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Saturday Applesauce

I mentioned it yesterday, but Brandon Knight is making his first big league start tonight against the Cardinals in place of Pedro Martinez, who is on the bereavement list after the death of his father. Knight was out of baseball last season before his wife convinced him to take a spot pitching in the Independent League. The Mets signed him to a minor league deal in May and he has been dominant in five starts (eleven appearances overall), striking out 49 and walking just ten in 39.1 innings, notching a 1.60 ERA. Now, Triple-A isn't quite Quadruple-A (read: Tampa Bay pre-2008), which isn't quite the major leagues, but it's a good story and we all love good stories, right?

Ryan Church has begun light conditioning, but could still be a week or two away from returning. Jerry Manuel says Church will need upwards of seven rehab starts once he's ready to go, though Church is taking "the under" on that one. With the trade market thin and pricey, a Church return would be a huge addition to the Mets' offense. Names like Raul Ibanez and Casey Blake are out there and they'd definitely be upgrades over Chavez and Tatis, but would like cost at least a B-level prospect and the Mets don't have too many of those lying around. Larry Brooks at The Post has more on this.

Mark Hale on Mike Pelfrey's awesomeness.

Newsday's Jim Baumbach caught up with Dwight Gooden after an autograph show yesterday and god an update on where Doc is at right now. Something you may not have known: Gooden has six kids between the ages of 3 and 21.

Steve Popper at The Record takes a look at the Mets' Double-A team in Binghamton, where the Mets have started to stockpile a decent set of players. An interesting tidbit in the middle of the article: "GM Omar Minaya said Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro told him that he had the pieces to get C.C. Sabathia."

In case you missed it last night, the Yankees acquired Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte from the Pirates for four "prospects": Jose Tabata, George Kontos, Russ Ross Ohlendorf and Phil Coke. More coverage at Bucs Dugout and Pinstripe Alley.

As with any link dump, I encourage you to add your own links in the comments.