New York Mets: Brayan Pena

Series preview: Mets vs. Reds

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4
8:45
AM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto and Alfredo Simon this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (0-3, fifth place/NL East) vs. CINCINNATI REDS (1-2, third place/NL Central)

Friday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Mike Leake (0-0, -.--), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (0-0, 5.40) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (0-1, 1.29), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jonathon Niese (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Alfredo Simon (0-0, -.--), 1:10 p.m. ET

Reds short hops

• Cincinnati opened the season with an MLB-high eight players on the disabled list. The most gruesome injury occurred to flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman, who was struck by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City’s Salvador Perez on March 19. Chapman suffered eye and nose fractures and also a mild concussion. He had a plate and screws inserted to stabilize the bones near his left eye.


Mark Sheldon/Associated PressAroldis Chapman is taken off the field after being struck by a March 19 line drive.


Also opening the season on the DL: right-handers Mat Latos (Oct. 11 elbow surgery and Feb. 14 knee surgery), Jonathan Broxton (Aug. 23 forearm surgery) and Brett Marshall (finger tendon), left-hander Sean Marshall (shoulder), catcher Devin Mesoraco (oblique), infielder Jack Hannahan (shoulder) and free-agent infielder/outfielder signee Skip Schumaker (shoulder).

Alfredo Simon, who has 19 career saves, steps into the rotation as the fifth starter until Latos returns. Latos tossed four innings for Double-A Pensacola in a rehab start Thursday.

• Bryan Price, 51, is the first-year manager of the Reds. He served the previous four seasons as the team’s pitching coach under Dusty Baker.

J.J. Hoover may take the lead in a closer-by-committee scenario until Broxton and then Chapman returns. Broxton may be back within a week. Hoover’s co-closers for now include Logan Ondrusek, Manny Parra and Sam LeCure. Hoover had 23 straight scoreless appearances last summer, a franchise record for a right-hander.

Mike Leake, still 26 year old, already has made five Opening Day rosters with the Reds. His 57 hits are the most by any MLB pitcher since his 2010 debut.

• Cincinnati opened its season by failing to score in its first 17 innings, until Chris Heisey’s walk-off single against St. Louis’ Carlos Martinez won Game 2 of the season, 1-0. Heisey had six spring-training homers, tied for the MLB lead.

• Speedster Billy Hamilton is hitless in 12 at-bats with six strikeouts to open the season. Four of the Ks came on Opening Day. He has been caught stealing only once in his big-league career -- by the Mets’ Juan Centeno last season. Hamilton is handling center field (and playing shallow to take advantage of his speed) with Shin-Soo Choo’s defection to the Texas Rangers on a seven-year, $130 million deal.

• First baseman Joey Votto, the 2010 NL MVP, notched his 1,000th career hit Wednesday.

• Toms River/Rutgers product Todd Frazier had his fourth career multihomer game Thursday.

Johnny Cueto, who made his third straight Opening Day start, was a tough-luck loser against St. Louis. He surrendered a solo homer to Yadier Molina while allowing only two other hits and a walk in seven innings in the Reds’ 1-0 loss to Adam Wainwright. Cueto made only 11 starts last season because of three disabled-list trips.

• Cincinnati experienced a combined 6 hours, 22 minutes of rain delays on Wednesday and Thursday.

• Left fielder Ryan Ludwick had a better Opening Day this season than a year ago, even though he went 0-for-4. In the 2013 opener, Ludwick tore the labrum in his right shoulder on a headfirst slide into third base. He required surgery and did not return until Aug. 12.

• Catcher Brayan Pena, who played with the Detroit Tigers in 2013, signed a two-year, $2.275 million contract in November. Incumbent catcher Ryan Hanigan was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in December.

• Right-hander Homer Bailey signed a six-year, $105 million extension with the Reds on Feb. 19. He went 11-12 with a 3.49 ERA in 32 starts last season and would have been eligible for free agency next winter.

Series preview: Mets vs. Tigers

August, 22, 2013
8/22/13
8:45
AM ET

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets face Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (58-67, third place/NL East) vs. DETROIT TIGERS (74-52*, first place/AL Central)

Friday: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (5-8, 3.92 at Triple-A Columbus) vs. RHP Doug Fister (10-6, 3.63), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Matt Harvey (9-4, 2.25) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (18-1, 2.82), 4:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Dillon Gee (9-8, 3.60) vs. RHP Rick Porcello (9-7, 4.52), 1:10 p.m. ET

* plays Thursday vs. Minnesota

Tigers short hops

Max Scherzer and Roger Clemens are the only pitchers since 1919 with 18 wins in their first 19 decisions of a season as a starting pitcher, according to STATS. Clemens went on to go 20-3 with the Yankees in 2001.


Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesMiguel Cabrera is hitting .358 with 40 homers.


Miguel Cabrera leads the American League in batting average (.358), RBIs (123) and on-base percentage (.449) and ranks second in homers (40). The Tigers appeared to dodge an injury bullet with Cabrera, who winced swinging at a slider during a game-ending at-bat on Tuesday night. The slugger has dealt with an abdominal strain for a month.

• Designated hitter Victor Martinez has been working out in catching gear of late in preparation for potentially playing a game behind the plate this weekend in the NL ballpark. Martinez last caught in 2011, when he started 26 games. Alex Avila has been on the DL since Aug. 11 with a concussion and is just due to begin a rehab assignment. Backup Brayan Pena injured a toe fouling a ball off his right foot Tuesday. Bryan Holaday started Wednesday’s game against the Minnesota Twins. Detroit has allowed 16 straight steals, the longest active streak in the majors, according to STATS.

• The Tigers acquired rookie Jose Iglesias from the Boston Red Sox on July 30 to man shortstop in anticipation of losing Jhonny Peralta to a Biogenesis-related suspension. The three-team deal sent Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox to Boston. Peralta will be eligible to return from a 50-game suspension with three games remaining in the season.

• First baseman Prince Fielder ranks fifth in the AL with 87 RBIs.

• Outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo played for the Mets last season, at Triple-A Buffalo. Wally Backman advocated a September call-up for Tuiasosopo, but the Mets instead selected Fred Lewis. Tuiasosopo is the younger brother of former University of Washington football players Marques and Zach Tuiasosopo. Marques went on to attempt 90 passes for the Oakland Raiders from 2001-08 and also belonged to the Jets. Their father, Manu, played for the Seattle Seahawks.

• Second baseman Omar Infante is hitting .323 (10-for-31) since returning from the disabled list Aug. 12. He missed more than five weeks with a left ankle injury. Infante departed last Saturday’s game with lower-back stiffness and a tight quadriceps, but returned to the lineup Tuesday.

• The Tigers released former closer Jose Valverde from Triple-A Toledo on Aug. 7. Valverde had been 0-1 with a 5.59 ERA and had nine saves in 12 chances earlier this season at the major league level before he was designated for assignment on June 21. He subsequently had accepted a minor league assignment. Joaquin Benoit has 14 saves as well as a 2-0 record and 1.21 ERA in his past 30 appearances. He has not blown a save chance this season.

• Detroit bolstered its bullpen by acquiring Jose Veras from the Houston Astros on July 29.

Rick Porcello is a product of Seton Hall Prep in West Orange. He hails from Chester, N.J. Porcello is coming off an outing in which he allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Minnesota Twins.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
8 4.12 95 126
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .288
HRL. Duda 14
RBID. Wright 50
RD. Murphy 57
OPSL. Duda .829
ERAJ. Niese 3.13
SOZ. Wheeler 112