Meet the Mets
Matt Harvey and Lucas Duda have been the talk of Mets camp the past few days, so it is only natural that the two would face off during batting practice on Tuesday. And that Harvey would plunk Duda in the leg with a pitch. SNY has some video of Harvey, as they followed him around all day yesterday. Meanwhile, Toby Hyde closed out his annual Top 41 prospect rankings by naming Harvey the organization's top prospect. Harvey and fellow righty Jeurys Familia will throw in the Mets intrasquad game on Friday.
Johan Santana is scheduled to throw his first live batting practice of the spring on Thursday. Keep your fingers crossed, everybody. Adam Rubin also has the rest of the team's tentative pitching assignments for their intrasquad games over the weekend and their first three Grapefruit League games. Ah, actual baseball games.
This may be the greatest thing to come out of Mets camp in a long time: LOOGY Tim Byrdak put his new blond mustache to good use by donning a Hulk Hogan costume and running around the team's spring training complex in character. Just an excellent job by Mr. Byrdak, as that literally made me laugh me loud. Speaking of other Mets' pen arms, the organization hopes that the pen will be much improved after all of the acquisitions they made during the offseason.
Rumor has it that the Mets have been in contact with Ivan Rodriguez in the last week or so. However, other reports say that while Pudge asked about a backup role, the Mets apparently have no interest in adding a veteran catcher right now. I don't think adding a veteran like Pudge or Ramon Castro would be a terrible idea as Mike Nickeas' woeful bat concerns me, especially if Josh Thole were to (knock on wood) miss time with an injury.
If the Mets are going to compete in 2012, they're probably going to need some players to surprise. Could pitcher turned outfielder Adam Loewen be the Mets' version of Jeremy Lin? Please? That would be nice.
Around the Majors
The collector of Ryan Braun's urine sample has broken his silence with regards to the allegations of tampering. In a three-page statement, Dino Laurenzi Jr said that he followed Comprehensive Drug Testing protocol and even went ahead and outlined the process. I guess the lesson here is that if you're ever in possession of a cup full of an athlete's pee, make sure you do your best to get that thing to the nearest FedEx, UPS or Pony Express as quickly as humanly possible, even if it's late at night and you have to drive 50 miles.
Freddie Freeman is likely to miss a couple of weeks after injuring his knee during fielding drills at the Braves' spring training camp. Not good news for them, as they need all of the offense they can get.
The Royals took a page from the Tampa Bay Rays book by signing one of their young players to a longterm deal that will cut out arbitration and free agency years. No, it's not Alex Gordon. Eric Hosmer? Mike Moustakas? Nope. Try 21 year old catcher Salvador Perez, who's played in 39 big league games thus far in his career. The deal guarantees Perez 5 years at $7 million and includes three option years at the end. Overall, probably a smart move to lock up a young catcher who's not a black hole with the bat.
Ever wanted to land that dream job with a big league organization? Well, Dave Gershman at Beyond the Box Score has started his "How To Land A Job In Baseball" series and the first step is to cultivate sources.