February 2013

Is David Wright the Mets’ best option at leadoff?

Let me preface this by saying I don’t believe it will ever happen — at least not under current manager Terry Collins, who is typically conservative with his lineup construction. Today’s lead story on Mets.com breaks down the actual candidates for the job.

But sabermetricians have argued for years that a team’s best on-base threat should bat leadoff, and David Wright is clearly that for the Mets. Hitting Wright first in the lineup would guarantee him a few dozen extra at-bats over the course of the season.

“I see it,” Wright said of that argument. “But there’s also probably more likelihood that if you’re hitting three or four, you get more at-bats over the course of the season with runners in scoring position. If you tinker with something, you’ve got to give up something.”

Wright, who actually led the Mets with 15 stolen bases last season, also argued that batting directly after the pitcher’s spot would hurt his run production during the middle innings. But he concluded that “if [Collins] wants to hit me leadoff, I’ll hit leadoff.”

Don’t worry, David. It ain’t likely to happen anytime soon.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

The scene: Space Coast Stadium at twilight

Mets vs. Nationals, baseball as it should be:

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See more Spring Training pictures on my Instagram account.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Beltran returns; Wheeler does not

The last time Carlos Beltran addressed the media at Tradition Field, he spoke about Jon Niese’s nose job and his own decision to sign with the Cardinals.

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He made the trip again Wednesday, in a game that was supposed to pit him against Zack Wheeler until the latter suffered a minor oblique injury. Instead, Beltran talked about…

The pressures of signing a multi-year mega-deal, as he did in 2005 and David Wright did this winter:“Sometimes you really want to do more than to help the team because you feel like it’s on your shoulders. But with David I believe it’s going to be a little bit different. He’s been with the organization for a long time, so there’s nothing he needs to change. There is nobody he needs to impress. So he just needs to go out there and play the game.”

His own career renaissance with a playoff contender: “What really has rejuvenated me is being healthy. When you’re healthy, you’re playing games, you’re competing, it keeps me going. And of course the opportunity of playing in meaningful games in October has always helped. I was very happy to have the opportunity to play in the playoffs again, and it was fun. Even though we lost, for me, it was a good experience.”

The trade that sent him to San Francisco in exchange for Wheeler:“It worked out better for them, because I thought I was going to go to the playoffs and it didn’t happen. But it is what it is. I took the chance of going to a team that was fighting for a playoff spot and it didn’t work out for me, but it worked out for the Mets.”

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Projecting the Opening Day roster, 2/26

Not much new this week, but I’ve removed Pedro Feliciano from the mix due to his cardiac issue and replaced him with Robert Carson, who is already on the 40-man roster. The result:

C : John Buck
1B: Ike Davis
2B: Daniel Murphy
SS: Ruben Tejada
3B: David Wright
OF: Lucas Duda
OF: Kirk Nieuwenhuis
OF: Marlon Byrd
Bench: Collin Cowgill
Bench: Mike Baxter
Bench: Justin Turner
Bench: Brandon Hicks
Bench: Anthony Recker

SP: Johan Santana
SP: Shaun Marcum
SP: Jon Niese
SP: Matt Harvey
SP: Dillon Gee
RP: Bobby Parnell (CL)
RP: Brandon Lyon
RP: Scott Atchison
RP: LaTroy Hawkins
RP: Josh Edgin
RP: Greg Burke
RP: Robert Carson

DL: Frank Francisco

In the running: C Landon Powell, 1B Josh Satin, INF Zach Lutz, INF Brian Bixler, INF/OF Jordany Valdespin, OF Andrew Brown, OF Matt den Dekker, RHP Jenrry Mejia, RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Collin McHugh, RHP Elvin Ramirez, RHP Carlos Torres, LHP Aaron Laffey, LHP Pedro Feliciano, LHP Darin Gorski.

Video: Matt den Dekker’s ridiculous catch

Some scouts consider Matt den Dekker the best defensive outfielder in the minor leagues today. Here’s an example of why, from last night’s game against the Nationals:

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The scene: Noah Syndergaard’s first bullpen with the Mets

Top prospect Noah Syndergaard made his debut on Tradition Field’s back mounds Sunday, throwing his first bullpen session since the Mets traded R.A. Dickey to acquire him in a seven-player megadeal.

His parents, not surprisingly two of his biggest fans, were on hand to watch.


Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

The scene: Zack Wheeler’s debut

Mets 5, Nationals 3 at Tradition Field:

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When will Johan make his season debut?

There seems to be plenty of opinions on when Johan Santana will make his 2013 season debut, now that the Mets are delaying his spring training schedule by more than a week. So I pose the question to you: when will Santana debut?


Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets play Mets in intrasquad game; Mets win

Here’s the box score from today’s intrasquad game between the Mets and, uh, the Mets:

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TEAM GREY
Player AB-R-H-RBI

Juan Lagares, lf 3-1-1-1
Matt den Dekker, cf 3-0-1-0
Mike Baxter, rf 1-2-1-0
Zach Lutz, 3b 3-1-2-1
Wilmer Flores, 2b 2-1-1-4
Josh Satin, 1b 3-1-1-0
Travis d’Arnaud, dh 3-0-0-0
Juan Centeno, c 2-0-2-1
Wilfredo Tovar, ss 2-0-1-0

2B: Baxter
HR: Flores
SB: Lutz
HBP: Baxter 2
SF: Flores

Pitcher IP-H-R-ER-BB-K
Gonzalez Germen 2-3-1-1-2-2
Brandon Lyon 1-1-1-1-0-0
Scott Rice 1-0-0-0-0-0
Elvin Ramirez 1-1-0-0-0-0

TEAM “METS”
Player AB-R-H-RBI

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, cf 2-0-0-0
Jordany Valdespin, 2b 3-2-2-1
Collin Cowgill, dh 3-0-0-0
Brandon Hicks, 1b 2-0-1-1
Brian Bixler, 3b 2-0-0-0
Andrew Brown, lf 2-0-1-0
Omar Quintanilla, ss 2-0-1-0
Cesar Puello, rf 1-0-0-0
Anthony Recker, c 1-0-0-0
Landon Powell, c 1-0-0-0

2B: Hicks
HR: Valdespin

Pitcher IP-H-R-ER-BB-K
Collin McHugh 1.2-3-0-0-0-3
LaTroy Hawkins 0.2-5-5-5-0-0
Robert Carson 1-0-0-0-0-1
Greg Burke 1-2-1-1-0-0

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

John Buck hoping to be more than d’Arnaud’s caddy

Here’s a shot of John Buck at Mets camp, where he impressed some pitchers with his arm during fielding drills. “Bazooka Buck” was one pitcher’s nickname for him.

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More important for the Mets will be Buck’s ability to handle the pitching staff, despite looking over his shoulder at Travis d’Arnaud.

A reminder that you can see plenty more pictures from spring training on my Instagram account.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

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