Meet the Mets
The Mets fell to the Nationals on Saturday by a score of 8-2. Unfortunately, everybody's favorite knuckleballer R.A. Dickey just did not have his signature pitch working and he allowed five runs on eight hits in just three innings of work. Interestingly enough, Dickey said after the game that this game was useful to "gather information". Hopefully that's what the offense was doing yesterday, as they managed just two runs on eight hits, while striking out 14 times against Nats pitching.
At 1 PM, the Mets will take on the Marlins at Digital Domain Park. Johan Santana takes the hill and he'll be opposed by Mark Buehrle (+1 for me for spelling his name correctly without looking!). The game will be broadcast live on PIX11, as well as on WFAN for you radio listeners.
Injuries continue to take their toll early on spring training and we've got a few updates to dole out for you from the infirmary:
- Lucas Duda is still out of the lineup with back stiffness. In some good news, he is taking part in the team's pre-game warmups.
- You can add Tim Byrdak and Kirk Nieuwenhuis to the list now. Byrdak has a sore knee, while Nieuwenhuis has the famed right oblique strain.
- David Wright is still dealing with his back stiffness or rib cage injury or whatever you want to call it. It looks like he won't play in a game for another week.
- Robert Carson is healthy and hoping to break camp with the big league club. He also threw an inning in yesterday's spring training game. Woohoo!
- Pedro Beato seems to have avoided major injury, as he's scheduled to pitch on Wednesday against the Tigers in Lakeland, according to Adam Rubin's upcoming pitching probables.
- Over at the Times, Andrew Keh has a nice profile of Reese Havens and how he's dealt with all of his injuries since joining the Mets organization. Hopefully he can get healthy soon and begin realize his immense potential in the big leagues.
Bobby Parnell is impressing people in Mets camp and it looks like he's in the lead for one of the team's final bullpen spots, along with Miguel Batista, according to Andy Martino. With no room left at the inn, the Mets may look to move D.J. Carrasco to another team. I'm not sure why but that makes me laugh.
It's spring training, so naturally there are plenty of player profiles to read. You want to read about bench players? in the Post, Mike Puma looks at outfielder Adam Loewen and so does Mike Kerwick for the Bergen Record. Meanwhile Anthony DiComo of Mets.com runs down Vinny Rottino's qualifications. Inside that one, Terry Collins gives a vote of confidence (well, sort of) to Rottino by saying "Vinny is an outfielder, basically". Andy McCullough has a Q&A with center fielder Andres Torres in which he talks about spring training, his time in San Francisco and his ADHD diagnosis, among other topics. McCullough also profiles hitting coach Dave Hudgens' approach to hitting.
In case you missed it, the Mets signed former 2006 2nd round pick Kevin Mulvey to a minor league deal. Mulvey will head to minor league camp and he seems like he's just organizational depth at this point. Toby Hyde uses this as an opportunity to look back at Mulvey's time as a prospect, as well as to examine why there's no such thing as a "safe pick" in the MLB draft. The team is also discussing the return of righty Chris Young, who's choosing between the Mets and the Padres.
Around the NL East
The Nationals were a split-squad yesterday, so while they were defeating the Mets in Viera, they ended up tying the Tigers 5-5 in 10 innings. Oh, spring training and your ties.
After waiting out the rain, the Marlins defeated the Cardinals behind 2 1/3 scoreless innings from Josh Johnson and an Omar Infante home run. Johnson is hoping that the Marlins will not hold him back in his return from injury.
Jair Jurrjens struggled with his command as he walked six batters in just 2 1/3 and the Braves fell to the Yankees 8-3 in Orlando. While the Braves have a plethora of young starting pitching, one of those pitchers, righty Arodys Vizcaino, hasn't pitched in over a week as an MRI showed some inflammation in his elbow.
The Phillies fell to the Orioles 1-0 as Joe Blanton and blast from the past Scott Elarton combined to throw seven solid innings in defeat. The 36-year old Elarton is a non-roster invitee to Phillies camp and hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2008.
Around the Majors
Yoenis Cespedes made his long awaited spring training debut for the A's and hit a home run in the fourth inning. No word on whether he roasted a pig in the clubhouse after the game.
Just eight days after having surgery on his eye, A.J. Burnett has already begun working out.
Rob Neyer took a look at the Mariners' wealth of pitching prospects for Baseball Nation. It's an outstanding crop of young pitching, though I still don't think I would've dealt both Michael Pineda and Doug Fister away.
At Beyond The Box Score, Jacob Peterson examines the correlation between the number of durable hitters on a team and how that compares to the team's record.