- Adam Rubin, ESPNNewYork.com
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FIRST PITCH: After spending a day off in Atlanta, the Mets open their first road trip of the season. The nine-game journey also includes stops in Anaheim and Phoenix.
Bartolo Colon is due to face ex-Met Aaron Harang in Tuesday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener at Turner Field. A pregame ceremony will honor 80-year-old Hank Aaron on the 40th anniversary of homer No. 715, which moved him past Babe Ruth as MLB’s all-time home-run leader.
Read the Mets-Braves series preview here.
Also Tuesday, Bobby Parnell is due to undergo Tommy John surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. Team doctor David Altchek will perform the procedure.
The timing gives Parnell the best chance to return for the start of next season. There is typically a 10- to 14-month recovery time.
Tuesday’s news reports:
• Vic Black landed on the disabled list at Triple-A Las Vegas with a pinched nerve in his neck, although that apparently had nothing to do with his spring-training control woes (24 baserunners in 9 1/3 innings).
• The Mets are 105-144 at Citi Field and 122-121 on the road since the start of the 2011 season. Is that just luck? Or more media and appearance responsibilities at home hindering performance? Or the dimensions of Citi Field? The exact answer is not clear. But even the meal schedule is under scrutiny by team officials, Jared Diamond reports in the Journal. Writes Diamond:
In the past, the team would provide a light meal and snacks when the players arrived to work, consisting of salad and sandwiches. Then a larger meal, more akin to dinner, was served after batting practice, which ends about two hours before a 7:10 p.m. game.
After consulting the team nutritionist, they reversed the menu this year, with the heavier food coming out before batting practice. Teams eat this way on the road because they hit second, leaving them with little time between batting practice and the game. The Mets also changed the times of certain meetings to better resemble the road routine.
• The Mets have struck out 61 times so far, a franchise record through six games of a season. “We’re going to strike out,” Terry Collins told John Jeansonne in Newsday. “The middle of our lineup, because of the kinds of hitters they are, they’re going to strike out.”
• The Mets are not believed to be active in trying to land a free-agent reliever, even after losing Parnell for the season. Writes Anthony DiComo at MLB.com:
General manager Sandy Alderson continues to monitor the closers on the open market, according to one team executive, but he is not ready to pounce on one just yet -- or, perhaps, ever.
Two factors explain Alderson's hesitancy. First, the Mets are genuinely curious to see what three-time All-Star Jose Valverde can give them in the ninth inning. Considering Valverde’s successful 12-year history of closing games and his early success out of the bullpen this season, there is reason to believe he can be just as effective as Joel Hanrahan, Ryan Madson or any other free agent working his way back from injury.
• Tyler Kepner in the Times scrutinizes Travis d’Arnaud, who has opened the season hitless in 15 at-bats. “He’ll be fine,” David Wright told Kepner. “He can hit. He’s hit at every level. So he’s off to a slow start. He’s caught very well, thrown some runners out, called some good games. We’ve gotten quality starts, and that’s because of Travis. Defensively, he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do, and offensively, he’ll come around, because his track record says he’s going to hit.” Read more on d'Arnaud in the Post, Daily News and Record.
• Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed three runs in five innings and Matt den Dekker had a walk-off infield single that plated Cesar Puello as Las Vegas beat Sacramento, 7-6, Monday. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• From the bloggers … Mark Berman at Blogging Mets thinks the Mets have too many uniforms.
BIRTHDAYS: Timo Perez turns 39. ... The late Gary Carter was born on this date in 1954. ... 2013 12th-round draft pick Jeff McNeil, currently playing with low-A Savannah, is 22.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
I've been taking some old unused paternity leave time. RT @JonHeymanCBS: please come back @FakeFredWilpon. best phony twitter account going.
— Fake Fred Wilpon (@FakeFredWilpon) April 7, 2014
YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets sign a free-agent reliever such as Joel Hanrahan or Ryan Madson?
NEW YORKFIRST PITCH: After spending a day off in Atlanta, the Mets open their first road trip of the season. The nine-game journey also includes stops in Anaheim and Phoenix.