Once again, let's start with the minor league action that took place on the major league side on Sunday and there was a good amount of it.
Like pulling a band-aid, let's waste no time and discuss Matt Harvey's...effort. With the regular season approaching, Terry decided to start the top prospect rather than let a division rival get a look at Dillon Gee -- who started on the minor league side. For Harvey that meant an interesting opportunity to take his very first crack at a legit major league lineup. And unfortunately -- as he'd later admit -- excitement got the best of him.
Harvey lasted just a single inning, allowing five earned on seven hits. In fact, after just four pitches he'd already allowed a homer and two doubles. In all he'd give up three home runs, though according to the Mets radio broadcast two of them were likely wind-aided. All except for Jayson's Werth's apparent monster shot that left the stadium and actually hit his own truck, which for some reason is awesome. Despite a target of 90 pitches, Harvey would throw just 43 -- 38 for strikes -- on the day. He's close but obviously he's still got a little seasoning left. Oh well.
In the continuing center field drama, Jordany Valdespin made his first career start at the position and made three put-outs; he went 0-for-3 at the plate. However, in 37 spring ab's he's still batting .297 with a homer, two stolen bases, three walks and five K's. Before this game he was one of three players in camping batting .300 and one of only two with a .500+ SLG. His dynamic offensive skill set is undeniable but with reports that in the absence of Andres Torres the Mets want a natural center fielder in tow, there's still little chance he makes the club. But expect to see a good amount of him in some capacity this summer in Queens.
Cue natural center fielder Matt den Dekker, who also played in this game. He spelled Valdespin in the 7th and he too went hitless. However, that's more of an issue for MDD who's batting .130 over 23 spring at bats with two extra-base hits, a stolen base, five walks and six K's. The patience is a pleasant surprise but he's just looked overmatched, far more so than say Valdespin. Though that is to be expected as den Dekker only just got his first taste of Double-A in 2011. With each day that passes there's a better shot that he makes this club on his defensive prowess alone, but there's little question that he'll be eaten alive by major league pitching right now.
Additionally, a few more notable minor league necomers appeared in this one. Former Cubs flamethrower RHP Jeff Stevens pitched a scoreless frame, his second of the spring. Former Mariners infielders Sean Kazmar and Matt Tuiasosopo were both fruitless in their pinch-hitting efforts. Same goes for 2010 surprise Allan Dykstra.
Now to the actual minor league action:
NEW ORLEANS 1, BUFFALO 1 (wrap)
The Bisons benefited from six scoreless innings from Dillon Gee in this one. He allowed five hits, struck out four Zephyrs and walked none. The lone offense came from a Josh Satin RBI double; he went 1-for-3 in the game. For a Mets club looking to make space on the 40-man roster, suddenly there's some chatter that Satin might be the odd man out. I doubt it but you never know. The winless Bisons moved their spring record to 0-3-3 with the tie.
JACKSONVILLE 2, BINGHAMTON 0
Two runs in the top of the fourth inning were all the Suns needed to defeat the B-Mets in a game shortened to five innings due to rain. The B-Mets collected six hits over five innings and had at least one runner in scoring position in each frame. Outfielder Pedro Zapata led the offense with a pair of singles.
Left-hander Garrett Olson and righty Gonzalez Germen saw time on the mound for the Double-A Mets.Unfortunately, Olson was hit on the pitching hand with a comebacker. The good news is that X-rays were negative but stay tuned.
METS (A) 4, MARLINS (A) 1
In another rain-shortened affair from Sunday, 2011 second rounder Cory Mazzoni was the story. Mazzoni didn't allow an earned run over all five innings in this one.