Meet the Mets
The Mets fell by a score of 7-5 to the Braves on Tuesday afternoon. Chris Schwinden got the start in place of R.A. Dickey, who threw well on the minor league side instead, and Schwinden did not seem to have it. The righty allowed 4 runs over 2.1 innings, the bulk of that damage from a long three-run home run off the bat of Michael Bourn. That's right, he hits home runs. You know who else hits home runs? Lucas Duda. The Dude crushed his fourth bomb of the spring to left-center field in the second inning and he also made a very nice sliding catch coming in on a ball later on. The difference in this game came courtesy of Freddie Freeman's bat. He likes hitting home runs so much, he hit two off of Mets' relievers Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez. Not a great day for Mets' pitching but in better news, David Wright played his second game in a row without issue, while Jordany Valdespin started in center field and looked okay out there, as well as collecting a pair of hits.
Today's game features the Mets taking on the Nationals at Digital Domain Park. First pitch is at 1:10 PM and you'll get to see Jon Niese take on Jordan Zimmermann on SNY. Extra bonus: if I heard correctly yesterday, we even get the great privilege of Checking In With Kevin, as Gary will get the day off to go soak up the sun on the DDP right field berm.
As we get closer to Opening Day, it looks as if the roster spot battles in camp are quickly being narrowed down. What also helps is the positive injury news the Mets have received in the last few days. First, David Wright made his spring debut. Now, it looks as if Andres Torres and Scott Hairston should (knock on wood) be ready to go on April 5th, avoiding doomsday scenarios like "Now batting: the center fielder, Mike Baxter" (or worse, Jordany Valdespin or Mat den Dekker) to start the season. That's not all of the roster buzz out there, though, as Adam Rubin reports that Baxter will likely beat out Adam Loewen for the backup outfield gig, Mike NIckeas will be the team's backup catcher and Danny Herrera will be the lefty reliever while Tim Byrdak is on the mend.
Regarding lefty relief prospect Josh Edgin, Terry Collins admitted that it was unlikely he'd make the opening day roster, considering how large the jump from High A ball to the majors is and that Byrdak will likely only miss a few days. It's really nice when logic prevails.
One of the biggest stories on Tuesday was the release of some excerpts from R.A. Dickey's upcoming autobiography titled "Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball". In the excerpts, Dickey wrote about how he was sexually assaulted by a babysitter as a child, the day he found a syringe in the Texas Rangers' locker room and the conversation he had with Rangers' pitching coach Orel Hershiser before he became a full-time knuckleball pitcher.
Despite hearing otherwise for most of the spring, Andy Martino of the Daily News reports that according to team sources, the Mets plan to send right handed pitching prospects Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia to AAA Buffalo from the start of the season, as opposed to AA Binghamton. Fellow righty Zack Wheeler will begin at Binghamton, as previously thought.
Toby Hyde has some video of 20-year old flamethrower Domingo Tapia, who pitched for Kingsport last season and is likely to pitch his first full season in Savannah. Tapia can get his fastball up to 100 MPH at times with good sink and prospect guru Keith Law named him the organization's top sleeper back in February.
Howard Megdal is going position by position, breaking down the players of the NL East and yesterday, he started with the catchers in the division.
Around the Majors
The big news late on Tuesday evening was that the Dodgers have been sold to an investment group featuring former NBA'er Magic Johnson and former Braves/Nationals president Stan Kasten, among others, for a sum of $2.3 billion. Embattled owner Frank McCourt bought the team from FOX back in 2004 for a measly $371 million.
Regular season baseball started this morning. Did you watch it? At 6:10 AM, the Mariners and Atheletics kicked off the 2012 season in Japan at the Tokyo Dome, with Felix Hernandez taking on Brandon McCarthy.
If you're interested in reading a little more about the demise of former #1 overall pick Matt Bush, Yahoo Sports has an excellent in-depth look at his life history, upbringing, struggle with alcoholism and the events that may have led him to steal his roommate's SUV and take that fateful ride last week.
In spring training, the big question always seems to be "do spring training records really mean anything?". Well, at Beyond The Box Score, Lewie Pollis tries to figure out whether you should pull your hair out right now or not.