New York Mets: The 7 Line

Morning Briefing: Off to Jupiter

March, 22, 2014
Mar 22
6:21
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.

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 MLB.com.

• 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 MLB.com.

• 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?

Morning Briefing: Back to work

June, 4, 2013
6/04/13
6:14
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.

FIRST PITCH: After a day off in D.C. to regroup from getting swept against the Miami Marlins, the Mets get back to work.

Jeremy Hefner (1-5, 4.74 ERA) and right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (8-3, 2.37) meet in today’s 7:05 p.m. opener at Nationals Park.

Read the Mets-Nats series preview here.

Tuesday’s news reports:


Courtesy of Wheeler familyCan you name this soon-to-be Met? It's Zack Wheeler, playing high school basketball for East Paulding (Ga.) High.


• ESPNNewYork.com profiles Zack Wheeler, with input from father Barry, brother Jacob and Matt Harvey. (Warning: A young Zack is seen wearing a Braves jersey and hat.)

• After being examined in New York, catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud will remain in a protective boot for another week, but can begin walking while wearing it. D’Arnaud originally fractured the first metatarsal in his left foot on April 17 with Triple-A Las Vegas. Read more in the Post and Star-Ledger.

David Wright is trying to do too much and is chasing pitches outside the strike zone rather than taking walks, writes Marc Carig in Newsday. Wright’s average has dipped to .277. He is hitting .174 (8-for-46) with one homer, two RBIs and 11 strikeouts in his past 12 starts.

• Pitching coach Dan Warthen believes Bobby Parnell should be an All-Star. “Because [Parnell] should have a below 1.00 ERA, because he’s striking out a guy an inning, because he’s done the job each and every time he’s walked out to the mound,” Warthen told Mike Puma in the Post. “I don’t see anybody who has done any better than him, including [Braves closer Craig] Kimbrel.” Read more in the Record.

• Dr. James Andrews agreed that Scott Atchison does not need surgery now to remove a bone spur from his right elbow.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post suggests Mets fans were deceived by the Subway Series. Writes Sherman:

And there is no one quite as human as you, Met fans. Five straight wins, particularly those four against the Yankees, had you sweeping two months of dreadful baseball aside. Here came the Marlins for six of the next nine and soon after Zack Wheeler would arrive, and maybe Travis d’Arnaud before long and maybe -- just maybe -- Sandy Alderson could make a trade for an actual major league outfielder in July.

Amazin’ what five good days could do for the soul of even a despondent fan. “Honey, where did I put my Mets cap?”

Except no fan base should know the devilish realities of small sample sizes better than those who root for the Mets. They should recognize just how deceptive even a dreadful team could be for a week, a month or even a couple of months.


Adam RubinSNY field reporter Kevin Burkhardt has a new NFL gig to keep his fall active.


• SNY field reporter Kevin Burkhardt will be the newest NFL play-by-play man on Fox, according to SI.com.

• Hefner says he is unconcerned about his rotation spot being affected by Wheeler’s looming arrival. “I don’t worry about it anymore,” Hefner told Kristie Ackert in the Daily News.

• Brian Costa in the Journal reviews how the Mets got to Las Vegas as their Triple-A affiliate. The short summary: Norfolk kicked the Mets out. So the Mets temporarily went to New Orleans. Buffalo then became available and the Mets went there. Then Buffalo booted the Mets, too. "They're undesirable," Dave Rosenfield, the longtime Norfolk Tides GM, told Costa. "Nobody wants them."

• ESPN’s Keith Law continues to project the Mets will select Gardena, Calif., high school first baseman Dominic Smith with the 11th overall pick in the draft on Thursday.

"There are some guys obviously that we like more than others, but there are definitely 11 guys that we like a lot," Paul DePodesta told Anthony DiComo at MLB.com. "In fact, there are more than 11. So going into this year, I think we're very comfortable with what the outcome is likely to be on June 6. We don't know the name of the player or the position or anything like that, but we're going to have a good choice, and we're going to get someone we like an awful lot."

The Mets will have a $6.99 million bonus pool to spread over their first 10 rounds’ selections.

Scott Rice tells Jorge Castillo in the Star-Ledger that the development of a split-finger fastball last year finally helped him reach the majors in his 15th professional season.

• Kevin J. Ryan in ESPN The Magazine profiles The 7 Line merchandise founder Darren Meenan.

• Noah Syndergaard surrendered a two-run double in the fifth inning and no other damage, but was tagged with the loss as Lakeland beat St. Lucie, 2-1. Carlos Torres tossed a three-hit shutout for Las Vegas. Read the full minor league recap here.

BIRTHDAYS: Catcher Rick Wilkins, who appeared in five games for the Mets in 1998, is 46.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: When do you predict Zack Wheeler will make his major league debut?

ESPN The Mag: Made in Queens

June, 3, 2013
6/03/13
3:07
PM ET
ESPN The Magazine profiles Darren Meenan, a 32-year-old Mets fan who parlayed his love for the team into a custom T-shirt line, The 7 Line.

Check out the story and a photo gallery of Meenan's work, too.

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 .848
WB. Colon 12
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.44
SOZ. Wheeler 155