New York Mets: Jim Fregosi

Morning Briefing: Time to report

February, 15, 2014
2/15/14
7:02
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.

FIRST PITCH: The countdown has reached zero!

Mets pitchers and catchers officially report to Port St. Lucie on Saturday, although that is mostly an anticlimactic event.

In reality, “reporting” merely means informing the team you have arrived in the city limits.

The team’s complex mostly will be closed this weekend, even for voluntary workouts, with the exception of pitchers and catchers getting physicals Sunday morning and some pitchers throwing that afternoon at the complex.

The first official workout is Monday.

Recently signed reliever Kyle Farnsworth is expected to have a Saturday morning press conference, with Bartolo Colon possible later in the day.

Saturday’s news reports:

• Terry Collins gave his “state-of-the-Mets” address Friday morning. The summary: Jonathon Niese is likely to start Opening Day. Eric Young Jr. is the manager’s preference for leadoff hitter. Lucas Duda will see some outfield time. Wilmer Flores will get work at shortstop. Bobby Parnell is the closer, even with the additions of Jose Valverde and Farnsworth on minor-league deals. And the Mets will be cautious with Matt Harvey, who wants to toss a baseball for a first time next weekend.

After listening to an optimistic Collins, columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post writes:

If the Mets signed [Stephen] Drew and traded [Ike] Davis before Opening Day, they’d put themselves in the running for “Best NL offseason” with Washington and San Diego. As is, they’re intriguing, but the idea of meaningful games in September still requires some heavy optimism.

Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Ike Davis has “a little bit of shock” that he has not been traded. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Times, Star-Ledger, Newsday and MLB.com.

• Roughly five months after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck, Parnell threw off a mound Friday for the first time since the Sept. 10 procedure. Parnell attempted only 10 pitches and had no issue. He had been expected to wait more than another week before attempting to throw off a mound. Read more in the Post, Daily News and MLB.com.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal suggests the Mets’ offseason “spending spree” wasn’t all that impressive after all. The added payroll merely replaced shed contracts.

• Harvey’s social life made Page 6. Read more in the Post.

• ESPN’s Jayson Stark fondly remembers Jim Fregosi, who died Friday at the age of 71 after suffering a stroke. Read an obituary in the Times.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report writes that Fregosi will always be a part of Mets lore. … NY Mets Life goes position by position grading the team heading into spring training.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets reliever Barry Jones was born on this date in 1963.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Is Terry Collins making the right call saying he prefers Eric Young Jr. as his leadoff hitter?

Morning Briefing: TC to give state-of-Mets

February, 14, 2014
2/14/14
6:27
AM ET

Howard Smith/USA TODAY SportsTerry Collins is scheduled to address the media on Friday in Port St. Lucie.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.

FIRST PITCH: Terry Collins, now MLB's oldest manager at 64, gives his beginning of spring training state-of-the-Mets address at 11:30 a.m. Friday. So stay tuned for updates via Twitter and the blog around then.

Collins is sure to discuss his plan to get Ike Davis 90 or so at-bats during spring training, roughly double last Grapefruit League season’s total. He also will be asked to explain if Eric Young Jr. continues to be his favorite for the leadoff spot, and if that means Juan Lagares’ playing time will be diminished to get EY Jr. in the lineup.

Will Lucas Duda play the outfield? Will Wilmer Flores see time at first base?

The fifth-starter’s race should come up, too. As will how strongly the Mets will consider a prospect such as Jeff Walters, Jack Leathersich or even Rafael Montero for the bullpen.

Oh, and will Matt Harvey toss a baseball on Feb. 22, the four-month anniversary of his Tommy John surgery?

Friday’s news reports:

• Sandy Alderson clearly does not want to publicly rule out Harvey pitching this season and agitate the ace, but it seems pretty likely Harvey -- who underwent Tommy John surgery -- will not appear in the majors in 2014. Alderson, trying to shape the dialogue and discourage reporters from dwelling on Harvey, insisted the ace ought not be a storyline. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Alderson weighed in on other topics Thursday, too. That included labeling the signing of Stephen Drew or any other significant player the rest of the offseason “unlikely.” The GM also suggested three viable options exist for a resolution with Davis and Duda: Both could end up on the team. Both could end up gone. Or one could end up in the minors. Alderson went on to say that the payroll, which is roughly $87 million, is unrestrained by banks and where he thought it would end up when the offseason began. Read more in the Journal, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and MLB.com.

David Wright is clearly a loyal guy. He took a glass-half-full approach Thursday to the Mets having an un-New York-worthy payroll and suggested the team is “100 percent” better than last year. Wright did say Thursday that he is “envious” of Derek Jeter’s winning accomplishments. Wright, now age 31, is starting to feel his own mortality -- feeling like he has blinked and 10 years of his career have gone by. Read more in the Times, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and MLB.com.

• WOR 710 AM confirmed ESPNNewYork.com’s previous report that Howie Rose and Josh Lewin will remain the radio team with the switch on the dial from WFAN. Read more in Newsday, the Times, Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger and MLB.com.

The station will air 15 exhibition games: Feb. 28 and March 2, 3, 5, 9, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 and 26 as well as March 28 and 29 in Montreal against the Toronto Blue Jays.

• Ex-Met Jim Fregosi, a longtime MLB manager, has been taken off life support at a Miami hospital after suffering a massive stroke while on a cruise. He then passed away early Friday morning, according to Tracy Ringolsby. Fregosi, 71, infamously was traded by the Angels to the Mets for a package including Nolan Ryan on Dec. 10, 1971. Read more in the Post and Daily News.

• Matt Koch, the organization’s third-round pick in 2012 out of Louisville, who was struck in the head with a liner last August while pitching for low-Savannah, has been cleared for 2014 pitching after being examined by team doctors in New York. Koch had been hospitalized for three days after the incident. He went 6-4 with a 4.70 ERA in 18 appearances (15 starts) for the Gnats last season.

• Fred Kerber in the Post profiles 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo as well as former Purdue catcher Kevin Plawecki, a supplemental first-round pick the following year. Both will be in big-league camp. “I told my dad, ‘If it feels this good to get called to big league spring training, I can’t wait to get the call up to the big leagues,’” Nimmo said. “I’m going there to learn. I’ll keep my ears open, my mouth shut.”

From the bloggers … The Eddie Kranepool Society asks: How does a Mets fan react to Jeter’s retirement announcement? … John Delcos at Mets Report writes that each Mets starter has a significant question. … Rising Apple suggests any GM’s public comments need to be taken with a grain of salt. … Blogging Mets picks Travis d’Arnaud as its key player.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets catcher Kelly Stinnett turns 44.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What’s the truth with the Mets having an $87 million payroll? The owners don’t provide the flexibility? Alderson doesn’t want to spend? Or banks or some other external constraint is being applied?

Mets morning briefing 7.23.11

July, 23, 2011
7/23/11
9:11
AM ET
David Wright had two doubles and two RBIs in five at-bats in his return and the Mets defeated the Florida Marlins, 7-6, on Friday night. Wright, playing his first game since May 15, indicated his back felt fine. He was only uncomfortable doing the attention-drawing hand gestures his teammates perform after producing a hit.

"These guys are doing that goofy hand thing to the dugout," Wright said. "I'm a little in between on that. I don't want to do that, but they're kind of making me. I just feel a little awkward doing it."

Saturday's news reports:

• A source tells ESPNNewYork.com that Johan Santana's first minor league rehab game is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday. Santana, who is in Miami this weekend and attended Friday's Mets-Marlins game, is due to throw a bullpen session Sunday for Mets staff. After that, team brass will huddle to ensure Santana is ready for the minor league game. If Santana begins a rehab assignment Wednesday, that begins a maximum 30-day clock for his return to the majors. Santana threw a 43-pitch, three-inning simulated game Friday in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Read more in Newsday.

Mike Pelfrey, staked to a 3-0 lead after a half-inning, received a no-decision. He allowed four runs in six innings. "I walked four guys, which is way too many," Pelfrey said. "Out of their five hits, two of them were hit really hard. That's been a big problem for me this year. And it didn't get any better tonight." On his walk total, Pelfrey added: "I was talking to (pitching coach) Dan (Warthen) about that and he said that my lower half is getting out too far -- kind of jumping. I'm not really staying back." Read game stories in Newsday, the Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and Post.

Gary Carter is not attending Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown because he is battling malignant brain tumors. Writes Post columnist Kevin Kernan:

Bert Blyleven, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame tomorrow along with Roberto Alomar, got a call from Gary Carter. "He apologized because he couldn't be here," Blyleven told The Post yesterday. "It was pretty touching."

Kernan also gets thoughts on Carter from Johnny Bench, Tony Gwynn, Andre Dawson and Ozzie Smith, among others.

• Plenty of scouts still continue to flock to Mets games. Friday's contingent included Braves special assistant Jim Fregosi. Insiders see the three National League teams -- the Braves, Giants and Phillies -- as the primary contenders for Beltran. ESPN's Buster Olney lists the Red Sox and Rangers as the other primary suitors. As a player with 10 years of service time and five years with the Mets, Beltran must have a full 24 hours before the 4 p.m. trade deadline on July 31 to approve the team to which the Mets intend to send him.

Jonathan Lehman in the Post writes that fantasy owners should sell on Beltran now, before he gets traded. Writes Lehman:

Beltran actually has hit better in Queens, going into the weekend with a .310/.405/.589 (AVG/OBP/SLG) line at home vs. .272/.371/.467 away -- and taking away one monster afternoon at Coors Field, he has just three homers in 47 road games. Plus, fatigue almost certainly will come into play for a guy on pace to pile up more games than he has in the past two years combined, and the transition to DH is rarely fluid for a player accustomed to playing everyday.

Beltran actually is probably staying in the NL, where he is familiar with the pitching, for whatever that's worth.

Nick Evans was designated for assignment to clear roster room for Wright. Assuming Evans clears waivers -- he has done so multiple times before -- a team official said he would be the likely candidate to return once Beltran is traded. That is, Evans could return after spending the required 10 days in the minors.

• The Mets claimed outfielder Mike Baxter from the San Diego Padres and assigned him to Class A St. Lucie as he works back from a thumb injury. Read more here.

Jason Bay missed a second straight start with a right hamstring injury, but expects to return Saturday or Sunday.

BIRTHDAYS: No one to appear for the Mets was born on this date. But July 23 is the day several prominent major leaguers were born, including Pee Wee Reese and Don Drysdale.

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