New York Mets: SNY

Morning Briefing: deGrom day!

August, 23, 2014
Aug 23
5:30
AM ET

Matt Marton/USA TODAY SportsJacob deGrom returns Saturday night at Dodger Stadium after a DL stint for rotator-cuff tendinitis.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Jacob deGrom's NL Rookie of the Year bid, sidetracked by his DL stint, resumes Saturday as the Mets continue their series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

DeGrom, who missed two starts with rotator-cuff tendinitis, has been activated and will face Zack Greinke and his balky elbow in the 9:10 p.m. ET game.

The Mets demoted Rafael Montero to Las Vegas after Friday’s game to clear the roster spot for deGrom. Montero made his first major league relief appearance in the series opener at Dodger Stadium. He surrendered a walk and run-scoring double to A.J. Ellis while recording one out.

Saturday’s news reports:

Wilmer Flores committed two errors in a 6-2 loss to the Dodgers on Friday. Flores’ latter error, which came on a two-out throw to first base on Adrian Gonzalez''s grounder in the seventh, led to three unearned runs scoring and a 5-1 deficit. Flores earlier had suffered a cut to the back of his throwing hand getting spiked by Scott Van Slyke, but Terry Collins said the issue was not serious and X-rays were negative. The Mets originally were charged with four errors, but a scoring change spared David Wright an E-5.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

• Mets farmhand Manuel Hilario lost consciousness and suffered a seizure as the result of getting kneed in the head while sliding into second base while playing for the Gulf Coast League Mets on Friday. Hilario was transported by helicopter to a hospital. The Mets reported later in the day that Hilario was in good spirits and may be discharged Saturday. The game against the Nationals in Viera, Fla., was suspended in the fourth inning after the serious injury.

"The coaches were out there and they were yelling to call 9-1-1," Nats pitcher Matt DeRosier told MiLB.com. "They said he pretty much had a concussion, but it was such a bad concussion that it made him have a seizure. I think he may have lost feelings in his legs -- it was really scary.

"It was a nice, aggressive slide. He hit the ground really quickly, his helmet flew off, it was pretty instant. His head hit the ground, and after his head hit the ground, he was out. He wasn't moving at all. He locked up and started seizing for about 20 seconds. Everybody was around him, and one of our coaches went to the fire station -- he drove a golf cart and got the situation under control. [Hilario] was out for 10 minutes, just unconscious."

• The Mets plan to work out Cubans Roberto Carlos, a 28-year-old shortstop, and Pavel Quesada, a 25-year-old third baseman, on Wednesday at their complex in the Dominican Republic, Mike Puma reports in the Post.

Bartolo Colon rejoined the Mets and was activated from bereavement leave before Friday’s game. Gonzalez Germen was demoted to Vegas to open the roster spot. Colon, whose mother passed away Monday, is due to pitch Sunday against the Dodgers. He is expected to return to the Dominican Republic after that start for his mother’s funeral.


Rich Gagnon/Getty ImagesGarrett Richards' knee injury means the Angels ideally need to acquire a quality starting pitcher.


• With the Los Angeles Angels losing Garrett Richards for the season due to a torn patellar tendon in his left knee that was surgically repaired Friday, there is speculation the AL West club could be a trading partner for the Mets. Colon, though, as of Friday morning reportedly had not yet been placed on waivers. Jonathon Niese reportedly cleared waivers earlier this month and is eligible to be traded to any team as a result.

Writes Bill Shakin in the Los Angeles Times:

The Mets could let Colon go on waivers, sticking the Angels with the entire $12.5 million bill. Of course, since every other team knows the Angels need a starter, all it would take is one team to claim him and block the Angels from getting him. The Oakland Athletics probably would want to keep Colon out of Anaheim -- and, by having the best record in the American League, the Angels get last priority in claiming National League players.

However, if the Mets or any other team decided to engage in discussions about trading a pitcher, the Angels' perilously thin farm system could become an issue. The Angels traded five of their better prospects -- from a system already ranked as the worst in baseball -- to acquire relievers Huston Street and Joe Thatcher.

• Phil Mushnick in the Post labels current spot starter Steve Gelbs the “heir apparent” to Kevin Burkhardt as Mets field reporter on SNY. Writes Mushnick:

Steve Gelbs, heir apparent to Fox-bound Kevin Burkhardt as SNY’s Mets games rover, has been both relaxed and useful. From Oakland, he reported that because the stadium doubles as the Raiders’ field, the pitching mound sits on a large, haul-away pallet. Neat.

• The Las Vegas 51s announced their in-house awards for the season. Matt den Dekker was named the “Mayor’s Trophy” winner in a vote by fans. Andrew Brown was named Most Valuable Player. Logan Verrett was named Most Valuable Pitcher. Brandon Allen received the Community Service Award.

• Noah Syndergaard was charged with six runs (five earned) in six innings and Matt Reynolds went 4-for-4 with a walk for Las Vegas 8-7, 11-inning win against New Orleans. Danny Muno had a walk-off RBI single. Dilson Herrera drove in four runs and Jayce Boyd had a three-run homer as Binghamton beat Akron, 12-3. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Binghamton, which clinched a playoff berth on its off-day Thursday, did the traditional clubhouse celebration after winning Friday’s game. Watch a short video clip captured by Herrera here.

• Marc Carig in Newsday looks into who closes in 2015 -- Jenrry Mejia or Bobby Parnell.

"When Bobby Parnell comes back, he will be pitching during his rehab as if he's the closer, because that's … certainly in our plan when he gets back,” Collins said. “… There's nothing etched in stone because certainly somebody can stand up and show up and say 'OK, I'm going to take that job.’ And when Bobby's ready, we've got a nice problem on our hands. But looking that far ahead, we certainly can't have any idea who is the guy pitching in the ninth."

• The Mets are plus-147 in getting the benefit of strike calls this season, fifth-best in the majors, because of their catchers’ ability to frame pitches, Jeff Sullivan writes at Foxsports.com.

• So Chris Rock is a Mets fan, right? After all, he leads that “Let’s Go Mets!” chant at Citi Field and once professed as much to David Letterman. Well, Rock was shown catching a foul ball and admirably giving it to a young fan at Yankee Stadium this week. And he was wearing a Yankees cap at the time. Watch the video evidence at Mets Police.

• Everett Merrill at Baseball America chronicles Brooklyn’s positive attendance track record.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal looks at innings caps.

BIRTHDAYS: Julio Franco turns 56. ... Ed Hearn is 54. ... Prentice Redman is 35. ... Pat Strange is 34. ... Raul Casanova is 42.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets call up Matt Reynolds to play shortstop in September?

Morning Briefing: Montero's last chance?

August, 17, 2014
Aug 17
5:32
AM ET

Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsDavid Wright's already balky shoulder was bruised by a fastball from Dan Straily on Saturday.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Things certainly have improved for the Mets since the Nationals left town.

The Amazin’s look to keep beating up on the Cubbies on Sunday. Rafael Montero makes what is expected to be his final start for now, filling in for Jacob deGrom. Montero (0-3, 6.12 ERA) opposes right-hander Jake Arrieta (6-4, 2.77).

DeGrom threw on flat ground Saturday for the first time since going on the DL with rotator-cuff tendinitis and indicated he felt good. He is expected to throw a bullpen session before Sunday’s game.

Meanwhile, Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of Travis d'Arnaud's major league debut. He went 0-for-2 with two walks on Aug. 17, 2013 in San Diego.

Sunday’s news reports:

David Wright was struck directly in the troublesome spot in his left shoulder by a fastball from Dan Straily and departed Saturday’s game after six innings. Wright is expected to miss Sunday’s game, if not longer. Read more in the Post, Newsday and Star-Ledger.

• Read more on deGrom’s progress toward a potential return Saturday at Dodger Stadium in the Star-Ledger, Daily News, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News reaches the same conclusion as ESPNNewYork.com: Javier Baez or Addison Russell is more likely to be acquired from the Cubs than Starlin Castro. Writes Harper:

For that matter, it’s questionable as to whether the Cubs would give up the highly touted Russell.

“But for a young pitcher they see as a potential ace, they might,’’ says an NL executive. “They’ve set themselves up with enough position-player talent to make that type of trade."

Is [Noah] Syndergaard that guy? And would the Mets give him up?

According to the source, it is all still being discussed internally, and the Mets are very tempted to hold onto the best of their young pitchers and try to add offense via the free-agent market, but in any case, they almost certainly will have a new shortstop next season.

Mike Puma in the Post also addresses the Mets at shortstop in 2015.

Columnist Anthony Rieber in Newsday tackles whether Flores can be a capable major league shortstop.

Laura Albanese in Newsday profiles Baez, who currently is playing second base.


Courtesy of the New York MetsBoyz II Men performed postgame Saturday at Citi Field.


Vic Black inherited the bases loaded with none out from Jonathon Niese in the seventh inning and worked out of the jam unscathed as the Mets held on for a 7-3 win against the Cubs at Citi Field on Saturday. The Mets have now won consecutive games while producing four hits or fewer in each for only the fourth time in franchise history. It also occurred in 1989 and twice in 1976.

Black, initially penciled in as the eighth-inning reliever out of spring training, instead opened the season at Triple-A Las Vegas became of erratic Grapefruit League control. Now, he has stranded 19 straight inherited baserunners.

“For the most part, once the season starts, there’s just something that clicks, competing on this level and on this stage -- especially in New York and with this team and this group,” Black said. “It’s something that always heightens you to the point where you need to be.”

Said Terry Collins: “The bullpen is night and day from the beginning of the year.”

Niese became the seventh left-hander in franchise history to win 50 games with the club. He pitched with a 7-1 lead entering the seventh. He then allowed the first five batters to reach and departed.

“I had an unfortunate seventh inning there,” Niese said. “I just wanted to pound the zone. We had a big lead. And they got five straight hits. It kind of happened quick. I was fortunate Vic got out of it. And our offense did a great job putting up seven.”

Wilmer Flores had a two-run single in a three-run second inning as the Mets (59-65) grabbed an early lead. Flores, who looked sharp defensively Saturday, is due for a day off after 10 straight starts. Ruben Tejada is due to get Sunday’s start at shortstop.

“I told him he was having tomorrow off, so I guess he said I’m going to leave it on the field tonight,” Collins said postgame Saturday about Flores. “He absolutely played very, very well tonight defensively. He made some big plays. … I asked him today how comfortable he was getting at shortstop. He said, ‘Look, I feel good anyplace you put me.’ I thought it was a pretty good statement.”

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

• Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post has this line among his whacks:

Even the most patient Mets fan probably has already reached this conclusion about Matt Harvey at this point: He had better be worth it.

Along similar lines, columnist Mike Lupica in the Daily News writes:

One of these days, Matt Harvey needs to remember -- and that probably means before he hurts his arm again -- that his job is to be a star young baseball pitcher, not some sort of needy celebrity who acts as if he gets the bends when he is out of the spotlight for very long.

• Columnist Filip Bondy in the Daily News tackles the Mets’ futility. Writes Bondy:

The Mets are finishing out their sixth straight losing season, without any visible sense of urgency from Sandy Alderson. This is a difficult accomplishment for a big-market team in the era of free agency. Only the Astros are currently matching that total, season for season, after the Pirates and Royals broke their own skids in 2013.

Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed one run in six innings in a rehab start with Double-A Binghamton in Reading, Pa. Collins expects Matsuzaka will get one more minor-league start before being activated from the disabled list.

Wilfredo Tovar had a go-ahead three-run homer in the nightcap as Binghamton swept a doubleheader. Vicente Lupo had a game-ending steal of home as Kingsport beat Greeneville, 4-3. Read the full minor-league report here.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger chronicles Curtis Granderson's ties to the Chicago team in the Little League World Series.

• SNY Kidcaster Contest winner Lucas Simms, 12, talks with the Post.

• Lloyd Carroll weighs in on the Mets in the Queens Chronicle.

BIRTHDAYS: St. Lucie reliever Julian Hilario turns 24. ... Left-hander Mike O'Connor is 34.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who will be the Mets' shortstop on Opening Day in 2015?

Morning Briefing: Castro doesn't want to go

August, 16, 2014
Aug 16
5:24
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: After getting swept in a three-game series at Wrigley Field in June, the Mets began getting some payback Friday against the Chicago Cubs.

Next up: Jonathon Niese (6-8, 3.46 ERA) opposes right-hander Dan Straily (1-2, 4.93) on Saturday at 7:10 p.m.

Saturday’s news reports:

Zack Wheeler remained unbeaten in his last nine starts and Eric Campbell launched a three-run homer as the Mets beat the Cubs, 3-2, Friday at Citi Field. The Mets rebounded after a disastrous three-game series against the Washington Nationals.

Wheeler wants to go deeper in games, but nonetheless has a 2.02 ERA and is 5-0 since June 25. He struck out 10 and tossed a career-high 120 pitches on Friday. Campbell would be a regular starter if he displayed consistent power, according to Terry Collins. Campbell’s homer is the only hit the Mets have in 21 at-bats with runners in scoring position on the homestand.

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

• Read more on Wheeler from columnist George Willis in the Post.

• Six days after he was designated for assignment, Chris Young officially was released on Friday as the Mets ate what remained on his $7.25 million contract.


Brian Kersey/Getty ImagesStarlin Castro says he wants to remain a Cub.


• Although either shortstop acquisition would be costly in terms of young pitching, the Mets are getting to view two potential trade targets this weekend with the Cubs -- Starlin Castro and Javier Baez. Blocked, the rookie Baez is manning second base.

“I don’t want to leave. I want to stay here all my career,” Castro told reporters pregame Friday regarding the Cubs (via Anthony McCarron in the Daily News). “… I know myself. I know I can be a good player and I know a lot of teams can want me. But I’m here and I don’t want to leave here. I feel comfortable here and I want to be a part of this team when we compete, when we win playoffs and stuff like that.”

"The beauty of having shortstops is that they actually can transition into other positions," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said (via Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger). "They’re very athletic. … I don’t think it’s a problem. I think when you have to cross that bridge to make adjustments, you do. Right now I don’t have to really concern myself with it. Starlin’s our shortstop. And Javy is our second baseman. If there’s ever something that ever develops we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it."

• The Mets participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge on Friday afternoon to benefit ALS. They challenged the SNY broadcast crew and Mets fan Jon Stewart. Read more in Newsday and at MLB.com.

Daisuke Matsuzaka makes a rehab start Saturday for Double-A Binghamton at Reading. Collins said Matsuzaka’s role upon eventually returning from the DL will be contingent upon Jacob deGrom's timetable for recovery and, potentially, Rafael Montero's performance Sunday. DeGrom is due to throw Saturday for the first time since landing on the DL with rotator-cuff tendinitis. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Despite pitching with a hernia and cranky calf, Jenrry Mejia tossed a perfect ninth inning Friday for his first save in a week. Read more in the Post.

Travis d'Arnaud took a backswing off his left elbow and is expected to protect it with a pad Saturday.

Ruben Tejada will get a start during the Cubs series.

• Joe Lemire in the Journal discusses the travel rigors with having a Triple-A team so far away from New York.

• Will Sammon in Newsday interviews Wilmer Flores.

• Matt Bowman tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings and combined with Miguel Socolovich on the shutout as Las Vegas blanked Iowa, 2-0. Brian Burgamy had a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh and Binghamton beat Reading, 8-7. Jeff McNeil had a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth as St. Lucie beat Bradenton, 10-7. Jon Leroux had a grand slam in Savannah’s 16-4 rout of Greenville. Marcos Molina allowed one hit and one walk and struck out a career-high 12 in seven scoreless innings in Brooklyn’s 7-0 win against Vermont. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• John DeMarzo in the Post catches up with first-round pick Michael Conforto out of Oregon State, who is hitting .320/.415/.440 through 27 games with the Brooklyn Cyclones.

From the bloggers … Blogging Mets takes an early look at the possible Mets payroll for 2015.

BIRTHDAYS: Roger Cedeno turns 40. ... Rick Reed is 50. ... Mike Jorgensen was born on this date in 1948.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you think the Mets can work out a deal with the Cubs for a shortstop this winter?

Morning Briefing: Colon milestone looms

August, 8, 2014
Aug 8
5:25
AM ET
WASHINGTON

FIRST PITCH: Bartolo Colon may not be going anywhere until the offseason anyway, but whether he is eligible to be traded this month remains to be determined.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that while Curtis Granderson is currently on waivers, the Mets have not yet put Colon through the process.

If a player is claimed, the Mets can dump the contract on that team, work out a trade, or pull the player back. Pulling the player back makes him ineligible to be dealt this month. If a player clears waivers, he can be dealt without restriction in August.


David Goldman/Associated PressBartolo Colon takes his second crack at career win No. 200 on Friday in Philly.


Meanwhile, Colon (10-9, 4.12 ERA) again bids for his 200th career win Friday. He opposes Philadelphia Phillies right-hander A.J. Burnett (6-11, 4.16) at 7:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park, in the opener to a four-game series.

With a victory, Colon would become the third active pitcher to reach the 200-win plateau, joining Tim Hudson (213 career wins) and CC Sabathia (208). Colon also would become the third Dominican-born pitcher, joining Juan Marichal (243) and Pedro Martinez (219).

Two pitchers have notched No. 200 as a Met: Orel Hershiser and Martinez.

Read the Mets-Phillies series preview here.

Friday’s news reports:

Carlos Torres surrendered a walk-off two-run homer to Bryce Harper in the 13th as Washington beat the Mets, 5-3, in Thursday’s rubber game. Torres has allowed five homers in eight innings over his last seven relief appearances.

Jenrry Mejia tossed one inning, but no more, because of calf stiffness.

Jacob deGrom had a quality start (three runs in six innings). The NL Rookie of the Month for July came away with a no-decision as his five-game streak of winning starts ended.

Juan Lagares departed on a double-switch in the eighth, and Terry Collins expressed no reservations.

David Wright says the Mets -- now 54-61, nine games back in the division and eight games back in the wild card -- need to take things one game at a time.

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

• Read more on Mejia’s cranky calf in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post wonders about Collins’ future. The manager is under contract for next season. Writes Vaccaro:

Too many games have played out this way, truth be told, with him making some truly head-scratching decisions. Look, if most of them worked, you would salute his gut and his guts, and he would be praised for some unconventional thinking. But that’s the chance you take. And plays like [Eric] Young [Jr.]’s offer further evidence that Collins probably went too far to the other side after spending his early managerial years as a self-admitted tyrant. There seems little to fear inside the Mets clubhouse.

At this point, he deserves the rest of the season. He deserves another job in the organization, back in player development, where his true talent lies. But when Harper’s ball sailed over the Samuel Adams sign, it effectively ended the Mets for 2014, and put everyone on the clock for 2015. That ticking starts in the manager’s office.

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News pronounces the Mets’ season over. Columnist David Lennon in Newsday agrees.

Writes Harper:

Can we officially be done with the silly talk that has lingered about the Mets making some late-season run at the playoffs?

Writes Lennon:

The Mets can stop the pretending now.

• After three straight solid outings, Noah Syndergaard allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits and four walks in a 102-pitch effort that lasted five innings Thursday. Jayce Boyd’s two-run double in the eighth broke a scoreless tie as Binghamton blanked Richmond, 3-0. Cam Maron had three errors in addition to producing a pair of doubles as Fort Myers beat St. Lucie, 6-2. Martires Arias tossed six scoreless innings in Brooklyn’s 4-0 win against Mahoning Valley. Dowling College product Tyler Badamo earned his first professional win as the GCL Mets beat the GCL Cards, 5-3. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Critic Bob Raissman in the Daily News wonders why Gary, Keith and Ron objected to Tuesday’s SNY extensive coverage of Matt Harvey's mound session in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

BIRTHDAYS: John Hudek was born on this date in 1966.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets promote Noah Syndergaard now?

Morning Briefing: Nat-swatting

August, 6, 2014
Aug 6
5:24
AM ET
WASHINGTON

FIRST PITCH: The Mets entered their series at Washington having lost 10 of their last 11 games against the Nationals.

Now, after a victory in Tuesday’s opener, the Mets attempt to make it two in a row on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Nationals Park.

Jonathon Niese (5-7, 3.24 ERA) opposes right-hander Doug Fister (10-3, 2.68).

Before the game, the Mets will visit Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

“It’s going to be a humbling experience,” Daniel Murphy said.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Zack Wheeler had a 33-pitch second inning and allowed the first two batters to reach in four of his seven innings. Yet Wheeler managed to limit Washington to one run in 6 2/3 innings as the Mets beat the Nationals, 6-1, Tuesday. Wheeler is 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his past seven starts.

Eric Campbell threw out Jayson Werth at the plate and Juan Lagares had another big-time catch to stymie the Nats.

The Mets now own a 54-59 record and trail first-place Washington by seven games. The Mets also are seven games out in the wild card.

Lucas Duda, starting against a left-hander, went 0-for-3 against Gio Gonzalez but contributed after the southpaw’s departure.

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

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News believes that while the Mets might trade from their pitching surplus this offseason, Wheeler is making himself practically untouchable.

• In his first “official” mound session, Matt Harvey threw 20 pitches in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Tuesday afternoon and pronounced the activity a success. Watch video at TCPalm.com. Read more in the Times, Daily News, Newsday, Journal and at MLB.com.

• Stan Conte, vice president of medical services for the Los Angeles Dodgers, tells Marc Carig in Newsday that 12 months appears the minimum prudent recovery time following Tommy John surgery.

"When we start seeing some of these guys with a second Tommy John, it worries me as the guy who does the rehab that we're going too fast," Conte told Carig. "I don't want the perception to be that everybody comes backs at 12 months, and if they come back at 14 months, they're behind schedule. We do this all the time. Everybody quotes the same thing. It's 12 to 18 months. But nobody pays attention to the 18 months."

• Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post suggests that Masahiro Tanaka and Harvey throwing on consecutive days provide hope for both New York teams.

• Mets games on SNY are the seventh-most popular programming in prime time in New York -- one of the lowest rankings for a team in its home city, according to Nielsen data compiled by Maury Brown at Forbes. Yankees games on YES rank third in NYC in prime time. Twelve teams are the most popular prime-time programming in their home cities.

Rafael Montero allowed one hit in eight scoreless innings and Matt den Dekker had another multi-hit game as Las Vegas blanked Sacramento, 3-0. Tyler Pill tossed seven scoreless innings and Brian Burgamy had four RBIs as Binghamton built a big lead and held on to beat Richmond, 9-6. Miller Diaz had a seven-inning shutout as Savannah split a doubleheader with Charleston. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Ever spot those red marks on the necks of Mets players, particularly on Daisuke Matsuzaka? Jared Diamond in the Journal speaks with players about the ancient Chinese technique of cupping therapy, which several Mets -- and other major leaguers -- employ with the team’s blessing.

Not everyone is sold it is effective, though.

"There's absolutely zero evidence that cupping has any kind of positive role in medicine," Barrie Cassileth, the chief of integrative medicine service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, told Diamond. "I cannot conceive of any benefit except a psychological benefit.”

• The Mets accidentally gave away a toy truck with a Phillies logo on the side during their last homestand, Eliot Shorr-Parks writes at NJ.com.

• Darryl Strawberry said allegations that a former teammate beheaded a cat in the mid-1980s are true, Bernie Augustine writes in the Daily News.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who had a pinch-hit RBI single in his return to the majors Tuesday, told MLB.com pregame about his season of promotions and demotions: "You try and keep it on as much of an even keel as possible. I think one thing that's really been more evident to me this year is that it kind of builds character. I think you can really take some good stuff out of it. You really learn that you can only control how you play. You learn that it's a business in baseball."

BIRTHDAYS: Wilmer Flores turns 23. ... Victor Zambrano, who once was traded for Scott Kazmir, is 39. ... Reigning South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week John Gant is 22.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Can Zack Wheeler be a No. 1 starter?

Morning Briefing: Halfway done

June, 29, 2014
Jun 29
5:32
AM ET
PITTSBURGH

FIRST PITCH: Terry Collins did not sugarcoat where the Mets stand precisely halfway through their schedule.

After the Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday to improve to 37-44 at the midpoint, the club is on pace for the same 74-win total as the previous two seasons. (Not quite 90.)

The Mets are six games behind the co-division-leading Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves (43-38 apiece), although the Philadelphia Phillies (36-45) now occupy the division basement.

“We’re not going to make any excuses,” Collins said. “We’re not happy about it.”


Mike Stobe/Getty ImagesDillon Gee makes a rehab start Sunday with Brooklyn.


The manager continued: “We’re hanging in there. As I told the guys the other day, ‘Listen, we’ve just got to push through the All-Star break, go into the break on a positive note. … We have like 15 games before the break. Let’s go 10-5. Let’s not get crazy. Hopefully you get really hot, but let’s just go 10-5, go into the break close and then, coming out of the break, everybody will be rested. We’ll be healthy, Dillon [Gee] will be back and now let’s take off after that.’”

Gee is due to make a rehab start Sunday for the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen estimated Gee will throw 55 in-game pitches. Gee, on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle on his right side, likely will need one additional minor-league start before presumably displacing Daisuke Matsuzaka in the rotation.

Meanwhile, the Mets send Bartolo Colon to the mound Sunday at PNC Park looking to split the four-game series. Colon (8-5, 3.67) opposes right-hander Edinson Volquez (5-6, 4.35).

The 41-year-old Colon is 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA in his last seven starts.

Sunday’s news reports:


Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsDavid Wright received a favorable report on his left shoulder Saturday in New York.


David Wright received favorable news during an examination with team doctor Struan Coleman at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan on Saturday. The captain was diagnosed with a bruised left rotator cuff and may avoid the disabled list. Wright will remain in New York and be reevaluated Monday by team doctors.

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

Jonathon Niese lost his control in the fourth inning and issued consecutive bases-loaded walks, but the southpaw overall limited Pittsburgh to three runs in six innings. And after Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia combined to retire all nine batters they faced, the Mets had completed a 5-3 win against the Pirates on Saturday to snap a three-game losing streak.

The Mets wore Negro Leagues-era uniforms from the Brooklyn Royal Giants during the victory.

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

• Backup catcher Anthony Recker required a postgame X-ray of his right hand, but minimized the issue.

• Long Island native Steven Matz tossed six scoreless innings to earn his first Double-A win and Dilson Herrera homered and had five RBIs as Binghamton held off Altoona, 8-7. Eudy Pina slugged a disputed walk-off homer as St. Lucie beat Bradenton, 4-3. Jorge Rivero delivered a walk-off RBI as Savannah beat Rome, 4-3. Eighth-round pick Dash Winningham produced his first professional homer as the Gulf Coast League Mets won, 7-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Scott Rice has an elbow injury at Triple-A Las Vegas.

• Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News suggests the Mets and Yankees are in the same boat as the July 31 trade deadline nears -- rightfully sellers with an eye toward 2015, but unlikely to strip down this year’s team.

Columnist David Lennon in Newsday suggests Colon, Gee and Daniel Murphy could be on the block.

Chris Young has taken over the role of clubhouse D.J., which formerly was held by Justin Turner, Tim Rohan reports in the Times. Writes Rohan:

He actively seeks out requests. After wins, he plays what he called “Lil Jon-style music.” Before day games, he plays something lighter. He has noticed that everyone seems to enjoy hip-hop like Notorious B.I.G. and Outkast. Michael Jackson Sundays have been a big hit, too.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger asks Pirates GM Neal Huntington why the Mets and his club have been compatible in trades. The Mets have sent Marlon Byrd, John Buck and Ike Davis to Pittsburgh in a pair of deals since last August.

• Jim Baumbach in Newsday examines Colon’s success, even with a fastball that is averaging a career-low 89.1 mph. That’s down from 89.9 mph last season with the Oakland Athletics and down from 93.2 mph a dozen years ago.

“Everybody says he throws one pitch -- a fastball -- just like everyone always said Mariano Rivera threw one pitch with the cutter,” A’s first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss told Baumbach. “But because they can throw that one pitch to all four quadrants of the strike zone, they really become four pitches.”

The Daily News gives a plug to partner SNY’s debuting game show, which pitted the Mets TV and radio broadcast crews. It was hosted by Kevin Burkhardt.

BIRTHDAYS: 1960s-era Met Larry Stahl was born on this date in 1941.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Are you upbeat about the Mets’ late-inning relief?

Morning Briefing: Back to work

June, 10, 2014
Jun 10
5:30
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Mets will attempt to avoid their first seven-game losing streak since the first month Terry Collins was on the job in 2011 when they host the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m.

Although the Mets could have skipped Daisuke Matsuzaka’s start and used a four-man rotation this turn because of Monday’s off-day, the Amazin’s will proceed with Matsuzaka (2-0, 3.21 ERA) opening the series. He opposes right-hander Marco Estrada (5-2, 4.19).

Read the Mets-Brewers series preview here.

Tuesday’s news reports:


Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsHow hot is Terry Collins' seat? It depends which publication you read.


• Mike Puma in the Post writes that Collins’ managerial seat is “sizzling,” while Kristie Ackert in the Daily News reports the manager is “not yet on the hot seat.”

Writes columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post:

My sense is the Mets, who begin a critical homestand Tuesday night against National League Central-leading Milwaukee, would rather keep Terry Collins at least through the duration of the 2014 season. Likewise, I don’t see the Mets players quitting on Collins. If anything, they’re trying too hard to alleviate the pressure.

Which is why it makes sense to give Collins more rope before removing him from his office.

Writes columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News:

You wonder what [Sandy] Alderson or anyone can do to make this team better and give Mets fans at least some hope.

They’ve already fired the hitting coach, which changed nothing. If the team continues to lose like this, Terry Collins’ job could be on the line -- although, that, too, would be nothing more than a “need-a-scapegoat” firing, unless you feel it’s fair to blame all the wild pitches, failure to turn double plays, baserunning blunders, etc. on the manager.

Daniel Murphy visited the White House on Monday’s off-day to take part in the Working Families Summit. Murphy had received talk-radio flak for going on paternity leave to be present for the birth of his first child. Read more in the Times and Star-Ledger.

David Wright has overtaken Nolan Arenado for first place among National League third basemen in the latest voting tally released by MLB for the 2014 All-Star Game. Wright has a 92,718-vote lead over the slick-fielding-but-injured Rockie. Read more in the Daily News and at MLB.com.

Travis d’Arnaud’s demotion resonated with Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada, both of whom have suffered the same fate, writes Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger. "You go down there and it’s more like a humbling," Duda told Vorkunov. "It humbles you. You kind of -- not sulk -- but those first two, three days, you kind of feel bad for yourself. At least I did. ‘Poor me. Why?’ Then when you look at it, it kind of fuels you." Read more in the Daily News.

• Michael Salfino in the Journal writes that, statistically, things do not bode well for d’Arnaud having a bright career. Writes Salfino:

Since 1930, only eight catchers have seen their OPS after their age-25 season improve at least 100 points compared to before, according to Stats, LLC. (A minimum of 250 plate appearances were required through age 25 and 3,000 after, indicating sustained success.)

Of that group, the biggest gainer is familiar to Mets fans. Todd Hundley managed only a .626 OPS through age 25, then improved that by nearly 200 points for the balance of his career. That included a 41-homer season in 1996, one of four post-age-25 seasons for Hundley with at least 24 homers.

Jeremy Hefner plans to make roughly 15 throws off a mound on Tuesday. Those will mark his first tosses off a mound since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Aug. 28, 2013.

• Marc Carig in Newsday details the Mets’ hitting woes during their six-game losing streak.

Gonzalez Germen inherited two runners with two outs in the sixth and coaxed a groundout from the lone batter he faced in what should be his final rehab appearance with Class A St. Lucie.

• Relief prospect Jeff Walters, who is on the 40-man roster, has a torn UCL in his pitching elbow.

• ESPN’s Keith Law breaks down NL teams’ drafts here (ESPN Insider content). In one part of his Mets review, Law writes:

Eudor Garcia-Pacheco (Round 4) is a third baseman out of El Paso Community College who just turned 20 a few weeks ago; he'll move to first in pro ball but has very quick, strong hands, and power from the left side. Righty Josh Prevost (Round 5) had just 73 innings pitched in total over his first three years at Seton Hall, but threw 116 this year and walked only 20 men, sitting 91-94 with some downhill plane (you'd hope so, since he's 6-foot-8) and an above-average slider in the 79-83 mph range. Tyler Moore (Round 6) of LSU is a solid college catcher but probably a backup in the majors. Dash Winningham (8th round) can't run, which is just a shame.

Their late flier was on Iowa righty Keaton McKinney (Round 28), a strong commit to Arkansas but well worth a seven-figure bonus if the Mets have room for it, and they should have some extra coin left over given the signable guys they took after round three.

Rafael Montero allowed six runs (one earned) in three innings in his second start since returning to Triple-A. Zach Lutz committed two errors behind him and also homered as the 51s lost to Colorado Springs, 11-5. Las Vegas has lost 17 of 22. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Eric Young Jr. (hamstring) will attempt to run the bases on Tuesday in Port St. Lucie, the Daily News reports.

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy believes he knows why Zack Wheeler hit Hunter Pence with a pitch Sunday but would not reveal his logic, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Hank Schulman tweets.

John Lannan, who dealt with a personal matter for seven weeks, has rejoined the organization.

• Triple-A outfielder Cesar Puello is interviewed at MetsMinors.

• SNY announced it will televise a slate of “limited-commercial” games beginning Thursday.

BIRTHDAYS: Hofstra product/YES commentator Ken Singleton, who began his major league career with the Mets, turns 67. ... St. Lucie infielder Jairo Perez is 26.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets leave the manager and coaching staff intact?

Morning Briefing: The day after ...

May, 27, 2014
May 27
5:21
AM ET

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets fired Dave Hudgens and released Jose Valverde late Monday, while Noah Syndergaard is headed to New York to get a forearm injury examined.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: No shortage of topics arose on Monday at Citi Field … and they mostly were negative.

On the day Ike Davis returned as a visitor, Dave Hudgens and Jose Valverde were shown the door. Also, Noah Syndergaard and Eric Young Jr. landed on disabled lists. And Jacob deGrom lifted his batting average to .800 but was deprived of his first major-league win.

What’s on tap Tuesday?

On the field, the Mets play Game 2 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, with Jonathon Niese (3-3, 2.70 ERA) scheduled to oppose right-hander Edinson Volquez (2-4, 4.37) at 7:10 p.m.

Off the field, MRIs for Syndergaard and E.Y. Jr., apparently, as well as the debut of Lamar Johnson as hitting coach.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday’s news reports:

• Hudgens and Valverde lost their jobs in the aftermath of Monday’s defeat. Hudgens, who had been in his fourth season as hitting coach, will be replaced by Johnson, the organization’s minor-league hitting coordinator for the past decade.


Courtesy of New York MetsLamar Johnson, who played first base for nine seasons in the majors, primarily with the White Sox, is the new hitting coach.


In interviews after his dismissal, Hudgens faulted Mets fans booing for the team’s home struggles and complained about on-air critiques from SNY’s popular broadcast team -- Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling.

Vic Black is due to rejoin the Mets to replace Valverde. Black has flown from Las Vegas to New York to El Paso and now back to New York in the past three days.

Read more on the Hudgens and Valverde ousters in the Post, Daily News, Times, Journal, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Read Hudgens’ pointed comments at MLB.com and in Newsday.

• Poised for his first win after tossing 6 2/3 scoreless innings and logging 122 pitches, deGrom instead was handed a no-decision when Scott Rice and Valverde failed to hold the lead. Valverde surrendered four runs over the final two innings in his last act as a Met. The Pirates ultimately beat the Mets, 5-3, on Memorial Day at Citi Field to drop the not-so-Amazin’s to 7-17 in May.

Read game recaps in the Post, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

• Syndergaard is due to be examined in New York on Tuesday because of a flexor pronator strain in his right forearm. Although the Mets downplayed the severity, the injury can be a precursor to Tommy John surgery. Syndergaard tweeted that he should be fine.

”We’re very concerned about it,” Terry Collins said. “I know a lot of guys that go to the doctor and it’s nothing. But I know some that go to the doctor and it’s an issue. So anytime you’re going in and the word ‘elbow’ shows up and you throw as hard as he does, it’s a concern.”

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

• Davis was greeted with polite applause in his first game back at Citi Field since the April 18 trade. He went 0-for-2 with a walk before being replaced by righty-hitting platoon mate Gaby Sanchez in the eighth.

“I didn’t get booed as much as I thought [I would],” Davis told Zach Braziller in the Post. “There was a lot of cheering. So it was really nice.”

Davis said pregame that one big difference between Pittsburgh and New York is he now does not get hitting tips from fans when he goes out for coffee in the morning.

Read more in the Star-Ledger.

Travis d’Arnaud went 0-for-4 as the DH in his second rehab game with Binghamton as he returns from a concussion. D’Arnaud is due to catch Tuesday for the B-Mets. He could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Wednesday.

• E.Y. Jr. officially landed on the DL with a right hamstring injury on Monday morning. Matt den Dekker joined the club. Den Dekker struck out to end Monday’s game after entering on a double-switch in the top of the ninth. E.Y. Jr. is due to get an MRI on Tuesday to learn the severity of his injury. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Collins suggested the Mets are being cautious with Dillon Gee, who did not feel comfortable getting on a mound Sunday because of a lingering issue with a strained lat muscle.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post said the heat is on Sandy Alderson. Writes Kernan:

The general manager has to look in the mirror and question his performance for his part in the Mets’ terrible 7-17 May and overall 22-28 record. Owners don’t fire themselves, and that is especially true of the Wilpons -- so progress must be shown, and quickly.

Alderson’s promise of young arms must save games and jobs.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Andrew Brown homered, but Las Vegas lost its sixth straight, 9-5 to Sacramento. Darin Gorski tossed a shutout in Binghamton’s 5-0 win against New Britain. Kevin McGowan extended his streak without allowing an earned run to 33 2/3 innings as Savannah won a rain-shortened game against Augusta, 2-0. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Amed Rosario, who signed with the Mets for $1.75 million, is headed to Savannah … for a short stay.

BIRTHDAYS: Todd Hundley, who slugged 41 homers in 1996 with the Mets, turns 45.

TWEETS OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Can Lamar Johnson make a difference with the Mets’ hitters?

Morning Briefing: West doormats arrive

May, 23, 2014
May 23
5:34
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Mets swept the Arizona Diamondbacks April 14-16 in Phoenix.

Now, they look to continue their success against the National League West cellar dwellers this weekend at Citi Field.

Arizona arrives in Queens with an 18-31 record and on a three-game losing streak after getting swept in St. Louis. The D-backs already have endured six losing streaks of at least three games this season, ESPN Stats & Information notes.

Bartolo Colon (3-5, 5.34 ERA) opposes rookie right-hander Chase Anderson (2-0, 5.06) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener.

Friday’s news reports:

Juan Lagares delivered a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh and the Mets salvaged the finale of their series with the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 5-3 win Thursday at Citi Field. Albeit benefiting from a pair of unearned runs, the Mets snapped Zack Greinke’s streak of allowing two or fewer runs in 21 straight starts -- the longest such streak in MLB history. Jenrry Mejia pitched for a second straight day for the first time since 2010 to earn his second save.


Adam Hunger/USA TODAY SportsYasiel Puig had the catch of the day, racing into right-center and diving to rob Wilmer Flores.


Eric Campbell, starting in the majors for the first time in left field, contributed a sacrifice fly and also made a dazzling eighth-inning catch to initiate a double play.

Jonathon Niese had surrendered a game-tying two-run homer to ex-Met Justin Turner in the top of the seventh. Pitching coach Dan Warthen had noticed Niese elevating his pitches that inning and had planned to go to the mound if Turner had reached base.

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

Curtis Granderson doesn’t understand why fans boo. “I’ve always wanted to know why someone would boo, because in the next second they’ll cheer,” Granderson told Jim Baumbach in Newsday. “So which one is it? You like your team or dislike your team? You call yourself a fan and then you’ll boo? …

“I understand you’re a fan, but at the same time, you aren’t playing. I can see you getting that intense as a player or [if you] have played. But if you’re just a fan and watching, enjoy the excitement of the game that is in front of you win, lose or draw, whatever the case is.”

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News says play the kids. Writes Harper:

It makes sense, since this team can’t be considered a contender, even at a time when parity throughout MLB has lowered the bar for such status.

Of course, it also speaks to a failure by the Mets’ brass to do more in the offseason, specifically in terms of upgrading the offense, which is why the season is careening in the wrong direction.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal notes two members of the bullpen, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Mejia, view themselves as starters in exile. “Looking in from the outside, it may seem that I have become more comfortable,” Matsuzaka told Diamond through an interpreter. “But, for me, it’s still a daily struggle.”

• Read more on Mejia in the Star-Ledger and Daily News.

Travis d’Arnaud has been cleared for baseball activities as he rebounds from a concussion. Terry Collins expects d’Arnaud to have a rehab assignment before being activated from the concussion DL. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Journal, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Collins has resolved to use Campbell in the middle infield, at least on occasion.

• Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has no problems with the dimensions of Citi Field.

Dillon Gee (lat) will need to pitch in a rehab game as soon as Sunday to ensure he only misses three turns in the rotation.

• Jesse Spector in the Sporting News ranks Sandy Alderson the 23rd-best GM in baseball.

• Howard Megdal at Capital New York suggests Mets brass did not like a tweet read on-air on WOR regarding team ownership.

• TV critic Bob Raissman in the Daily News wonders which SNY analyst will lose it on-air watching the Mets.

• Alex Panteliodis earned the win in his season debut and left-handed reliever Chase Huchingson returned from a 50-game suspension in St. Lucie’s 6-4 win against Clearwater. Savannah’s Miller Diaz, Akeel Morris and Tyler Vanderheiden combined to shut out Lexington, 4-0. Read the full minor-league recap here.

David Wright met with a 12-year-old afflicted with a rare skin disorder before Thursday’s game, Eli Rosenberg writes in the Daily News.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear can't help but notice Yasiel Puig.

BIRTHDAYS: Vic Black, who has a 1.45 ERA and seven saves in eight chances with Las Vegas, turns 26. Black has allowed 12 hits and 17 walks (one intentional) in 18 2/3 innings.

TWEETS OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets beat up on the Diamondbacks this weekend?
DENVER

FIRST PITCH: The Mets finished April with a 15-11 record.

May did not get off to a good start Thursday.

Now, Zack Wheeler has a chance to begin remedying that. Wheeler (1-2, 3.99 ERA) opposes Colorado Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (2-3, 5.23) at 8:40 p.m. ET Friday at Coors Field.

Friday’s news reports:

• Richard Sandomir in the Times reports that Mets tickets sold are marginally up and SNY ratings are down in 2014. Writes Sandomir:

As for the Mets, the number of tickets sold through 16 dates is up 3.4 percent to 27,058 a game, a nice lift after a steady decline in attendance since the team moved into Citi Field in 2009. Still, the number of viewers on SNY has fallen 4 percent to 180,000 a game.

Because the disparity between tickets sold and the number of people at the ballpark is sometimes glaring, TV ratings might be a more accurate measurement of fan interest. As such, the drop in ratings on SNY suggests how much work the Mets still have to do to get all of their fans on board again. The 15-11 start helped, but they need to keep playing solid baseball.


Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY SportsBartolo Colon allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings Thursday at Coors Field.


Bartolo Colon surrendered seven runs in 4 2/3 innings and the Mets lost to the Rockies, 7-4, Thursday. Travis d’Arnaud had a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth. Read game recaps in the Denver Post, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and at MLB.com.

Juan Lagares returned from the disabled list and had a two-hit game. Lagares replaced Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who received praise from Terry Collins as he was demoted to Las Vegas. Eric Young Jr., who did not start Thursday, ultimately could end up as the fourth outfielder with Lagares’ return. Read more in the Journal and Newsday.

Lucas Duda was inserted in the cleanup spot for only the third time this season Thursday.

• Rockies first-base coach Eric Young Sr. and E.Y. Jr. have a family reunion this weekend at Coors Field. Read more in the Post.

LaTroy Hawkins said he initially expected to return to the Mets for 2014, but the Mets did not make an offer competitive with the Rockies’ $2.5 million bid. Read more in the Journal, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and Daily News.

• Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez left Thursday’s game in the fourth inning with a bruised left index finger. He had homered in the first inning. CarGo told Rockies reporters this injury is not as serious as a ligament strain he suffered to his right middle finger last July. “It’s just, when you get jammed, it hurts really bad,” Gonzalez said, according to MLB.com. “But it’s something that will go away, not like last year. Last year was a ligament. That was a tough one, when you have to play with a bad finger like that. This one, it happens.”

• Jacob deGrom (4-0) limited Reno to one run in 5 1/3 innings and shaved his Pacific Coast League ERA to 1.89. Las Vegas won, 19-2. Jairo Perez homered twice and Cam Maron and T.J. Rivera also went deep in St. Lucie’s 11-0 win against Bradenton. Rob Whalen improved to 4-0 as Savannah beat Delmarva, 6-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• The Mets are “not optimistic” about Wilmer Flores being able to handle shortstop, Mike Puma writes in the Post. Flores had six errors in April at shortstop with Vegas. He actually has not manned the position for a week because of a jammed finger that mostly has limited him to pinch-hitting.

BIRTHDAYS: Infielder Eddie Bressoud was born on this date in 1932.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you believe the Mets will have similar success in May as they did in April?

Morning Briefing: Wainwright curve on tap

April, 22, 2014
Apr 22
5:40
AM ET

Al Behrman/Associated PressThe Mets face Adam Wainwright on Tuesday night at Citi Field.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Mets moved back above .500 with a win against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night, but Terry Collins knows the Amazin’s have a tough task ahead the remainder of the series.

Adam Wainwright (of curveball-to-Carlos Beltran fame) opposes Dillon Gee on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field. The Mets then face Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn the final two games of the series.

Wainwright actually is 2-4 with a 6.02 ERA in eight career regular-season appearances (six starts) against the Mets. Still, he is coming off a two-hit shutout of the Washington Nationals and arrives with a 1.80 ERA in 2014.

“We’ve got our hands full the next three nights,” Collins said. “We’ve got Adam. I mean, there’s nights he could be as good as there is in baseball. Lance Lynn is throwing the ball very, very well. Michael Wacha showed what he could do last year in the World Series.”

Tuesday’s news reports:

Jenrry Mejia tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings to shave his ERA to 1.99 as the camouflage-jersey-wearing Mets blanked the Cardinals, 2-0, Monday. Newly installed closer Kyle Farnsworth notched his first save as a Met, although looked to be nursing his forearm in the clubhouse postgame.

Curtis Granderson struck out three times while upping his hitless streak to 19 at-bats -- two shy of matching his career high. Ruben Tejada made a pair of diving stops up the middle. David Wright extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a broken-bat RBI single in the third that opened the scoring.

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

Bobby Abreu joined the Mets on Monday, with Andrew Brown demoted to clear the roster spot. Collins said he expects Abreu to see some action in the outfield, so that the 40-year-old Venezuelan can stay sharp for pinch-hitting duty.

“He fits right into our approach,” hitting coach Dave Hudgens, who managed Abreu during the winter-ball season in Venezuela, told Marc Carig in Newsday. “He doesn't go out of the strike zone very often. He tries to have a quality at-bat. I thought he’d be good off the bench. He’s so experienced.”

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

• Amateur scouts speculate that the player to be named in the Ike Davis trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates may be right-hander Neil Kozikowski, whom the Mets heavily scouted before the draft, the Daily News’ John Harper tweets. Kozikowski, 18, was an eighth-round pick out of Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut in 2013.


Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY SportsIke Davis belted a broken-bat grand slam Monday for the Pirates.


Davis, meanwhile, on Monday connected on a broken-bat grand slam for his first homer with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Sandy Alderson told Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger the Mets got roughly the same return in a trade as they would have if they had dealt Davis during the offseason.

“We got close to spring training and decided to back off because it was a close call between Ike and Lucas [Duda],” Alderson told Vorkunov. “They both got hurt in spring training, so there wasn’t really an opportunity for one to separate from the other. We got into the first part of the season and got another look. It sort of reconfirmed what we had originally thought several months ago -- probably [we] would try to move Ike and keep Duda. There wasn’t any reason to continue the competition or the tension.”

• Alderson told reporters during an appearance at VA New York Harbor Healthcare Hospital on Monday that free-agent reliever Joel Hanrahan has “definitely made progress” as he nears completion of his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Still, the Post’s Mike Puma tweets that the Mets have not internally discussed whether to make an offer -- although they are “interested.” A team official tells Puma that Hanrahan likely would not be ready to pitch in the big leagues until mid-June.

The Mets, along with other teams, watched Hanrahan work out last week.

“The bullpen has been an issue for us a while,” Alderson told reporters. “He’s out there and is available, so why shouldn’t we see how he’s progressing?”

Read more in the Post and Newsday.

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News advocates inserting prospects Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom, starters in Triple-A, into the big-league bullpen. Writes Harper:

These Cardinals, who have become the model organization in baseball, are proof that you can break in talented young starters as relievers and have great success that way.

It’s fair to say that Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals’ ace, has done all right since breaking in as a reliever in 2006, when, of course, his famous strike-three curveball to Carlos Beltran put his team into the World Series.

The Cardinals are doing the same now with the likes of Trevor Rosenthal and Carlos Martinez, both highly touted starters in the minors for whom there is no room at the moment in the star-studded rotation.

Zach Lutz departed after the first inning with cramping and Eric Campbell blasted a go-ahead two-run homer as Las Vegas beat El Paso, 5-4. Portland turned a first-inning triple play in a 7-4 win against Binghamton. St. Lucie benefited from consecutive bases-loaded walks to Brandon Nimmo and T.J. Rivera and beat Palm Beach, 5-4. Savannah’s Northeast tour began with a 10-5 rout against Delmarva as Jeff McNeil, Jared King and Stefan Sabol homered. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• The Mets’ payroll is down to about $86 million with the trade of Davis.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal discusses a pair of replay-review kinks that affected the Mets.

• Critic Bob Raissman in the Daily News suggests SNY’s analysts are becoming more critical of Collins.

From the bloggers … Blogging Mets writes about the enigma that is Eric Young Jr.

BIRTHDAYS: No one to play in a game for the Mets was born on this date, but Jack Nicholson, Kaka and Terry Francona celebrate birthdays.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets win this series from the Cardinals?

Morning Briefing: Tomorrow, tomorrow ...

March, 30, 2014
Mar 30
5:35
AM ET

Howard Simmons/NY Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesFour of the late Ralph Kiner's children will be on hand at Citi Field on Monday when the Mets honor the Hall of Famer and legendary broadcaster.
MONTREAL

FIRST PITCH: Opening Day is only a day away.

The Mets completed their exhibition schedule Saturday with a 2-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays before 50,229 onlookers in Montreal, then flew to New York in advance to Monday’s 1:10 p.m. opener against the Washington Nationals.

Dillon Gee (12-11, 3.62 ERA last season) will oppose Stephen Strasburg (8-9, 3.00) at Citi Field.

The Mets will have a private workout Sunday at their home ballpark.

Terry Collins on Saturday declined to specify his Opening Day lineup, which basically means declining to reveal whether Ike Davis or Lucas Duda would start at first base and whether Eric Young Jr. or Juan Lagares would start in the outfield.

TC has clearly advocated EY Jr. as his leadoff hitter, so the resolution should offer insight as to how much sway the manager actually has. Meanwhile, logic suggests Ike gets the first shot at first base, with very little rope, although that too remains to be seen.

Asked if he knew which Opening Day lineup he intended, Collins succinctly said Saturday: “I do.”

Asked if he cared to share it, the manager added: “No.”

The Mets are 34-18 in season openers, which gives them an MLB-best .654 winning percentage. That’s despite losing the first eight Opening Days in franchise history.

Sandy Alderson has floated a 90-win goal for the Mets, but that seems more wishful thinking than being realistic. The Mets have produced five straight losing seasons, and enter 2014 off consecutive 74-88 campaigns.

“We think we’re going to be better,” Collins maintained Saturday. “We think we’re going to do some positive things. We’ve added some athleticism, some power. Now we’ve just got to go play.”


Eric Bolte/USA TODAY SportsJenrry Mejia is scheduled to start Friday against the Reds.


Sunday’s news reports:

Jenrry Mejia has made the Opening Day roster over Daisuke Matsuzaka. Matsuzaka described himself as “shocked” by the decision. Still, there are multiple scenarios in which Matsuzaka never throws a pitch for Triple-A Las Vegas. Mejia is due to visit a doctor Sunday after being struck in the right forearm with a line drive Friday. X-rays in Montreal were negative. If Mejia cannot pitch Friday against the Cincinnati Reds, or if Jonathon Niese cannot come off the disabled list two days later for a homestand-concluding start, Matsuzaka would step in. Matsuzaka might succeed Mejia after one turn of the rotation anyway. Read more in the Times, Star-Ledger, Daily News, Newsday and MLB.com.

Gonzalez Germen and Andrew Brown round out the 25-man roster, with Kyle Farnsworth, Eric Campbell, Anthony Seratelli and Taylor Teagarden among the players ticketed for Triple-A. See the unofficial Opening Day list of players here.

• Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post recaps the long stretches of futility in Mets history, including 2009 to the present.

• New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will throw the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. A pregame ceremony at Citi Field will honor the late Ralph Kiner. It is due to include his children Michael, K.C., Tracee and Kimberlee. Their brother Scott will be in Pittsburgh for a Pirates ceremony honoring their father, according to the Daily News, which interviewed Kiner’s kids. Read more on the pregame ceremony in the Daily News.

• Steve Serby in the Post has a Q&A with SNY’s Gary, Keith and Ron. On Noah Syndergaard, Ron Darling tells Serby: “I’ve watched him throw not only in a game, but also on the side. He’s a bear, and he’s got all the makings of one of those special guys. I think that there’s definitely some more polish that he needs.”

• The Mets’ ballpark-related revenue declined for a fourth straight season in 2013, Jim Baumbach writes in Newsday.

• Mike Puma in the Post discusses the Davis versus Duda decision.

• Marc Carig in Newsday reviews Alderson’s call for 90 wins.

Curtis Granderson as the cleanup hitter provides protection for David Wright in the No. 3 hole, writes Anthony Rieber in Newsday.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post doubts you’ll see Matt Harvey in 2014, with the Mets and agent Scott Boras both prioritizing being cautious. Writes Sherman:

It is not just that there has been a rash of Tommy John surgeries this spring (seven) that has the industry wondering if this is a coincidence or a sea change of some sort. But five starters between ages 24-29 -- Brandon Beachy, Daniel Hudson, Cory Luebke, Kris Medlen and Jarrod Parker -- all needed a second Tommy John in the past six weeks, and in the cases of Beachy, Hudson and Luebke it was within two years of their first. Harvey is 25.

• Harvey tells Rieber in Newsday he wants to be a Hall of Famer. He toured the museum at age 17. “Being the best is being in that room,” Harvey said. “That was something that I always kind of pictured and hoped that one day my plaque would be up there." Harvey and Masahiro Tanaka’s teams actually met in Cooperstown when Harvey was a teenager, Rieber also writes.

• The Mets hope to improve their recently dismal home record in 2014. Carig in Newsday writes one part of the plan is to curtail access to the players, at least during clubhouse time.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear remembers not being able to read about today’s game until tomorrow’s paper came out. … NY Mets Life reviews how Mets players have performed on past Opening Days.

BIRTHDAYS: Agent Terry Bross, a St. John’s product and former Mets pitcher, turns 48. Bross’ clients include Bronson Arroyo.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What do you believe the Mets’ record will be in 2014?

SNY's Burkhardt named Fox baseball host

March, 3, 2014
Mar 3
3:35
PM ET

Adam RubinKevin Burkhardt high-fives a Marlins mascot at the end of the 2012 season.


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Fox has named Kevin Burkhardt as its Los Angeles-based pregame host for Saturday baseball.

Burkhardt will remain with SNY as a field reporter this season for games that do not conflict.

He became a popular NFL announcer in his rookie season calling that sport for Fox this past season.

Steve Gelbs is expected to serve as Burkhardt's primary fill-in.

Morning Briefing: Game Week arrives!

February, 23, 2014
Feb 23
6:47
AM ET
Above, Matt Harvey compares work-related scars with Mets clubhouse chef Theresa Corderi.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.

FIRST PITCH: It’s Game Week in Port St. Lucie.

The Mets stage their second full-squad workout Sunday, but it is later in the week when baseball really returns.

The Mets have an intrasquad game Thursday, then open their Grapefruit League schedule Friday against the Washington Nationals at 1:10 p.m. at Tradition Field.

SNY (full TV schedule) and debuting WOR (full radio schedule) will carry Friday’s opener.

Sunday’s news reports:

Matt Harvey tossed a baseball Saturday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22. After making 20 throws at 60 feet, Harvey said he feels “brand new.” Although Harvey wants to rehab in New York this season, Mets officials prefer he do so in Port St. Lucie. Sandy Alderson said the final determination is unresolved.

Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post suggests the Mets loosen the reins on Harvey and let him come back in August or September if he is capable.

Read more on Harvey’s first throwing session in the Times, Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and MLB.com.

Nelson Cruz just signed with the Baltimore Orioles for $8 million, with the potential to earn $750,000 in incentives. Alderson insisted Saturday he had no regrets about signing Chris Young for $7.25 million in November, given Cruz’s ultimate price tag.


Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsNelson Cruz has signed with the Orioles.


Writes columnist John Harper in the Daily News:

However, that doesn’t mean [Cruz] would have signed the same deal with the Mets. Almost certainly they would have had to pay more to get him to play in their ballpark rather than Camden Yards in Baltimore, a home run haven for right-hand hitters, where Cruz no doubt is hoping to put up splashy numbers and then go looking for a big score again next winter.

So it’s overstating the case to call this a screw-up by Alderson. Signing outfielders was too much of a need to wait around all winter, hoping something like this would happen with someone like Cruz.

Other baseball people, in fact, say the consensus around the game was that some team would give Cruz a multiyear deal, especially after shortstop Jhonny Peralta, another player suspended in the Biogenesis scandal, gave teams -- including the Mets -- sticker shock by signing early with the Cardinals for four years, $53 million.

Regarding Stephen Drew, Alderson’s handicapping of the free-agent shortstop landing with the Mets remains unchanged. The GM said Saturday, via the Star-Ledger: “I think it’s just unlikely based on all the circumstances. It’s not necessarily just from our point of view -- just with all the circumstances, our other options in camp." He described the likelihood of Drew landing with the Mets as “slim” in Newsday.

Read more on Cruz and Drew in the Post.

• Terry Collins plans for David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Curtis Granderson to not play the first week of the Grapefruit League schedule. Wright is content to proceed slowly after ramping up quickly for the World Baseball Classic last spring training.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger profiles Anthony Seratelli, who is trying to be a rookie in the majors at age 31 this season -- a similar storyline to Scott Rice last year. The Mets made a strong push to sign Seratelli for a backup infield role the minute minor-league free agency began during the offseason.

• Right-hander Erik Goeddel, who served as a reliever at UCLA, is permanently moving to the bullpen. All but five of Goeddel’s 66 professional appearances have been as a starter since he was drafted in 2010.

Bobby Parnell threw a standard bullpen session Saturday, a day after being held out with left quadriceps tightness. Parnell did not participate in fielding drills, however. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• An industry source says Andy Masur has not been offered the WOR pregame/postgame job just yet, although one source told ESPNNewYork.com on Friday they expected the former San Diego Padres play-by-play man to land the gig. Bob Raissman in the Daily News also lists Seth Everett and MLB.com host Pete McCarthy as candidates. ESPNNewYork.com has heard those names as well.

• Marc Carig in Newsday chats with Ruben Tejada. Writes Carig:

First came the whispers about his physical conditioning, followed by an error-filled April that served as a preview of his cursed season. By midsummer, Tejada had been injured and marooned in the minors, and the team’s discontent had seeped on to the airwaves.

In a radio interview, general manager Sandy Alderson griped that getting the shortstop to do extra work was “like pulling teeth.”' The Mets appeared to be finished with the 24-year-old, who had been seen as a critical piece of the team's rebuilding project.

“You want to do everything good,”' Tejada said this past week as he looked back at the most tumultuous season of his career. “But it’s impossible.”'

Eric Young Jr. and Chris Young could become the first Mets with the same surname to start on Opening Day since 1978, according to the Post. That year, Ken Henderson started in left field and Steve Henderson started in right field.

• Commissioner Bud Selig told The Michael Kay Show on Thursday he has no concerns about the Mets. “I’m very comfortable with the Mets' situation,” Selig said, as quoted by the Star-Ledger. “I have a lot of faith in the Wilpons and a lot of faith in Sandy Alderson. [I have] absolutely no concerns or trepidations about the Mets’ situation. They’re a solid franchise in my mind and on paper.” Listen to Selig's full interview here.

• The Mets bought EY Jr. a WWE-style championship belt and presented it to him at the end of their introductory meeting Saturday as a tribute to him claiming the 2013 NL steals crown, Carig notes in Newsday.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report notes the Rolling Stones and Mets are the same age.

BIRTHDAYS: Bobby Bonilla, who is on the Mets’ payroll through 2035, turns 51. ... Ron Hunt was born on this date in 1941.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets nix Matt Harvey pitching in the majors in 2014 under any circumstance?

SNY/WPIX announce spring schedule

February, 11, 2014
Feb 11
10:30
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- SNY and WPIX announced its spring-training television lineup. All the games will be played in Port St. Lucie and begin at 1:10 p.m., with the exception of the March 27 finale.

Feb. 28, Nationals, SNY
March 1, Marlins, WPIX
March 4, Astros, SNY
March 5, Marlins, SNY
March 7, Cardinals, SNY
March 9, Braves, PIX
March 10, Marlins, SNY
March 12, Cardinals, SNY
March 15, Twins, WPIX
March 18, Tigers, SNY
March 20, Braves, SNY
March 23, Nationals, PIX
March 24, Cardinals, SNY
March 27, Nationals, SNY

SPONSORED HEADLINES

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 .837
WB. Colon 12
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.44
SOZ. Wheeler 155