Meet the Mets
The Mets were off yesterday. They resume Grapefruit League action today with split squad games.
Zack Wheeler's agent spoke about the handling of the young pitcher over the course of last season. He said that he had no qualms with the Mets' and that every decision that was made was made with the consultation of medical professionals. Meanwhile, Marc Carig reported that Wheeler was also dealing with a torn tendon in his elbow.
Stephania Bell writes for ESPN that David Wright's shoulder is looking better. She pointed to Wright's massive homerun from the other day as evidence that his rest and rehab had done the job.
Dan Martin wrote about new hitting coach Kevin Long for the New York Post. Mets' players, especially some of the veterans, are taking to his instruction methods this spring.
Tim Rohan wrote about the preponderance of beards among Mets players this spring training for the New York Times. Of note is that the Mets are now allowing minor league players to grow beards for the first time in ten years, as such, some players including Noah Syndergaard and Cody Satterwhite have embraced facial hair.
Around the NL East
The Nationals have had several surprise performers this spring. Tony Gwynn Jr., Dan Uggla, and Clint Robinson are three such names who have made cases to make the Opening Day roster.
The Braves lost a Grapefruit League matchup to the Yankees by a score of 12-5. Mike Foltynewicz started for the Braves and allowed one run over 2.2 innings. Kelly Johnson added a homerun for Atlanta.
The Red Sox may be coming around to the idea of dealing for Cole Hamels, and that is a good thing according to John Stolnis who hopes to see a deal made. However, he still believes the Phillies should be willing to eat some of his salary in order to get back the best possible prospect.
The Marlins are close to extending young outfielder Christian Yelich. The deal is reportededly for seven years and worth nearly $50 million.
As the pursuit of Cuban infielder Hector Olivera continues, details about the offers he has received are coming to light. The Braves have reportedly offered four years, while others have gone to five years.
The Orioles are "open to trading" left-handed pitcher Brian Matusz. The Mets have been reportedly scouting the reliever.
Scott Boras took issue with the Cubs' handling of star prospect Kris Bryant and General Manager Theo Epstein responded. Epstein stated that the handling of Bryant will be decided upon only by those within the organization. It is likely that Bryant will head to Triple-A for the beginning of the season.
The New Britain Rock Cats of the Eastern League are moving to Hartford and are changing their name. The team held a poll to determine the name and the winner is the Yard Goats.
Yesterday at AA
Matt Varvaro wants the Mets to hold a competition for the fifth starter spot between Dillon Gee and Rafael Montero. He points to Montero's youth and higher upside as reason enough to give him the opportunity, rather than just hand the role to Gee.
Rob Castellano examines Zack Wheeler's usage to try to make sense of his elbow injury. He concludes that some pitchers just get hurt no matter what.
Chris McShane wonders if reducing the number of warm-up pitches before an inning could help to curb the Tommy John epidemic. He estimates that a starting pitcher will throw 1,440 pitches in in-game warm-ups over the course of a 30 start season.
This Date in Mets History
March 19 is a bad day in Mets history for pitching as two members of "Generation K" experienced problems on this date. In 1996, Bill Pulsipher received an MRI on his elbow and would go on to miss the rest of the season. Three years later, Paul Wilson tore a ligament in his elbow that would ultimately require Tommy John.