New York Mets: Bobby Ojeda

Morning Briefing: Happy deGrom day!

September, 21, 2014
Sep 21
5:24
AM ET

Adam RubinJacob deGrom makes what's expected to be his second-to-last start of the season Sunday.
ATLANTA

FIRST PITCH: Jacob deGrom gets another chance to solidify his credentials for the NL Rookie of the Year Award as the Mets bid for a sweep of the Atlanta Braves on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. at Turner Field.

DeGrom tied the modern-day MLB record by striking out the first eight batters he faced against the Miami Marlins in his most recent start. It matched a feat first performed by Jim Deshaies in 1986 with the Houston Astros. DeGrom ultimately struck out a career-high 13 in the game. He enters his 22nd career start with an 8-6 record and 2.68 ERA.

DeGrom recently produced a streak of 28 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. It was the longest such streak by a rookie in the majors since Matt Cain went 30 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run in 2006, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

In his last 14 starts, deGrom is 8-2 with a 1.93 ERA.

DeGrom opposes Braves right-hander Ervin Santana (14-9, 3.74 ERA) in the series finale. The Mets have not swept a three-game series at Turner Field since 2007.

Sunday’s news reports:

Jonathon Niese took a scoreless effort into the eighth inning and Dilson Herrera and Curtis Granderson homered as the Mets beat the Braves, 4-2, Saturday at Turner Field. The Mets moved into third place in the NL East, leapfrogging the Miami Marlins. The Amazin’s are only 1˝ games behind second-place Atlanta.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Herrera suffered a strained right quadriceps muscle legging out an infield single in the sixth inning Saturday, potentially ending his season. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Broadcaster Howie Rose speaks with Justin Tasch in the Daily News about the first baseball game back in New York after 9/11, which took place on Sept. 21, 2001 -- 13 years ago today. “Forty, maybe fifty-thousand people here, and the wound was so open,” Rose told Tasch. “The bleeding hadn’t stopped. It hadn’t even begun to scab. Who the hell knew what was gonna happen when 40-something-thousand people got together in one place? That was scary. That was intimidating.”

Jeurys Familia, who already has matched a franchise rookie record with 73 relief appearances, will not play winter ball, according to Kristie Ackert in the Daily News.

• The Mets tentatively plan for Rafael Montero to get a start during the final series of the season, against the Houston Astros at Citi Field.

• SNY pregmae/postgame analyst Bobby Ojeda and the Mets have not substantively talked about a new deal to supplant his expiring contract, Bob Raissman writes in the Daily News.

From the bloggers …John Delcos at NY Mets Report wonders if Niese will ever reach the next level.

BIRTHDAYS: Scott Rice turns 33. ... Former Mets reliever Greg Burke, who recently underwent hip surgery after pitching in Triple-A for the Colorado Rockies, is 32. ... Former infielder Joaquin Arias is 30.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will Daniel Murphy or Dilson Herrera be the Opening Day second baseman for the Mets next season?

Morning briefing: The games begin

February, 22, 2013
2/22/13
6:44
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.

FIRST PITCH: Let the games begin.

The Mets play an intrasquad game at noon today at Tradition Field (admission: $6). Scheduled to pitch: Gonzalez Germen, LaTroy Hawkins, Scott Rice, Collin McHugh, Elvin Ramirez, Greg Burke, Robert Carson, Brandon Lyon and Pedro Feliciano.

“In our particular situation, we’ve got decisions to make, I’ve got to start seeing people play,” Terry Collins said. “And I’m anxious to see them play. Yeah, I want to get started.”

Friday’s news reports:

• Union chief Michael Weiner made his annual visit to Mets camp to speak with players Thursday. Speaking with the media afterward, Weiner said about the Mets’ payroll: “Everybody would like to see the Mets as a competitive team. And it’s going to require a higher payroll.” Weiner also asserted David Wright would have received a more lucrative contract had he tested free agency. Writes Mike Puma in the Post on the Mets’ payroll comment:

A team official responded to Weiner’s criticism by saying the union chief should check the average payrolls of the last three World Series winners. The Giants (2010), Cardinals (2011) and Giants (2012) averaged about $106 million in payroll in claiming the last three world championships.

Read more on Weiner’s visit in Newsday, the Daily News, Star-Ledger, Times, Record and MLB.com.


Courtesy of New York Mets
Ron Darling Bobblehead Day is coming to Citi Field on April 21.


Jenrry Mejia is due to land Friday morning and be at camp by midday now that his visa issue is resolved. Dan Warthen and Wally Backman both project Mejia as a future reliever, but the right-hander will be a starting pitcher again this year … for now. Read more at MLB.com.

• The Mets announced their full 2013 promotional schedule, which includes five bobblehead giveaways: Ron Darling (April 21), John Franco (May 25), Wright (June 30), Dwight Gooden (July 21) and Tom Seaver (Aug. 25).

• Bobby Valentine reportedly will be the next athletic director at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. Read more in the Connecticut Post.

• Ex-Met Chris Young signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals. Read more in The Washington Post.

• Mets farmhand Francisco Pena will play for his father Tony Pena on the Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic.

• Grantland is not a fan of the Mets’ outfield. On that topic, columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post found humor that Bobby Bonilla, who is getting $1.2 million annually from the Mets in deferred payments, visited the club on Thursday. Writes Vaccaro:

The highest-paid outfielder in the room wears a green polo shirt, blue slacks, white cross-trainers and about 40 or so pounds from his last listed playing weight. Retirement seems to be agreeing with Bobby Bo, who last played for the Mets in 1999 (both baseball and, somewhat more famously, clubhouse cards) and who last played for anyone in 2001 and now works for the Players’ Association.

• Neil Best in Newsday chats with SNY analyst Bobby Ojeda.

• Collins has good reason to be concerned about the Mets’ baserunning the past two seasons, Jared Diamond notes in the Journal. Writes Diamond:

Their runners went from first base to third base on singles just 25.2 percent of the time last season, which ranked 23rd in baseball. They finished dead last in a statistic the website Baseball-Reference calls "bases taken," which counts the number of bases teams advance on, among other things, fly balls, wild pitches and passed balls. Those elements of baserunning have less to do with pure speed than they do instincts and hustle.

Frank Francisco will begin tossing a baseball Monday after suffering elbow inflammation early in camp, Collins confirmed. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Daily News.

John Buck offers his take on the various starting pitchers to Anthony DiComo at MLB.com. On Jonathon Niese, Buck said: "I like his cutter. It's something that wasn't really in my mind when I faced him on the other side. But now that I've seen a lot more film and concentrated on that aspect, and [hearing] him talk about how that makes him feel comfortable … it stuck out to me."

Steve Moore/Associated PressIke Davis
• Jorge Castillo in the Star-Ledger profiles Ike Davis, who had an extremely slow start in 2012 en route to a 32-homer season. "Every time you come back from an injury and you don’t do very well for a long period of time, you’re like, ‘Did I lose what I once had?’” Davis told Castillo. "You start second-guessing yourself. Then, obviously, I started feeling better and I said, ‘OK, I can do this again. I didn’t lose my talent or lose my skill.’”

• On Sunday against the University of Michigan, Dillon Gee will pitch in his first game since undergoing emergency surgery at last year’s All-Star break to repair a damaged artery in his pitching shoulder. Gee did get on a bullpen mound in September at Citi Field to allay concerns. “I accomplished what I wanted to last year, and that was to be able to come here with some peace of mind,” Gee told Andrew Keh in the Times. “Now I feel like I’m ready to compete again.”

Said Warthen to Keh: “His delivery is a little bit awkward, a little bit rusty, and his command isn’t where he wants it. But his hand feels good, his arm feels good and he can actually feel the baseball out of his hand. He’ll iron out a couple of delivery issues, and we’ll be right where he needs to be.”

• Collins said left-hander Josh Edgin worked on a sinker during the offseason that should make him more effective against righty hitters. Lefties hit .164 and righties hit .263 against Edgin during his rookie season. Read more in the Post.

• Feliciano, who pitches in today’s intrasquad game, tells Kristie Ackert in the Daily News about his shoulder: “I am ready now, ready to pitch. There is nothing there. It is strong. It’s stronger than it was before, because before the surgery and after, I have to work on it. I pitched in Puerto Rico in winter ball and I am ready to go.”

• Wright tells columnist John Harper in the Daily News he is “looking to become a better leader.”

Lucas Duda will receive heavy playing time early in Grapefruit League play because he is working on a new stance, Collins said. Mike Kerwick in the Record speaks with Duda about the challenge of playing the outfield for a natural first baseman.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear in Flushing makes the case for retiring Nos. 31 and 17 -- and quasi-retiring some other significant digits. … Mets Police would like to see a TV show in which Howie Rose interviews ex-Mets. … Contributors to Rising Apple predict which Mets player is most likely to break out in 2013.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets reliever J.J. Putz turns 36.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Jenrry Mejia be a starter or reliever?

Please use the comments section to weigh in

Mets morning briefing 8.16.12

August, 16, 2012
8/16/12
5:58
AM ET

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Mike Leake pitched a complete game against the Mets on Wednesday.


A bracelet-deprived R.A. Dickey surrendered consecutive fourth-inning homers to Scott Rolen and Todd Frazier (a 474-foot shot), then a long ball to Jay Bruce in the sixth and the Reds beat the Mets, 6-1, Wednesday night at Great American Ball Park. The three homers matched the most surrendered by Dickey as a Met and deprived him of win No. 16.

Mike Leake became the third pitcher to toss a complete game against the Mets this season, joining Toronto's Brandon Morrow and Atlanta's Paul Maholm.

The Mets dropped a season-worst seven games under .500.

Now, Matt Harvey (1-3, 3.63 ERA) takes the mound tonight trying to arrest a personal three-game losing streak and help the Mets avoid a sweep. He opposes right-hander Homer Bailey (10-7, 4.08).

The Mets have not been swept in Cincinnati since the season-opening series in 2005, when stopgap closer Braden Looper blew Pedro Martinez's debut with the organization on Opening Day by serving up consecutive ninth-inning homers to Adam Dunn and Joe Randa.

Thursday's news reports:

• Plate umpire James Hoye, supported by crew chief Jim Joyce, instructed Dickey to remove a pair a bracelets from the wrist of his glove hand during the second inning. Dickey said the bracelets had been made by his daughters before his offseason climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, and that he had worn the jewelry since January. Trainer Ray Ramirez had to be cut the bracelets because they were homemade and did not have fasteners. Dickey admitted being angry in the moment, but downplayed the significance on his performance -- even though Terry Collins said pitchers loathe changes to their patterns and suggested it may have affected the knuckleballer.


Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Crew chief Jim Joyce offers further explanation to R.A. Dickey about his bracelet removal before the start of the bottom of the third inning.


Dickey said umps told him during a delay when he took the mound the following inning -- which he did not appreciate, either -- that the directive came from Major League Baseball's uniform police, not the Reds or even the crew itself. Collins and Dickey found the timing curious, since it is already August and he had worn the bracelets all season without issue. Dickey said there are jewelry and other assorted violations across baseball, and likened the enforcement to a holding penalty in football -- that it can be enforced on any play. (Case in point: Check Felix Hernandez's left wrist in this photo after completing the final out of his perfect game Wednesday in Seattle.)

This wasn't the first time a bracelet had become an issue in a Mets game. Nine years ago, Jae Weong Seo became unnerved when Braves manager Bobby Cox convinced umps to force him to remove a Buddhist bracelet. Seo immediately surrendered a homer to Andruw Jones in that May 25, 2003 game at Turner Field.

Joyce told Mark Hale in the Post after Wednesday's game: "You cannot wear anything on either hand, bracelet-type or anything like that." Told Dickey had worn it all season, Joyce added: "Tonight we saw it, this crew saw it, and we just asked him to take it off."

• Collins predicted he would go with a different lineup look Thursday, although there is a limit to how much maneuverability the manager has. Options include Kelly Shoppach's Mets debut, Justin Turner getting a start, Jason Bay in the lineup (he has two doubles in three career at-bats against Bailey) or a call-up such as Lucas Duda. Meanwhile, Josh Thole had a franchise-record three passed balls last night.

Read game recaps in the Star-Ledger, Newsday, Record, Times and Daily News.

• The Mets will utilize a six-man rotation beginning Sunday, when Jeremy Hefner starts in D.C. Exempt from the arrangement is Dickey, who will continue to pitch every fifth game. So after Hefner, Dickey should come back on standard rest Monday for the series opener against Colorado at Citi Field, followed by Chris Young on Tuesday and Harvey on Wednesday.

The system should allow Harvey to reach the end of the season without exceeding his front-office-imposed 170-inning limit. It also should give Johan Santana and Young needed extra rest in their first seasons back from shoulder surgery. And Jon Niese has performed dramatically better this season with extra rest between starts.

Analyst Bobby Ojeda on SNY found the timing of the six-man-rotation implementation curious. Ojeda suggested September, after rosters expand, might be more appropriate. Ojeda also linked the bracelet and six-man rotation issues. His point: Collins noted pitchers are creatures of habit when discussing the bracelet issue, but yet is implementing a pitching schedule that could disrupt their sacred between-starts routines.

Read more in the Star-Ledger and Post.

• Shoppach, assigned No. 6, joined his new teammates Wednesday. Rob Johnson was demoted to Buffalo to clear the roster spot. Shoppach actually has caught a knuckleballer before. He rose through the minors in the Red Sox organization with knuckleballer Charlie Zink, plus had limited exposure in spring-training camp in 2005 to Tim Wakefield. Collins said he intends to pair Thole with Dickey, but that could be revisited. Red Sox bullpen coach Gary Tuck gave Shoppach a refresher lesson on catching the knuckleball once they learned he was headed to the Mets. Read more in Newsday, the Star-Ledger and the Daily News.


Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
Citi Field hosted an Ecuador-Chile soccer match on Wednesday night. Pictured, Luis Fernando Saritama (19) of Ecuador tries to stop Eduardo Vargas (11) of Chile.


• With the Mets away, Citi Field hosted soccer Wednesday night. Ecuador beat Chile, 3-0. The crowd on the rainy night was announced at 31,901.

• Former Red Sox first-round pick Craig Hansen, who last had appeared in a professional game in 2010 with the Pirates in the minors, surfaced with Brooklyn on Wednesday. Hansen, a St. John's product selected 26th overall in 2005, allowed one run on three hits and a walk in the eighth inning of the Cyclones' 6-2 loss at Tri-City. His contract keeps him under the Mets' control for 2013. Brian Harrison went 3-for-4 with three RBIs in Savannah's 8-2 win against Lexington. Erik Goeddel tossed seven scoreless innings for St. Lucie. Read Wednesday's full minor league recap here.

TRIVIA: Who started for the Reds at pitcher opposite Pedro on Opening Day in 2005 in Cincinnati?

Wednesday's answer: Shoppach made his major league debut with the Red Sox on May 28, 2005 -- four years after being drafted by the organization out of Baylor. He was traded to Cleveland on Jan. 27, 2006 in the deal that landed Coco Crisp in Boston and subsequently played for the Rays before re-signing with Boston as a free agent last offseason.

Video: Straw, Ojeda salute Kid

February, 24, 2012
2/24/12
11:05
PM ET

Former teammates Darryl Strawberry and Bobby Ojeda speak about Gary Carter after arriving at a memorial service on Friday evening in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., for the late catcher.

Read coverage of the service here.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187