Meet the Mets
Dillon Gee allowed lots of hits in his three innings of work, Whitestone's Mike Baxter and Ronny Cedeno knocked back-to-back bases loaded singles and Matt den Dekker snapped a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning with a two-run...umm...something (I'll get to that in a moment), as the Mets defeated the Braves 5-3 at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex. The talk of the day was, once again, righty prospect Matt Harvey who made his second spring appearance and dazzled over two perfect innings of relief in which he got Jason Heyward to strike out swinging. That means it's about time to lobby for Harvey to gain a spot as the team's eighth inning guy, right? In the 8th, den Dekker stepped up to the plate and ripped a strangely disputed two run hit to give the Mets the lead. MLB.com says the hit was a single. Yahoo says the hit was a double. And our own James Kannengieser reports that den Dekker hit a triple. So how many bases was this hit worth? Will anybody ever know the truth? Is Kannonlazer somehow trolling us all? I guess the moral of the story is that it's currently spring training even for the recap writing guys (as well as for eyes and memories).
The Mets head to Viera to take on the Nationals at 1 PM today and for your listening pleasure, the game will be broadcast on WFAN. Unfortunately, it will not be broadcast on TV. No SNY for you! At least Lucas Duda and Andres Torres are expected to be back in the lineup.
Dillon Gee may have struggled in yesterday's start but according to the righty, it's because he was mainly working on throwing his cutter inside to lefties. Gee had his struggles with lefties in 2011, which is odd considering the changeup is supposed to be his best pitch.
Matt Harvey met Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax when he was in camp on Thursday and the pitching prospect was blown away that Koufax wanted to meet and speak with him.
Judge Jed Rakoff announced that he will select a nine man jury for the Wilpon/Katz vs. Picard court case on March 19th. The trial over the remaining $303 million in question is expected to last 10 days and will be heard Monday through Thursday, from 9 AM - 5 PM.
Toby Hyde has some video of righthand pitching prospect Rafael Montero. The video is short (just two pitches, in fact) but it's a lot more than what was previously available online of Montero (i.e. nothing). He's likely to start in Savannah this year after pitching across four levels in his first pro season and is a name that you should keep in mind. Toby also added some thoughts on Lucas May and the backup catcher's job and on Kirk Nieuwenhuis' strikeout issues.
Lefty C.J. Nitkowski tried out with the Mets on Thursday and the team has not ruled out signing him to a minor league deal. It certainily doesn't hurt to have another lefty in the organization.
The Mets may not have a healthy backup centerfielder on the roster but it looks like they have two barbers. Pedro Beato served as the team's de facto barber in 2011 and looks as if he's actually pretty good at it. However, with Beato on the roster bubble, the Mets were wise to add Ramon Ramirez, who has some experience as team barber.
Around the NL East
While half of the Braves' squad stuck around in Orlando to play the Mets, the other half traveled to Tampa to take on the Yankees. Too bad for them, the result was no different, as Atlanta fell to the Yankees 3-0. Julio Teheran was much better this time out, though it's tough to be as bad as his last outing when he allowed six home runs in two innings.
Roy Halladay was knocked around in three innings of work but the Phillies rebounded to defeat the Tigers 7-5 in Lakeland. Of course, nobody seems to be worrying about Halladay's performance, likely because he's a robot.
Stephen Strasburg gave up a couple of runs, one courtesy of a triple by some guy named Jose Reyes, and the Marlins beat the Nats 3-0 in Jupiter. With the Marlins visiting Port St. Lucie again on Sunday, it looks as if Reyes will not be in the lineup that day for the Fish.
Around the Majors
A pair of injured stars made their way back to the field in spring training games on Friday. Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright tossed two strong innings in his first action since having Tommy John surgery last year. Meanwhile, Giants catcher Buster Posey caught two innings and saw one at-bat in his return from the nasty collision with Marlins' OF Scott Cousins that ended his season in May.
It wasn't all rainbows and smiles for the Cardinals, however, as their other ace Chris Carpenter has been sent back to St. Louis to be evaluated, as he is suffering from neck stiffness. With Carpenter's spring training debut pushed back, it looks as if his status for Opening Day is currently up in the air.
Some sad news from the field of umpiring, as longtime umpire Harry Wendelstedt passed away on Friday at the age of 73. Wendelstedt's son Hunter has been a major league umpire since 1998.
There was a scary moment for the Orioles on Friday, as outfielder Nolan Reimold was hit in the side of the head by a pitch from the Rays' Alex Torres and had to be carted off the field. Reimold was able to flip over and stand up briefly before being carted off.
Yankees reliever David Robertson has suffered a dreaded bone bruise after falling down the stairs in his home. The righty is wearing a boot on his ankle but the Yankees think he'll be ready for Opening Day.
Marc Hulet of Fangraphs ranked the 30 teams' minor league systems and the Mets placed almost squarely in the middle of the pack at #16.
Finally, Ben Duronio examined the tendency of pitchers' first pitch immediately after a mound visit. The idea for the piece was based on Phillies' broadcaster Gary Matthews Sr's assertion that fastballs are almost always the next pitch thrown after a mound visit.