The roster is set, Citi Field awaits MLB exhibition baseball, and the Phillies are making room for Gary Sheffield. Let's get right to it.
Around Port St. Lucie (not for much longer though)
The Mets defeated the Marlins 9-2 last night, with John Maine going 5 and 2/3rds and allowing both Marlin runs. The outing was Maine's last of his Grapefruit League season. Jonathan Malo hit an inside the park home run, and apparently is in Omar's sights for a late season utility role. JJ Putz pitched (that is a great alliteration), facing two batters, striking them both out, before leaving with an injured fingernail. The injury is reportedly not serious. Carlos Delgado, who is hitting over .500 this spring, went 3 for 3 with 1 RBI.
Omar has settled on this year's opening day roster, printing a ticket to Citi for Nick Evans, Bobby parnell, Brian Stokes, Sean Green, Darren O'Day, and the rest of the usual names. Evans will most likely be sent down when the team needs to make room for Livan Hernandez. The Mets reassigned Bobby Kielty and Elmer Dessens.
The Daily Stache highlights the career of mustachioed (great word) Jose Valentin, who recently refused an assignment at AAA.
In the Thanks, but No Thanks Department, Sports Illustrated has reportedly picked the Mets to win the 2009 World Series.
Gary Carter tells WFAN that he feels snubbed that the Mets chose Mike Piazza over him to catch Tom Seaver's ceremonial first pitch... twice. That is kind of cold, but Carter needs to just be quiet and manage his own team.
Here is a great video walkthrough of Citi Field along with a new take on Talking Baseball. I love it, it's making me anxious to get my opening day tickets. I wonder what they smell like...
Around the NL East
The Phillies have released outfielder Geoff Jenkins in what appears to be a move to make room for newly released Gary Sheffield. Or maybe not. So long as we never, ever, ever have to hear about him in a Met uniform, I'm OK with him going to Philly.
Larry Jones has signed a three year extension with the Braves worth $32 million. This will probably keep Jones in Atlanta for the remainder of his career.
The Phillies have named Chan Ho Park as their fifth starter, with JA Happ possibly going to the bullpen. Brett Myers will be the opening day starter for the third consecutive year, while Cole Hamels is recovering from his minor injury.
The Nationals have taken a small step towards clearing their outfield logjam by releasing Willy Mo Pena.
The Marlins have parted ways with former Angel top prospect Dallas McPherson. The third baseman hit 42 home runs in AAA last year, but was only hitting .239 this spring.
Angels starting pitcher Joe Saunders is experiencing a dead arm, but is still expected to start opening day.
This is a great idea, and the Rays are quickly becoming my second favorite team. Replica rings for everyone! Too bad they're just AL championship rings. Philly, your move.
In Yankee news, longtime stadium announcer Bob Sheppard will miss the new Yankee Stadium exhibition openers with a bronchial infection. Also, Jonathan Albaladejo (that's the last time I'm ever spelling that name) has made the Yankee roster.
Former Met and current Red Jeff Keppinger has been traded to the Astros for a player to be named later.
Dave Winfield has joined ESPN's Baseball Tonight.