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Nationals 9, Mets 7: Three Up, Three Down

You asked for it, you got it: the return of Three Up, Three Down. Each day, we here at Mets Cetera will pick three Mets players who thrived and three who, well, not so much.

This is not necessarily a statistically-driven exercise. The player who goes 4-for-4 with three home runs (or the one who mashes a two-run homer in a four-run game with two outs in the ninth — looking at you, David Wright) will usually receive an “Up,” to be sure. But we’ll also look to reward unsung heroes. So without further ado…


Three Up
1. Jose Valverde: A huge strikeout of Ryan Zimmerman with the game on the line in the seventh, followed by a perfect inning with two more whiffs in the eighth. In all, a sterling Mets debut.

2. Juan Lagares: Given an Opening Day start in center field, Lagares homered, reached base three times and flat-out out-played Eric Young, Jr., his main competition in Spring Training.

3. Andrew Brown: Brown’s three-run homer off Stephen Strasburg was a huge early lift for the Mets, whose failure to capitalize later in the game was hardly the reserve outfielder’s fault.

Three Down
1. Eric Young, Jr.: Finishing 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in the leadoff spot (albeit with a sacrifice fly) is not going to cut it. Young must improve if he wants ample playing time this season.

2. Scott Rice: Carlos Torres was just as guilty as Rice, walking the only batter he faced in the game. But Rice’s walk came with the bases loaded and the Mets up by a run, earning him the thumbs down today.

3. Bobby Parnell: Called upon to protect a one-run lead, Parnell gave up two hits, a walk and a run. The velocity was there, but the results were not.

Season Standings
Andrew Brown +1
Juan Lagares +1
Jose Valverde +1
Bobby Parnell -1
Scott Rice -1
Eric Young, Jr. -1

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Montreal’s Stade Olympique in pictures

Some views from the first baseball game at Olympic Stadium in nearly a decade:

montreal montreal2 montreal3

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/27

What we learned: Jon Niese still appears on track to pitch April 6.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

They said it:

“We’re not going to be able to go achieve our goals with guys having par or sub-par years. We’re not that good offensively. –David Wright

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Wright candid on Mets’ offensive potential

I spoke to David Wright recently for a season preview, which you can read here. After asking Wright about the young pitching in camp, I posed a question about the club’s offensive potential. I found his response rather candid and interesting:


“The offensive side’s tough because we haven’t really all been in the lineup at the same time, whether it’s injuries or position battles or whatever’s going on,” Wright said. “But I like what I see so far. I think the offense is usually a little behind the pitching in Spring Training, but I like the fact that we — knock on wood, made it through for the most part healthy, and we’re going to have our horses in the lineup come Opening Day.

“We’re going to need guys to go out there and do what they’re capable of doing. We’re not going to be able to achieve our goals with guys having par or sub-par years. We’re not that good offensively. We have the opportunity to really lean on our pitching and be a good offensive team — good enough to win — but we’re not built to necessarily go out there and out-slug teams and win a lot of games 12-10 or 15-12. We’re going to really need to lean on the pitching, and the offense is going to have to do what we’re supposed to do.

“I don’t think there’s any team out there that can say we can go out there and just be par and expect to accomplish the goals we set out to do. That’s not a knock against our offense, it’s just that this is the way the team is built — it’s built on great pitching. We have a good offense, but like I said, we can’t go out there and out-slug teams on a nightly basis, whereas other teams are better-equipped to do that.

“We’re going to need to play good defense. We’re going to need to get good pitching. We’re going to need to steal some bases. We’re going to need to kind of play some small-ball and be a good situational-hitting team, rather than the way some teams are built where you can sit back and play for a couple three-run home runs. We’re not necessarily built that way and the park we play in isn’t really built to do that. So our offensive philosophy has to be a little different than some other teams that maybe play in some smaller ballparks or that have big-time home run threats up and down their lineup.”

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/26

One more game in Florida, then it’s on to Canada for the Mets.


What we learned: Jose Valverde made the Opening Day roster. Vic Black did not.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

They said it:

“I didn’t see it coming, but I also couldn’t expect anything different, really. What I did was struggle all spring.” –Black on his demotion

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/25

What we learned: Jenrry Mejia could make the Mets on a technicality, with the team concerned about Jon Niese’s health … both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda will be on the Opening Day roster.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

They said it:

“Performances matter. I think last year was a small sample. This year is an almost equal sample, so I think we have to take everything into account. We’re not ignoring Spring Training performance.” –General manager Sandy Alderson on Vic Black

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Your (unofficial, but accurate) Mets rotation

Though the Mets haven’t released it, we know enough now to cobble together the team’s season-opening rotation:

Monday, March 31 vs. Nationals: Dillon Gee
Tuesday, April 1: Off day
Wednesday, April 2 vs. Nationals: Bartolo Colon
Thursday, April 3 vs. Nationals: Zack Wheeler
Friday, April 4 vs. Reds: Jenrry Mejia or Daisuke Matsuzaka
Saturday, April 5 vs. Reds: Dillon Gee
Sunday, April 6 vs. Reds: Jon Niese
Monday, April 7: Off day
Tuesday, April 8 @ Braves: Bartolo Colon
Wednesday, April 9 @ Braves: Zack Wheeler

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mike Pelfrey, you got punk’d

Check out this prank the Twins played on former Mets pitcher and Wichita State alum Mike Pelfrey:

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/24

The countdown to Opening Day is down to six.


What we learned: A lot, actually. Jon Niese felt no pain after his first bullpen session since undergoing an MRI on his left shoulder. Kyle Farnsworth will re-sign with the Mets. Matt Harvey will headquarter his rehab in New York, not Florida. Dillon Gee will pitch Opening Day. And the Mets have hired an assistant hitting coach.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

They said it:

“It’s a big honor obviously for them to trust me with that day and give that to me. I’m very thankful for that opportunity.” –Gee on his Opening Day start

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Projecting the Opening Day roster, 3/24

With the latest round of cuts in place, here’s an updated roster projection. First, a rules refresher:


  • The following takes into account only those players under Major or Minor League contract with the Mets. We will not speculate on trades or free agent signings in this space… so no Stephen Drew or Nick Franklin.
  • For our purposes, any healthy player in big league camp will be considered in the running for a roster spot.

Without further ado:

LF Eric Young, Jr.
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
RF Curtis Granderson
CF Chris Young
1B Ike Davis

C  Travis d’Arnaud

SS Ruben Tejada

OF Juan Lagares
OF Andrew Brown
1B Lucas Duda

INF Josh Satin
INF Omar Quintanilla*
C Anthony Recker

P Dillon Gee
RHP Bartolo Colon
RHP Zack Wheeler
RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka*

RHP Bobby Parnell (CL)
RHP Jose Valverde*

RHP Vic Black
RHP Jeurys Familia
RHP Carlos Torres
LHP Scott Rice
LHP John Lannan*

RHP LHP Jon Niese, Matt Harvey, RHP Jeremy Hefner

In the running:
C Taylor Teagarden*, INF Eric Campbell*, INF Anthony Seratelli*, RHP Jenrry Mejia, RHP Gonzalez Germen.

*Denotes non-roster invitee

It’s really getting down to crunch time now, with only 31 healthy players left in camp. The only change comes on the bench, where I moved Omar Quintanilla onto the roster over Anthony Seratelli. Neither backup infield candidate is hitting this spring, but Seratelli has committed four errors while Quintanilla has been solid with the glove. … I still don’t see Jenrry Mejia making the team over Daisuke Matsuzaka, particularly after Terry Collins expressed concern over the weekend regarding Mejia’s low innings total last summer. … Andrew Brown should be on the team only until Jon Niese is ready to return from injury April 6.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.


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