Get excited for swag contests and today's links:
Around Port St. Lucie
The Mets were shutout 8-0 by Wandy Rodriguez and the Astros yesterday. Mike Pelfrey gave up six runs on ten hits in 4.2 innings. Bobby Kielty was the hitting "star", going 1-for-2 with two walks. Darren O'Day added a perfect inning, and probably has a roster spot locked up.
Today's game is at 1:10 vs. the Tigers, with Oliver Perez on the hill. Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, and Brian Schneider are expected to play.
Livan Hernandez will almost certainly be the #5 starter and Freddy Garcia will start the season in AAA Buffalo or extended spring training. Garcia apparently had a change of heart about his pseudo-demand to pitch in the majors, as David Lennon at Newsday reports. No surprise here, and hopefully El Duque's half-brother can carry his strong spring training performance into the regular season.
Marty Noble says we should be cautious about Daniel Murphy:
Nothing Murphy has done to this point is indicative of his being a quality hitter for an extended period. He very well may be, but he has 131 at-bats. The Mets -- Jerry Manuel, in particular -- see him as special. And he very well may prove to be that. But there are no guarantees and no real evidence.
I have to agree. While Noble's analysis usually leaves a lot to be desired, his reporting and writing in general are pretty decent. It's not easy being a beat writer and I give him credit for what he does.
Andrew Vazzano at The ‘Ropolitans thinks Frank the Closer went a little overboard answering a question about his 4-out saves in the WBC.
For $7.99, I just might buy an Endy Chavez shirt. It'll make a nice addition to my Endy bobblehead and framed picture of "The Catch."
Around the NL East
Federal Baseball interviewed Sports Illustrated writer Lee Jenkins, who profiled wunderkind college pitcher Stephen Strasburg in this week's issue.
Phillies Nation says that Cole Hamels threw 48 pitches in a minor-league game, and should be ready to pitch by April 10th.
Javier Vazquez gave up 1 run and struck out 6 in 5.2 innings, but the Braves still lost to the Pirates 5-2.
Ken Rosenthal writes that the Dodgers "continue to balk at Pedro Martinez's $5MM asking price." I'd bet that Pedro ends up in L.A. for less than $5 million, completing a nice little offseason for Ned Colletti and the Dodgers.
Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd, member of the 1986 Red Sox, is attempting a comeback and may pitch for a semi-pro team. Oil Can is pushing 50 years old, and has one of the best nicknames ever.
Heath Bell was so determined to get to Padres camp after the U.S. was eliminated from the WBC that he chartered a Lincoln Town Car to shuttle him five hours from L.A. to Peoria, Arizona. Along the way, he and his driver stopped for some Del Taco, and he arrived in camp at 4:30 AM. Between this and his affinity for Wii Fit, it's safe to see Bell is a little out there.
Looking to shave some years off your life? Then add this to your diet, which will be served at West Michigan Whitecaps games this season. That's ~5000 calories of deliciousness (cue LOUtheMETfan's food pictures).