March 06, 2012; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana (57) on the mound in the first inning of the spring training game against the St Louis Cardinals at Digital Domain Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE
Meet the Mets
If you didn't see yesterday's game against the Tigers, you were probably one of the lucky ones. The offense was offensive, the defense was repulsive and the pitching? Well, let's just chalk this one up to the fact that it's only the middle of spring training and guys are still trying to get in shape for the season (I'm hanging onto that one as long as I can). The Tigers defeated the Mets 9-0 in Port St. Lucie and it was not a very interesting game to watch beyond the third inning, mainly because Johan Santana left after 2 2/3 innings. The line may look ugly, as Santana allowed 5 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks but a couple of those runs were let in by Bobby Parnell after Johan left the game. Also, the velocity readings were very promising, as he was hitting 89-90 pretty often and even threw a number of 91's and 92's (although Adam Rubin says that the SNY gun was hot). His command was a little shaky, especially in the third inning but let's not forget that he's working his way back. These are some very positive signs from Johan (knock on wood).
Your Saturday Morning Infirmary update:
- Ruben Tejada will miss a few more games with his groin strain but has been participating in team workouts and could potentially return to the lineup as early as tomorrow or Tuesday.
- We haven't heard much about Scott Hairston since he re-injured his oblique but the 2011 KOST is still hoping to go north with the team for Opening Day and wants to start swinging a bat next week.
- David Wright spent Thursday simulating baseball movements in the trainer's room. On the "Healthy to Injured" scale, that still sounds like injured to me but at least he's able to do something that resembles baseball.
The Mets made a bunch of cuts on Thursday, sending 13 players back to minor league camp, a group which included a number of the team's prospects. In case you are wondering why they were cut when they were, both Toby Hyde and Adam Rubin have the explanations. Toby also speculates as to why OF Cesar Puello was not among the initial cuts.
Over the offseason and early in spring training, Jon Niese has worked on putting batters away and becoming more aggressive. Hey, anything that helps bring that ERA down towards his superb FIP.
SNY.tv has a minor league report showcasing lefty relief prospect Josh Edgin. I still doubt he makes the big league team out of spring training, as the jump from Single A to the Majors is huge. However, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him reach the big leagues in the second half of the year, especially if he pitches like he did in 2011.
Speaking of lefty relievers, Dave Lennon reports that the Mets are still mulling over the medicals of lefty C.J. Nitkowski. Frankly, I have little interest in the results of this LOOGY competition. Also minor league depth signings, as the Mets inked SS Oswaldo Navarro to a minor league deal.
Around the NL East
The Phillies lost to the Pirates 3-2, as Cliff Lee tossed 4 2/3 innings and allowed a pair of bombs. The Phils also announced that they released lefty Dontrelle Willis, who'd signed a deal with the team earlier in the offseason. Want to hear more about Phillies vets on minor league deals? Juan Pierre and Scott Podsednik are fighting for the last outfield spot on the Phillies roster.
The Marlins were shut out by the Cardinals 5-0 on Friday and the injuries are starting to crop up for them. No, it's not that shorstop we all know.
Mike Giancarlo Stanton's wrist is better after he took a Chris Schwinden pitch off of it on Sunday but now his knee is inflamed. Meanwhile, Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison has a knee injury of his own that will sideline him for at least a week.
The Nats beat the Yankees 4-3, as Gio Gonzalez walked three and struck out six. It looks like they will be without righty Chien-Ming Wang, who will miss several weeks with a strained hamstring he suffered covering first base in Thursday's game.
Around the Majors
Josh Macciello, a "bidder" for the Dodgers, went on the radio and said that he's a billionaire who owns gold mines. Everybody believed his story and thought he'd be a great owner. Only here's the issue: he's a huge fraud. Really interesting stuff here from LA Weekly.
OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS! OF ALL THE DRAMATIC THINGS! ANDY PETTITTE IS BRIAN CASHMAN'S OFFICE AND ANDY PETTITTE IS BACK! So really, who saw this one coming? The lefty got a minor league deal with the Yankees worth $2.5 million to become like the 27th starting pitcher on their depth chart.
The YES Network's Jack Curry broke the Pettitte story yesteday, but ESPN did not give him credit for the scoop. So Curry took to Twitter, retweeting everyone who said nasty things about ESPN.
Chris Carpenter looked to be down for the count a few days ago but suddenly, the righty was healthy enough to throw a 30-pitch bullpen session and afterwards, said he "felt good".
Finally, Fangraphs looked at a few buy low candidates from the minor leagues. These guys are prospects who could bust out or are trapped behind a major leaguer.