Meet the Mets
Johan Santana threw off a mound yesterday. The 20-pitch session marked the first time the Mets ace has toed the rubber since his ankle injury last summer. Collins expects Santana to see some Spring Training action in early March.
While Santana's spot on the 2013 Mets is all but assured, the hero of his 2012 no-hitter, Mike Baxter, will have to compete for a job. But really, given the current composition of the Mets outfield, I don't see how Baxter isn't starting in right field come Opening day. You know, assuming a right-handed pitcher is on themound.
Faith and Fear in Flushing celebrated its eighth anniversary this past weekend. Congratulations to Mssrs. Fry and Prince. And if you haven't already checked out Jason Fry chatting with our own Matthew Callan about Game 2 of the 2000 NLCS on the Replacement Players podcast, well shame on you.
LaTroy Hawkins is in Mets camp as a non-roster invitee this Spring, but many moons ago the righthander faced off against Michael Jordan. Doubt there's anyone still playing baseball who can say that.
Wrapping up our Mets news for the day, Roger Clemens: Still a jerk.
Yesterday at AA
Brock Mahan sent happy birthday wishes to the first Mets pitcher, Roger Craig.
And Chris McShane suggested that Jose Valverde might be a good low-cost bullpen option for the Mets in 2013.
That baseball cap still looks awfully strange on him, but good to see R.A. Dickey still making people look silly with his knuckling knuckleball. Dickey be praised!
Matt Garza is no longer in the best shape of his life, as he strained an abdominal muscle during his first mound session of the year. Also probably not in the best shape of his life is Derek Jeter, but the Yankees captain insists he will be ready for Opening Day.
Matthew Kory of Sports on Earth takes a look at the Red Sox struggles to replace Nomar Garciaparra at shortstop since the famous 2004 deadline deal. Frankly, I'm fine with them starting Jose Iglesias every day, mostly because I'm an easy mark for 80 defense at shortstop.
And finally, check out Russell Carlton hopefully burying the Verducci Effect once and for all over at Baseball Prospectus.