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Monday, March 12, 2012
Mets morning briefing 3.12.12

By Adam Rubin

It should be an eventful day Monday as David Wright (rib cage) and Tim Byrdak (knee) are due to be examined in New York, the witness lists are due in the $386 million lawsuit against Fred Wilpon and family that is set to go to trial in a week, and the Mets travel to Lakeland to face the Detroit Tigers. Lucas Duda, who has been out with back stiffness, is on the travel list for today's game, but that happened twice late last week and Duda stayed behind at the Mets' complex.

Monday's news reports:

• Add Wright, Byrdak, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Daniel Herrera to the lengthy list of Mets injuries. Sandy Alderson said Wright is in line for an "ultrasound-guided" cortisone shot in New York. Terry Collins hopes Wright gets cleared to ramp up baseball activities, yet even the potential for an anti-inflammatory injection means things cannot be perfectly rosy. Byrdak's injury has serious consequences for the Mets, since the ballclub does not have a bona fide alternative as lefty specialist. Nieuwenhuis has the organization's latest oblique injury, while Herrera's back is barking. Collins noted the organization is trying to take steps to curtail the inordinate number of upper-body injuries. Read more in the Post, Daily News and Star-Ledger.

Johan Santana upped his workload to 2 2/3 innings and 42 pitches (22 strikes) Sunday against the Miami Marlins. Next up: Friday against the Tigers in Port St. Lucie.

"I'm very proud of him," Marlins skipper Ozzie Guillen, who used to manage against Santana in the AL Central, told Ken Davidoff in Newsday. "Some people, they make all that money, they'd say, ' ---- rehab. I already got my money.' He showed the New York Mets and the New York fans what kind of human being, what kind of player he is."

Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily NewsRecord, TimesPost and Journal as well as Post columnist Kevin Kernan's take here.

• X-Rays of Miami's Giancarlo (formerly Mike) Stanton left wrist were negative. Chris Schwinden had drilled Stanton on Sunday in relief of Santana, forcing the Marlins slugger from the game. Miami won the rain-shortened game, 4-2 as Jon Rauch was tagged for three runs and the loss. Read more on Stanton's injury in the Palm Beach Post.

• Left-hander C.J. Nitkowski apparently will have the opportunity to become this season's Jason Isringhausen with the Mets. Newsday reports he's very likely to sign a minor league deal with the club.

Derrick Goold in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch profiles new Cardinal Carlos Beltran. "For me, there were a lot of ups and downs and there are no doubts about that," Beltran told Goold about his time with the Mets, referring to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and knee-surgery flaps on the low end. "There were situations that got out of hand. I felt the way they managed their situation was sometimes a mess for me. … My time with the Mets, I have no regrets, though. There are no regrets. I feel in the years I was healthy I did the best, the best I could."

Joe Capozzi in the Palm Beach Post discusses with Jose Reyes his transition to the Marlins. Writes Capozzi:

Jose Reyes was finishing drills at Roger Dean Stadium earlier this month when a familiar tune caught his attention. "Jose! Jose-Jose-Jose!" sang a handful of fans with their faces pressed against the chain-link fence, chanting the Ole Ole soccer parody that was adopted by Mets fans in New York over the last few seasons when Reyes came to bat. Reyes turned to the fans, smiled broadly and waved his arms like a choral conductor. "That's good that the [Mets] fans still support me," said Reyes, a four-time All-Star shortstop with New York from 2003-11, before the Marlins' 3-1 win Saturday over the Cardinals. "I appreciate that but I'm part of a new organization now. I have to put the New York Mets in the past."

TRIVIA: Who was the last Met to homer in his first at-bat with the club? (Note: Not necessarily first major league at-bat -- first at-bat with team.)

Sunday's answer: Jeff Francoeur was the last Met to homer in a 1-0 victory. He did so off Cole Hamels at Philadelphia in the seventh inning on Aug. 7, 2010.