Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Morning Briefing: The gang's mostly here
By Adam Rubin
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.
FIRST PITCH: Mets players continue to pour into Port St. Lucie well ahead of the official report dates -- Saturday for pitchers and catchers and Feb. 20 for position players.
Among players on the 40-man roster, at least 18 participated in a voluntary workout Monday at the complex: Vic Black, Jacob deGrom, Josh Edgin, Dillon Gee, Erik Goeddel, Steven Matz, Jenrry Mejia, Jonathon Niese, Bobby Parnell, Jeff Walters, Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud, Anthony Recker, Ike Davis, Josh Satin, Andrew Brown, Matt den Dekker and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
David Wright also is in town, although he wasn’t spotted Monday.
The Mets annually have large turnouts for these voluntary workouts, but Terry Collins seems to set the tone by arriving in December.
Tuesday’s news reports:
• Parnell normally would get on a mound now, but will wait an extra two weeks as he returns from Sept. 10 surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck. Parnell nonetheless says his neck is “feeling great.” Read more in the Daily News.
• Mejia, whose 2013 season ended with surgery to remove a bone spur, wants to claim the fifth spot in the rotation. His primary competition is Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan. DeGrom, a shortstop in college at Stetson, is another candidate for that final rotation spot. Read more in the Post and Daily News.
• Anthony DiComo at MLB.com projects Mejia as the fifth starter and Kyle Farnsworth as the primary setup man in his spring-training preview.
• D’Arnaud’s ability to get strike calls from umpires as a catcher proved a major upgrade over John Buck late in the 2013 season.
• Wheeler continues to maintain he wants the Opening Day start, on March 31 against the Washington Nationals. Collins has mentioned Niese as the most likely. Regardless, it mostly is a ceremonial role that means you draw opponents’ top starters in April, beginning likely with Stephen Strasburg.
• Lefty relief prospect Jack Leathersich is more focused on his walks than his gaudy minor-league strikeout totals.
• Utility player Emilio Bonifacio has been placed on release waivers by the Kansas City Royals. The team that claims him (with the pecking order last year’s record, from worst to first) would inherit his $3.55 million salary. Otherwise, if Bonifacio were to clear waivers, he would be a free agent. If he becomes a free agent, the Royals would only have to pay a fraction of the negotiated salary, since settlements with arbitration-eligible players are not automatically fully guaranteed.
• The Long Island native Matz, a left-handed pitching prospect, is finally on track after a two-year recovery from Tommy John surgery.
• From the bloggers … Mets Police suggests a foolproof marketing plan for the Mets -- winning games. … John Delcos at Mets Report already is looking at which pieces the Mets can sell this summer.
BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets farmhand Matt Lindstrom turns 34. The reliever had a $4 million option picked up by the Chicago White Sox for the upcoming season.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Are you glad Ike Davis already has reported to camp -- well ahead of the Feb. 20 official date for position players?