Meet the Mets
Johan Santana pitched. On a mound. During a real, live Major League spring training game that took place in front of fans. This is an exciting first step in the looming return of the Mets' ace. Johan threw two scoreless innings against the Cardinals, while allowing just a hit and a walk and the Mets beat St. Louis 8-6 at Digital Domain Park. His fastball sat 87-88 and touched 90 once, a very good sign on March 6th, and he even broke off a couple of impressive changeups. R.A. Dickey tossed a pair of sharp innings with two strikeouts, pitching prospect Jeurys Familia served up a grand slam and Andres Torres had a big bases clearing triple. 2011 first rounder Brandon Nimmo even received two plate appearances, drawing a walk (insert Moneyball joke here) and grounding out sharply to third.
In Kissimmee, the other squad of Mets weren't as lucky, as they fell to the Astros 4-1. AA favorite Josh Satin knocked in the only run for New York and righty Chris Schwinden got knocked around for 3 runs in his two innings of work. Daniel Murphy also made a throwing error on the back end of a double play.
There was still some injury news to report on Tuesday. During the game against the Cardinals, Pedro Beato left the field before the start of his second inning of work clutching his shoulder and it looks like he's just got some shoulder stiffness. Hopefully it's nothing more than that. Meanwhile, David Wright will sit out of spring games until next week as a precaution as he recovers from his rib cage injury.
Mike Kerwick, who is taking over for Steve Popper as the Mets' Bergen Record beat writer this season, writes about Dillon Gee's offseason and how he decided that he needs to get back to using his changeup more often. For what it's worth, his changeup looked pretty good in his outing on Monday, so here's hoping it'll work for him all season.
In case you missed it on Monday, Scott Boras made some interesting comments about big market teams not spending money and many members of the media took this as a jab at the Mets. On Tuesday, Boras didn't back down from his comments but said he wasn't singling out the Mets. Furthermore, Boras then texted his BFF Jeff Wilpon to like so totally say that this whole thing was a big misunderstanding and that his comments were misconstrued. Sandy Alderson responded to Boras' comments during an appearance on Steve Phillips' SiriusXM show.
Sad news from Mets minor league camp, as 2007 2nd round draft pick Brant Rustich has decided to officially hang up his spikes. Rustich, a hard throwing righthander drafted out of UCLA, had trouble staying on the field as a professional. Most recently, he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, which causes pain and numbness in his fingers and arm and served to keep him off the mound in 2011.
Around the NL East
The Braves and the Nationals faced off in Orlando yesterday and the Nats won the game 5-2. Gio Gonzalez threw three scoreless for Washington and Jayson Werth homered, while Dan Uggla had an RBI double for the Braves. Chipper Jones is struggling with injuries once again, as the veteran third baseman will miss his fourth straight game today.
The Marlins played their first game at their new home ballpark in Miami and they squeaked past the University of Miami 7-6. Hanley Ramirez hit the first unofficial Marlins home run in the park, while some shortstop named Jose Reyes went 0-3.
Around the Majors
Do you know what a "squatchee" is? No? Well, I didn't either until a few minutes ago (and by the time you're reading this, likely a few hours ago) but a squatchee is that round button on the top of a baseball cap. According to Paul Lukas of Uni Watch, actual squatchees have been added on the top of batting helmets this year, as opposed to the flat, colored dot that long served as a faux squatchee. You see...you really do learn something new everyday!
Former Mariners and Tigers infielder Carlos Guillen announced his retirement after 14 big league seasons. Guillen, once a key prospect in the Randy Johnson to Houston trade back in 1998 (along with Freddy Garcia), was in camp on a minor league deal with the Mariners.
Former Mets uber-prospect Fernando Martinez is getting his second shot with the Astros and he's ready to take advantage of it. Obviously, whether he does or not will depend on whether he can stay on the field all season. Good luck to F!. It's a shame things ended so sadly for him in New York.
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira injured his thumb after some invisible man ran into him at first base. I knew MLB shouldn't have let that New Zealand Rugby Footballer play baseball!