Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Mets morning briefing 5.17.11
By Adam Rubin
Burke Badenhop had the decisive RBI off Ryota Igarashi in the 11th. And after pinch-hitter Jon Niese was stranded at third after a two-out triple in the bottom half, the Marlins beat the Mets, 2-1, at soggy Citi Field.
Tuesday's news reports:
• David Wright has a stress fracture in his lower back and is expected to land on the disabed list for only the second time in his career, the other instance being when he was beaned by San Francisco's Matt Cain in 2009. "I thought going in [to the medical exam], it was going to be a routine thing," Wright said. "They had wanted me to get an MRI for some time now, and I kind of -- I won't say put it off -- but I felt like it was getting better. ... So I was shocked when they had me meet with the back doctors and the spine doctors and they let me know it could be a stress fracture. I was preparing for Josh Johnson and the Marlins, and coming out of that, my head was spinning and I think shocked is a good word for it." No surgery will be required, Sandy Alderson said. Read more in the Post, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times, Journal and Daily News.
• Ruben Tejada, who started 46 games at second base for the Mets a season ago, is returning to that role. He had played all but one game at shortstop this season at Triple-A Buffalo, where he was hitting .267 with three homers. Pedro Beato also is returning earlier than scripted from a rehab assignment. Beato (elbow tendintis) originally was expected to make another rehab appearance Tuesday for the Bisons. Out: Chin-lung Hu (1-for-20) and Igarashi. Nick Evans also will be coming to Citi Field, assuming Wright lands on the DL, which seems like a foregone conclusion. Read more at ESPNNewYork.com.
• The Post's Mark Hale speaks to doctors who concur Wright would not need surgery for a back stress fracture. Still, they assert, he is not necessarily out of the woods after two weeks. Writes Hale:
Arnold Criscitiello, a spine surgeon with Ridgewood (N.J.) Orthopedic Group, told The Post that it also is possible Wright’s back problem will recur and it could sideline him again. Criscitiello said a stress fracture most often is “really a crack in a bone,” and he admitted the crack “will probably always” exist. Criscitiello believes Wright is looking at a minimum of his 15-day disabled list stint. He said ideally it would be more of a 4-to-6-week, take-your-time recovery. “I would say at least two weeks and then they try to evaluate him,” Criscitiello said.
• Post columnist Kevin Kernan says trade Jose Reyes before he gets hurt too. Writes Kernan:
For those who were ripping Wright because the career .305 hitter was batting .226, well, it might be a little difficult to get your swing going with a stress fracture in your back. Today’s catastrophe is tomorrow’s warning. If management is going to trade free-agent-to-be Jose Reyes, then get it done. Start the bidding because if you wait too long, who knows what might happen to Reyes? That’s the cold-hearted reality of the Mets’ world.
• Mike Pelfrey limited Florida to one run in seven innings, but suggested he was not as good as his pitching line.
• Why exactly was Badenhop allowed to hit with two runners on and two out in the top of the 11th with the score tied? Tyler Kepner explains in the Times:
Manager Edwin Rodriguez sent a decoy, Ozzie Martinez, into the on-deck circle before Badenhop’s turn came up. But he said he intended to use Badenhop as the hitter all along, because reliever Brian Sanches was unavailable, and he did not want to use closer Leo Nunez without the lead. “Go ahead and get yourself a game-winning R.B.I.,” Rodriguez told Badenhop in the dugout. Badenhop grabbed Johnson’s bat, worked the count and delivered.
• As for Niese's triple, ESPNNewYork.com correspondent Mike Mazzeo quotes the southpaw, who starts Tuesday night's game, saying: "Terry [Collins] just told me there was two outs, just put a nice easy swing on it. Don’t try to kill it.” Mazzeo notes he became the first Mets pitcher to successfully record a pinch-hit since Brian Bohanon singled off Montreal Expos reliever Mel Rojas on Sept. 12, 1997. Read more at ESPNNewYork.com.
• Ike Davis expects to return from the disabled list when eligible in nine days. Read more in the Post and Newsday.
• Read game stories in Newsday, the Record and Times.
• Carlos Beltran's baseball academy/high school in his native Puerto Rico is scheduled to open next academic year. Writes Jim Baumbach in Newsday:
The groundbreaking ceremony was in November and construction is 85 percent complete, according to Noelia Lugo, the academy's executive director. The school will have a capacity of 180 students grades 10 through 12. And once they get into the classroom and the teacher begins talking, they might be in for a surprise. "All of the classes will be in English because I want them to be prepared," Beltran said. "I wasn't prepared. I couldn't communicate. I couldn't express myself. There were times I wanted to say something and I didn't say it because I was afraid people would laugh at me."
BIRTHDAY: Dick Smith turns 72. Smith’s claim to Mets fame is that he was the first Met to post a five-hit game, going 5-for-6 in a 19-1 win over the Cubs on May 26, 1963. Smith’s big league career, other than that, was brief. He finished with 31 major league hits and a .218 batting average. -Mark Simon