Meet the Mets
If you watched Tuesday's 7-6 walk-off victory against the Yankees and found yourself wondering "what happened to the old Mike Pelfrey and can this one stick around forever?", well you were not alone. The enigmatic hurler tossed his second excellent start in a row, featuring a mid-90's fastball and swing and miss stuff that produced 5 strikeouts (by my count, 4 of them were swinging) over his four innings of work. The team's offense looked great early on, as they tagged Ivan Nova for 5 runs on 8 hits over just 2.2 innings. Unfortunately, Jon Niese relieved Pelfrey and ended up getting BABIP'd to death, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits over 1.2 innings but a Justin Turner RBI single tied it up in the bottom of the sixth and a long Ike Davis home run to center won it in the bottom of the ninth. The best news on Tuesday was that the Mets trotted out their entire starting lineup, healthy and ready to go on Thursday.
The Mets wrap up their 2012 Grapefruit League schedule this afternoon as they head to Tampa to take on the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field. Game time is at 12:05 PM and if you have the ability to stomach it, you can catch all of the action locally on the YES Network.
Remember a few weeks back when everybody was freaking out because THE METS CAN'T STAY HEALTHY AND THEY HAVE NO DEPTH?!?! Well, the depth still isn't great but suddenly, everybody who was injured is healthy for Opening Day. Tim Byrdak will be in the bullpen. So will Frank Francisco, while Andres Torres will be in center field and Scott Hairston on the bench. Of course, if you're a big D.J. Carrasco fan, you're sadly out of luck.
The Mets and Jon Niese continue to negotiate the terms of a contract extension, according to Andy Martino and they could finalize something before Thursday. Ken Davidoff, who in case you missed it is now writing for the New York Post, approves of the Niese extension, terming it "progress" in the Mets' universe.
At Citi Field, the team spent Tuesday unveiling the new blue outfield fences to the media. Along with the new fences, the club added a section of seats in left field between the old and new walls called the "Party City Party Deck". In case you can't wait to see what this all looks like on Thursday, Metsblog has a few pictures and some video of the entire wall.
Paul DePodesta chatted with Baseball Prospectus on Tuesday afternoon and guess which lucky guy snagged the first question of the session? There were a lot of great questions and Paul had plenty of answers, giving some great insight into the organizational plan for the future. Speaking of the minors, the team released their minor league roster assignments late last night and Adam Rubin has them all in one convenient post for you.
Finally, Howard Megdal continues his How The Mets Stack Up feature by looking at NL East Outfielders. You can probably guess but this one looks pretty ugly for the boys in Flushing, at least as long as Jason Bay continues to slug under .400.
Around the Majors
New Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey's career in Boston is off to a rough start. The oft-injured closer needs surgery to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb and he'll be out of action until the All-Star break.
The Nationals made a surprising move on Tuesday, demoting lefty John Lannan to AAA Syracuse and giving their 5th starter role to Ross Detwiler. Lannan, who makes $5 million this season, was thought to be the guy to replace Chien-Ming Wang in the rotation.
Oh, Dusty Baker. What are we ever going to do with you? The Reds have sent Aroldis Chapman back to the bullpen. Why? Well, it's not Chapman's fault. In fact, Baker says that Chapman is "a very good starter". The issue is that dominant lefty reliever Bill Bray apparently "is not ready to be a late-inning lefty right now." Huh?
Rangers' catcher Mike Napoli took some incredible video of yesterday's tornadoes in Texas from the dugout at the Rangers' stadium in Arlington.
Want to be a real-life baseball narc? In the new CBA, smokeless tobacco was outlawed in most settings where fans are present and MLB is enforcing this rule by asking fans to report players online.
Finally, if you were wondering about how that ginormous Joey Votto contract may work out down the line, Dave Cameron examined how players similar to Votto have performed from age 28-39. Surprisingly, the results look positive, though the sample is obviously small and doesn't account for any injuries, performance dropoffs and the like.