Dispatches from Las Vegas and Port St. Lucie, 3/15

One more game in the desert before the Mets head back east.

vegasstrip

What we learned: Believe the hype: Cashman Field in Las Vegas is as hitter-friendly as they come. … Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias may miss significant time with a stress reaction in his shins, perhaps creating another suitor for Stephen Drew.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

They said it:

“If you get hit when it’s 117 degrees right here, you get to go into the air conditioning.” –Triple-A Las Vegas manager Wally Backman on Cashman Field’s unprotected dugouts

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/14

…well, from Port St. Lucie and Las Vegas.

lasvegaswelcome

What we learned: Ike Davis and Lucas Duda are inching closer to game action.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/13

Things are starting to get hectic for the Mets. Many of them will skip Friday’s game, taking an afternoon flight bound for the glitz of Las Vegas. Once they return, it will be coming up on crunch time.

spacecoast

What we learned: Noah Syndergaard is still really, really good at pitching.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

“I have been preparing, expecting myself to be in that position.” –Daisuke Matsuzaka on his chances to win the fifth starter’s job

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/12

What we learned: Despite the opposite strategy unfolding in Atlanta, the Mets are not about to fill a major hole by making a free agent splash late in spring.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

“I’m not interpreting it in terms of our situation. I don’t know that we have a situation here.” –GM Sandy Alderson on the Braves’ deal with Santana

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/11

What we learned: Jon Niese is struggling with his velocity two and a half weeks before Opening Day, but the Mets are not worried. At least not yet. … Wilmer Flores has some work to do if he wants to play shortstop on a regular basis.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

“I definitely can play.” –Flores on his shortstop ability

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Projecting the Mets’ Opening Day roster, 3/11

It’s been nearly a month since we last projected the Mets’ Opening Day roster, and a few things have changed (including yesterday’s first round of cuts). First, a refresher on the rules:

metscomplex

  • 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.
  • For our purposes, any healthy player in big league camp will be considered in the running for a roster spot. So someone like Noah Syndergaard, who is not realistically competing for a rotation spot in Spring Training, will still be listed.
  • This list will be updated throughout the next two months based upon player acquisitions, injuries, Grapefruit League performances and comments from management.

Without further ado:

Lineup:
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

Bench:
1B/OF Lucas Duda
OF Juan Lagares
1B/3B Josh Satin
1B/2B/3B/SS/OF Anthony Seratelli*
C Anthony Recker

Rotation:
LHP Jon Niese

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

Bullpen:
RHP Bobby Parnell (CL)
RHP Jose Valverde*
RHP Kyle Farnsworth*
RHP Vic Black
RHP Jeurys Familia
RHP Carlos Torres
LHP Scott Rice

Injured:
RHP Matt Harvey, RHP Jeremy Hefner

In the running:
C Taylor Teagarden*, C Juan Centeno, INF Wilmer Flores, INF Zach Lutz, INF Eric Campbell*, INF Brandon Allen*, INF Omar Quintanilla*, OF Andrew Brown, OF Matt den Dekker, OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF Matt Clark*, RHP Jacob deGrom, RHP Ryan Reid, RHP Jeff Walters, RHP Joel Carreno*, RHP Rafael Montero, RHP Miguel Socolovich*, RHP Noah Syndergaard*, RHP Cory Mazzoni*, RHP Jenrry Mejia, RHP Gonzalez Germen, LHP John Lannan*.

*Denotes non-roster invitee

Notes:
The first round of cuts made the bullpen picture significantly clearer. Lefties Josh Edgin and Jack Leathersich are no longer candidates, turning John Lannan into a legitimate relief option. But until we see him in that role in a game, I’ll keep my original bullpen projection intact. I’ll admit it’s a shaky one, considering how underwhelming Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth have been so far in Grapefruit League play. … The only other change comes on the bench, where I now have Juan Lagares making the team instead of playing every day at Triple-A Las Vegas. The outfield battle between Lagares and Eric Young, Jr. is still very much unresolved.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets Cetera programming note

I’m back in New York City for the weekend, enjoying a break from Port St. Lucie’s sunshine and mid-70s temperatures. Expect a return to regular updates next week; in the interim, Marty Noble wrote a humorous account of today’s “B” game starring David Wright, Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese and Bobby Parnell.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/5

The Mets split up on Wednesday but lost both games, anyway. Here’s a picture of palm trees to distract you:

palmtrees

What we learned: David Wright will play in a Minor League game Thursday, in advance of what will likely be his Grapefruit League debut on Friday. … Terry Collins is strongly considering batting his pitchers eighth this season, according to the New York Post, in an effort to generate more RBI opportunities for Wright.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

“I dedicate the rest of my career to him. Everything I do, I do it for all my family. But I do it for him, mostly. I hope he’s watching from somewhere.” –Mets roster hopeful Anthony Seratelli on his late father, Russell

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Director’s cut: profiling New Jersey’s own Anthony Seratelli

If you haven’t already, please read my profile of Anthony Seratelli, the Old Bridge, N.J. and Seton Hall product trying to become a 31-year-old rookie. Below is the tribute video he made for Russell Seratelli that I referenced in the story, as well as some additional and extended reflections on Anthony Seratelli that didn’t make it into the piece:


Former Royals teammate Will Smith on Seratelli:

“He’s the kind of guy who might have been, I [hesitate] to say ‘pushed back’ because of his age. But you wouldn’t believe this guy is 30. From a player’s side, as a teammate, he plays like he’s 20 years old. He’s an awesome guy, great teammate. He plays hard. He plays the right way. He does everything right. Fun to hang out with. Good sense of humor.”

“[When his dad died], that’s when we all kind of came together around him. That’s what we thought our job was at that time. We were his teammates, and we were there to pick him up. He still wears his dad’s ring around his neck.”

Sister Danyel Ross on the Seratelli family:

“Every Sunday, we always had dinner with the family. We played cards — a lot of cards, a lot of gambling. Basically Anthony would teach us games he would play in the locker room with the guys. ‘Thirteen’ was a big one. ‘Screw Your Neighbor’ I think was another. We played a lot of Mario Kart too, me, Anthony and my dad. Anthony can’t beat me. Ever. I’m like the reigning champ.”

Anthony Seratelli on his own future producing videos:

“I’d love to make a movie, but it might be a who-you-know type field. If I don’t know anyone in Hollywood, I don’t know if I can get into Hollywood. I know people in MLB Productions, maybe I can get in there. I’ve got to finish this up and see where it takes me first, and keep my contacts. And when that happens, I’ll feel it out and see what I like doing the best.”

You can see Seratelli’s video archives at his web site, ars1productions.com.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Johan Santana’s comeback: “Nothing to lose, a lot to gain”

The Orioles on Wednesday introduced Johan Santana, who spoke candidly about his recovery from a second left shoulder capsule surgery.

Said Santana:

“I don’t want to go out in the game like that. I want to go out of the game on my own terms, knowing this is going to be my last game, knowing this is going to be my last year. And not just not knowing maybe that my last game [in 2012] was my last one. I don’t even know who I faced, and when it was. I might not want to remember.”

You can read Brittany Ghiroli’s full story here.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

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