New York Mets: Taylor Teagarden

Minors 4.5.14: Lara wins Double-A debut

April, 5, 2014
Apr 5
FRESNO 8, LAS VEGAS 6: One out from victory, Josh Edgin and Erik Goeddel combined to allow seven ninth-inning runs as Fresno overcame a 6-1 deficit in the final frame. Jacob deGrom had limited Fresno to one run on four hits and a walk while striking out six in six innings. Cesar Puello and Taylor Teagarden had three hits apiece in the loss. Zach Lutz drove in two runs, giving him eight RBIs through three games. Box

AKRON 3, BINGHAMTON 0: In Game 1, Binghamton took advantage of strong winds to grab the lead in the first as Matt Clark’s fly ball to right field turned into an adventure for Jordan Smith. The outfielder misplayed the drive, allowing Kyle Johnson to score from first

base with the game’s initial run. The B-Mets doubled the lead on a two-out RBI single from Wilfredo Tovar in the second against Akron starter Joe Colon. The RubberDucks got to B-Mets starter Rainy Lara in the third with a game-tying two-run homer from Francisco Lindor. Lara then rebounded with two scoreless innings. With the score tied at 2, Colon pitched himself into trouble in the fifth. Following Johnson’s single, Kevin Plawecki and Clark drew two-out walks to load the bases. Reliever Tyler Sturdevant entered and induced Jayce Boyd to hit a fly ball. Battling the wind, Smith misplayed the drive into a two-run double. Dustin Lawley followed with a two-run single. Owning a four-run lead, Lara returned for the sixth and surrendered back-to-back singles. He then coaxed a flyout from Jake Lowery before giving way to Adam Kolarek. The southpaw gave up a run-producing fielder’s choice before fanning Bryson Myles to end the inning. Chasen Bradford worked around a leadoff double to post a scoreless seventh for his first 2014 save. Lara (1-0) earned the win in his Double-A debut. He scattered eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. He allowed three runs, struck out three and walked one.

In Game 2, Tyler Pill was tagged for a run on three hits in the second. In the third, Pill surrendered a leadoff homer to Joe Wendle. The RubberDucks plated another run in the fourth. Jerrud Sabourin walked with one out and moved to second on a groundout. The next batter, Tyler Naquin, singled to plate Sabourin. Pill (0-1) exited after four innings. He was tagged for three runs on six hits. John Church and Jon Velasquez combined to hold Akron hitless over the final three frames. Box 1, Box 2

PALM BEACH 8, ST. LUCIE 3: David Washington belted a three-run homer with two outs on an 0-2 pitch from Michael Fulmer in the first inning and the Cardinals never looked back. Gilbert Gomez homered in his first at-bat of the season in the third, but the Cardinals stretched their lead to six runs by belting out four consecutive run-scoring base hits against Fulmer with two outs in the fourth. Trailing 7-1, the Mets tried to claw their way back in the game. Gomez hit a ground-rule double and Brandon Nimmo followed with an RBI single in the sixth. Later in the frame, Dilson Herrera cut the deficit to 7-3 with a hit that plated Nimmo. The Mets had their best chance to make it a game in the seventh when they loaded the bases on three walks. However, Iden Nazario struck out T.J. Rivera on a full-count offering to end the threat. Fulmer took the loss. He lasted 3 2/3 innings and was tagged for 11 hits and seven runs. Seth Lugo pitched the remainder of the game. He allowed one run and two hits in 4 1/3 innings. Box

LAKEWOOD 6, SAVANNAH 2: In the first, Savannah's Victor Cruzado capped a 10-pitch at-bat by belting a full-count offering over the right-field wall for his first 2014 homer. The BlueClaws pulled ahead for good a half-inning later. Savannah starter Chris Flexen walked Zach Green. Two outs later, Gabriel Lino followed with a two-run double. In the fourth, Willians Astudillo produced a three-run double. All five runs Flexen allowed came with two outs in the inning. He went 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on five hits and three walks in his Savannah debut. The Gnats closed to within 5-2 with a run in the fourth. DH Matt Oberste doubled, plating Jared King. Astudillo drove home the BlueClaws' final run in the sixth with a single off reliever Dawrin Frias. Box

Compiled from team reports

Morning Briefing: Opening Day!

March, 31, 2014
Mar 31
Mets fan Stewie Griffin always gets fed up on Opening Day, despite the team’s high rate of success in openers.


FIRST PITCH: The 53rd Opening Day in franchise history has arrived.

Dillon Gee is scheduled to throw the season’s first pitch at Citi Field at roughly 1:10 p.m.

Gee, making his first career Opening Day start, opposes Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg, who starts Game 1 for the third straight season.

Washington won the 2013 season series, 12-7.

A pregame ceremony will honor the late Ralph Kiner, with four of his children participating.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio throws out the ceremonial first pitch.

Terry Collins also unveils his lineup, with the question marks being: Ike Davis or Lucas Duda at first base? And Eric Young Jr. or Juan Lagares in the outfield?

The Mets are 34-18 in franchise history on Opening Day … and that includes eight straight losses to begin their existence.

Monday also marks the official beginning of instant replay for the Mets.

Monday’s news reports:

• The Mets set their roster Sunday by placing Jonathon Niese on the 15-day disabled list and Matt Harvey on the 60-day disabled list and by sending Eric Campbell, Kyle Farnsworth, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Anthony Seratelli and Taylor Teagarden to the minors.

The 25-man roster:

Starting pitchers (4): Gee, Bartolo Colon, Zack Wheeler and Jenrry Mejia

Relievers (7): Bobby Parnell, Jose Valverde, Jeurys Familia, Carlos Torres, Gonzalez Germen, Scott Rice and John Lannan

Infielders (9): Travis d’Arnaud, Anthony Recker, Davis, Duda, Josh Satin, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, Omar Quintanilla and David Wright

Outfielders (5): Chris Young, Lagares, EY Jr., Curtis Granderson and Andrew Brown

• Read Opening Day previews in the Post, Daily News, Times, Record and at

• Marc Carig in Newsday writes that Gee’s tryout for the Mets before being drafted in the 21st round in 2007 almost did not happen because of rain.

The field was unplayable. And now the Mets’ scout in charge was trying to send most of them home.

He told the group that the workout would be moved to a small indoor facility about 45 minutes up the road. Only 15 could go. Then he read aloud from the list of the chosen few.

Dillon Gee didn't hear his name.

Disappointed, he was ready to begin the long drive home. But before he made it to the car, his father made a beeline toward the scout, Ray Corbett.

“I was embarrassed,” Gee said last week. “But that’s kind of how my dad is. He was probably thinking, ‘I didn’t come here for nothing.’”

Read more on Gee in the Post and

• Jared Diamond in the Journal wonders when the next “Harvey Day” will be. Harvey, by the way, accompanied the team from Florida to Montreal and then on to New York and will be at Citi Field on Monday, including performing his rehab pregame by throwing on flat ground.

• Lannan, who made the team as a second left-hander in the bullpen, plans to spend the opening homestand living in the Long Beach, Long Island, house in which he grew up. Lannan will move to Manhattan when the apartment becomes available later this month. Read more in the Post.

• Shortstops Nick Franklin and Didi Gregorius both were demoted by their clubs and should still be available via trade, the Post’s Joel Sherman tweets.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post offers five reasons for optimism … and five reasons for pessimism.

• Anthony Rieber in Newsday writes about four Mets who can make Sandy Alderson’s 90-win goal become reality.

• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post notes the Mets are deep in starting pitching throughout the system.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger delves in the Mets’ recent home futility. Vorkunov notes the Mets were MLB’s only team with a winning road record and losing overall record last season.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing declares that on Opening Day, baseball is a metaphor for baseball, which is all it has to be. … The Eddie Kranepool Society opines on what to expect from the Mets, with emphasis on the bullpen being a determining factor in the team’s competitiveness.

BIRTHDAYS: Tom Hausman, who pitched five seasons for the Mets, was born on this date in 1953.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What’s your ideal Mets lineup for Opening Day?

Morning Briefing: Tomorrow, tomorrow ...

March, 30, 2014
Mar 30

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.

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

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?

Morning Briefing: Off to Jupiter

March, 22, 2014
Mar 22

FIRST PITCH: The Mets take a relatively short drive to Jupiter on Saturday to face the Miami Marlins.

Bartolo Colon, who appears lining up for the second game of the season, opposes Marlins left-hander Brad Hand at 1:05 p.m. at Roger Dean Stadium (WOR 710 AM).

Terry Collins expects Daniel Murphy to play in his first Grapefruit League game since Sunday, when Murphy injured his right calf.

Saturday’s news reports:

• A day after Ike Davis snapped an 18-day absence from Grapefruit League play, Lucas Duda snapped an absence of identical length. Duda belted a two-run homer and logged five innings at first base Friday against the Minnesota Twins. Duda also demonstrated that the left hamstring issue that hampered him for more than two weeks may truly be behind him. He hustled to score from first base on a first-inning double by Davis with no apparent ill effect. Collins said early season appearances for Duda in the outfield are pretty much off the table because the hamstring injury prevented Duda from getting work out there. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and

• Expected Opening Day starter Dillon Gee limited the Twins to one run in 5 1/3 innings as the Mets beat Minnesota, 9-1, at Hammond Stadium. Gee still has yet to walk a batter this spring training. The Mets scored seven first-inning runs against ex-Marlin Ricky Nolasco, capped by a two-run homer from Taylor Teagarden. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Record and

• Free-agent Stephen Drew is willing to sign a one-year, $14 million deal with the Detroit Tigers, who have lost shortstop Jose Iglesias to stress fractures in his shins, John Lowe writes in the Detroit Free Press. The Tigers nonetheless helped address their shortstop deficiency by acquiring Andrew Romine from the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. Romine is a former teammate of Ike Davis at Arizona State.

• The 7 Line, which produces Mets-themed T-shirts, is now an officially licensed MLB brand and will have a kiosk near Shake Shack at Citi Field, the company announced. Founder Darren Meenan launched the business in 2010 “printing T-shirts in my parents’ basement,” he wrote.

Bobby Parnell skipped the three-hour trip to Fort Myers and instead allowed one hit in two scoreless innings in a minor-league game in Port St. Lucie. Parnell reportedly topped out at 94 mph, a good sign since his velocity has been down this spring training. Jose Valverde, who also is ticketed for the Opening Day bullpen, had a perfect frame against minor leaguers.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal studies the Mets’ plan to bat the pitcher eighth on occasion. The conclusion: There may be a benefit, but it is negligible.

Diamond writes that teams averaged 4.51 runs per game when batting the pitcher eighth since 1980. Those same teams averaged 4.33 runs per game batting the pitcher ninth during that span.

“You just can’t create runs -- or lose them -- by moving hitters around in the lineup,” renowned statistician Bill James told Diamond. “… To the small extent that it may matter, I think it is extremely likely that you’re better off with the pitcher batting eighth, rather than the pitcher batting ninth.”

The Mets’ logic in batting the pitcher eighth is that the No. 9 batter, likely Juan Lagares, essentially becomes a leadoff hitter, with No. 3 David Wright batting cleanup, the second time through the order. That should give Wright more opportunities to drive in runs.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan writes in the Post that Curtis Granderson’s positive disposition should help the Mets.

From the bloggers … Blogging Mets predicts more losing for the Amazin’s in 2014.

BIRTHDAYS: Ike Davis turns 27 today. ... Former Mets reliever Joe Smith, now with the Angels, is 30.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How should Terry Collins divide playing time between Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and Josh Satin in April?

Mets 9, Twins 1: Amazin's jump on Nolasco

March, 21, 2014
Mar 21
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Seven straight batters reached base against Ricky Nolasco in a seven-run first inning and the Mets cruised to a 9-1 win against the Minnesota Twins on Friday at Hammond Stadium.

Opening Day starter Dillon Gee limited Minnesota to one run on five hits while striking out four and walking none in 5 1/3 innings. Scott Rice, Gonzalez Germen, Jeurys Familia and Carlos Torres combined to blank the Twins the rest of the way.

Ruben Tejada began the first-inning barrage against the ex-Marlin Nolasco with a one-out double. It marked the fifth straight at-bat in which Tejada produced a hit, after being 2-for-his-first-24. He finished the game 1-for-3 to lift his average to .226.

In his first Grapefruit League game since March 3, Lucas Duda next was plunked by a pitch. Ike Davis and Andrew Brown followed with consecutive doubles. Kirk Nieuwenhuis then tripled. Taylor Teagarden capped the inning’s scoring with a two-run homer.

Duda added a two-run homer in the fourth against Casey Fien.

What’s next: Bartolo Colon opposes Miami Marlins left-hander Brad Hand at 1:05 p.m. Saturday at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter (WOR 710 AM). Terry Collins expects Daniel Murphy (calf) to play for the first time since Sunday. Davis is due to man first base.

Morning Briefing: 15 days until opener

March, 16, 2014
Mar 16

Glenn Pinkerton/Associated PressEric Campbell produced a ninth-inning double while manning first base for the Mets on Saturday in Vegas against the Cubs.

FIRST PITCH: Opening Day is only 15 days away.

And Sunday marks the final split squad of spring training for the Mets.

All eyes will be on Jupiter, Fla., where Jonathon Niese will make his second Grapefruit League start (WOR 710 AM).

Niese, slowed early in camp by shoulder weakness, needs to demonstrate he is ready to make the Opening Day start against the Washington Nationals on March 31 at Citi Field.

Niese did eventually ramp up to 88-89 mph in his initial Grapefruit League appearance five days ago. But early in that outing Terry Collins was concerned, especially when Niese’s first pitch -- a fastball -- registered only 79 mph.

Niese opposes St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright at 1:05 p.m.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, the Mets look to sweep a two-game series from the Chicago Cubs. After the game, the Mets take a chartered flight back to Florida, which should land about 1 a.m.

Although Jenrry Mejia may be ticketed for the Las Vegas rotation with Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Jacob deGrom, and Logan Verrett or Cory Mazzoni, Mejia will continue to try to make a case for the fifth-starter’s job when he starts at 4:05 p.m. ET opposite Cubs left-hander Chris Rusin.

Mejia tossed two scoreless innings against the Nats in his lone Grapefruit League appearance, on March 5. He was dominant for another two innings in a “B” game in his last outing.

Sunday’s news reports:

Mark Cunningham/Getty ImagesWith Jose Iglesias reportedly due to miss much of the season, the Tigers are in need of a shortstop.

• The Detroit Tigers will lose shortstop Jose Iglesias for a significant portion of 2014 with a shin injury, ESPN’s Jim Bowden tweets. As a result, Detroit could be the ultimate landing spot for Stephen Drew.

Mike Puma in the Post reports the Mets “seem resigned to at least starting the season with [Ruben] Tejada at shortstop.”

Dillon Gee escaped unscathed in three-plus scoreless innings despite surrendering five hits, but the Mets ultimately tied the Minnesota Twins, 3-3, in a split-squad game at Tradition Field on Saturday. Vic Black surrendered three eighth-inning runs. 2013 first-round pick Dominic Smith singled in his first career Grapefruit League at-bat. Jeurys Familia, working for a second straight day, topped out at 98 mph and broke the webbing of catcher Taylor Teagarden’s glove with one fastball. Familia has now tossed five scoreless innings. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News, Newsday, Record and

• In Las Vegas, Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo homered twice against Bartolo Colon, but the Mets produced a 9-4 win at the home of their Triple-A affiliate. Bobby Parnell contributed a scoreless innings. Wilmer Flores had a two-run homer. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

Lucas Duda and Ike Davis continued to get minor-league at-bats Saturday without running full throttle after making contact. They are expected to repeat that activity for a third straight day Sunday, Bob Geren said. Both are aiming for actual Grapefruit League games by midweek. Read more in the Post and Star-Ledger.

• Terry Collins continues to suggest he may bat the pitcher eighth, at least on occasion. In that scenario, Tejada would bat ninth, the manager tells Anthony Rieber in Newsday.

• Tim Rohan in the Times features the Mets’ program that teaches Spanish-speaking players English. He notes that because Montero rose so quickly through the system because of his on-field success, he missed out on some of the English-learning opportunities more readily available in the low minors. Writes Rohan:

It has not helped that Montero has only a first-grade education, as he told The Star-Ledger last year. He grew up in rural Sabana Higüero in the Dominican Republic and moved to Santo Domingo at 17 with an older brother, hoping to play professional baseball someday. He trained tirelessly, and at 20 he signed with the Mets for $90,000.

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News notes Las Vegas is not the ideal location for the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, especially because it is rough on pitchers. However, while the player-development agreement expires after the 2014 season, allowing the Mets to switch, the club may be forced to stay in Vegas, since it is unclear if any city with an International League team will have a vacancy. Sandy Alderson has noted that Las Vegas has hired an experienced groundskeeper for the upcoming season, which should help. Read more in the Post, Newsday and

• Matt Ehalt in the Record profiles Syndergaard, who can squat 460 pounds and dead lift more than 500 pounds.

• Michael J. Fensom in the Star-Ledger has a Q&A with Chris Young, whose favorite TV show is “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” His favorite episode? “When Will teaches Ashley to play the drums.”

From the bloggers … The Eddie Kranepool Society asks: Opening Day, are we there yet? … Faith and Fear shares an anecdote about our small digital world and a long-ago Braves playoff defeat. … The King of Queens urges Sandy Alderson to acquire Nick Franklin before someone else swoops in.

BIRTHDAYS: Curtis Granderson turns 33. ... Stephen Drew, who isn't a Met -- not yet, anyway -- turns 31.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you think Ruben Tejada will be the Opening Day shortstop?

Cards 6, Mets 4: Lannan retires final 8

March, 12, 2014
Mar 12
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- John Lannan may be ticketed for the bullpen, but he made a pretty good case for the fifth-starter’s role Wednesday.

The southpaw retired the final eight batters he faced and limited the St. Louis Cardinals to two unearned runs on three hits in four innings. The Mets ultimately lost, 6-4, at Tradition Field.

David Goldman/Associated PressJohn Lannan limited the Cardinals to two unearned runs in four innings Wednesday.
Of the 15 batters Lannan faced, he struck out five and coaxed nine ground balls.

Lannan surrendered a game-opening infield single to Matt Carpenter. A passed ball from Taylor Teagarden pushed Carpenter to second. He then scored on a bunt and groundout.

An inning later, Lannan surrendered a leadoff double to Stephen Piscotty. The Cards eventually loaded the bases with none out when David Wright was unable to hold Randal Grichuk’s liner and was charged with an error. Still, Lannan minimized the damage. He got Tony Cruz to ground into a run-scoring double play and struck out Pete Kozma.

“The first inning didn’t go as I planned, but sometimes it happens,” Lannan said. “After that double play I settled down and started making some good pitches.”

As for a potential relief role, Lannan added: “The possibility of it has been brought up to me, just in conversation. I started today, and I’m going to act as if I’m starting five days from now, until I’m told otherwise.”

Ouch: Kyle Farnsworth, who is not projected to make the Opening Day bullpen unless he suddenly upgrades his performance, surrendered consecutive rockets in the seventh inning. Piscotty blasted a triple off the left-field wall. One batter later, Kolten Wong delivered a two-run homer to right field as St. Louis took a 4-0 lead.

There should be an early verdict with Farnsworth. He has a March 23 “out” in his contract.

Welcome back: In his first game since injuring his right shin Friday, Daniel Murphy started at second base and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

Seventh heaven: Juan Lagares delivered a two-run single against Kevin Butler with the bases loaded to pull the Mets within 4-2 in the seventh. Brandon Allen chased Butler with an ensuing RBI single that pulled the Mets within a run.

A half-inning later, however, Joel Carreño loaded the bases and then walked in a run. Jeff Walters entered and uncorked a wild pitch that made it 6-3.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis tripled and scored on Andrew Brown's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth.

Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez had blanked the Mets through four innings.

Closer call: Bobby Parnell tossed a scoreless ninth inning with one walk in his second Grapefruit League appearance. His fastball sat at 88-89 mph during a 12-pitch frame.

What’s next: Fifth-starter frontrunner Daisuke Matsuzaka gets the start at 1:05 p.m. Thursday against the Washington Nationals in Viera. Noah Syndergaard follows him on the mound. Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom also are on the trip. Left-hander Ross Detwiler starts for the Nats.

Nats 11, Mets (ss) 5: Mazzoni allows 7

March, 5, 2014
Mar 5
VIERA, Fla. -- Cory Mazzoni allowed seven eighth-inning runs as the Washington Nationals beat a Mets split squad, 11-5, Wednesday at Space Coast Stadium.

Mazzoni surrendered a three-run homer to Sandy Leon and two-run homer to Matt Skole in the eighth as Washington broke a 4-all tie with the offensive explosion.

“We like his stuff. Today was a bad day,” Terry Collins said about Mazzoni, a second-round pick in 2011 from NC State, who went 5-3 with a 4.36 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts) at Double-A Binghamton last season. “He was flying open. Stuff was flat. This kid has got very good velocity. He didn’t have it today. But he’s come with some high recommendations from the people in the organization that this kid can be an absolute late-in-the-game kind of bullpen guy, because he’s got three quality pitches. Today they just weren’t working.”

Jenrry Mejia’s own throwing error resulted in him allowing one unearned in two innings pitched.

Lefty relief prospect Adam Kolarek surrendered a leadoff homer to Ian Desmond in the third inning as the Nats grabbed a 2-0 lead.

After getting blanked for two innings by Gio Gonzalez, the Mets got on the board in the fourth inning against left-hander Matt Purke. Zach Lutz provided an RBI single that plated Wilmer Flores from second base, thanks in part to a weak throw from left field by ex-Met Scott Hairston. Anthony Seratelli followed that inning with a two-run single.

Jacob deGrom faced the minimum number of batters in two innings in relief for the Mets, working around a leadoff single in the fifth by coaxing a 6-4-3 double play from Steven Souza.

The Mets pushed the lead to 4-2 in the sixth on Taylor Teagarden’s sacrifice fly.

But in the seventh, John Church surrendered a game-tying two-run homer to Brian Goodwin. Then Mazzoni allowed seven runs in the eighth.

Lutz capped the scoring with a solo homer in the ninth.

What’s next: The Mets play three games Thursday … sort of.

In Kissimmee, Fla., the Mets have a 10 a.m. “B” Game against the Houston Astros. Logan Verrett, Jack Leathersich and Erik Goeddel are scheduled to pitch.

In the 1 p.m. Grapefruit League game there, John Lannan, Rafael Montero and Steven Matz now are due to pitch. Brad Peacock starts for the Astros.

Meanwhile, at 11 a.m. back at the Mets’ complex, a structured three-inning game takes place. Bartolo Colon (three innings), Jonathon Niese (two innings) and Bobby Parnell (one inning) all are scheduled to pitch.

Mets 6, Astros 2: Grandy & Zack deliver

March, 4, 2014
Mar 4
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Curtis Granderson slugged two homers and Zack Wheeler contributed three scoreless innings as the Mets beat the Houston Astros, 6-2, Tuesday at Tradition Field.

“I hope to see 25 more of those when the bell rings,” Terry Collins said about Granderson’s long balls.

Houston starter Rudy Owens recorded only one out before being chased seven batters into the game with the bases loaded.

Eric Young Jr., making his first 2014 Grapefruit League start after dealing with a side-muscle injury last week, walked to open the first. Chris Young then produced an RBI double and Granderson launched a two-run homer.

After Brandon Allen flied out, Josh Satin walked, Travis d’Arnaud singled and Taylor Teagarden walked.

Jorge De Leon entered and stranded the bases loaded. But De Leon surrendered a solo homer to Granderson in the second inning as the Mets took a 4-0 lead.

Houston sliced the lead in half on a two-run homer by Jonathan Villar against Erik Goeddel in the fifth.

2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo contributed an RBI single in the sixth for a 5-2 lead.

A half-inning later, Vic Black walked three to load the bases with two outs. But Jeff Walters, who had 38 saves last season with Double-A Binghamton, entered and retired Leo Heras on the first pitch to strand all three.

Walters then tossed a no-hit eighth.

The Mets’ final run came on Allen’s eighth-inning single against Stony Brook University product Nick Tropeano, a fifth-round pick in 2011.

What’s next: The Mets play two Wednesday. Fifth-starter candidate Jenrry Mejia starts a split-squad game in Viera against the Washington Nationals. Meanwhile, the Miami Marlins visit Port St. Lucie, with Dillon Gee opposing phenom Jose Fernandez.

Mets 6, Braves 2: Vaughn keys rally

March, 3, 2014
Mar 3
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Cory Vaughn delivered a tiebreaking two-run double to highlight a five-run ninth as the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves, 6-2, Monday at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

The rally gave the Mets (1-3) their first Grapefruit League victory.

The Mets had mustered only three hits entering the final inning, after posting a combined eight hits the previous two games. Then they got on track.

With the Mets trailing 2-1, Andrew Brown had a leadoff triple against left-hander Atahualpa Severino. Dustin Lawley followed with a game-tying sinking line single to center field. Taylor Teagarden also singled. Anthony Seratelli’s ensuing bunt resulted in the lead runner getting caught at third. But Vaughn, the son of former major-leaguer Greg Vaughn, followed with a two-run double. Matt den Dekker chased Severino with an RBI single. After Severino departed, Eric Campbell had an RBI single against right-hander Mark Lamm.

Ryan Reid had surrendered a pair of eighth-inning runs as the Braves (0-6) took the lead.

After Noah Syndergaard wowed for two innings, including blowing a 98 mph fastball by Jason Heyward for a game-opening strikeout, the zeroes continued. Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin and Miguel Socolovich combined for five additional scoreless frames.

"We've like to see more strikes, but he's getting better and better," Terry Collins said about Familia.

The Mets, held hitless through three innings against Freddy Garcia, finally placed a runner on base when Juan Lagares produced a one-out single to right field against left-hander Ryan Buchter. Lucas Duda and Matt Clark then walked, and Wilmer Flores delivered a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.

Flores finished the game at shortstop for a second straight day.

What’s next: The Mets host the Houston Astros on Tuesday at 1:10 p.m. at Tradition Field (SNY). Zack Wheeler opposes left-hander Rudy Owens. Also scheduled to pitch for the Mets: Kyle Farnsworth, John Church, Vic Black, Adam Kolarek, Scott Rice and Cory Mazzoni.

Morning Briefing: Syndergaard wows ’em

February, 18, 2014
Feb 18

Jeff Roberson/Associated PressMonday marked the first official workout for pitchers and catchers in Port St. Lucie.


FIRST PITCH: The first official pitchers and catchers workout is in the books. Now, it’s on to Day 2 Tuesday morning at the Mets’ spring-training complex in Port St. Lucie.

Position players officially report Thursday, with the first full-squad workout Saturday, although most of those players already are here as well.

Tuesday’s news reports:

• Terry Collins could not find enough superlatives to describe Noah Syndergaard’s bullpen session on the day pitchers and catchers staged their first official workout.

Mike Puma in the Post had a team official estimate Syndergaard’s 2014 innings cap at 145, which may mean five-inning outings with Las Vegas. Syndergaard threw 124 2/3 innings last season, including the Double-A playoffs and the Futures Game, and 30-inning jumps from the previous year are customary. So 155 innings is probably the extreme limit.

Read more on Syndergaard in the Daily News, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and

Ruben Tejada says he did not pay attention to the Mets’ pursuit of a shortstop during the offseason. Tejada spent eight weeks at a nutrition, conditioning and agility camp in Plymouth, Mich.

Writes columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post about the Tejada versus free-agent Stephen Drew debate:

Look, let’s not elevate Drew to some elite status. The Red Sox loved having him as part of their title-winning team last year, yet they aren’t knocking down walls to retain him, even after Ryan Dempster’s de facto retirement left them with an extra $13.25 million to spend. The Yankees might possess baseball’s worst second base-shortstop-third base trio -- unless Derek Jeter can a) return to his 2012 production level and b) clone that version of himself twice -- and really aren’t in on Drew at this juncture.

Furthermore, some Mets officials want to get another look at Tejada, who doesn’t turn 25 until October and who owns a .338 career minor-league on-base percentage -- quite acceptable for a shortstop with a good glove -- and put up a .345 OBP in 877 plate appearances in 2011 and 2012.

(For whatever it’s worth, The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham reports the Boston Red Sox have not given out Drew’s number and have left his former locker open at camp in Fort Myers, Fla.)

Read more on Tejada in Newsday, the Daily News, Record and Star-Ledger.

• Collins is open to considering Jenrry Mejia for a bullpen role if the right-hander does not win the fifth-starter’s competition, which includes Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan. Read more in the Post.

• The Mets reportedly signed lefty reliever Dana Eveland to a minor-league deal that does not include an invite to big-league camp.

Chris Young prefers playing center field to a corner outfield spot.

Overall, the outfield corps is blessed with speed and fielding prowess, writes Seth Livingstone in Newsday.

Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News discusses the potential outfield alignment.

Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Casey Stern and WOR have ceased negotiations on him becoming the pregame and postgame radio host.

Meanwhile, Howie Rose and Josh Lewin already have been confirmed as the in-game announcers. Rose tells Neil Best in Newsday about the public support for his continuing in the role: “It’s obviously very heartwarming and very flattering. It’s nice to know I’ve made a connection over all these years. I think Mets fans know that given my background, we’re rather kindred spirits.”

Jeremy Hefner tossed a baseball for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery Aug. 28.

• Outfield prospect Cory Vaughn plays with an insulin pump in his left, back pocket because he is a Type 1 diabetic.

• Tim Rohan in the Times speaks with left-handed prospect Steven Matz from Long Isand, who took more than two full years to pitch in an official minor-league game after undergoing Tommy John surgery on May 18, 2010. It’s a cautionary tale for those expecting Matt Harvey to definitely return full throttle no later than the start of the 2015 season.

• Heavily used lefty Scott Rice tells Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger he is recharged and ready for 2014.

Taylor Teagarden, who is expected to lose the backup catcher job to Anthony Recker and head to Las Vegas, is profiled in Newsday.

• Check out a spring-training photo album in Newsday.

From the bloggers … The Eddie Kranepool Society critiques Jeff Wilpon’s Q&A. … Mets Police thinks Collins already has told you five things about the 2014 Mets, including the starting first baseman and the Opening Day starter. … John Delcos at Mets Report believes the Mets need to pick a role for Mejia and stick with it.

BIRTHDAYS: Left-hander Shawn Estes, whose retribution attempt at Shea Stadium missed Roger Clemens, turns 41. … Seton Hall product John Valentin is 47. … Kevin Tapani, traded by the Mets in the deal that brought Frank Viola to Flushing, is 50. … Jeff McKnight turns 51.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How would you rank the career potentials of Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard?

Mets put faith in catchers Recker, Teagarden

January, 14, 2014
Jan 14

Getty ImagesTaylor Teagarden and Anthony Recker are the backups to Travis d'Arnaud.
Ex-Met John Buck reportedly is headed to the Seattle Mariners as a free agent.

And it appears clear how the Mets intend to handle the catching situation behind Travis d'Arnaud: Anthony Recker should remain the primary backup, with ex-Oriole/Ranger Taylor Teagarden providing competition.

Teagarden, 30, has a .206 average, albeit with 20 homers, in 467 career big-league at-bats over six seasons. He has an out in his contract on June 15 if he is not promoted to the majors by then.

Teagarden, who is not on the 40-man roster, likely would join Juan Centeno at Triple-A Las Vegas to open the season.

Only a handful of free-agent catchers even remain available, via MLB Trade Rumors: Hector Gimenez, Koyie Hill, Michael McKenry, Miguel Olivo, Kelly Shoppach and Yorvit Torrealba.

New catcher has 'out' if not promoted

January, 10, 2014
Jan 10
Catcher Taylor Teagarden, who recently signed a minor league deal with the Mets with a spring-training invite, can declare himself a free agent if he is not on the major league roster by June 15, Joel Sherman notes.

Because Anthony Recker is on the 40-man roster and performed capably last season, he is projected to open the season backing up Travis d'Arnaud in Queens. That leaves Teagarden likely to share catching duties with Juan Centeno at Triple-A Las Vegas to open the season.

Teagarden, 30, hit .167 with two homers and five RBIs in 60 at-bats with the Baltimore Orioles last season. He has a .206 average and 20 homers in 467 career at-bats over six seasons with the Orioles and Texas Rangers.

Teagarden's contract calls for him to make $725,000 at the major league level, with $25,000 bonuses for appearing in 60 and 80 games, according to Sherman.

20 non-roster invites to major-league camp

January, 10, 2014
Jan 10
Here is the full list of non-roster invites to Mets big-league camp. Pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 15. Position players report five days later.

Right-handed pitchers:
Chasen Bradford
Joel Carreno
John Church
Jeremy Hefner
Rafael Montero
Miguel Socolovich
Noah Syndergaard
Cory Mazzoni
Logan Verrett

Left-handed pitchers:
Adam Kolarek
Jack Leathersich

Taylor Teagarden
Kevin Plawecki

Brandon Allen
Eric Campbell
Anthony Seratelli
Danny Muno

Dustin Lawley
Cory Vaughn
Brandon Nimmo

Nimmo was the Mets' first-round pick in 2011. Plawecki was selected 35th overall in 2012 out of Purdue.

Hefner is due to miss most of the year while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. He re-signed after being non-tendered.

Mets officials have mentioned Mazzoni, a former second-round pick out of NC State, as a potential bullpen candidate despite starting in the minors.

Mets sign catcher Teagarden to minors deal

January, 6, 2014
Jan 6
The Mets have signed catcher Taylor Teagarden to a minor-league contract with spring-training invite.

Teagarden, 30, presumably would join Juan Centeno at Triple-A, with Anthony Recker backing up Travis d'Arnaud at the major league level. Officially, though, Teagarden would compete with Recker for the backup catcher spot.

Teagarden hit .167 with two homers and five RBIs in 60 at-bats with the Baltimore Orioles last season. He has a .206 average and 20 homers in 467 career at-bats over six seasons with the Orioles and Texas Rangers.



Juan Lagares
.314 1 7 8
HRL. Duda 3
RBIL. Duda 8
RE. Young Jr. 11
OPSL. Duda .841
WC. Torres 2
ERAJ. Mejia 2.81
SOJ. Mejia 18