port St. Lucie to face Kris Medlen and the Atlanta Braves.

Saturday's news reports:

Johan Santana's control may have been off, but the southpaw has been up to the task so far of pitching every fifth day. Santana tossed 65 pitches in 2 2/3 innings against the Detroit Tigers. He was charged with five runs (four earned). It was Santana's third Grapefruit League appearance. Read more in Newsday, the Record, Daily News, Times, Post and Star-Ledger.

• The Mets committed three errors and lost to Detroit, 9-0, Friday.

Ronny Cedeno (knee) returned to the lineup against the Tigers, but Ruben Tejada (groin) will wait until at least Sunday to reenter the lineup -- and, more likely, Tuesday. David Wright (abdominal muscle) took grounders and tossed a baseball Friday, and Terry Collins said the third baseman could see live pitching as soon as the middle of next week. D.J. Carrasco remains sidelined with a twisted ankle. Scott Hairston (oblique) said he hopes to start swinging a bat next week and be ready for Opening Day, but that may be overly optimistic.

Miguel Batista, known by his teammates as el Poeta, once published a book of poetry and is a prolific writer of novels, notes Brian Costa in the Journal. Batista likely is competing with Carrasco for one bullpen spot, with Bobby Parnell demonstrating he merits being on the major league squad. Writes Costa:

Batista's dual pursuits are reflected by the contents of his locker. In addition to all the usual elements -- jerseys, pants, a glove, a pile of cleats and so on -- it contains the tools of his other craft. A Spanish version of "The Lost Angel," Javier Sierra's 2011 bestselling novel, sits on the bottom shelf. On the top shelf rests a pen and notebook. He does most of his writing by hand, on planes, on buses and in the infinite moments of down time a player has during the course of a season. When he gets home, he types out his notes. It takes years before he has anything to publish. "A lot of people ask me why it takes so long for me to write a book," Batista said. "I'm not like Stephen King where I have the whole year to write a book. He doesn't have to win the World Series. I do."

TRIVIA: Name the players who have started at second base on Opening Day for the Mets from 2007 through 2011.

Friday's answer: The last trade between the Mets and Pirates brought Oliver Perez and Roberto Hernandez to Queens for Xavier Nady at the 2006 trading deadline. The deal was motivated by the Mets needing Hernandez to replace Duaner Sanchez in the bullpen, after Sanchez had an accident as a passenger in a taxicab on I-95.