March 2012

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/13

Injuries struck Mets camp again on Tuesday, with Ruben Tejada, Ronny Cedeno and D.J. Carrasco all suffering minor ones. All are day-to-day, but that did not stop Terry Collins from voicing his frustration over the rash of injuries to hit his players. You can view the comprehensive list in the previous post.

Tuesday also marked a return for Carlos Beltran, who made the short trip from Jupiter for his first appearance against the Mets. Beltran had some complimentary things to say about his former team, though he was coy when asked about paying for Jon Niese’s nose job.

Here’s Beltran sporting his St. Louis red:

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets injury report (as of 3/13)

Below are the 15 players who have missed time to due injuries suffered during Mets camp:

1B Ike Davis
Injury: Valley Fever diagnosis
Status: Monitoring situation but proceeding as if healthy

2B Reese Havens
Injury: Lower back soreness
Status: No timetable for return

3B David Wright
Injury: Left ribcage tightness
Status: Hopes to begin baseball activities this weekend

3B Zach Lutz
Injury: Left elbow soreness
Status: Returned to lineup 3/9

SS Ruben Tejada
Injury: Left groin strain
Status: Day-to-day

SS Ronny Cedeno
Injury: Tendinitis in both knees
Status: Day-to-day

OF Lucas Duda
Injury: Lower back stiffness
Status: Returned to lineup 3/12

OF Andres Torres
Injury: Right glute tightness
Status: Returned to lineup 3/11

OF Scott Hairston
Injury: Left oblique strain
Status: Has not begun baseball activities; no timetable

OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
Injury: Right oblique strain
Status: Day-to-day

RHP Pedro Beato
Injury: Right rotator cuff inflammation
Status: Scheduled to throw off flat ground Wednesday

RHP D.J. Carrasco
Injury: Twisted right ankle
Status: Day-to-day

LHP Tim Byrdak
Injury: Left knee meniscus tear
Status: Underwent surgery Tuesday, six-week recovery

LHP Daniel Herrera
Injury: Lower back tightness
Status: Day-to-day

LHP Robert Carson
Injury: Right oblique strain
Status: Returned to bullpen 3/11

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/12

Looks like colleague Paul Hagen had a busy day filling in for me from Lakeland, Fla. In addition to revealing that Tim Byrdak will undergo left knee surgery and David Wright has received a cortisone shot in his left ribcage, the Mets acknowledged that bullpen catcher Eric Langill was arrested for DUI. Oh, and Lucas Duda hit a grand slam.

In other words, just another day with the Mets.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

The leftover left-handers in Mets camp

Monday’s news that Tim Byrdak will undergo meniscus surgery on his left knee has left the Opening Day bullpen without an obvious left-handed option. Manager Terry Collins could choose to proceed with no lefty at all, not an entirely unorthodox strategy given Ramon Ramirez’s reasonably strong splits against left-handers. Doing so would also make room for all three of Bobby Parnell, D.J. Carrasco and Miguel Batista in the Opening Day bullpen.

But Collins tends to manage by the book, and the book says every bullpen should have at least one lefty. That leaves these candidates in much better standing than they were a few hours ago:

LHP Garrett Olson
Collins recently mentioned Olson’s name first when asked who among the lefty candidates behind Byrdak has looked most impressive in camp. Olson certainly has the pedigree, as a former sandwich-round Draft pick of the Orioles who only recently converted to relief. Olson is a classic fastball-curveball reliever, relying heavily on the latter pitch and generally faring well with it.

LHP Chuck James
The Mets brought James, another former starting pitcher, into camp in the hopes that his strong Minor League relief work in 2010 and 2011 could translate to the Majors. Though James offers little in the way of velocity, he creates enough separation with his changeup to rack up strikeouts with regularity.

LHP Daniel Herrera
If Herrera has an advantage over his competitors, it’s that the Mets have seen him before. But that may also work as a disadvantage, with some team officials skeptical that the undersized Herrera can succeed once hitters begin seeing him for the second and third time. His fastball is well below average.

LHP Robert Carson
It may be a pipe dream to think that Carson, who struggled in the Minors last year and has never pitched above Double-A, could be a productive Major League reliever at this point in his career. But the Mets love Carson’s stuff and potential, even if he may need some more seasoning in the Minors.

DARK HORSES…

LHP Josh Edgin
Though not technically in Major League camp, Edgin is coming off a standout Minor League season and has commanded Collins’ attention on more than one occasion this spring. A jump to the Majors is not out of the question if Edgin continues to perform.

LHP C.J. Nitkowski
Mets officials were impressed with Nitkowski’s tryout last week and may be more inclined to sign him now that Byrdak is hurt. But Nitkowski is also 38 years old, experimenting with a new sidearm delivery and has not pitched in the Major Leagues in seven years. He is far from a sure thing.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/11

Those looking for good news may want to close out this window now. The Mets revealed Sunday that David Wright has traveled back to New York for an examination and possible cortisone injection in his left ribcage. Details on his and Tim Byrdak’s injuries are available on MLB.com.

Some better news for Mets fans came courtesy Johan Santana, who allowed one unearned run over 2 2/3 innings in his second Grapefruit League start. Strong early, Santana struggled with his control in the third inning but still came away encouraged.

Finally, since the rain prevented me from taking any good shots during the game today, here’s a picture of a lizard who found his way into the press room and decided to chill upside-down on a ceiling panel:

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets injury report (as of 3/11)

Considering the sheer number of Mets injuries so far this spring, I thought it might be helpful to provide a comprehensive list. So without further ado:

Player: David Wright, 3B
Injury: Tightness, left ribcage
Timetable: Out until at least next weekend

Player: Lucas Duda, OF
Injury: Lower back stiffness
Timetable: Day to day

Player: Tim Byrdak, LHP
Injury: Left knee soreness
Timetable: Day to day

Player: Scott Hairston, OF
Injury: Left oblique strain
Timetable: Out until at least late March

Player: Pedro Beato, RHP
Injury: Right rotator cuff soreness
Timetable: Has not begun throwing

Player: Daniel Herrera, LHP
Injury: Lower back tightness
Timetable: Should return this week

Player: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF
Injury: Right oblique strain
Timetable: New diagnosis; timetable unclear

Player: Reese Havens, 2B
Injury: Lower back stiffness
Timetable: Day to day

The following three players have already made their returns, but are worth monitoring as well:

Player: Ike Davis, 1B
Injury: Valley Fever
Timetable: Playing now, but Mets monitoring for signs of fatigue

Player: Andres Torres, OF
Injury: Tightness, right glute
Timetable: Returned Sunday vs. Nationals

Player: Robert Carson, LHP
Injury: Right oblique strain
Timetable: Returned Sunday vs. Nationals

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

A stunning Space Coast sunset

Had to share this stunning view I stumbled upon while leaving Space Coast Stadium yesterday:

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/10

The news is trending poorly for David Wright, who will not appear in a Grapefruit League game until at least next weekend as he continues to recover from tightness in the left side of his ribcage. You can read the full report on Mets.com, along with some notes on Kevin Mulvey, Vinny Rottino and Robert Carson.

In the meantime, by popular demand, I tried to snap a picture of Jason Bay’s revamped stance as he took batting before today’s game. If you take a close look at his feet, you can see the difference in how open his stance has become.

Image

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/9

While Matt Harvey was busy mowing down Braves batters in a win over the Braves at Disney, I stayed behind in Port St. Lucie, where I caught up with several injured Mets and spoke to Jason Bay about his evolving batting stance. Click the links for details.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/8

It was all about Johan Santana again today at Mets camp, where the left-hander took another significant step by throwing a full bullpen session two days after his start. You can read about why that’s important here, and check out the pictures below:

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

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