Meet the Mets
Ugh. It was one of those news days, but let's dive right in.
As reported pretty much everywhere by now, Mets incumbent LOOGY Tim Byrdak will miss a month plus with a torn meniscus in his knee. This isn't that big a deal, as the Mets have a few interesting lefty arms bouncing around camp, and the replacement bar there isn't that high, though his bowling team is probably out of luck. I am going to miss Byrdak, too, both for his amusing antics, and his ability to get tough lefties out.
One of the candidates to replace Byrdak is Josh Edgin, who split last year between Savannah and St. Lucie, but nonetheless is now in major league camp. Kudos to Toby Hyde for his aggressive #19 ranking for Edgin on his Mets prospect list. Looks like Edgin might be in the bigs sooner rather than later, though I imagine he is third or so on the LOOGY depth chart right now. Toby also took a look at what Edgin and fellow lefty Robert Carson might have to offer in the near future. Also, don't miss that incredibly depressing David Wright line graph!
Over at *sigh* Grantland, Jonah Keri's season preview series has finally meandered its way to Queens. The outlook is...cloudy. I like Keri's stuff a lot, and the preview is quite fair, but somehow I always feel a bit queasy about linking to that site.
Sadly, you can add an arrest to all the injuries this Spring, as bullpen catcher Eric Langill was arrested for DUI after he crashed his car coming home from the Mets bowling outing. Andy McCullough has all the details over at the Star-Ledger.
In better news, there was an actual Spring Training game yesterday, and it featured the return of Lucas Duda and Danny Herrera from back injuries. Duda had the big blast of the game, a grand slam home run, but the Mets could only manage a 7-7 tie. You can probably blame Wilmer Flores for that. Herrera added a scoreless inning of work as well. And Ted Berg brings you some BBQ-flavored game notes from the action in Lakeland.
The *sigh* Cardinals come to town today and Carlos Beltran will be there. Plus, Mike Pelfrey will be pitching. So there's two reasons to tune in. The Pelfrey apologias keep coming as Patrick Flood joins the chorus. Great piece, but I concur with the Cannonlaser. Meanwhile, Tedquarters has an appropriate over/under for this whole discussion.
There's some more good news down on the farm, as Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus has ranked the Mets system 17th. And yes, that is cause for some minor celebration. And over at FanGraphs, Marc Hulet has posted his Top 100 list and I am pretty sure that is the highest I have seen all three of the Mets big arms. To be fair, I think he actually has all three guys varying degrees of high, Familia especially. And I love Familia.
We wrap up our Mets links with, what else, legal manuverings. As the Madoff trial draws nearer, there's the usual pre-trial rigamarole. However, most pre-trial motions don't involve barring a Hall of Famer from testifying. Howard Megdal has a wrap-up of all the courtroom wrangling over at Capital New York.
Around the NL East
Lots of news around the division yesterday. We'll start in Atlanta where there is a position battle raging at shortstop maybe. Now, I don't think Pastornicky is going to go to any all-star games, but he'll probably be a decent regular right now, and he's young enough where he could still improve and be an above-average MLB shortstop. Andrelton Simmons is the better prospect, but hasn't played above the FREAKING CAROLINA LEAGUE. In short, the Braves should totally start the crazy raw (and older) Simmons over the polished but unexciting Pastornicky because of 26 spring training at bats. Do it Fredi!
Moving over to our nation's capital, the Nationals will make sure you won't be asking, "Where's the beef?" this year. I eagerly await Ted Berg's review of this behemoth from whatever hospital bed he ends up in after consuming it. And in Nationals' camp, Brad Lidge is saying some crazy things.
Like his team, Ozzie has some things he is working on this Spring. Gotta get in the reps now.
Tim Lincecum seems to have found the solution to his Spring doldrums. Or more likely it was just one good start for an all-star caliber pitcher rounding himself into shape. These games don't actually count yet, you guys.
The Giants' Hector Sanchez is making a run at the Cactus league King of Spring Training title. Adam Loewen continues his KOST crusade for the Mets, though factoring in position, I could see Mike Nickeas or Lucas May making a run at him.
As we mentioned yesterday, Chris Carpenter is probably going to miss Opening ay for the redbirds, that means everything is coming up Lance Lynn!
Consensus top pitching prospect Matt Moore will make his Spring debut for the Rays today, as he will toe the rubber against the Orioles. I just love watching Moore throw a baseball. Frightening stuff. Crazy great contract. Hate the Rays.
Finally, a melancholy farewell to Jimmy Wynn, one of the most underrated players in...wait a minute, he's not dead? Oh, Tommy Lasorda you scamp. But seriously folks, Wynn should probably be in the Hall of Fame, and Lasorda should work on the tweeting. Unless he was trying to get #RIPJimmyWynn trending facetiously. I hear that kind of thing is all the rage with the kids.