March 2013

David Wright scratched with sore ribs

You may have heard that Mets third baseman David Wright was scratched from tonight’s World Baseball Classic game due to sore ribs. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro was among the reporters who caught up to Wright in Miami. Here’s the Q&A:

How long have you felt discomfort?
“For about a week or so, I’ve had some discomfort in my rib area. Obviously, every time I go in and get treatment for something like that, the team finds out about it. Which is correct. I got a phone call today from our trainer, Ray [Ramirez]. He asked me what’s going on. Obviously, I told him that I wanted to play. I told him everything that was going on.”

Who made the decision to scratch you from the game?
“Every time I go into the training room, you end up on an injury report. The Mets see that. They decided, along with USA Baseball and Joe Torre, that it would be best that they pull me from the lineup today.”

When did the discomfort start?
“When we started training in Arizona. Tomorrow, I’m going to Port St. Lucie to see Mets team doctors. I’m optimistic that they will allow me to come back and re-join these guys. I wanted to play tonight. But I understand the decision that was made from the Mets and Team USA. I’m disappointed. I think that goes without saying, but I completely understand the direction that they’re going.”

How have you been coping until now?
“It was something I was able to manage. Showing up on an injury report a number of different times is when it set off some red flags in St. Lucie.”

“I didn’t go in there right away. This has been happening about a week. I started going in there recently.”

Is it an oblique issue?
“I don’t know what it is. It’s something in the rib area. So like I said, I saw the team doctor here. They’ve talked to the Mets doctors. That’s ultimately when they made the decision to shut it down.”

How does it feel now?
“Obviously, it’s been fine to play with. Again, I understand the precaution that is being taken here. I’m obviously disappointed. I’m upset that I can’t play. But I completely understand. I had a long talk with Joe Torre about it. I told him that I’d like to play. I’d like to try to play. Ultimately, it was taken out of my hands by the Mets and Team USA. It’s completely understandable.”

When do you feel it?
“I don’t feel it much when I play. It’s more just, lounging around. I’ve been having a hard time sleeping, because you get it caught in a certain position. It wakes you up in the middle of the night. It’s more so, when I’m not doing anything, when I’m sitting around, it barks and bothers me. But then once I get it heated up and get it going, I feel pretty good.

“I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize [anything]. I owe it to the Mets to listen to them and to be ready for Opening Day. That’s extremely important to me. That’s something I obviously don’t want to jeopardize.”

Will this cause you to think twice about going to the next Classic?
“No. This has been one of the best times, obviously, I’ve had playing baseball. This is a tournament that I’ve said all along that I love participating in. I can only hope that I haven’t played my last game for Team USA. This is a wonderful tournament. By no means does this injury have anything to do with the format of this tournament, or playing in this tournament. This is one of those freak things where I woke up one day, and I was a little sore. We hadn’t even started playing any games when I first felt this thing. It’s one of those freak things.”

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Who is the best platoon partner for Collin Cowgill in center?

At the start of Spring Training, a center field platoon of Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Collin Cowgill seemed inevitable. But Nieuwenhuis’ left knee injury has the Mets looking at other options in center.

There is Jordany Valdespin, a natural second baseman whose strong spring statistics come with defensive inexperience and questions of maturity.

Then there is defensive-minded prospect Matt den Dekker, a human highlight reel who still looks raw at the plate.

Assuming Nieuwenhuis is healthy and Cowgill starts regularly against left-handed pitchers, which of the above center fielders is the best option to platoon with him?

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Meet Captain America: David Wright

Twitter has been abuzz lately with a new American superhero, Team USA third baseman David Wright, whose 10 RBI through four World Baseball Classic games are tied for the most ever in a single WBC. Television announcers have taken to calling Wright “Captain America,” so in advance of tonight’s game against the Dominican Republic, we asked fans in the Twitterverse for their best Photoshop mock-ups.

The winner, from @Miss_Met:

at Miss_Met

The runner-up, from @A_Ford5:

at A_Ford5

Some honorable mentions from @Miss_Met (again), @Ron_Gibbons and @bfeezy13:


Then again, it may be hard to top Mets PR guru @Jay_HorwitzPR, who appeared on Twitter as Captain America’s sidekick, Bucky:

horwitzbucky

As for Wright, the third baseman laughed when asked about his new Captain America nickname.

“Am I going to be walking around wearing a super hero costume?” he said. “Probably not. Maybe for Halloween next year.”

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Projecting the Opening Day roster, 3/12

With the first round of cuts and almost exactly half the Grapefruit League schedule in the books, some changes this week to the projected roster. Most notably, I’ve penciled in the white-hot Jordany Valdespin for the bench, displacing Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

Unlike some people, I still believe Brandon Hicks is at least on par with Omar Quintanilla for a backup infield spot. But that battle is close. I’ve also tentatively placed Pedro Feliciano back on the roster, displacing Robert Carson, who has yet to pitch a clean inning this spring.

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

SP: Jon Niese
SP: Shaun Marcum
SP: Matt Harvey
SP: Dillon Gee
SP: Jeremy Hefner
RHP: Bobby Parnell (CL)
RHP: Brandon Lyon
RHP: Scott Atchison
RHP: LaTroy Hawkins
RHP: Greg Burke
LHP: Josh Edgin
LHP: Pedro Feliciano

DL: Frank Francisco, Johan Santana

In the running: C Landon Powell, 1B Josh Satin, INF Zach Lutz, INF Brian Bixler, OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF Andrew Brown, OF Matt den Dekker, RHP Jenrry Mejia, RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Carlos Torres, LHP Aaron Laffey, LHP Robert Carson.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

The scene: Santana, Wheeler throw off flat ground

IMG_2333

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Projecting the Opening Day roster, 3/5

Some tweaks from last week. I’m going out on a limb and projecting Johan Santana to open the regular season on the disabled list, even though that may not be the case. If it is, that would presumably bump Jeremy Hefner out of Triple-A and into the rotation. 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: Shaun Marcum
SP: Jon Niese
SP: Matt Harvey
SP: Dillon Gee
SP – Jeremy Hefner
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, Johan Santana

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 Collin McHugh, RHP Elvin Ramirez, RHP Carlos Torres, LHP Aaron Laffey, LHP Pedro Feliciano, LHP Darin Gorski.

(You may notice that I have yet to take Grapefruit League stats into account in this projection. I just don’t think the sample size is big enough to warrant inclusion at this point, though I may start skewing toward statistical favorites next week.)

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

The scene: Greg Burke’s funky delivery

I’d consider Greg Burke a good bet to make the team at this point. Which means you’ll be seeing much more of this in Flushing this summer:


Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

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