Meet the Mets
The Mets fell to the Marlins 7-5 in Jupiter yesterday, as Jenrry Mejia got lit up in the first inning of his first spring start. The righty gave up 5 runs in the first, four of them on a Casey Kotchman grand slam. It's still early in spring training but curse you, Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya! The organization is unsure what to do with Mejia, whose fastball has lost the natural cut it had three years ago. For now, Mejia will be considered a backup option along with Collin McHugh and Jeremy Hefner.
The Mets take on the Cardinals at 1 PM this afternoon at Tradition Field and you can catch the action locally on SNY. Zack Wheeler gets the start for the Mets. YAY!
In injury news, Ruben Tejada's quad seems to be okay and the shortstop will return to action today. In worse news, minor league righty Erik Goeddel was struck on the left side of the face with a ball and may need surgery.
Dan Warthen says that according to an organizational pitch tracking program, Zack Wheeler's stuff may be better than Stephen Strasburg's. That's some high praise. Meanwhile, a scout says that Matt den Dekker is a Gold Glove caliber center fielder. Now if only the man could stop striking out.
Jon Niese is aiming to make the NL all-star team this year.
Travis d'Arnaud's bat is making an early splash, while righty pitching prospect Cory Mazzoni has stood out early on in camp. The former 2nd round pick has thrown 5 shutout innings and showcased a good mix of stuff and command.
Around the Majors
At Baseball Prospectus, former major leaguer Eric Knott writes about surviving professional baseball during the steroid era. Knott was a fringe player who spent 11 years in the minor leagues, while only tossing 24 big league innings over his career.
Bobby Valentine was introduced as Sacred Heart's athletic director and naturally had things to say about his stint as the manager of the Red Sox (because he's Bobby Valentine and why wouldn't he have things to say).
Josh Booty won MLB Network's "The Next Knuckler" reality show, landing him a non-roster invitation to Diamondbacks' camp as a knuckleballer. But there's a catch: Booty is actually Marlins' property because he was drafted by them and played in the big leagues with them from 1996 to 1998 before retiring to play college football.
Jon Morosi is not buying that Phillies are dead.
Yesterday At AA
Chris McShane has a video of Erik Goeddel tossing a bullpen session before he was hit in the face.
David Moseder looks back at February 26th in Mets' history.