You can call him Mike "Slugger" Nickeas.
Meet the Mets
Josh Thole hit his second triple of the spring, Mike Nickeas showed off some surprising power with a two-run home run and the Mets had the lead headed into the ninth but Manny Acosta decided to go all Acostalypse on the last inning and they fell to the Marlins 6-5 on Saturday. Yeah, that's right. Thole really hit a triple and Nickeas really hit a home run. It's totally not an April Fools joke, everybody. Miguel Batista started for the Mets and was pretty Miguel Batista-y, allowing a run over two innings. Anybody else kind of wish that his addition to the big league roster was an April Fools joke? The bullpen was not all that impressive as Frank Francisco and Acosta were very hittable in their outings. On the positive side, Ramon Ramirez and Jon Rauch combined for three scoreless innings. It's still way too early to judge the team's offseason pen acquisitions but a little concern seems to be a valid emotion at this stage of spring training.
The Mets take on the Tigers today at 1:10 PM and luckily, the game is at Digital Domain Park, meaning that you'll get to see all of the action on PIX11! Even better, R.A. Dickey takes the hill against somebody named Thad Weber. Want to know the best news? Word is that SNY has decided to clone Kevin Burkhardt, meaning that they will feature an all-KB booth for the first time tomorrow. The Kevin clones will do play-by-play, color commentary and sideline reports, so you'll be able to Check In With Kevin for every inning of all 162 games forever and ever!
Johan Santana threw his simulated game on Saturday without a hitch and it looks like the Mets plan to make their rotation official sometime today, as long as Santana feels okay. Assuming the best with Johan, he'll be making his return to the big leagues on Thursday against the Braves! Meanwhile, Tim Byrdak appeared in a minor league game and threw an inning of relief.
The Mets played host to new Astros' owner Jim Crane on Saturday at Digital Domain Park, as they are hoping to convince the Astros to move into the complex. Houston's spring home is currently located in Kissimmee, about a two hour drive from St. Lucie. Having another team in the complex would be a help for the Mets, who have been relegated to playing the majority of their spring games against the Marlins, Nationals and Cardinals.
The assignments of players in the Mets' minor league system are beginning to roll in, though we have yet to learn of each team's full roster. Adam Rubin reported that 2011 1st rounder Brandon Nimmo will not break camp with Savannah as initially thought and will instead stick around in extended spring training in Port St. Lucie. Honestly, this doesn't seem to be a really big deal. He's so young, they might as well not risk it and just take it slow with him. Interestingly enough, 2011 supplemental round RHP Michael Fulmer will head to Savannah. Here are some other assignments:
- Zack Wheeler heads to Binghamton as expected, along with RHP Collin McHugh and CF Matt den Dekker. Adam Rubin says that the AA rotation should feature Wheeler, McHugh, lefty Darin Gorski, righty Greg Peavey and lefty Mark Cohoon.
- Darrell Ceciliani will start in center field at St. Lucie.
- 2011 5th rounder Jack Leathersich will be pitching in Savannah.
How about that Selfish Carlos Beltran, going out of his way to endorse and praise Mets' manager Terry Collins. Geez, that guy is just an awful dude who only cares about himself, right?
Around the Majors
Yankees' righty Michael Pineda is headed to the Disabled List with tendinitis in his right shoulder. Overall, it looks like the Yankees dodged a bullet here, considering there was no structural damage or surgery needed.
Think back a year, when the words "Ryota Igarashi is now warming up in the bullpen" caused Mets fans everywhere to smack their collective heads against walls and break things. We won't have to go through that again but Blue Jays fans are not so lucky. The Jays acquired Igarashi from the Pirates for a PTBNL or cash.
Oakland lefty Tom Milone tossed six perfect innings against their AAA affiliate in a rain shortened outing on Saturday.