New York Mets: John Smoltz

Morning Briefing: What next?

August, 11, 2014
Aug 11
5:25
AM ET
PHILADELPHIA

FIRST PITCH: After a ninth-inning meltdown capped the squandering of a five-run lead, the Mets now need a victory Monday to avoid a split of their four-game series against the last-place Philadelphia Phillies.

Jonathon Niese (5-8, 3.41 ERA) opposes right-hander David Buchanan (6-5, 4.39) at 1:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.

Monday’s news reports:

Jacob deGrom will be examined in New York on Monday and has been scratched from Tuesday’s scheduled start against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field because of shoulder soreness. DeGrom does not believe the issue is serious.


Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsJacob deGrom's shoulder is due to be examined Monday in New York.


Assistant GM John Ricco suggested Carlos Torres could make a spot start if deGrom is only going to miss one rotation turn, with Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard candidates if deGrom’s absence requires a DL stint. However, Terry Collins suggested Torres may be needed in the bullpen on Monday because other relievers have been heavily used.

Montero, who has produced two straight scoreless appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas and already has appeared at the major league level, would appear more likely among the call-up options. Sandy Alderson did not reply to an inquiry from ESPNNewYork.com.

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

Jenrry Mejia revealed he has a hernia that will require surgery. He hopes to take medication and pitch with the discomfort for the remainder of the season, but it is possible he is shut down before then and undergoes the procedure sooner. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News and at MLB.com.

• Mejia failed to hold a one-run lead in the ninth and the Phillies rallied for a 7-6 win against the Mets on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets suffered their 11th walk-off loss of the season. No other team has suffered more than eight, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Zack Wheeler produced a quality start, but expressed disappointment with his high pitch count (112 in six innings). Wilmer Flores' failure to throw out Ben Revere on a two-out grounder in the seventh proved costly. Terry Collins explained several managerial moves afterward, including intentionally walking Chase Utley with the count already full to get to Ryan Howard for the walk-off RBI single.

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

• Read more on Flores in Newsday.

• Pitching coach Dan Warthen tells columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post that John Smoltz offered advice to Wheeler during a June 30-July 2 series in Atlanta, which coincided with the beginning of Wheeler’s current streak of eight straight quality starts. “I do give credit to John for a couple of comments he made to him,” Warthen told Davidoff. “[It] really pumped him up. And he’s been outstanding since.”

Daisuke Matsuzaka (elbow inflammation) is due to make a rehab start for Class A St. Lucie on Monday. Matsuzaka then should be set to return from the DL.

Jeremy Hefner, who had a forearm issue arise as he returns from Tommy John surgery, is due to be examined in New York.

Bobby Abreu officially has been released by the Mets.

• Logan Verrett notched his 10th win as Vegas beat Albuquerque, 7-5. Steven Matz and Randy Fontanez combined on the shutout as Binghamton blanked Harrisburg, 3-0. Stefan Sabol had a game-tying RBI triple and scored the go-ahead run on Yeixon Ruiz’s single as Savannah beat Augusta, 6-4, in a rain-shortened game. Amed Rosario had a tiebreaking two-run double in Brooklyn’s 5-2 win against Batavia. Read the full minor-league recap here.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear takes note of some unusual Met stability.

BIRTHDAYS: Double-A infielder Wilfredo Tovar turns 23. ... Right-hander John Mitchell was born on this date in 1965.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Jenrry Mejia shut down his season now and undergo hernia surgery?

Series preview: Mets at Braves

April, 7, 2014
Apr 7
9:30
AM ET

Associated Press/USA TODAY SportsThe Mets will face Aaron Harang, Ervin Santana and David Hale this week at Turner Field.
METS (2-4, fifth place/NL East) at ATLANTA BRAVES (4-2, second place/NL East)

Tuesday: RHP Bartolo Colon (0-1, 4.50) vs. RHP Aaron Harang (1-0, 0.00), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (0-1, 4.50) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (0-0, -.--), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-0, 1.50) vs. RHP David Hale (0-0, 0.00), 7:10 p.m. ET

Braves short hops


Courtesy of Atlanta BravesThe Braves are wearing this patch to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron becoming MLB's home run king.


• During a pregame ceremony before Tuesday’s Braves home opener, Atlanta will recognize the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run. The shot came on April 8, 1974 and broke Babe Ruth’s record. The Braves are wearing patches this season to commemorate the anniversary. Aaron, 80, will be on hand. He underwent partial left hip replacement surgery Feb. 14 after falling on ice.

• The Braves unexpectedly dumped Freddy Garcia on March 24 and signed 35-year-old Aaron Harang for a rotation spot. Harang took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in Milwaukee in his Braves debut. Opposing pitcher Matt Garza also took a no-hit bid into that frame. Logan Schafer’s single to lead off the bottom of the seventh ended Harang’s bid. Harang, who finished last season with the Mets, had been released by the Cleveland Indians late in spring training.

Ervin Santana signed for one-year, $14.1 million on March 12 after Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy both suffered spring-training elbow injuries and ultimately required Tommy John surgery. Santana, who had a 3.24 ERA in 32 starts for the Kansas City Royals last season, will make his Braves debut Wednesday against the Mets. He allowed six runs (five earned) in 5 1/3 innings on Friday for Triple-A Gwinnett against Durham in his final tune-up.

• Atlanta also is missing a third starting pitcher -- left-hander Mike Minor. Minor, hindered by shoulder tendinitis during spring training, logged two innings for Double-A Mississippi on Thursday in a rehab start.

• Right-hander David Hale tossed five scoreless innings in his season debut at the Washington Nationals on Friday. It was his third career major-league start. Last September, Hale limited the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies to a combined one run in 13 innings. He is a third-round pick in 2009 out of Princeton. To earn the rotation role, Hale beat out fellow rookie Gus Schlosser, who instead found a spot in the bullpen as a longer reliever.

• The Braves claimed ex-Met Pedro Beato off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday.

• Brothers B.J. Upton and Justin Upton were a combined 2-for-31 with 16 strikeouts through Friday before each produced a two-hit game Saturday at Nationals Park.

• The Braves lead the majors with a 1.56 ERA.

• Closer Craig Kimbrel notched his 142nd career save Friday, passing Gene Garber for second on the franchise’s all-time list. John Smoltz owns the franchise record with 154 saves. Smoltz also won 210 games as a Brave.

• The Braves went on a late-winter signing binge, locking up several core players long term. The signings:

Feb. 5: First baseman Freddie Freeman, eight years, $135 million

Feb. 14: Right-hander Julio Teheran, six years, $32.4 million

Feb. 16: Kimbrel, four years, $42 million

Feb. 20: Shortstop Andrelton Simmons, seven years, $58 million

Right fielder Jason Heyward also signed for two years, $13.3 million on Feb. 4 to avoid arbitration.

• Simmons earned his first Gold Glove last season.

• The Braves, who have played at Turner Field since it opened for baseball the year after the 1996 Olympics, will move to a new ballpark in Cobb County for the 2017 season. The 42,000-seat stadium, which will be located 10 miles north of downtown Atlanta, is projected to cost $672 million. The Braves have disputed the publicly financed contribution to that price tag, which has been reported as $450 million.

• The probable Braves batting order:

Heyward, rf
B.J. Upton, cf
Freeman, 1b
Chris Johnson, 3b
Justin Upton, lf
Dan Uggla, 2b
Evan Gattis/Gerald Laird/Ryan Doumit, c
Simmons, ss

• Over the weekend, Heyward dealt with muscle spasms in the back of his neck that have resulted in headaches. He still wears a protective flap attached to his helmet to protect his jaw, which he fractured on a 90 mph fastball from Jonathon Niese last August.

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