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Mets Morning News: Mets win first Grapefruit League game

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Your Thursday morning dose of Mets and Major League Baseball news, notes, and links.

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Meet the Mets

The Mets kicked off Grapefruit League play with an 8-2 win over the Atlanta Braves. Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a big day with four hits. Dillon Gee started and pitched two innings.

Billy Bean responded to Daniel Murphy's about his disapproval of Bean's "lifestyle." Bean said he respects Murphy's telling the truth and notes that he must be patient in the fight for inclusion.

David Schoenfield wrote about the Mets' use of the shift for Zack Wheeler in wake of Wheeler's comments regarding his distaste for shifting. He notes Wheeler's high ground ball rates but concludes that it is probably worth it for management to listen to him if it makes him more comfortable on the mound.

Lucas Duda swung off of a tee for the first time in three weeks. He has been sidelined with an injured intercostal muscle.

Around the NL East

Nationals manager Matt Williams isn't worried about the new pace-of-play rules. He believes it will take some time, but ultimately the players and coaches will get used to them.

Mike Minor was scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday due to shoulder problems. He missed time last season with shoulder problems as well.

At Fish Stripes, Jarrett Cowgill wrote about Marlins' prospects in terms of their ceilings and floors. He concludes that the team boasts a good mix of high and low ceiling players.

The Phillies won their first Grapefruit League game against the Yankees 3-1. While at The Good Phight, Justin Klugh notes that Ryan Howard is receiving a lot of positive news this spring training.

Around the Major Leagues

Alex Rodriguez got a hit in his first at-bat as he returns to the Yankees. While the Yankees announced Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to make his first Grapefruit League start on March 12. Tanaka elected last season to rehab his elbow, rather than undergo Tommy John Surgery.

Craig Calcaterra wrote about the way in which athletes interact with reporters. He feels athletes aren't obligated to be polite to reporters, and reporters shouldn't hold that against them in their writing.

Joel Hanrahan will have his second Tommy John Surgery. Craig Calcaterra wondered who will pay for the operation now that he has been released. It is expected that the Tigers will foot the bill.

David Kagan examined the physics of going first to third for The Hardball Times. He finds that baserunners instinctively tend to find the best path when rounding second base.

Yesterday at AA

Season previews continued as Andrew Felper examined John Mayberry Jr. and his pinch hitting prowess, and Jeffrey Litt wrote about Matt den Dekker's shot of making the team out of spring training.

Loic Oumier considered what the Mets could reasonably get in a trade for catching prospect Kevin Plawecki. Specifically, he examined situations in which the Mets make a deal with the Twins, White Sox, and Cardinals.

Today in Mets History

Happy birthday to former Met Mike Hessman! Hessman appeared in 32 games for the Mets in 2010, but is better known for his prodigious minor league home run total.