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Report From Port St. Lucie: Feb. 19, 2015

Date: Feb. 19
Days until Opening Day: 46
Temperature in Port St. Lucie, Fla.: 55 degrees
Temperature in Flushing, N.Y.: 21 degrees

Picture of the Day: Mets president Saul Katz (center) and principal owner Fred Wilpon (right) chat with pitching coach Dan Warthen.

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Story of the Day: Mets pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training

Quote of the Day: “I have not been near 92 yet. I’ll let you know how 92 goes.” –Left-handed pitcher Josh Edgin, when asked if he could challenge Pedro Feliciano’s club record 92 appearances in 2010.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Matt Harvey: “In the end, maybe my surgery was the best thing to happen to me”

Two days after reporting to Spring Training, Matt Harvey has posted a revealing essay on Derek Jeter’s “Players’ Tribunal” site. The essay details his 2013 offseason trip to Laos and subsequent rehab from Tommy John surgery.

harveyarrives2-16Harvey writes:

Every morning for the first few weeks after surgery, all I could do were arm curls with five-pound weights. It was an eye-opening experience — realizing that one year you can pitch in an All-Star Game in front of your home crowd and then a few months later all you can do is curl five-pounders.

But being away was good for me. It gave me time to do some soul searching. Just like in New York, I walked around a lot to clear my head. Being alone in a country and not speaking the language turned out to be a good temporary escape. For the first time in a long time, I was in a place where nobody recognized me. In New York, occasionally people will say hello to me on the street. (Other times, even hometown fans have a hard time recognizing me, like I had fun showing in this video I did for Jimmy Fallon.) In Laos, I was invisible and that was fine. I remember talking to a street vendor and having a funny “conversation” — we had to use hand gestures — but when I asked to take a photo with her, she refused. To her, I was just an American weirdo with one arm in a sling and the other arm making crazy hand signals. I couldn’t blame her. We waved goodbye and I went on my way.

You can read Harvey’s entire entry here.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

How many miles do the Mets log in a year?

I stumbled across this site today and found it quite interesting: a cartographic look at how many miles teams travel in a season.

metstravelThe Baseball Savant map piqued my interest due to the Mets’ sheer volume of travel last season, playing Interleague series in Anaheim, Oakland and Seattle, in addition to their usual trips out west to Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. It turns out the Mets traveled 35,781 miles over the course of the summer, not including Spring Training hops to Las Vegas and Montreal.

What I found most interesting, however, was something I long suspected but had never seen in numbers: teams in the AL West are at a clear logistical disadvantage each year, traveling thousands of miles more than others just to play their divisional rivals. And teams in the Central fly less than anyone, with cross-country flights exceedingly rare.

That doesn’t mean you should feel bad even for the Mariners, who flew 51,540 miles last year and are due to lead the league again this summer. All teams travel on charters, meaning they breeze through airport security, the planes wait for them and they never have to make connections. But over a 162-game season, which wears players down enough as is, it’s worth noting how much those extra miles add up.

(The Mets, for what it’s worth, are scheduled to fly 30,289 miles this year, not including a spring jaunt to Texas. That’s 13th in the league.)

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

In photos: Mets equipment truck leaves for Port St. Lucie

Nine days until pitchers and catchers. The surest sign? The equipment truck rumbled out of Citi Field early this afternoon (photos courtesy of the Mets):

TRUCK_LEV7334TRUCK_MET5340Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Travis d’Arnaud leads host of Mets number-changers

Several prominent Mets will have new uniform numbers when camp opens later this month. The list, with old numbers in parentheses:

metspitcherspopupdrillCatcher Travis d’Arnaud – 7 (15)
Bench coach Bob Geren – 15 (7)
Catcher Kevin Plawecki – 22 (72)
First baseman Brandon Allen – 30 (60)
Pitcher Noah Syndergaard – 34 (55)
Pitcher Buddy Carlyle – 43 (44)
Pitcher Cory Mazzoni – 47 (75)
Pitcher Jack Leathersich – 51 (81)
Infielder Danny Muno – 74 (64)

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets to install newer, bigger scoreboard at Citi

This, edited down from the Mets:

The Mets announced today they are installing a new Daktronics high definition Citi Field centerfield video board that is 62% larger than the original screen. The new board, set to debut on Opening Day, April 13, will measure 5,670 square feet (Up from 3,500 square feet).

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The installation puts the Mets in the top 10 largest displays in professional baseball and makes Citi Field one of the few baseball venues to feature more than one video capable LED display in the seating bowl. The installation brings the total square footage of all displays in the Mets’ super-system to more than 17,000 square feet. The previous total square footage was 13,500, and replacing older technology is providing a total of 7,000 square feet of new video display technology.

“As we look forward to a great season on the field in 2015, these significantly bigger and higher resolution video boards are state-of-the-art in size and LED technology and re-inforce our commitment to provide our fans a superior experience when attending games at Citi Field,” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon.

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Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Projecting the Mets’ Opening Day roster, Jan. 8

Six weeks remain between now and Spring Training, though if you believe Sandy Alderson, not much is going to change with the Mets between then and now. So it seems like a fine time to make our first roster projection of the year.

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Without further ado:

Lineup:
CF Juan Lagares
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
1B Lucas Duda
RF Michael Cuddyer
LF Curtis Granderson

C  Travis d’Arnaud

SS Wilmer Flores

Barring injury, I don’t envision anything changing here between now and Opening Day. The Mets aren’t likely to bring in a new shortstop, and manager Terry Collins has already talked extensively about wanting Lagares to lead off. Even if the Mets face a left-hander on Opening Day (they won’t), these are probably the eight names you’ll see. It sounds like Cuddyer is a good bet to play right, shifting Granderson to left.

Bench:
C Anthony Recker
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
OF John Mayberry, Jr.

INF Ruben Tejada
INF Eric Campbell

Again, not much up for debate here. Recker and Nieuwenhuis are out of options, giving them huge advantages heading into camp. Tejada and Mayberry are veterans and close to locks. Campbell’s case is the weakest of the five, but his ability to play third base makes him all but a shoo-in as well. If Flores were not starting at shortstop, it would be a different story.

Rotation:
RHP Matt Harvey

RHP Jacob deGrom
RHP Zack Wheeler
LHP Jon Niese
RHP Bartolo Colon

I’m not entirely convinced Harvey will be the Opening Day starter, though Collins may need to pry the ball out of his hand if not. This rotation assumes that the Mets will trade Dillon Gee between now and Opening Day.

Bullpen:
RHP Jenrry Mejia (CL)
RHP Jeurys Familia

RHP Vic Black
RHP Carlos Torres
LHP Josh Edgin
LHP Sean Gilmartin
RHP Rafael Montero

If for some reason the Mets do not trade Gee, he probably goes here instead of Montero. I’m projecting Gilmartin, a Rule 5 pick, to make the team over Scott Rice, Dario Alvarez, Jack Leathersich and whomever else the Mets bring into camp. But really, that spot is completely up for grabs, and a right-hander could ultimately claim it. I’m also projecting Bobby Parnell to begin the season on the disabled list, which does not require much of a leap of faith.

In the running:
C Johnny Monell*, INF Brandon Allen*, INF Dilson Herrera, INF Wilfredo Tovar, OF Alex Castellanos*, OF Matt den Dekker, OF Cesar Puello, RHP Buddy Carlyle*, RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Erik Goeddel, RHP Cory Mazzoni, RHP Bobby Parnell, RHP Noah Syndergaard, LHP Dario Alvarez, LHP Jack Leathersich, LHP Steven Matz.

*Denotes non-roster invitee

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

When Stuart Scott met Mr. Met

Like so many young sports nuts, I grew up watching Stuart Scott and Rich Eisen on SportsCenter. In the 90s, our local newspaper often didn’t carry scores from baseball games on the West Coast, or even sometimes from games that ran late back East. Watching 10 minutes of Scott and Eisen before school every morning was must-see television, helping to foster my love of sports.

I won’t eulogize here — plenty around the internet who knew the man have already done so far better than I could. But I wanted to share this fun commercial from back in 2009, when Mr. Met met Scott.

Rest in peace, Stuart.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Wanted: Mets Inbox submissions

Do you have a question you’d like answered on Mets.com? A concern? Just looking to procrastinate at the office coming off a long holiday break? I’ll be running an Inbox soon and want to answer your questions.

Fill out this form to participate. And be sure to fill out all three boxes, including your first name and last initial, so we can use your question on the site.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

In pictures: Duda does Japan

My notebook wasn’t the only tool I brought to Japan with me. Check below for a collage of some of the best Duda pics I snapped across the Pacific:

dudacollageFollow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

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