New York Mets: Luis Castillo

Minors 6.23.13: Syndergaard, deGrom shine

June, 23, 2013
6/23/13
9:02
PM ET
lastname
deGrom
SALT LAKE 6, LAS VEGAS 3: Jacob deGrom tossed six scoreless innings in his second Triple-A start, but Salt Lake rallied for six runs against the 51s' bullpen. DeGrom limited the Bees to three hits and four walks while striking out seven in a 98-pitch effort. Relievers Gonzalez Germen and Sean Henn as well as third baseman Eric Campbell committed errors as four of the runs were unearned. Ike Davis rested after seeing action in his first 12 games with Las Vegas (39-36). Brandon Hicks and Brian Bixler each contributed three hits and an RBI in the loss. Box

BINGHAMTON 7, ERIE 2: Noah Syndergaard struck out seven in his Double-A debut, and the B-Mets (46-28) backed him with four homers -- two by Richard Lucas. Cesar Puello

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Syndergaard
launched a first-inning solo homer against Erie's Matt Crouse. The long ball was Puello’s 14th this season, tying him for the Eastern League lead. Lucas hit the second homer of the day, an opposite-field shot to lead off the second. In the third, Erie tied the score with two runs against Syndergaard. Luis Castillo had a leadoff triple and scored when Marcus Lemon singled. One batter later, Jamie Johnson had a game-tying double. In the bottom half, Allan Dykstra gave the B-Mets a 3-2 lead with an RBI single. It became 4-2 later in the inning when Crouse threw a wild pitch. Later, Rhyne Hughes joined the scoring effort with his second homer in two games. Syndergaard departed his Double-A debut after six innings. He allowed two runs on five hits and struck out seven. Before he turned things over to the bullpen, Lucas gave the B-Mets a four-run lead with his second homer of the day. Adam Kolarek tossed two perfect relief innings. John Church struck out the side in the ninth. Binghamton placed Alonzo Harris on the DL with a concussion after he had a weekend outfield collision. Box

BRADENTON 4, ST. LUCIE 2: Jayce Boyd's surge since a promotion continued. The Florida State product went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs, but the Mets (39-32) fell in the series opener. St. Lucie trailed 4-0 in the seventh before Boyd’s two-run homer cut into the deficit. Matt Bowman, who had been 8-0 between Savannah and St. Lucie, was charged with his first loss this season. He allowed three runs and five hits over six innings. Bret Mitchell allowed one run in two innings. Hamilton Bennett pitched a scoreless ninth. Boyd is batting .529 with five RBIs through four Florida State League games. Box

lastname
Wheeler
LEXINGTON 4, SAVANNAH 3: Beck Wheeler (0-4) suffered his first blown save of the season. Wheeler inherited a pair of baserunners with none out in the eighth and the Gnats holding a 3-1 lead. After a sacrfice bunt, Wheeler surrendered a sacrifice fly, then a game-tying RBI single to Bubba Starling. An inning later, Wheeler served up a walk-off homer to the first batter of the bottom of the ninth, Michael Antonio. Savannah starter Luis Cessa took a scoreless effort into the seventh, but ultimately was charged with three runs in seven innings. Cole Frenzel and Jeff Glenn had homered to stake Savannah (44-29) to a 2-0 lead. Box

KINGSPORT 9, BRISTOL 0: Carlos Gomez tossed five scoreless innings and combined with Andres Perez and Ruben Reyes on a four-hit shutout. Leadoff hitter Champ Stuart went 3-for-4 and scored twice for the K-Mets (1-3). Richie Rodriguez, Jeyckol De Leon and Bradley Marquez drove in two runs apiece. Box

BROOKLYN 4, HUDSON VALLEY 3 (13 innings): James Roche's two-out single in the bottom of the 13th scored Jared King with the game-ending run. Brooklyn forced extra innings on Patrick Biondi's two-out RBI single in the ninth. John Mincone (1-0) earned the win with two no-hit relief innings that included five strikeouts. Box

Compiled from team reports

Minors 4.30.13: Wheeler deals for Vegas

April, 30, 2013
4/30/13
6:09
PM ET
lastname
Wheeler
LAS VEGAS 10, RENO 2: Zack Wheeler produced his best line in six starts in the Pacific Coast League: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Wheeler (1-1) surrendered a first-inning run. He retired 13 of 14 batters during one stretch, with the lone batter reaching during that span coming on a fielding error by second baseman Wilmer Flores. After a two-out walk in the seventh put two runners on base, Wheeler departed with his pitch count at 108. Armando Rodriguez struck out Tyler Bortnick to strand both runners. Wheeler sliced his ERA to 4.80. Andrew Brown had three RBIs. Jamie Hoffmann went 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. Box

BINGHAMTON 6, ERIE 5: The B-Mets blew a pair of two-run leads but prevailed as Danny Muno capped a three-hit game with a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth. Blake Forsythe

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Muno
started the rally by doubling against reliever Blaine Hardy. Muno brought him home by bouncing a line-drive single in front of right fielder Luis Castillo. Given a one-run advantage, Jeff Walters retired all three SeaWolves he faced in the ninth to collect his league-leading eighth save. In a contest pitting two spot-starting southpaws, the B-Mets struck first against Erie starter Matt Crouse. With two aboard, Wilfredo Tovar produced an RBI single. Alonzo Harris doubled the lead with a sacrifice fly. B-Mets starter Mark Cohoon made the lead stand. Making his first start this season and pitching in his first game since April 14, the lefty faced one over the minimum over four scoreless innings.

Erie scratched out its first run in the fifth, against reliever Shawn Teufel. Tyler Collins reached on a fielding error by Tovar and took second on an errant pickoff throw by Teufel. James Robbins brought him in with a single. After Binghamton answered with a run on a David Kopp wild pitch in the fifth, the SeaWolves tied the score in the sixth against Jack Leathersich. A leadoff walk came back to bite the lefty when Collins threaded a game-tying two-run homer over the left-field wall. Forsythe offered a quick rebuttal in the bottom half of the frame. The B-Mets catcher tattooed a 2-2 offering from Kopp over the left-field fence. Joe Bonfe extended the lead with a sac fly. The two-run lead did not last. Leathersich fell into more trouble in the seventh. The SeaWolves loaded the bases on two singles and hit batsman. Hernan Perez provided a sac fly and Ramon Cabrera capped a nine-pitch at-bat with a game-tying RBI single. Chase Huchingson (2-0) entered in the eighth and worked around a two-out double to preserve the tie. Box

TAMPA 1, ST. LUCIE 0 (suspended): The game was suspended in the top of the second inning with the Mets trailing, 1-0. That game's resumption, plus the regularly scheduled contest, will be played beginning 11 a.m. Wednesday. Box

Compiled from team reports

Minors 4.29.13: Edgin 2 scoreless in minors

April, 29, 2013
4/29/13
11:12
PM ET
LAS VEGAS 9, RENO 5: Ex-Yankee D.J. Mitchell took a scoreless effort into the sixth before reliever Sean Henn allowed an inherited run charged to Mitchell to score. Mitchell's final line in his Triple-A debut with the organization after signing as a free agent: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. The 51s built a 9-0 lead en route to snapping a five-game losing streak. Brian Bixler, Andrew Brown and Wilmer Flores drove in two runs apiece. Greg Peavey was charged with three runs in relief. Box

BINGHAMTON 4, ERIE 3: Cesar Puello’s two-run double capped a four-run eighth in Binghamton's come-from-behind win. The B-Mets used three hits and two Erie errors in the decisive frame after getting handcuffed for seven innings by Erie starter Warwick Saupold.

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Puello
Facing reliever Michael Morrison and trailing 3-0, Alonzo Harris reached on third baseman Corey Jones’ fielding error. Darrell Ceciliani followed with a single and Josh Rodriguez walked to load the bases. With Allan Dykstra at the plate, catcher James McCann fired to third in attempt to nab Harris. The throw skipped into left field, allowing Harris to score. Dykstra followed with an RBI double, cutting Erie’s lead to one. Puello capped the comeback by bouncing a go-ahead double down the first base-line, plating Rodriguez and Dykstra. The SeaWolves had jumped out to an early lead by tagging B-Mets starter Erik Goeddel for three runs in the first four innings. Daniel Field homered in the first, McCann collected an RBI single in the third and Luis Castillo added a run-scoring double in the fourth. Goeddel battled to complete five innings and handed the reins to Josh Edgin in the sixth. The lefty allowed two hits, but no runs thanks to Cory Vaughn’s strong throw to the plate, which retired Castillo to end the inning. Edgin returned for the seventh and posted a perfect frame in his first game since a demotion from the Mets. Vaughn left the game after that throw with a sensation in his arm, according to the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. Chase Huchingson (1-0) retired all three batters he faced in the eighth and became the winner after Binghamton’s four-run frame. Box

lastname
Sandoval
ST. LUCIE 7, TAMPA 1: First baseman Rylan Sandoval's sixth-inning grand slam staked St. Lucie to a 7-0 lead. Sandoval went 3-for-5 and drove in five runs. Starter Robert Gsellman tossed four scoreless innings in his season debut. Pedro Feliciano also contributed a scoreless inning in his first Florida State League action since returning from a food-poisoning scare. Feliciano surrendered one hit and struck out one. Chasen Bradford closed out the game with two scoreless relief innings. Leadoff hitter T.J. Rivera went 2-for-5 and scored twice. Box

WEST VIRGINIA 10, SAVANNAH 1: West Virginia snapped Savannah's six-game winning streak as Power DH Stetson Allie pounded a pair of homers that accounted for five runs. With eight homers, Allie is now tied for the South Atlantic League lead. His second homer of the night, a rare opposite-field shot at Historic Grayson Stadium, gave the Power an 8-0 lead in the seventh. The Gnats (15-9) scored their only run in the eighth when Chad Zurcher doubled down the left-field line to bring home Stefan Sabol. The Gnats have not been shut in 2013. Savannah starter Luis Cessa allowed six runs (five earned) on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and did not walk a batter while taking his first loss of the season. Power starter Tyler Glasnow earned his first career victory for shutting out the Gnats through five innings with seven strikeouts and two hits allowed. Box

Compiled from team reports

Mets morning briefing 3.31.11

March, 31, 2011
3/31/11
6:55
AM ET
The Mets completed their Grapefruit League schedule with a 17-15-2 mark Wednesday. This morning, they depart Port St. Lucie for Miami, with a 4 p.m. workout scheduled at Sun Life Stadium, home of the Marlins. Read the full series preview here.

On to Thursday's news reports:

• The New York Times elaborates on previous reports that Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz are not looking specifically to sell 20 to 25 percent of the team. Rather, they seek $200 million for a minority share, to be determined based on the overall valuation of the club. That's a total that could place the ownership stake at 40 percent, according to the report, but would not include a path to majority ownership. Furthermore, the newspaper states the Mets ownership family might sell a portion of SportsNet New York, but that would be a separate transaction.

Via the Associated Press, the Times lists these Mets minority ownership candidates:

- Jason Reese, the chairman of Imperial Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment bank.

- David Heller, a Goldman Sachs executive, along with Marc Spilker, the president of Apollo Global Management, a private equity fund.

- Steven Starker, a co-founder of BTIG, a global trading firm, with Kenny Dichter, a co-founder of Marquis Jets; Doug Ellin, creator of HBO's "Entourage"; and Randy Frankel, a minority owner of the Tampa Bay Rays.

- James McCann, the founder of 1-800-Flowers.com, with Anthony Scaramucci, who runs the hedge firm SkyBridge Capital.

- Marc A. Utay, managing partner of Clarion Capital, a private equity firm, and Leo Hindery, the first chief executive of the YES Network and a veteran media investor.

• SNY, meanwhile, could be dropped from the Dish Network at midnight. Writes Phil Mushnick in the Post:

Apparently, rights fee money is not an issue as much as whether Colorado-based Dish wishes to remain a deliverer of New York’s regional sports networks. It has carried SNY since its birth five years ago, but several months ago dropped MSG’s networks, and it never has provided YES.

Jason Bay will be placed on the disabled list before the 11 a.m. deadline to set Opening Day rosters. He has a strained intercostal muscle in his left rib cage. Bay, of course, ended last season on the disabled list with a concussion, so he has not appeared in a major league game since July 25. He is eligible to return April 9, for the eighth game of the season, because of the DL backdating rule.

A source tells Newsday's David Lennon the strain is "not serious." Of course, rib-cage muscles can be tricky injuries because of the torque while swinging, so the absence could be weeks longer. Jose Reyes' oblique injury lingered for much of the summer last season because he was not shut down for a proper period of time.

Carlos Beltran tells The Times' David Waldstein about the type of injury Bay has: “That is something you have to be very careful with. It can be the type of thing that can stay with you and bother you for a long time.” Waldstein goes on to note that Beltran and Bay have only played nine games together, because Beltran missed the first half of last season following knee surgery and Bay went down at Dodger Stadium during the opening road trip after the Mets reassembled following the All-Star break.

Lucas Duda should get the bulk of the starts in left field in Bay's absence, although Terry Collins reportedly prefers using Willie Harris on Opening Day.

Read more about Bay and Duda in the Star-Ledger, Daily News, Journal and Post.

Luis Castillo was released by the Phillies. Fellow ex-Met Wilson Valdez will start at second base, with Rule 5 pick Michael Martinez also getting time at the position. Write David Murphy and Marcus Hayes in the Philadelphia Daily News regarding Castillo:

During his six games with the Phillies, he displayed the plate discipline and ability to reach base that have been his calling card throughout his career. But when the Phillies signed him to a minor league deal last weekend, there were serious questions about his defensive ability. Manager Charlie Manuel has routinely stressed defense this spring, something the team believes it has in utility man Wilson Valdez. When asked what Castillo could have done to make the team, [GM Ruben] Amaro responded, "I'm not going to get into that."

Jason Isringhausen has elected to remain in Port St. Lucie in extended spring training for up to two weeks. If another team has a major league opportunity in the interim, the Mets must promote Izzy or let him walk. Collins predicts a spot will open up in the Mets bullpen somehow. The decision allowed the Mets to hold onto two of three relievers battling for the final spot, at least temporarily. Blaine Boyer, who had a Thursday out in his minor league contract, claimed the final spot. Manny Acosta was designated for assignment. He will have to go through waivers if he is not traded beforehand. Read more in Newsday and the Star-Ledger.

Johan Santana never had been left behind in camp, either with the Twins or Mets. Santana will work out at the Mets' Florida complex with an eye toward a late June or early July return. He is currently throwing on flat ground at 75 feet four times a week. More on Santana in Newsday.

• Newsday's Neil Best looks at the secondary market for Mets tickets. Writes Best:

Asking prices on the secondary market are up nearly 10 percent compared to this time last season. So says data compiled by TiqIQ, a ticket search engine, which shows the average for 2011 is $91.97, up from $84.13 at this time last year. Why? One factor presumably is a diminished supply because of a shrinking season ticket base. On average, 3,383 tickets per Mets game are on the market compared to 10,203 for the Yankees. ... The average price for the Mets home opener April 8 was $155.66 as of early this week, down 21 percent from last year. ... The most costly Mets game was the average of $235.09 for the July 3 game against the Yankees; the least expensive was the $38 for April 20 against the Astros.

Sandy Alderson tells the Daily News' Andy Martino the Bernard Madoff mess had no impact on last offseason. "The only external reality that had had an impact this offseason is the pre-existing payroll," Alderson tells Martino. "The fact that we had about $135 million this year when I came on board, realistically that didn't leave us much to spend."

• Martino also has a position-by-position review of the Mets.

BIRTHDAYS: Tom Hausman, who went 12-17 with a 3.66 ERA in 125 appearances (24 starts) for the Mets between 1978 and '82, was born on this day in 1953. ... Right-hander Bill Denehy, a Middletown, Conn., native who went 1-7 for the '67 Mets, was born in 1946.

Editor's Note: Mets morning briefing will move slightly later during the regular season, since the author needs to be noctural from April-September.

Report: Castillo out with Phillies

March, 30, 2011
3/30/11
1:07
PM ET

Kim Klement/US Presswire
Luis Castillo's tryout with the Phillies ended with his release Wednesday.
Luis Castillo failed to make the Opening Day roster of the Philadelphia Phillies and was released, according to reports out of that camp.

Mets morning briefing 3.23.11

March, 23, 2011
3/23/11
6:22
AM ET
R.A. Dickey starts in Jupiter on Wednesday against the Cardinals. He then heads to Nashville for the birth of his son. Jason Isringhausen will try to throw a bullpen session, with his career at a potential crossroads. And Carlos Beltran, well, we'll see ...

On to the day's news reports:

Jose Reyes tells Newsday's Jim Baumbach he will make a concerted effort to raise his on-base percentage, which was only .321 last season. Writes Baumbach:

With free agency looming after this season, Reyes clearly knows his best chance at a big payday is not only by staying healthy, but also by becoming a more complete hitter. And in order to accomplish that, he's forcing himself to understand that he doesn't need to think "hit" all the time. "Walks, I need to make that a part of my game again," Reyes said. "Last year I wanted to get a hit every time I got to home plate because in 2009 I only played, like, 30-something games. So I just wanted to do so good every time. This year is going to be different. I'm not thinking like that."

Of the 89 major leaguers to have 600 plate appearances last season, Reyes tied for 74th in on-base percentage.

David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News talks with Luis Castillo, after his eventual arrival at Phillies camp Tuesday. Castillo must beat out fellow ex-Met Wilson Valdez as injured Chase Utley's placeholder at second base, or win a bench job from a group that also includes Josh Barfield, John Mayberry Jr., Michael Martinez, Pete Orr and Delwyn Young. Writes Murphy:

Castillo blamed his late arrival on a "miscommunication between me and my agents," which is the same thing Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters. The Phillies expected the second baseman to arrive in time to play against Toronto today, one of nine games the team has left before it opens the regular season on April 1. "More importantly, I'm here, and I'm excited to be here," Castillo said. "I'm healthy. I feel good. I'm ready. I'm here to play baseball and help this team win some games." Asked what the Phillies told him about the opportunity he will get here, Castillo responded, "Right now, I know Valdez is doing a good job and Utley is hurt right now. I'm trying to find a job here. I want to compete and I want to win the job. I want to play. I have 10 days to prove and try to get ready."

Dan Martin of the Post also chronicled Castillo's arrival. The ex-Met continued to maintain he feels he did not get a legit shot with the Mets. "[Collins] wouldn't give me a chance to play," Castillo said upon arriving at Phillies camp. "I told him if he didn't give me the chance to play that I don't know if I have to be on the team. He decided to release me."

• Independent lawyers tell Newsday they don't expect former Gov. Mario Cuomo to be able to compel a settlement in trustee Irving Picard's $1 billion-plus lawsuit against Mets owners. Certainly, they say, there's little chance anything would materialize before a June 29 hearing in which U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland will rule on the defendant's motion to toss the case (which would be a long shot). Writes author Anthony M. Destefano:

Sources familiar with the case and outside legal experts point to the latest exchange between the two sides in the form of dueling news releases and court filings. "I don't think there is anything magical Mario [Cuomo] can do," said attorney Howard Kleinhendler of Manhattan, who represents other Madoff victims.

• The Times delves into the legal wrestling going on, with Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz's lawyers demanding Picard turn over documents and the trustee denying those requests for the time being, until he's compelled to put all his cards on the table. Writes Richard Sandomir:

The team’s owners have now charged that Picard has been deceptive in employing that tactic. They charged in a court filing Sunday that he had withheld some evidence that deeply undercut his lawsuit’s central allegation: that Wilpon and Katz continued to invest with Madoff, and profit greatly from those investments, in the face of repeated warnings that he might not have been clean. ... In denying Wilpon and Katz’s lawyers access to the contested evidence -- called precomplaint discovery -- Picard is not violating any rules, said two law professors with expertise in civil procedure who are not involved in the litigation.

• After watching Beltran go 2-for-8 and require a pinch-runner in minor league games Tuesday, Newsday's David Lennon concludes the right fielder -- who has yet to play right field in a game this spring -- likely will start the season on the DL, even though that's not the organization's official position. Remember, Beltran's DL stint can be backdated to the point where he only needs to miss three-regular season games. That is, as long as he limits his spring work to the minor league side and does not appear in a Grapefruit League game. Regarding appearing full throttle in a spring game, Beltran tells Lennon: "I have to be smart. I just can't throw myself out there like that. It doesn't work that way. Just because it feels great doesn't mean I'm healed 100 percent, you know?"

Steve Popper of the Record says the Mets have a plan to put Beltran in three Grapefruit League games next week if his knees allow. ... I'm skeptical that happens. Because then if Beltran lands on the DL, the backdating is out the window and he misses a full 15 regular-season days. Frankly, it sounds like something the last front office would do.

Andy McCullough in the Star-Ledger looks at the Tuesday activities of Angel Pagan and Beltran. Pagan was pulled in the second inning of a game in Lakeland against the Detroit Tigers because his back stiffened, but he insists he will be back in the lineup Thursday as scheduled. Beltran continued to take small steps toward being ready for the season. ... Here are similar accounts in the Post and Daily News.

• Isringhausen, who played catch Tuesday after being shut down for three days with elbow inflammation, knows he's at a make-or-break point in his career. He's supposed to throw a bullpen session Wednesday. "I don't have much time left," Isringhausen tells The Wall Street Journal's Brian Costa. "If I try to throw [Wednesday] and I can't do it, that could be it for me. I know this."

Sandy Alderson candidly noted that putting Izzy on the major league roster from a money perspective is not a concern. He's only slated to make $500,000. The problem is that if he breaks camp with the team, the Mets could lose another pitcher from the organization. Francisco Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell, Tim Byrdak, D.J. Carrasco and Taylor Buchholz appear safe, and Rule 5 pick Pedro Beato certainly merits being included too. So taking Izzy with the last slot should mean Manny Acosta and Pat Misch get exposed to waivers. Blaine Boyer, who has drawn positive reviews, is on a minor league deal and can go directly to Triple-A, although one teammate continues to think Boyer will make the roster. Left-hander Mike O'Connor is on a minor league deal, too.

David Waldstein of The New York Times looks at the maturation of Josh Thole behind the plate. Thole caught in high school, but he primarily played first base from the 2005 draft until May '08. That's when first-string St. Lucie catcher Sean McCraw's hitting woes opened the door for Thole to become a full-time catcher, and he ran with it. Writes Waldstein:

Many of the Mets pitchers say Thole’s pitch-calling is noticeably improved. “When he first came up in 2009, I thought he was OK as a pitch-caller,” [Mike] Pelfrey said of Thole’s debut with the Mets that September. “But when he came back last year, he was a totally different man to the point where he’s become a guy you recommend. I want to throw to this guy.”

George King, the Yankees beat writer for the Post, quotes Brian Cashman on the team's interest in Oliver Perez. "[Team president] Randy Levine asked me to look into it," Cashman tells King. "I have no interest. It's not a fit, not something that makes sense based on what we have seen." ... Even former Mets teammates are skeptical Perez will appear in the majors this season.

BIRTHDAY: Left-hander Mike Remingler was born on this day in 1966 in Middletown, N.Y. He made 15 appearances (nine starts) for the Mets in 1994 and '95 during a 14-year major league career.

Castillo irks another manager

March, 22, 2011
3/22/11
11:35
AM ET
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel apparently wasn't too pleased with having to scratch Luis Castillo from Tuesday's lineup over a miscommunication over the second baseman's ETA.

Asked if he would have been in camp earlier, Manuel is quoted by ESPN's Jayson Stark: "If it was me? I'd have been here two days ago. But it's not me."

Castillo did arrive a day early for Mets position-player reporting, but that did not sit well with Terry Collins, either. Collins thought Castillo should have been there earlier, like other position players, if he really wanted to demonstrate he wanted to earn the second-base job.

Read Stark's news story here.

Castillo (not) debuting for Phils

March, 22, 2011
3/22/11
8:16
AM ET
Luis Castillo is in the Phillies' lineup on Tuesday against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, wearing No. 3.

No. 1 is retired in Philadelphia, for Richie Ashburn.

UPDATE: Castillo was scratched because he has yet to arrive in camp.

Jason Isringhausen plans to test his elbow long-tossing Tuesday morning.

Carlos Beltran should DH on the minor league side, then receive a pinch-runner if he reaches base.

Mets morning briefing 3.22.11

March, 22, 2011
3/22/11
6:43
AM ET
Jon Niese opposes Detroit's Brad Penny in Lakeland as baseball now takes center stage with the drama of releases and lawsuits over ... at least for now.

On to Tuesday's news reports:

• The Daily News reports Fred and Jeff Wilpon aren't looking to sell a specific minority percentage of the team. Instead, they want $200 million. Then the percentage will be determined based on how the parties view the overall value of the team. For instance, 33 percent ownership if the sides agree the Mets are worth $600 million, or 25 percent if the sides agree the club is worth $800 million.

Of course, the complicating factor is that if there is $500 million or so in debt borrowed against the team, the value may be greatly depressed since you would seem to be buying into a share of that amount owed too.

• The Times' Jay Schreiber goes back and looks at the 45-page marketing binder that agent Scott Boras prepared when he was pitching Oliver Perez to the Mets and other teams as a free agent. Writes Schreiber:

Consider the table of contents in the binder, with headings that include: Perez Is One of Baseball’s Top 5 Left-Handed Starting Pitchers; Durable Perez; and A Rare Young Left-Handed Starting Pitcher Available on the Free-Agent Market. Or the heading on Page 3 of the binder, which states: Perez Follows Footsteps of Hall of Fame Pitcher Sandy Koufax. That entry then argues through statistical breakdowns that Perez’s career from ages 20 to 26 was similar to Koufax’s from ages 19 to 26, and implies that just as Koufax became great at 27, so might Perez. Page 5 of the binder makes a similar comparison between Perez and Randy Johnson.

• Newsday's Anthony Rieber believes the Mets did themselves a disservice by bringing Perez and Luis Castillo to camp, even though Sandy Alderson said he had no regrets because he wanted to see the players firsthand rather than act rashly. Writes Rieber:

Spring training is a time for hope, even if there's no evidence your team is going to be good. What the Mets did by keeping Castillo and Perez until the last few days was rob the die-hards of the pleasure of deluding themselves. Want to fantasize about Brad Emaus turning into a Rule 5 gem the way Dan Uggla did for the Marlins? Mets fans couldn't even dream about it without Castillo invading their subconscious.

Jason Bay, who by the way has scrapped his new batting stance, describes the Perez news this way to the Post's Mike Puma: "At the risk of it sounding bad, there is a little bit of closure. It kind of brings a little more finality to those scenarios. From a player's point of view, you hate to see the answer be two guys go home, but there was going to be a decision made, one way or the other. ... The way things have gone, people would wait for the first thing, to pile on, and then it becomes another entity. It gets a life of its own and it gets in here. That was the unfortunate circumstance both those guys were in."

• Post columnist Mike Vaccaro believes Bay, Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez may be next on the Citi dwellers most-likely-to-be-booed list. Writes Vaccaro:

A word of advice to Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran: Get off to hot starts. An additional suggestion to Francisco Rodriguez: Replicate your perfect spring come April. Because you three, sirs, are the next men up. They don't have Ollie to kick around anymore. Don't have Luis to boo anymore. Until he shows up in a Phillies uniform, anyway.

• Daily News columnist Filip Bondy has the same theme. Writes Bondy:

You sometimes got the feeling this winter that Luis Castillo and Perez were just being kept around for the inevitable sighs of relief that would come with the good riddances. Nobody took seriously these last-gasp auditions, particularly in the case of Perez. Now, though, the Mets have run out of scapegoats -- at least the ones they can dump before the end of this season. Castillo is gone and may yet come back to haunt his old team with the Phils. Ollie is gone. [Omar] Minaya's mistakes are no longer back-page headlines. In order to distract us, the Mets may have to trot out their 1986 stars on many occasions, the way the Rangers always find another way to honor the 1994 Stanley Cup champions.

Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal said too much attention was placed on Perez and Castillo. He writes:

For all the attention they got this spring, there are about 50 more important reasons the Mets will win or lose this summer. Among them: Carlos Beltran's knees, Johan Santana's shoulder, Jose Reyes's legs, Chris Young's shoulder, Chris Capuano's elbow and Jason Bay's power stroke. That isn't to say the Mets made the wrong moves in cutting Castillo and Perez. Whatever edge Castillo had in talent over his competitors for the second-base job wasn't substantial enough to justify the headache that would come with keeping him. And Perez's audition for a roster spot was a charade to begin with. If anything, the Mets waited too long to release them, allowing them to overshadow just about everything else going on in spring training.

• There are no shortage of news accounts of Perez's final day as a Met. Read the stories in the Daily News, Record, Times and Newsday.

Jose Reyes tells Newsday's Jim Baumbach he's happy Luis Castillo landed with the Phillies. Reyes tells Baumbach that Castillo had "too much pressure on him here" and suggested "he can still play." The Phillies will only have to Castillo $414,000 -- the major league minimum -- if he makes the club, which is not assured. Castillo signed a minor league deal. The Mets would then only have to pay Castillo $5,586,000 rather than $6 million during the upcoming season.

• The Mets were back in court Monday trying to get out of a lawsuit. They couldn't get this case tossed, but at least there's not $1 billion at stake. Writes Dareh Gregorian in the Post:

The beleagured owners of the Mets have lost their bid to wriggle out of a lawsuit by a fan who was injured by a falling fat guy at the old Shea Stadium. Sterling Mets had argued it shouldn't be held responsible for Ellen Massey's injuries, because the 300-pound Timothy Cassidy's five row fall onto her neck was "spontaneous and unexpected," and could not have been prevented.

• Because Sandy Alderson may not want to lose a pitcher to waivers to carry a pitcher who could be lost to injury quickly, Jason Isringhausen's brief shutdown with right elbow inflammation could affect his ability to make the team. Isringhausen has orally taken anti-inflammatory medication. "I’ve been throwing a lot more breaking balls," Isringhausen tells the Record's Steve Popper. "It causes [rotation] in my forearm and that leads right into the muscle. I’m not worried at all. I’ve done a lot of work to get ready and I’m at a point where I can take a day, long toss [today] and I think I’m already ready for the season."

BIRTHDAYS: Ike Davis turns 24. ... Ex-Mets reliever Joe Smith, now with the Cleveland Indians, turns 27.

Castillo only getting audition

March, 21, 2011
3/21/11
11:06
AM ET
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro says Luis Castillo is auditioning over the final days of camp after agreeing to a minor league contract.

Tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark: "Ruben Amaro Jr. just met w media, said Luis Castillo signed for 10-day look. Won't go to minors if doesn't make team."

Podcast: Alderson on Ollie release

March, 21, 2011
3/21/11
10:42
AM ET
Sandy Alderson spoke Monday about the release of Oliver Perez, as well as Luis Castillo signing with the Phillies on a minor league deal. The Mets GM ate a combined $18 million with the two decisions.

Listen here: Play Download

Alderson explains eating $18 million

March, 21, 2011
3/21/11
10:31
AM ET
Sandy Alderson addressed reporters Monday regarding the release of Oliver Perez, three days after Luis Castillo also was let go.

The GM indicated Perez’s velocity, which hovered in the mid-80s mph, was not enough to be successful in the organization’s estimation.

“The velocity was not there. The command was not there,” Alderson said. “It wasn’t going to work in a starting role. It didn’t appear as if it were going to work in a relief role, at least anytime soon.”

Alderson said he had no regrets bringing Perez and Castillo to camp, rather than releasing them early in the winter.

“For a variety of reasons it was important to have them in camp,” Alderson said. “To start with, I didn’t want to do anything rash or reflexive given what I had heard about the situation here. And so I think it was important to bring them to camp, and then once brought to camp give them a legitimate opportunity. I think in both cases we tried to do that.”

In explaining Castillo's release, Alderson mentioned anticipated negative crowd reaction played at least some factor. Alderson said in Perez's case, the southpaw's production relative to the competition of other pitchers in camp was so inferior that there was little need to incorporate into the decision how Perez would be received by fans at Citi Field.

Alderson added that there was no consideration of even asking Perez if he would consider working in the minors.

Even though Alderson ate $18 million of his predecessor's contracts in the span of three days, and even though the money was spent whether Perez and Castillo played for the Mets or not, Alderson was asked if it was difficult to recommend eating those salaries. He said: "It wasn't totally irrelevant, but I fully understood based on baseball considerations if that was the decision we needed to make, we had the flexibility to do it."

As for Castillo signing a minor league deal with the Phillies, Alderson said: "It wasn't a surprise. It wasn't unanticipated. For obvious reasons, one of the questions you ask is, 'OK, are we prepared to see him sign with X?' -- whether that's Philadelphia or Florida or some other team."

Mets morning briefing 3.21.11

March, 21, 2011
3/21/11
7:00
AM ET
Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson and -- at some point during the powwow Oliver Perez -- meet on Monday morning to discuss what's next for the on-the-ropes southpaw, while Luis Castillo lands in Philadelphia on a minor league deal and the Atlanta Braves come to Port St. Lucie to face Mike Pelfrey.

On to Monday's news reports:

• The Mets filed their official court response to trustee Irving Picard's $1 billion-plus lawsuit. Read the ESPNNewYork.com summary of the defense here. You can download the actual document filed here.

• Newsday notes that part of the Mets owners' legal argument is that they were customers rather than sophisticated investors and therefore don't have to return the money. It quotes their lawyers' press release as saying: "A customer has no way of knowing what his broker is actually doing." Picard co-counsel David Sheehan told the newspaper the Wilpons are incorrect in their interpretation of the law.

• The Daily News chronicles the Wilpons' vindication efforts by noting Picard's complaint ignores a deposition given by the manager of Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz's own hedge fund that he trusted Bernard Madoff and regarded him as a marvel.

Of course, I don't think it was in Picard's best interest to note in the lawsuit that a Wilpon associate was supporting Mets owners' assertions in his deposition. That's probably the defense's job. Picard stuck to pointing out the disputed e-mail Peter Stamos allegedly sent after Madoff was caught in which he appears to suggest Wilpon and Katz ignored warnings. Stamos in his deposition explains that away as saying he wanted the Wilpon family to put no more than 10 percent of their assets in any one place to avoid risk, and now they were screwed because they did not hede his advice and instead put all of their eggs in one basket.

• Read more coverage in the Times. The newspaper notes the Wilpons suggest they could not have been warned by Ivy Asset Management, as is alleged by Picard, that something might be improper with Madoff because that company itself is "being sued by its investors and the New York Attorney General for concealing its Madoff ‘concerns.’"

It also quotes Katz from his deposition asserting the lawsuit's portrayal of him as a sophisticated investor -- even if he had direct access to Madoff -- is false. “I don’t do well in the markets, the stock market," Katz says in a deposition. "I’m not good at it. It’s not my business.”

• Meanwhile, Newsday's Steven Marcus reports the Mets' books are now open to the potential minority investors who have cleared Major League Baseball's screening process. The hope is to have a minority partner in place by June, although the unresolved Picard lawsuit could complicate that. Writes Marcus:

Those on the list were subject to a financial and personal background investigation by MLB with candidates paying a nonrefundable fee of $25,000 for the right to examine the team's finances. After reviewing the records, investors still interested will meet with principal owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz to formulate specific offers.

• After the bus left for Sunday's game in Jupiter, the Star-Ledger's Andy McCullough remained behind to observe Carlos Beltran's progress with his ailing knees. Beltran ran four times about 100 feet in the outfield. Beltran had received a cortisone shot in his left knee Friday, while his right knee is more severely arthritic but not as big an issue in the past week. “I don’t feel anything,” Beltran tells McCullough after the workout. “So I’m moving pretty good. I feel confident.” Still, McCullough writes:

Beltran knows neither when he can return to spring training games nor how many he needs to properly prepare for the season. He frets about neither. “The main thing right here is my [left] knee,” he said. “If my knee feels good, and if I don’t feel pain, I’m going to work hard to get to what I need to be in the games.” Progress comes in increments. He took batting practice from the left side on Friday. He ran Sunday. Monday he plans to participate in outfield fielding practice. He also hopes to track pitches on the minor-league side of the complex to hone his batting eye.

• Newsday's David Lennon quotes Beltran saying: "I feel strong. I've feel like I've been doing the work that I need, so once I start playing every day, it's going to turn out good for me."

Read more about Beltran in the Record.

The tricky thing for the Mets will be whether to actually put Beltran in a Grapefruit League game assuming he's ready to play before the team breaks camp in nine days, or whether they limit him to minor league games. You can backdate a 15-day DL stint 10 days into spring training -- meaning Beltran technically might only have to miss the season-opening series in Florida. (That's because the regular season opens on a Thursday with the Mets not playing, and the Mets have an off-day after the first series.) But, you can only backdate into spring training until the last date a player appeared in a Grapefruit League game.

• The Times spoke with Perez on Sunday as he awaited his fate. "I know I’m not the same guy I was before I signed,” Perez tells the paper, referring to his three-year, $36 million deal that has only the 2011 season remaining. “That’s why I came here. I wanted to get better.” Authors Mark Viera and David Waldstein write:

Perez said it was difficult to hear negative feedback. He said he had visited a sports psychologist -- provided by his agent, Scott Boras -- to try to help his mind-set and performance. “I want to get better; I want to do my best,” Perez said. “It’s not easy that people boo you. You want to get better. Every time I go out, I try to get better. It’s what it is in life. Everybody wants to be great every time, but that’s impossible.” He added: “I know the New York people want to win a championship. I’ve got the same pain for them.”

• With it potentially Perez's final day in a Mets uniform, the Post's Mike Puma notes Collins' response to whether he would like to carry two lefties in the bullpen -- essentially a second with Tim Byrdak, who is widely expected to make the team. Collins' reply to reporters after Sunday's game: "I want to keep guys who get people out. If you have left-handers who don't get outs, they can't help you. If you have right-handers who have good stuff, and they get outs, I don't care who is [batting] -- they get people out."

The Mets' bullpen is expected to include Francisco Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell, Byrdak, D.J. Carrasco and Taylor Buchholz. Pitching coach Dan Warthen strongly indicated this weekend that Jason Isringhausen also is on firm footing if he stays healthy the final week and a half. Scouts believe Rule 5 pick Pedro Beato would merit the final slot at that point over out-of-options pitchers Manny Acosta and Pat Misch as well as Blaine Boyer and Mike O'Connor, who are on minor league deals.

• Isringhausen felt a pop in his elbow last week. He tells the Daily News' Andy Martino: "We think it's just scar tissue. I saw the doctor, and he said that everything is fine."

Steve Henson of Yahoo chronicles ex-Met David Newhan's comeback attempt with the Padres from a surfing accident that "snapped the C2 vertebrae in his neck" and left him in a wheelchair.

• Here's the Philly point of view on Castillo landing there on a minor league deal. Writes David Murphy in the Philadelphia Daily News:

Castillo has just 28 home runs in 15 major league seasons and carries a paltry .351 slugging percentage for his career. In 2009, he tallied just 16 extra-base hits in 580 plate appearances, the lowest total for a player with as many PAs since 1978. Still, he represents a low-risk addition to a pool of infielders that includes Wilson Valdez, Josh Barfield, Michael Martinez and Pete Orr. "His game in the last couple years, it's dwindled some," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said on Friday. "I don't know how much is there, but he used to be a hell of a player. I know at one time he was real good. If possible, yeah, he might be someone we'd take a look at."

Jeff Pearlman in the Wall Street Journal catches up with Doug Sisk, who Mets fans once loved to hate too. Sisk in the piece talks about watching a Seattle Mariners game on TV as a fan later in life and starting to boo at the TV. He then realized he had gone full circle from object of ire to fan dispensing it. Writes Pearlman:

During the team's 1986 world championship season, Mets officials thought it would be fun to use Shea Stadium's JumboTron scoreboard to play a fictionalized computer game between the '69 Mets and the current team. As the battle went back and forth, a sellout crowd cheered. When Keith Hernandez homered, fans stood. When Nolan Ryan came on in relief, they clapped. When the game ended with a triumph for the '86 club, the stadium went wild. Then, WP: Doug Sisk flashed across the screen. Boooooooooooooooooo!

BIRTHDAYS: Tim Leary was born on this date in 1958. ... Shawon Dunston was born in 1963 in Brooklyn. Primarily a Cub, he attended Thomas Jefferson High School.

Source: Castillo to Phillies

March, 20, 2011
3/20/11
7:43
PM ET

Luis Castillo


Second Base
New York Mets

Profile


2010 Season Stats
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
86 0 17 28 .337 .235
Second baseman Luis Castillo is not wasting time finding a new employer.

On the day he officially was eligible to sign, Castillo quickly narrowed his focus and appears poised to join the Philadelphia Phillies, according to a baseball source.

The Phillies’ second base situation is unsettled because of All-Star Chase Utley’s knee woes.

Castillo, 35, hit .235 with no homers and 17 RBIs last season in 247 at-bats. The Mets began the process of releasing Castillo on Friday, despite owing him $6 million in the final season of a four-year, $25 million deal. Castillo’s new employer will only be responsible for the major league minimum.

Mookie officially No. 1

March, 19, 2011
3/19/11
1:26
PM ET
Word out of ESPN Wide World of Sports is that Mookie Wilson officially has switched to uniform No. 1. The number was vacated with the release of Luis Castillo.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.287 7 38 57
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 15
RBID. Wright 51
RD. Murphy 57
OPSL. Duda .840
WB. Colon 9
ERAJ. Niese 3.13
SOZ. Wheeler 112