Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Morning Briefing: Syndergaard wows ’em
By Adam Rubin
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
Monday marked the first official workout for pitchers and catchers in Port St. Lucie.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.
FIRST PITCH: The first official pitchers and catchers workout is in the books. Now, it’s on to Day 2 Tuesday morning at the Mets’ spring-training complex in Port St. Lucie.
Position players officially report Thursday, with the first full-squad workout Saturday, although most of those players already are here as well.
Tuesday’s news reports:
• Terry Collins could not find enough superlatives to describe Noah Syndergaard’s bullpen session on the day pitchers and catchers staged their first official workout.
Mike Puma in the Post had a team official estimate Syndergaard’s 2014 innings cap at 145, which may mean five-inning outings with Las Vegas. Syndergaard threw 124 2/3 innings last season, including the Double-A playoffs and the Futures Game, and 30-inning jumps from the previous year are customary. So 155 innings is probably the extreme limit.
Read more on Syndergaard in the Daily News, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and MLB.com.
• Ruben Tejada says he did not pay attention to the Mets’ pursuit of a shortstop during the offseason. Tejada spent eight weeks at a nutrition, conditioning and agility camp in Plymouth, Mich.
Writes columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post about the Tejada versus free-agent Stephen Drew debate:
Look, let’s not elevate Drew to some elite status. The Red Sox loved having him as part of their title-winning team last year, yet they aren’t knocking down walls to retain him, even after Ryan Dempster’s de facto retirement left them with an extra $13.25 million to spend. The Yankees might possess baseball’s worst second base-shortstop-third base trio -- unless Derek Jeter can a) return to his 2012 production level and b) clone that version of himself twice -- and really aren’t in on Drew at this juncture.
Furthermore, some Mets officials want to get another look at Tejada, who doesn’t turn 25 until October and who owns a .338 career minor-league on-base percentage -- quite acceptable for a shortstop with a good glove -- and put up a .345 OBP in 877 plate appearances in 2011 and 2012.
(For whatever it’s worth, The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham reports the Boston Red Sox have not given out Drew’s number and have left his former locker open at camp in Fort Myers, Fla.)
Read more on Tejada in Newsday, the Daily News, Record and Star-Ledger.
• Collins is open to considering Jenrry Mejia for a bullpen role if the right-hander does not win the fifth-starter’s competition, which includes Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan. Read more in the Post.
• The Mets reportedly signed lefty reliever Dana Eveland to a minor-league deal that does not include an invite to big-league camp.
• Chris Young prefers playing center field to a corner outfield spot.
Overall, the outfield corps is blessed with speed and fielding prowess, writes Seth Livingstone in Newsday.
Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News discusses the potential outfield alignment.
Read more in the Star-Ledger.
• Casey Stern and WOR have ceased negotiations on him becoming the pregame and postgame radio host.
Meanwhile, Howie Rose and Josh Lewin already have been confirmed as the in-game announcers. Rose tells Neil Best in Newsday about the public support for his continuing in the role: “It’s obviously very heartwarming and very flattering. It’s nice to know I’ve made a connection over all these years. I think Mets fans know that given my background, we’re rather kindred spirits.”
• Jeremy Hefner tossed a baseball for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery Aug. 28.
• Outfield prospect Cory Vaughn plays with an insulin pump in his left, back pocket because he is a Type 1 diabetic.
• Tim Rohan in the Times speaks with left-handed prospect Steven Matz from Long Isand, who took more than two full years to pitch in an official minor-league game after undergoing Tommy John surgery on May 18, 2010. It’s a cautionary tale for those expecting Matt Harvey to definitely return full throttle no later than the start of the 2015 season.
• Heavily used lefty Scott Rice tells Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger he is recharged and ready for 2014.
• Taylor Teagarden, who is expected to lose the backup catcher job to Anthony Recker and head to Las Vegas, is profiled in Newsday.
• Check out a spring-training photo album in Newsday.
• From the bloggers … The Eddie Kranepool Society critiques Jeff Wilpon’s Q&A. … Mets Police thinks Collins already has told you five things about the 2014 Mets, including the starting first baseman and the Opening Day starter. … John Delcos at Mets Report believes the Mets need to pick a role for Mejia and stick with it.
BIRTHDAYS: Left-hander Shawn Estes, whose retribution attempt at Shea Stadium missed Roger Clemens, turns 41. … Seton Hall product John Valentin is 47. … Kevin Tapani, traded by the Mets in the deal that brought Frank Viola to Flushing, is 50. … Jeff McKnight turns 51.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: How would you rank the career potentials of Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard?