New York Mets: John Maine

Series preview: Mets at Marlins

May, 31, 2013
5/31/13
8:35
AM ET

USA TODAY Sports/Getty Images
The Mets face (l to r) Jacob Turner, Jose Fernandez and Kevin Slowey this weekend in Miami.
METS (22-29, fourth place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (13-41, fifth place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Shaun Marcum (0-5, 5.77) vs. RHP Jacob Turner (0-0, -.--), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Collin McHugh (0-0, 12.00) vs. RHP Jose Fernandez (2-3, 3.78), 4:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Matt Harvey (5-0, 1.85) vs. RHP Kevin Slowey (1-5, 3.59), 1:10 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

• The Marlins are 5-22 in May. A loss in the series opener against the Mets will match June 2011 (5-23) for the most defeats in a month in franchise history.


Howard Smith/USA TODAY Sports
Marcell Ozuna has a 15-game hitting streak.


Giancarlo Stanton, who suffered a hamstring strain April 29 running to first base against the Mets, has developed sore knees while rehabbing, further delaying his return.

Rookie Marcell Ozuna, who has started every game in right field since Stanton landed on the disabled list, has hit safely in 15 straight games, the longest active streak in the majors. The streak is tied with Chuck Carr (1993) for second-longest by a rookie in Marlins history. The rookie record holder is Edgar Renteria, who hit safely in 22 straight games in 1996.

Jacob Turner, who was acquired last July 23 in the Anibal Sanchez trade with the Detroit Tigers, makes his season debut with the Marlins after 10 starts with Triple-A New Orleans. The Marlins hoped Turner would make the rotation out of spring training, but that did not materialize after he produced a 9.69 ERA in Grapefruit League play.

Alex Sanabia landed on the disabled list with a groin injury, creating the rotation vacancy.

Nathan Eovaldi is nearing a return, too. He pitched in a rehab game Thursday against the St. Lucie Mets. (First baseman Casey Kotchman appeared in the same Florida State League game against the Mets as Eovaldi.)

• Rookie Jose Fernandez is coming off his shortest career outing. He allowed seven runs (four earned) in 3 1/3 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays, including a three-run homer to Kelly Johnson in a six-run second.

• Outfielder Chris Coghlan has started 12 straight games, primarily in left field, which had been Juan Pierre’s domain. The 2009 NL Rookie of the Year, Coghlan is hitting .333 during that stretch and is batting leadoff. Pierre is hitting .222, with a .276 on-base percentage.

Kevin Slowey was forced to leave a May 22 start after five innings with a left lat strain, but made his next start and remained in the rotation. The ex-Twin Slowey had tried to warm up for the sixth but was pulled from the game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

• Miami released ex-Met Jon Rauch on May 22 with a 7.56 ERA. Fellow ex-Met John Maine had been designated for assignment in April. Neither has resurfaced with another organization.

• Outfielder Logan Morrison (knee surgery in September) has started a rehab assignment, but is not due to be activated for the Mets series.

• Utilityman Ed Lucas made his major league debut Thursday at age 31. He replaced infielder Nick Green, who was designated for assignment.

Series preview: Mets at Marlins

April, 28, 2013
4/28/13
9:50
PM ET

Associated Press/Getty Images
The Mets face (l to r) Jose Fernandez, Kevin Slowey and Wade LeBlanc during their series in Miami this week.
METS (10-13, fourth place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (6-19, fifth place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Matt Harvey (4-0, 1.54) vs. RHP Jose Fernandez (0-2, 4.50), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-2, 5.12) vs. RHP Kevin Slowey (0-2, 2.43), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Dillon Gee (1-4, 5.96) vs. LHP Wade LeBlanc (0-4, 6.20), 12:40 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

• Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton finally homered Saturday, in his 75th plate appearance of the season. Stanton, who led the National League in slugging percentage in 2012, added two more homers Sunday. He went RBI-less in his first 12 games of the season, but has produced nine RBIs in his past seven games.


Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports
Giancarlo Stanton has belted three homers in his past two games.


• Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (bruised right elbow) is due to begin a rehab assignment Monday with Class A Jupiter and is not expected to be activated until after the Mets series. Chris Valaika started four straight games at the position before Nick Green got the nod Sunday. Green homered for the first time since 2009.

• Rookie Jose Fernandez has allowed nine runs in nine innings over his past two starts. He has been kept on a tight pitch count. He has thrown 80, 85, 79 and 79 pitches in his four major league starts. Fernandez, who allowed only two homers in 138 1/3 minor league innings (all in Class A), surrendered his first big league long ball Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins. Oswaldo Arcia took the 20-year-old Fernandez deep.

Fernandez, a Cuban defector, was taken with the 14th overall pick in the 2011 draft out of high school in Tampa. The Mets selected outfielder Brandon Nimmo one pick earlier. Besides Fernandez, three of the other first 100 picks in that ’11 draft have reached the majors: right-hander Trevor Bauer, third overall, UCLA, Arizona Diamondbacks; right-hander Dylan Bundy, fourth overall, Owasso (Okla.) H.S., Baltimore Orioles; and outfielder Jackie Bradley, 40th overall, University of South Carolina, Boston Red Sox.

• Owner Jeffrey Loria created another stir when he was accused in a report of dictating which game of a day-night doubleheader Fernandez pitched in Minnesota. Loria denied a role.

• Ex-Minnesota Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey is winless through five starts despite a 2.43 ERA. The Marlins have scored a total of six runs in Slowey’s five outings. Slowey did not appear in the majors last season. He made eight Triple-A starts with the Cleveland Indians in 2012 before being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his rib cage.

Mike Redmond, the first-year Marlins manager, caught Slowey’s major league debut on June 1, 2007. Slowey limited Bob Geren’s Oakland Athletics to one run in six innings in an eventual 3-2, 10-inning win.

• Stony Brook University product Tom Koehler joined the Marlins’ bullpen on April 19, replacing John Maine, who was designated for assignment. Maine, in his first major league duty since 2010 with the Mets, allowed 15 hits and 10 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings spanning four appearances.

• Closer Steve Cishek has three losses and a blown save and has allowed runs in six of 11 appearances this season. He earned his third save Sunday despite surrendering a homer to the Cubs’ Dioner Navarro.

• Rookie Joe Mahoney is day to day with right hamstring tightness. Mahoney had taken over for plug Greg Dobbs at first base in Casey Kotchman and Logan Morrison’s absences before this hamstring issue arose. Mahoney is a waiver claim from the Baltimore Orioles. He played at Triple-A Norfolk in 2012. The 26-year-old Mahoney was activated from the DL on April 17 after recovering from an oblique injury.

Morning briefing: Niese aims to stop slide

April, 6, 2013
4/06/13
8:08
AM ET
The Mets have lost two in a row, after opening the season with two wins.

On Saturday afternoon, manager Terry Collins hands the ball to Jonathon Niese, who started on Opening Day and gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings, good enough for a victory.

Believe it or not, though, that's actually the poorest performance the Mets have gotten from a starting pitcher thus far. Matt Harvey pitched seven shutout innings, and both Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner gave up just one run.

The rotation has been outstanding. Can Niese keep it going?

Saturday's news reports:

• Despite the good start from Hefner, the Mets lost the series opener to the Marlins on Friday night, 7-5. Here are recaps from the Daily News, Post, Times, Newsday, Star-Ledger and Record.


Al Bello/Getty Images
Lucas Duda's indirect route led to a fourth-inning double by Rob Brantly on Friday night.


Jordany Valdespin got his first start of the season on Friday -- Collins put him in center field, and the leadoff spot. Valdespin responded by getting on base four times, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch, albeit with baserunning issues. Could it lead to more playing time? Read more in Newsday.

• Hefner got 13 starts as a rookie in 2012. But the only reason he's in the Mets' rotation right now is the injuries to Johan Santana and Shaun Marcum. Could Hefner stick in the Mets' starting five for the full season? Read more in the Daily News.

• Speaking of Marcum, Collins said Friday that it could be another week or two before the Mets have any idea when he'll pitch again. Read more in the Daily News and Record.

John Buck is off to a great start with the Mets -- and he is the only catcher in the majors allowed to have personalized art on his catcher's mask. Wilson, which supplies the catcher's masks for MLB, now bans artwork, but Buck is grandfathered in and is permitted to have the personal touch. Read more in Newsday.

• If the Mets are going to remain competitive this season, they have to clean up against bottom-feeders like the Marlins, writes columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post.

• Mets prospect Zack Wheeler had a rough first start at Triple-A, requiring 86 pitches to navigate 3 1/3 innings, but manager Wally Backman said Friday that he is "not far away." Said Backman in the Post: “He is the same spot [Matt] Harvey was at last year, I would say. It’s a matter of command. I think it’s going to be a matter of consistency.”

• Former Met John Maine is back in the majors with the Marlins. His tenure with the Mets ended in controversy, but he said Friday that he never habitually lied to the team.

“I was upset at that because I didn’t lie to anybody,” Maine told Jorge Arangure in the Times. "They knew everything that was going on. They all knew. It was obvious. You don’t go from throwing 94 to 84 miles per hour. They knew my condition. I was 100 percent upfront about it; I didn’t lie about it. At the time it wasn’t so much pain, I just didn’t have anything.”

• Kevin Plawecki homered and had two RBIs as Savannah beat Rome, 12-3, Friday. Read the full minor league recap here.

From the bloggers ... Rather than dwell on last night, Mets Police has one last Opening Day flashback -- to 2013, when the Mets scored 11 runs! ... Faith and Fear in Flushing experiences Three Days of the Cowgill. ... John Delcos at New York Mets Report reflects on Lastings Milledge.

BIRTHDAYS: Infielder Andy Phillips, an ex-Yankee who had a cameo with the Mets in 2008, turns 36.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU'RE UP: Ike Davis has started the season 1-for-16. Are you worried yet?

Series preview: Mets vs. Marlins

April, 4, 2013
4/04/13
9:49
PM ET

USA TODAY Sports
The Mets face (l to r) right-handers Alex Sanabia, Ricky Nolasco and Jose Fernandez this weekend.
METS (2-1, second place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (0-3, fifth place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Alex Sanabia (0-0, -.--), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-5, 2.70) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (0-1, 3.00), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Aaron Laffey (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Jose Fernandez (0-0, -.--), 1:10 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

Jose Fernandez, the 14th overall pick in the 2011 draft out of high school in Tampa, will make his major league debut Sunday. The 20-year-old right-hander went a combined 14-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 25 Class A starts last season between Greensboro and Jupiter.

The Marlins opted to use the rookie with Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez on the disabled list, both with shoulder inflammation.

Fernandez arrived in the U.S. from Cuba by boat as a refugee in 2008. In preparation for Sunday’s start, Fernandez threw a simulated game Tuesday in D.C., with first-year manager Mike Redmond and hitting coach Tino Martinez acting as batters. Both are not that far removed from major league careers.


Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
John Maine made the Marlins' Opening Day roster. He last pitched in the majors in 2010 with the Mets.


• Ex-Met John Maine made Miami’s Opening Day roster as a reliever. He did not appear during the season-opening series at D.C., so his first major league action since his Mets days may come this weekend at Citi Field. Maine last threw a big league pitch on May 20, 2010 in Washington. It was after that abbreviated outing that pitching coach Dan Warthen called Maine a “habitual liar” with respect his truthfulness about injuries. Maine went 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA in six games during spring training. He struck out nine and walked nine in 13 2/3 innings.

• Fellow ex-Met Jon Rauch signed a one-year, $1 million free-agent contract with the Marlins on Feb. 5.

• Miami, which completed its latest fire sale during the offseason, mustered only one run while getting swept in a season-opening three-game series at Nationals Park. The Marlins became the first team to total no more than one run in the team's first three games since the 1988 Orioles (also one run), according to ESPN Stats & Information. The '88 Orioles opened that season 0-21.

• Third baseman Placido Polanco batted cleanup the first two games of the season. He had never started a game in that slot previously in his 16-year career.

• First baseman Casey Kotchman will land on the disabled list Friday, two days after straining his left hamstring. He becomes the third first baseman the Marlins have lost this season. Logan Morrison (knee surgery) is on the 60-day DL, while Joe Mahoney is on the 15-day DL with an intercostal strain. Among the flurry of moves last season, the Marlins traded first baseman Gaby Sanchez to the Pittsburgh Pirates last July 31.

Greg Dobbs should handle the bulk of the first-base duty for now, while Austin Kearns and rookie Chris Valaika may see action at the position, too.

Giancarlo Stanton, the lone remaining threat in Miami’s lineup, led the NL in slugging percentage (.608) and finished second to Ryan Braun in homers last season, with 37. Stanton now has 93 career homers, matching Frank Robinson for fifth-most in MLB history before turning 23. The only players with more: Mel Ott (115), Eddie Mathews (112), Tony Conigliaro (104) and Alex Rodriguez (95).

• Catcher Miguel Olivo signed with Miami on March 29 after playing in 21 games for the Cincinnati Reds during spring training. Jeff Mathis suffered a broken right clavicle early in spring training.

• In the Nov. 19 trade that sent Jose Reyes, John Buck, Emilio Bonifacio, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to Toronto, the Marlins received minor leaguers Anthony DeScalfani, Jake Marisnick and Justin Nicolino as well as Alvarez, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria and Mathis. Reyes bristled during spring training at Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, after Loria denied advising Reyes days before the trade to buy a house in Miami.

Alex Sanabia, 24, will make his first major league appearance since Sept. 24, 2011 in the series opener. He went 6-7 with a 4.06 ERA in 17 starts last season at Triple-A New Orleans, where he also had three DL stints.

Mets morning briefing 8.25.12

August, 25, 2012
8/25/12
5:04
AM ET
The Mets' freefall continued with a 3-1 loss Friday to the Houston Astros, who arrived at Citi Field having won only seven times in their past 50 games.

With Miami's loss at Dodger Stadium, the Mets did remain a half-game out of the NL East basement. But the Mets have now lost six straight, matching their season high, and Terry Collins said he is at a loss for a solution.

The Mets are winless through five games of their homestand despite facing a pair of last-place teams -- the Colorado Rockies and Astros.

With Friday's debacle, the Mets now have failed to exceed two runs in each of their past seven games. That is their longest streak of futility since having an identically long stretch in 1982, during a 65-97 season. The franchise record is 10 straight games of two or fewer runs produced, in 1964.

R.A. Dickey gets the start Saturday and bids for his 16th victory, on Mike Piazza bobblehead day at Citi Field. The knuckleballer opposes left-hander Fernando Abad, a call-up from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Abad, who has made 81 relief appearances in his major league career over three seasons, will be making his first big league start.

Saturday's news reports:

• The Mets' lone run Friday came from David Wright, who homered off the base of the right-field foul pole. It was the 200th homer of Wright's career. He became the third Met to reach that plateau, joining Darryl Strawberry (252) and Piazza (220). Wright became the 41st active player to reach 200 homers.

"That's a lot of home runs right there," Wright said. "I'm proud that I've been able to be as consistent as I'd like to think that I've been. I never would have thought that I would have been able to hit 200 home runs in the big leagues. So I'm very proud of that."

Wright joked that bargaining for the return of the memento from a fan was not too challenging. "A sophomore in high school, so it was pretty easy," he said.

Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• The Mets (57-69) dropped to 12 games under .500 for the first time since finishing the 2009 season at 70-92. They were hitless in four at-bats with runners in scoring position Friday, and are hitting .113 (8-for-71) in those situations over the past 10 days. Jonathon Niese suffered the latest tough loss for a Mets starting pitcher, despite limiting Houston to three run in seven innings. Niese has a 1.61 ERA over his past three starts. Read game recaps in the Times, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Daily News and Record.


Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Collin McHugh tossed seven scoreless innings in his major league debut Thursday, yet found himself headed back to Buffalo a day later.


Collin McHugh became the roster casualty for the return of Jeremy Hefner from paternity leave. McHugh should make one start for Triple-A Buffalo while spending the required 10 days in the minors. He then is due to reenter the major league rotation. Collins reasoned that demoting McHugh made sense, despite the right-hander tossing seven scoreless innings in his major league debut, because the Mets did not need six starting pitchers with a team off-day Monday. Hefner is due to start Sunday. Read more in the Journal and Star-Ledger.

• Ex-Met John Maine limited Buffalo to two unearned runs in six innings and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre roughed up Jeurys Familia early en route to a 6-4 win against Buffalo. Cory Vaughn produced his 22nd homer in St. Lucie's win. Hicksville, L.I., native Cam Maron had a three-run homer as Savannah beat Rome, 6-2. Read Friday's full minor league recap here.

• Collins gave Daniel Murphy the first of two straight planned days off Friday. Justin Turner started at second base and went 1-for-3 and was hit by a pitch. “I’m no more tired than anybody else is,” Murphy told Mark Hale in the Post.
Cody Derespina in Newsday looks at the case for and against re-signing Chris Young. Writes Derespina

The Mets are already running out of rotation spots for the 2013 season. If Johan Santana and Dillon Gee come back healthy, and there's not much reason to think they won't, the pair will join Jon Niese and R.A. Dickey to fill the first four spots. Then you have to consider Matt Harvey. And Collin McHugh. And an expected Zack Wheeler call-up. Plus, that's all assuming the team parts ways with Mike Pelfrey (he's eligible for arbitration, but could be non-tendered). If Young is willing to sign another minor-league deal, he could provide good insurance if one of the injured starters breaks down or Harvey regresses. But any kind of guaranteed deal would be blocking a rotation spot from a younger candidate that could be a part of the Mets' future. For his part, Young would do well to look for a role on a team where the future is now.

My take: The Mets need to sign a veteran hedge against a member of the projected five-man rotation (Johan Santana, Dickey, Matt Harvey, Niese and Dillon Gee) becoming unavailable, so as not to rely too heavily on prospect Zack Wheeler or McHugh. But the Mets probably would be better served signing someone for a low cost who could swing over to the bullpen assuming the projected rotation remained healthy. Young is pretty much locked into a starting role. Mike Pelfrey assuredly will get nontendered in December. Otherwise, the Mets would need to pay him at least 80 percent of this season's $5.6875 million salary.

• The deep-pocketed new owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers have made it possible to acquire Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett from the Boston Red Sox. That's Crawford money and then some -- a whopping $261 million owed to those three players beyond this season, although Boston should pick up some of the tab.

TRIVIA: Where does Fernando Martinez, who signed with the Mets at age 16 in 2005, rank on the list of the franchise's largest signing bonuses for international free agents?

Friday's answer: Shawn Estes threw the pitch behind Roger Clemens at Shea Stadium when the Rocket finally batted against the Mets on June 15, 2002. Estes had not even been with the Mets when the original incidents between Clemens and Piazza occurred two years earlier. Estes pitched for the San Francisco Giants at the time.

Around the minors 8.24.12

August, 24, 2012
8/24/12
11:34
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SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE 6, BUFFALO 4: The first six batters of the game reached against Jeurys Familia in a four-run first inning, while ex-Met John Maine limited his former organization to two unearned runs in six innings. Chris Dickerson singled and Corban Joseph hit a two-run homer against Familia in the opening frame. Eduardo Nunez followed with a double and later scored on a wild pitch. Two more singles and an error gave the Yankees a 4-0 lead. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre had four more consecutive hits to open the second, with Dickerson scoring. Familia did rally. He allowed one hit over his final four innings, but ultimately was charged with five runs on 10 hits in six innings. The Herd scored a pair of runs in the third inning to get on the board. Fred Lewis came around on a throwing error by Maine. Valentino Pascucci later doubled home Lucas Duda for his team leading 58th RBI. Pascucci scored on a wild pitch in the eighth. Before the game, reliever Drew Carpenter joined the Bisons from Binghamton. He pitched an inning of scoreless relief. Armando Rodriguez returned to the B-Mets. Familia struck out seven batters to take over the team lead, with 119. Box

PORTLAND 4, BINGHAMTON 3: Wilmer Flores’ two-run homer in the ninth was not enough as the B-Mets’ comeback bid fell short. Sea Dogs starter Brandon Workman baffled the B-Mets, allowing one run over seven innings. Portland broke a scoreless tie in the third against starter Gonzalez Germen. With a runner on first, Jeremy Hazelbaker smacked an RBI triple over Juan Lagares’ head in center. Bryce Brentz followed with a run-scoring single. Workman cruised through five innings, facing one over the minimum. After surrendering a single to Eric Campbell in the second, he retired 13 straight B-Mets. Binghamton scratched out a run in the sixth, a rally ignited by a one-out triple by Pedro Zapata. Lagares then pushed an RBI bunt single down the third-base line. Lagares, representing the tying run, advanced to third on a stolen base and groundout, but was stranded. After allowing six hits over his first three innings, Germen no-hit the Sea Dogs over his next four frames. He got two quick outs in the eighth before allowing back-to-back homers, to Travis Shaw and Xander Bogaerts. Brad Holt entered and recorded the final out of the inning. The cushion factored in heavily. Workman tossed a scoreless seventh before handing a one-run lead to the bullpen. Caleb Clay tossed a perfect eighth, but nearly blew a three-run lead in the ninth. After Lagares singled, Flores blasted a two-run homer. Raul Reyes reached on a two-out single, but Jefry Marte struck out looking to end the game. Germen (7-11) suffered his fifth loss in his last six B-Mets starts. He allowed four runs on nine hits while collecting seven strikeouts. Box

ST. LUCIE 6, CHARLOTTE 5: Cory Vaughn hit his 22nd homer and drove in two runs as the Mets held off Charlotte. Darrell Ceciliani went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Richard Lucas finished 1-for-3 with an RBI. Aderlin Rodriguez also had a hit and drove in a run. Jacob deGrom picked up the victory, tossing 5 2/3 innings and allowing three runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out three. Adrian Rosario pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up an unearned run with one walk and one strikeout. Taylor Whitenton tossed 1 2/3 innings and gave up three hits and one run with four strikeouts. Adam Kolarek recorded the final out to preserve the win for his 17th save. Box

SAVANNAH 6, ROME 2: Cam Maron delivered a three-run homer in the first. He finished 2-for-3 with two walks and four RBIs. Carlos Vazquez (6-2) earned the win with four scoreless relief innings. Box

KINGSPORT 7, BLUEFIELD 4: Tomas Nido produced a two-run homer in the first inning. Nido then broke a 4-all tie in the fifth when he was hit by a pitch, advanced on another hit by pitch and walk, and scored on a wild pitch. The K-Mets opened a three-run lead an inning later when Branden Kaupe tripled and scored on Gavin Cecchini's single. Cecchini scored on a triple by Joe Tuschak. Nido departed the inning after being struck with the pitch. Juan Urbina (1-0) and Matt Budgell combined for five scoreless relief innings. Budgell earned his first professional save. Box

STATEN ISLAND 5, BROOKLYN 1: A late-inning meltdown wasted a stellar performance from Brooklyn starter Luis Mateo, who tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing five hits and a walk while striking out six. The Cyclones scored their lone run in the fifth. Eudy Pina and Brandon Nimmo singled. A swinging bunt from Phillip Evans eventually put runners on second and third with two outs. Kevin Plawecki then smashed a line drive too hot for Staten Island third baseman Matt Duran to handle, allowing Pina to score for a 1-0 lead. In the eighth, Craig Hansen failed to record an out. He walked the first batter he faced, then hit a batter before allowing a single to Exicardo Cayones to load the bases with none out. Hansen then also plunked Ravel Santana to force in a run and even the score. Beck Wheeler, who was tagged with Thursday's loss after allowing an 11th-inning homer, once again fell victim to the long ball. Duran greeted him with a grand slam. Despite the loss, the Cyclones remain three games ahead of Batavia in the wild-card race. Box

Compiled from team reports

Mets morning briefing 7.9.12

July, 9, 2012
7/09/12
3:19
AM ET
Jon Niese allowed four first-inning runs and ultimately surrendered seven runs in seven innings as the Mets lost to the Cubs, 7-0, at Citi Field on Sunday. The Mets entered the All-Star break with a 46-40 record, exceeding many expectations, but off a series loss to Chicago.

If the playoffs started today, the National League division winners would be Washington (49-34), Pittsburgh (48-37) and Los Angeles (47-40).

Atlanta (46-39) and Cincinnati (47-38) would claim the wild cards, with the Mets as well as St. Louis and San Francisco -- with identical 46-40 records -- a half-game back.

The Mets reassemble for a late-afternoon workout Thursday at Turner Field in Atlanta. They then begin another critical stretch Friday against the Braves. That series will be followed by one in D.C. The Amazin's then return home to face Los Angeles and again the Nats.

As for going 2-4 this season against the Cubs, who are now a half-game better than Houston for the worst record in the majors, Terry Collins said: "They played us really well. Maybe it's one of those, it's a bad matchup for us." The Mets also were swept in Houston a month into the season.

Monday's news reports:

• The Mets and Rockies are discussing a trade involving righty-hitting catcher Ramon Hernandez. The deal could be expanded to include left-handed reliever Matt Reynolds, a baseball source told ESPNNewYork.com. The source added that players who interest the Rockies include Justin Turner as well as prospects Matt den Dekker, Jacob deGrom, Josh Edgin, Chase Huchingson, Jack Leathersich, Domingo Tapia and Wilfredo Tovar. While there was optimism a deal could ultimately be consummated, there was no indication the Mets would agree to include any of those Rockies targets. The Post's Joel Sherman also links the Mets to catchers Kelly Shoppach (Boston) and Miguel Olivo (Boston).

Sandy [Alderson] and I talk every single day,” Collins said, speaking generally about the trade deadline. “He’s certainly aware of what our needs are. We talk about it. We know where our holes are. We know how to fill them. But the asking price to fill them sometimes isn’t going to be paid. We’re just not going to sacrifice the future for a piece for a month. And I’ve been there before. Believe me. And it’s one of the things I’ve learned -- look, I can’t worry about what I don’t have. I know what we need. Everybody on any team that’s competing right now needs a piece to get better. But I also know it can kill you down the road to give up some of those things that you have to.

"In my past places, some of the asking prices, when you go to the players and go, ‘Yeah, we could have gotten so-and-so, but it would have cost that guy,’ they all say, ‘Well, you can’t move him.’ So we’ll just have to see what happens.”

Writes Sherman about Hernandez in the Post:

It is the kind of incremental improvement they want to make to enhance their postseason chances. One Mets official said, “We are not talking about acquiring Gary Carter in 1985 here.” Translation: It is still a few weeks from the deadline, when teams can ask for big returns, but the Mets will wait for more realistic requests or else not make the purchase.

Alderson, speaking on SNY during Sunday's game, suggested he had been burned in the past by acquiring a catcher midseason. That was the case, he suggested, because of the acquisition's unfamiliarity with the new pitching staff and not providing enough offensive improvement over the incumbent to justify the swap in retrospect. In the current case, Mike Nickeas is hitting .172 with a homer and 13 RBIs in 93 at-bats.

Read more in the Star-Ledger.

R.A. Dickey, David Wright and Terry Collins departed for the All-Star Game in Kansas City via chartered plane after Sunday's loss. Dickey made one last pitch for the starting nod on the mound for the NL, saying it would be easier for starting catcher Buster Posey if the knuckleballer opened the game, since that would afford the duo extra time to work together during warmups as well. NL skipper Tony La Russa is expected to name his starting pitcher at a 1:30 p.m. ET press conference Monday. Meanwhile, Wright is excited to return to the All-Star Game after a one-year absence. He was not selected for the 2011 game, snapping a six-year streak, because he was sidelined with a stress fracture in his lower back. Read more in Newsday.

• Columnist Tara Sullivan in the Record salutes Wright's first-half performance, writing:

As he stood postgame at his locker trying to remember everything he needed to pack for his upcoming sixth All-Star Game appearance and the six-game road trip that follows, Wright talked about the consistency his team needs to find in the season’s second half. What he never would say is that everyone needs to find it but him. Wright has been the eye in the center of this crazy storm, the steward, the leader, the beacon of consistency amid all that swirls around him. Like a straight line through a swirling mass, he has kept this team on course. “Absolutely carried us in the first half,” manager Terry Collins said.

Jon Rauch had a rough beginning to the All-Star break. The reliever revealed via Twitter he was involved in an automobile accident after Sunday's game. He tweeted:

got sideswiped on the way home.....awesome. guy tried to merge into my jeep. Jeep 1 - Benz S-class 0. took 2.5 hrs for police to show up. Entire side of the benz destroyed by the 37" tires and Ace Eng. sliders. Couple dents in the rear door from his mirror. The Jeep is a tank. no injuries. glancing blow to both cars. He's lucky i didn't drive over the top of his hood!! to be honest, felt like i hit a pothole. heard the accident more than i felt it.

Rauch then tweeted a photo of his Jeep pre-accident, which you can view here.

• It turns out Johan Santana's right ankle is not as healed as desired. After twisting it then getting stepped on Friday by Reed Johnson while covering first base, Santana nonetheless was scheduled to start Friday's second-half opener in Atlanta. Now, Dillon Gee will take that start, followed by Dickey in Game 2. Collins said either Santana or Niese will start Sunday's finale at Turner Field, with the other opening the following series at Washington. Chris Young remains the fifth starter out of the break. "He’s fine. Don’t misread anything," Collins insisted about Santana. "We just want to make sure that he’s 100 percent when we come out of the break." Read more in the Post, Record and Daily News.

• Read Sunday's game recaps in the Times, Post, Record, Newsday, Star-Ledger and Daily News.

• Alderson appeared for an inning and a half on SNY. There were no revelations, but the GM did suggest Zack Wheeler would make roughly two more starts for Double-A Binghamton before being promoted to Triple-A Buffalo. And Alderson, without naming Josh Edgin, implied the lefty reliever would be imminently promoted after the All-Star break so the Mets can gauge what they have before the trade deadline. Alderson spoke about multiple relievers coming up, so perhaps Jenrry Mejia is soon to join the Mets as well. "I think you'll see a couple of new faces between now and the end of July," Alderson said on the telecast, referring to promotions. "And we'll take a look at them and see what we think, and at the same time be evaluating what else is available to us."

• Wheeler and fellow Binghamton Met Wilmer Flores participated in Sunday's Futures Game in K.C. Wheeler retired both batters he faced. Flores started at third base for the World team and went 0-for-2. "Amazing," Flores told David Lennon in Newsday about Wheeler. "He's one of the best. He's going to make some money."

Wheeler's Double-A dominance had a brief interruption recently, when he allowed 12 runs (11 earned) on 13 2/3 innings over a pair of starts. But Wheeler got back on track in his most recent outing, which happened to come against the Double-A affiliate of his former organization, the San Francisco Giants. He limited Richmond to one run in 7 1/3 innings Thursday. A runner inherited by the bullpen scored for the only to be charged to him. "Sometimes you can get away with throwing hard and missing your spots," Wheeler told Lennon. "But in those games, I was missing my spots and they were hitting me. That reminded me of what would happen if I was in the big leagues. It was a good learning experience, so actually I'm glad it happened."

Read more on Wheeler and the Futures Game in the Times and Post.

• Ex-Met John Maine surrendered six runs in 4 2/3 innings, including damage on homers by den Dekker and Josh Satin, as Buffalo headed into its All-Star break on a four-game winning streak. Mejia was struck above the right ankle in that game and was pulled. Buffalo hosts the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday. The home run derby, scheduled for today, includes Valentino Pascucci. Read Sunday's full minor league recap here.

• Collins believed Jason Bay (concussion) and Frank Francisco (oblique) both could appear in their first rehab game Wednesday, with Class A St. Lucie at Tampa. The expectation would be both could rejoin the Mets for the series at Washington that begins next Tuesday, after a team off-day. Meanwhile, Andres Torres, who has remained on the active roster despite back woes, hopes to be ready to reenter the lineup the day the Mets open second-half play.


Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Trainer Ray Ramirez observed Johan Santana after the southpaw's ankle twisted, then was stepped on by Reed Johnson at first base in the fifth inning Friday. Two days later, the Mets disclosed Santana's first second-half start will be delayed.


• Francisco has ended up entangled in another Yankees-related controversy, although this time the closer did not call them "chickens" or anything else. Andrew Marchand writes at ESPNNewYork.com about a spat between Boston reliever Vicente Padilla and the Yankees' Mark Teixeira that managed to rope in Francisco. Writes Marchand:

Padilla and Teixeira have had a feud that dates back seven years. In his initial two at-bats against Padilla in 2005, Teixeira hit homers each time. Since, according to Teixeira, Padilla has been head-hunting. ... [Padilla] implied that Teixeira had issues with Padilla and former teammate Frank Francisco because they were Latin. "The problem is he talks about all the wrong things that others have done, but the things he's done -- against the Latinos [on the Texas Rangers] -- he doesn't open his mouth about," Padilla told the website (NESN.com). "He once threatened me and said he was going to hit me with a bat, and that's when we were playing on the same team."

Jordany Valdespin made his first major league start in center field Sunday. “I guess it was towards the end of the first year I ever saw him, when you saw the athleticism, you almost said, ‘You know what? This guy would make a pretty good center fielder,’’’ Collins said. ”So there was always that thought to put him out there.’’ Valdespin, a natural middle infielder, had made 15 appearances (14 starts) in the minors this season in center field. He also had four Grapefruit League appearances (two starts) at the position this year. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

Wally Backman again criticized Reggie Jackson for comments critical of Gary Carter's Hall of Fame worthiness, this time in the Daily News.

• Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison tweeted he used to play for the Mets.

Anthony Rieber provides a first-half recap in Newsday, as does Jared Diamond in the Journal. Mike Kerwick in the Record recommends to believe in the Mets.

Michael Salfino in the Journal notes that if Ike Davis maintained his .203 average and his current RBI pace, he would have the worst average in baseball history among players who drove in 90-plus runs. It would top Dave Kingman's .204 average and 99 RBIs, which Kingman happened to post in 1982 as a Met.

TRIVIA: Who is the youngest Met ever to have a plate appearance in an All-Star Game?

Sunday's answer: Edgardo Alfonzo was the last Met to appear at second base in an All-Star Game. He went 0-for-2 at Turner Field on July 11, 2000 after replacing starter Jeff Kent.

Around the minors 7.8.12

July, 8, 2012
7/08/12
11:44
PM ET
BUFFALO 10, SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE 3: Ex-Met John Maine surrendered homers to Matt den Dekker and Josh Satin as Buffalo entered its All-Star break on a four-game winning streak. Maine was charged with six runs on four hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings as his International League ERA swelled to 7.15. Jenrry Mejia left the game after being struck above the right ankle by a comebacker. He likely was due to depart for Josh Edgin at that point anyway with three of the next four hitters due up left-handed, but Mejia figures to be sore for the time being. Adam Loewen added a solo homer in the ninth against Manny Delcarmen. Den Dekker went 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Loewen had two hits and two walks and scored three times. Collin McHugh picked up his first Triple-A victory, allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings. Buffalo hosts the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday. Valentino Pascucci is due to participate in Monday's home run derby. Box

BINGHAMTON 10, ALTOONA 9: The B-Mets pounced on starter Brandon Cumpton in a three-run first with two hits, three steals and a costly error by second baseman Jarek Cunningham. With two outs, Cunningham booted a groundball, allowing two runs to score. The shaky defense continued for Altoona in the third. With runners on first and second, Oscar Tejeda misread a fly ball from Dustin Martin, allowing it to sail over his head for a two-run double. Wilfredo Tovar capped that inning with an RBI single, giving Binghamton a 6-0 lead. The Curve answered a half-inning later against Gonzalez Germen. Altoona took advantage of two walks and collected two hits in a three-run inning. Matt Curry capped the rally with a two-run double. Binghamton restored the lead to six in the fourth with another three-run inning. The first five batters reached against reliever Nathan Baker. Allan Dykstra supplied an RBI single, Jefry Marte walked with the bases loaded and Tovar added a sac fly. After allowing an RBI double to Cunningham in the fourth, Germen (5-6) retired 13 of the next 15 he faced. He tossed a season-high 7 1/3 innings. With the B-Mets leading 10-4, Germen allowed a triple and sac fly before being lifted for Jeff Stevens in the eighth. Stevens allowed all four batters he faced to reach -- on three walks and an RBI double by Jeremy Farrell. Ryan Fraser inherited the bases loaded and induced Robbie Grossman to fly out before surrendering a three-run double to Brock Holt that trimmed Binghamton’s lead to a run. Ex-Mets farmhand Stefan Welch nearly tied the score with a single to center, but Juan Lagares nailed Holt at the plate to end the inning. Bidding for his first save in more than a month, Adrian Rosario allowed a leadoff single to Curry, but was bailed out when Curry was thrown out attempting to steal. Rosario put the tying run back on base with a walk, but struck out Cunningham to secure his third save. Box

ST. LUCIE 9, BRADENTON 3: Rafael Fernandez had a three-run homer in a five-run first inning. T.J. Rivera capped the scoring with a two-run homer in the ninth. Tyler Pill (2-1) allowed one run on two hits and a walk in five innings. Box

CHARLESTON 8, SAVANNAH 4 (13 innings): Aderlin Rodriguez homered for the fourth in his last seven games, but Charleston broke a tie with four runs in the top of the 13th against Savannah reliever Jared West. The Dogs began the decisive inning with three straight singles, culminating in an RBI by Tyson Blaser, which put Charleston ahead 5-4. Blaser finished 4-for-6 with two RBIs. After a Rodriguez throwing error, Casey Stevenson doubled, driving in two to put the ‘Dogs up 8-4. Down 4-0 after two innings, the Gnats steadily ate away until Rodriguez tied the score with a two-run homer in the eighth after Yucarybert De La Cruz reached by walking. In the fifth, Charley Thurber had singled to score Dustin Lawley. In the seventh, Thurber’s RBI groundout brought home Brian Harrison. Rodriguez shot cleared a 16-foot wall in left-center. His 16th homer this season also extended his hitting streak to nine games. Charleston had raced to a 4-0 lead after two innings against Domingo Tapia. Tapia ultimately found his rhythm and retired the final 13 batters he faced while completing seven innings. Box

PULASKI 5, KINGSPORT 3: First-round pick Gavin Cecchini went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a walk in the loss. Akeel Morris dropped to 0-4, after allowing three runs in five innings. Box

JAMESTOWN 5, BROOKLYN 2: Cyclones starter Luis Cessa did not allow a hit until the third, when Juancito Martinez produced a one-out homer. Jammers pitcher Helpi Reyes cruised through four innings, limiting Brooklyn to one hit. In the fifth, Kevin Plawecki and Stefan Sabol had consecutive one-out singles. Jayce Boyd then ripped a single past diving first baseman Viosergy Rosa to score Plawecki and advance Sabol to third. Jonathan Clark walked to load the bases that inning, but Reyes escaped having surrendered the lone run as Juan Gamboa and Brandon Nimmo struck out. The Jammers retook the lead a half-inning later. Cessa walked Yefri Perez. A bunt by Pedro Mendoza that the catcher Plawecki fielded and threw to second was unsuccessful. Rosa then singled, scoring Perez to give the Jammers a 2-1 lead. After a double play and a hit batter, Beck Wheeler entered and halted any further damage. The Jammers tacked on three more runs in the seventh charged to Wheeler. Box

Compiled from team reports

Around the minors 7.7.12

July, 8, 2012
7/08/12
12:32
AM ET
BUFFALO 7, SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE 6: Matt den Dekker's three-run homer in the sixth against Ramon Ortiz rallied the Bisons within a run. A bases-loaded walk to Adam Loewen and sacrifice fly by Josh Satin an inning later gave Buffalo a 6-5 lead. Starter Garrett Olson allowed five runs in four innings as the Bisons fell behind, 5-1. Chris Schwinden tossed two scoreless relief innings after Olson departed, marking the first time Schwinden has worked back-to-back days in his pro career. Josh Edgin surrendered a seventh-inning RBI double to Jack Cust, snapping the southpaw's 8 1/3-inning scoreless streak and evening the score at 6. But Buffalo retook the lead a half-inning later on Brad Emaus' RBI single. Justin Hampson, who had been designated for assignment by the Mets, picked up the save in his return to Triple-A after clearing waivers. Ex-Met John Maine faces the Bisons on Sunday. Ryota Igarashi tossed a scoreless top of the ninth against Buffalo on Saturday. Box

BINGHAMTON 8, ALTOONA 2: Cory Mazzoni fired a career-high seven scoreless innings to snap a personal two-game losing streak. Pitching 120 miles from his hometown of Evans City, Pa., he allowed a season-low three hits and set a season high with six strikeouts. After being held hitless through four innings by Altoona starter Kyle McPherson, Jefry Marte reached on a booted groundball by shortstop Brock Holt in the fifth, and Dustin Martin followed by doubling. With two aboard, Sean Kazmar broke the scoreless tie by dumping a two-run double to left. Juan Lagares capped the inning with a two-out RBI single. Binghamton doubled its lead in the sixth. After Allan Dykstra singled and Marte flied out, reliever Mike Colla entered. Martin greeted him with a single. Francisco Pena then squeaked a three-run homer over the left-field fence. Mazzoni capped his night by working around a leadoff single in the seventh. The Curve jumped on Edgar Ramirez in the eighth. Quincy Latimore doubled and scored on Jeremy Farrell's single. Ramirez’s night came to a close after he loaded the bases on two walks. For the second straight night, Robert Carson entered with the bases loaded and no outs. After Oscar Tejeda cut the deficit to four with a sac fly, Carson retired the next two hitters. Binghamton continued its two-out hitting in the ninth against reliever Jeff Inman. With the bases loaded, Eric Campbell smacked a two-run single. Carson returned for the ninth and worked around a leadoff single to post a scoreless frame, striking out the final three batters. Box

BRADENTON 6, ST. LUCIE 3: Cory Vaughn went 2-for-4 and belted his 16th homer, but the Mets fell to the Marauders. Vaughn's solo shot came in the fourth to cut St. Lucie's deficit to 2-1. Zach Lutz ripped a solo homer to cut the deficit to four runs in the ninth. Richard Lucas delivered a single to score Vaughn and make it 6-3 later in the frame. St. Lucie starter Angel Cuan allowed four runs and six hits over seven innings with five strikeouts and two walks. Gift Ngoepe hit a pair of homers off Cuan and drove in three runs. Alex Dickerson also drove in three runs for Bradenton, including launching a two-run homer off John Church for a 6-1 lead in the eighth. Alonzo Harris Jr. went 2-for-4 in the loss. Box

CHARLESTON 9, SAVANNAH 7
SAVANNAH 1, CHARLESTON 0:
Starter Jimmy Fuller tossed five no-hit innings in his second 2012 start before reaching his pitch limit and departing. After walking the leadoff batter in the first inning, Fuller retired the next 15 batters. Reliever T.J. Chism gave up singles to the first two hitters he faced, but retired the next six as Savannah pitching faced three over the minimum in the seven-inning shutout. Aderlin Rodriguez contributed two of Savannah's three hits and drove in Cam Maron with the game’s lone run. The RBI came in the fourth, on a double off the warning track in left field. In Game 1, the Gnats had built a 7-2 lead thanks to a four-run second inning, then a three-run fifth highlighted by Dustin Lawley’s two-run homer. However, the RiverDogs tied the score with a five-run sixth against relievers Marcos Camarena and Randy Fontanez. Dogs third baseman Dante Bichette Jr. evened the score at 7 with a three-run homer. In the seventh, Ben Gamel's two-run triple put Charleston in front. Box 1, Box 2

PULASKI 13, KINGSPORT 2: Starter Robert Gsellman allowed six runs in four innings. Box

JAMESTOWN 6, BROOKLYN 3: Cyclones starter Luis Mateo (3-1) allowed four runs in six innings as his sterling New York-Penn League ERA rose to 1.90 in four starts. The Jammers scored three first-inning runs, highlighted by Anthony Gomez' two-out, two-run single. In the bottom half of the frame, Dimas Ponce reached on an error. He advanced to third on Alex Sanchez's single and Cole Frenzel's groundout. Kevin Plawecki walked to load the bases before Stefan Sabol was hit by a pitch to make it 3-1. But Jayce Boyd left the bases loaded when he was called out on strikes. Jamestown struck for another run in the third as Kentrell Dewitt hit a two-out single and stole second and Gomez followed with an RBI single. Brooklyn picked up a run in the fourth when Ponce singled to score Brandon Nimmo. The Cyclones then moved within a run in the eighth. Sabol hit a one-out double against Jamestown reliever Nick Wittgren. Sabol ultimately scored on a double by Nimmo. However, Nimmo was stranded in scoring position when Eudy Pina flied out. The Jammers added a pair of runs in the ninth against Dawrin Frias, with one run unearned after scoring on a throwing error by Plawecki behind the plate. Box

Compiled from team reports

Ollie's velocity, rotation, LHP, Maine event

March, 10, 2011
3/10/11
1:11
PM ET
A scout who watched Oliver Perez during the Mexican winter league playoffs said he was not close to the Mets' internal reports of sitting at 88 mph and topping out at 92 mph. The scout said in the game he watched, Perez hit 88 mph in the first inning and mostly sat at 86 mph.

• After quizzing Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post about the Marlins' plans, it appears the opening series rotation will be: Mike Pelfrey vs. Josh Johnson on April 1, followed by Jon Niese vs. Ricky Nolasco and R.A. Dickey vs. Javier Vazquez.

• Left-hander Les Walrond was borrowed from minor league camp and is on the trip, so it turns out the Mets have signed Les Walrond. Walrond, 34, made 23 major league appearances between 2003 and '08 with the Royals, Cubs and Phillies. He and Casey Fossum could be left-handers at Triple-A Buffalo.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweets: With John Maine, his shot might come in mid April. He hit 92 mph five times on gun yesterday. Need to see how shoulder recovers with use, but he could be pleasant surprise. Rockies have had a history of landing bounceback guys. Maine could fall into that category.

• I do not get the sense the Phillies would be interested in Luis Castillo if Chase Utley's knee woes sideline him for a prolonged period.

Crasnick: Maine to Rockies

February, 17, 2011
2/17/11
12:08
PM ET
Ex-Met John Maine will sign with the Colorado Rockies, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports. He will receive a minor league deal.

Crasnick reported the Phillies and Royals were among six or seven clubs interested in Maine. He has an "out" clause if he does not make Colorado's major league squad.

Source: Maine still on Phillie radar

February, 16, 2011
2/16/11
8:47
AM ET
John Maine remains unsigned, but the Philadelphia Phillies continue to appear the most likely landing spot for the right-hander, a baseball source told ESPNNewYork.com.

Maine's agent Rex Gary recently suggested the former Met is feeling good following last year's shoulder surgery.

Agent: Maine 'feels great'

January, 31, 2011
1/31/11
8:34
PM ET
Former Mets right-hander John Maine "feels great," is "throwing well" and "teams are watching him closely," agent Rex Gary said.

Maine underwent shoulder surgery during last season. He was cut loose by the Mets because he made $3.3 million last season and was arbitration-eligible.

John Maine talking with Phils

January, 12, 2011
1/12/11
3:10
PM ET

John Maine


Starting Pitcher
New York Mets

Profile


2010 Season Stats
GM W L BB K ERA
9 1 3 25 39 6.13
The Philadelphia Phillies' rotation may be the fearsome foursome, but they are looking into adding some insurance. The Phillies have had discussions about adding John Maine to their depth of starters, Maine's agent, Rex Gary, confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.

Gary said the Phillies aren't the only team with whom he is talking about Maine.

"We have spoken to a lot of teams and there is a lot of interest," Gary said.

The Phillies have five starters with Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton. However, Blanton could be dealt to free up money and, like all rotations, there will be injury concerns.

Maine knows plenty about injuries. After making $3.3 million in 2010, he was non-tendered by the Mets prior to the deadline for arbitration largely because of his inability to stay healthy. His shoulder problems limited him to 39 2/3 innings last season. He underwent season-ending surgery in July to repair a capsule tear in his right shoulder. Gary said Maine has recovered very well.

It would seem likely that Maine would have to accept a minor league deal, but Gary would not get into the particulars. Maine turns 30 in May.

Maine, Green, 'Animal' Carter out

December, 3, 2010
12/03/10
12:13
AM ET

Getty Images
Sean Green (left) and John Maine (right) are out with the Mets, as well as Chris Carter.

Sean Green is out with the Mets at the non-tender deadline, while John Maine also was cut loose by the organization at the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. In an unexpected move, the Mets also dumped Chris Carter, who was not yet even arbitration-eligible.

The reason for Carter may center on the fact that had he been assigned to Triple-A Buffalo next season, he still would have been required to make at least 60 percent of this past season's salary -- which would mean a $200,000-plus minor league salary. The Mets are now allowed to re-sign him if both sides choose, with a new split contract that calls for a far lower salary should he be assigned to the minors. Of course, Carter also had defensive limitations that did not make him ideal for a National League bench.

Read the full news story here.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.301 9 53 73
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 26
RBIL. Duda 76
RD. Murphy 73
OPSL. Duda .848
WB. Colon 12
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.44
SOZ. Wheeler 155