Friday, August 17, 2012
Mets expect Kirk in Sept.; no Hairston talks
By Adam Rubin
WASHINGTON -- Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who landed on the International League disabled list after tearing the plantar fascia in his right foot in an Aug. 3 game with Triple-A Buffalo, is performing baseball activities in Port St. Lucie, Fla., with rehab coordinator Jon Debus and is likely to be with the Mets in September, once rosters expand.
Nieuwenhuis did not require surgery for the partial tear.
Obviously, the team would not promote Nieuwenhuis in two weeks unless it was demonstrated that the foot issue was either a non-issue or manageable. R.A. Dickey pitched with the same injury last year, albeit receiving shots of Toradol and without having to patrol the outfield.
• Terry Collins had a funny moment -- or not so funny moment, depending on whose perspective -- while trying to pick up his rental car in D.C. Turns out the car was listed under the name Jerry Manuel, his fired predecessor.
• More on the justification of trading Pedro Beato for Kelly Shoppach:
On the acquiring end, the Mets deemed it valuable to have the free-agent-to-be Shoppach in-house for the final seven weeks of the season to gauge how good a match he is for them in terms of rapport with pitchers and adaptability to Mets philosophies. As for Beato, he had fallen into disfavor and was not long for the 40-man roster anyway.
A member of the organization described Beato's stuff as maddening. Sometimes the fastballs would come in at 96 mph; other outings they'd be 89 mph.
While most likely it will end up being Shoppach, the expectation is the Mets will pair a low-cost righty-hitting catcher such as him with Josh Thole in 2013. That way the available dollars can be focused on other positions of need. Thole should qualify for arbitration for the first time this offseason, despite less than three full years of major league service time, but his salary nonetheless will be modest.
Beato, incidentally, could face Buffalo this weekend with Triple-A Pawtucket.
• Scott Hairston said Mets officials have not engaged in any extension talks with him yet, although he would be receptive to in-season dialogue. Sandy Alderson had indicated after the trading deadline passed that such August conservations with Hairston were logical. The Mets signed a 2012 extension with Tim Byrdak last season at this time, so there is recent precedent.
• The Mets have voided the contract of right-hander Scott Patterson, according to a baseball source. Patterson landed on the DL with Buffalo with a shoulder injury after two appearances. Patterson had opted out of a contract with Seattle after being bypassed for a promotion despite success with Triple-A Tacoma.