Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Mets morning briefing 3.27.12
By Adam Rubin
Chris Schwinden will start against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, while R.A. Dickey instead will pitch on the minor league side to avoid the opponent he is due to face in Game 2 of the season, on April 7 at Citi Field. Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson will skip Tuesday's start and face minor leaguers for that reason as well. Terry Collins does expect to get Jason Bay back in the lineup, two days after the left fielder was drilled in the right forearm by a fastball from Washington's Stephen Strasburg.
Tuesday's news reports:
• David Wright went 1-for-2 and made a diving stop down the third-base line on a hard-hit grounder from Rafael Furcal in the third baseman's first Grapefruit League action this season. Wright, working back from an abdominal tear, should skip Tuesday's game and then play two to three straight days -- potentially with one of those a minor league game. Watch video of Wright discussing his return here. Read more in the Record, Times, Daily News and Post.
• Johan Santana's fifth exhibition start was not perfect. His velocity sagged to 86 mph in the first inning and 87 mph in the fifth. The game's first four Cardinals batters reached, three via walk. Yet when all was said and done, Santana still limited St. Louis to two runs on four hits while walking three, hitting a batter and striking out five in five innings. Santana's final start spring-training start should be an abbreviated outing Saturday in which his pitch count is scaled back. He threw 88 pitches (55 strikes) against the Cards. After Saturday's outing, the southpaw next should appear Opening Day at Citi Field. Watch video highlights and Santana's remarks here. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Journal, Post, Daily News, Record, Times and Newsday.
• Gary Carter's family will be on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and the Mets will observe a moment of silence in memory of the Hall of Fame catcher before the April 5 opener against the Atlanta Braves. Read more in the Times and Newsday.
• Chris Young, who made four solid starts early last season before requiring surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his right shoulder, is rejoining with the organization. Young should be at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Wednesday. He is only removed 10 months from the serious shoulder surgery, from which Santana also is working back and had an eight-month head start. So Young's contribution this season, at least early on, is unclear. Read more in Newsday and the Post.
• As promised, Carlos Beltran has paid Jon Niese's $10,000 nose-job bill, the southpaw said.
• The Mets made progress on the injury front Monday. Tim Byrdak said he intended to throw off a mound Wednesday and potentially be in a minor league game Friday as he returns from surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee. Southpaw Garrett Olson said the left palm bruise he suffered Sunday in a Double-A game was a nonissue. Scott Hairston predicted he would be in a minor league game Tuesday. And Andres Torres (strained left calf) resumed swinging a bat and predicted he would run today.
• The mammoth -- legitimately mammoth -- home run by the Nats' Jayson Werth off Matt Harvey on Sunday in Viera traveled a whopping 492 feet before striking the bumper of Werth's pickup truck in a player parking lot, Tom Boswell determined in The Washington Post. Writes Nats beat writer Adam Kilgore:
A day later, Jayson Werth’s mammoth home run -- the one that flew clear out of Space Coast Stadium and may or may not have hit his large, white pick-up truck -- remained the talk of Nationals’ spring training. Davey Johnson again called it the hardest ball Werth has hit as a National. The effort to determine if Werth really did hit his own truck raged on. “It just left a hole in the Earth where my truck used to be,” Werth said. Then Werth relented and said the ball, according to a parking lot attendant, had actually hit the bumper.
• Ruben Tejada had a two-run single in a fifth-run seventh as the Mets rallied to beat the Cardinals, 6-3, Monday at Roger Dean Stadium.
• The Mets released nine minor leaguers Monday, including right-hander Tobi Stoner, who appeared in five games for the Mets in 2009 and '10.
TRIVIA: Against which reliever did Daniel Murphy hit a game-tying, pinch-hit homer last season?
Sunday's answer: The five most recent GMs of the Mets: Sandy Alderson (2010-present), Omar Minaya (2004-10), Jim Duquette (2003-04), Steve Phillips (1997-2003) and Joe McIlvane (1993-97).