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:


  • 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:

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

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

LHP Jon Niese

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

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

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

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:


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

Video: DiComo talks Mets Spring Training

This is probably the only opportunity you’ll have to hear my voice dubbed over a B-roll clip of Bartolo Colon and his posse.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/4

Not to be outdone by Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler gave the Mets three brilliantly efficient innings Tuesday. But the story was Curtis Granderson, who hit two home runs in the win over Houston.


What we learned: The Major League Baseball Players’ Association is “keeping an eye on” the Mets’ financial spending, according to union chief Tony Clark.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

“Mom and dad are here today. They might not approve.” –Granderson on why he has not joined the crew of Mets modeling their hair after Wright

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Dispatches from Port St. Lucie, 3/3

Behind do-everything pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard, the Mets on Monday finally showed up in the win column. They’re 1-3 this spring.


What we learned: Minor injuries continue to plague Mets camp, with Ike Davis joining Eric Young, Jr., Ruben Tejada, Wilfredo Tovar, Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese on the list of early casualties. None of them, however, are expected to miss any significant time. … Johan Santana is close to signing a Minor League deal with the Orioles. … SNY sideline reporter Kevin Burkhardt will host FOX’s baseball pregame show this summer in addition to his Mets duties. Steve Gelbs will fill in on SNY when conflicts arise.

What we wrote:

Around the league:

“Harvey is Harvey, but [Syndergaard] and Wheeler are definitely a very close second.” –Braves outfielder Justin Upton on the Mets’ top three young pitchers

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Mets Spring Training: Week two in review

Here’s a recap of what went down in week two of Spring Training at Port St. Lucie, Fla.:


“It shouldn’t have been a story, anyway. It’s just an overblown thing. Everyone has injuries and then they get hurt. So it was pointless to write an article. I sucked last year because I sucked. It’s not because I had an injury. You always have injuries. And now it just looks bad.”

  • Davis and Lucas Duda later began their first-base competition with a bang, each homering early in Grapefruit League play.
  • The Mets received another injury scare when Jon Niese began complaining of a sore shoulder, prompting the team to send him to New York for an MRI. That came back clean, and Niese climbed back on a mound for a bullpen session Monday.
  • We profiled Noah Syndergaard, Daniel Murphy and Jeurys Familia. On Syndergaard, whose size and strength have earned him the nickname “Thor,” high school coach David Walden told the story of a pitcher who went from unrecruited to famous in the span of four months:

“We don’t even have kids that can play catch with him anymore,” Walden said. “We’re not taking credit for it because we have no idea what happened.”

  • And, finally, columnist Anthony Castrovince made his way to Mets camp, talking to David Wright, Zack Wheeler and others about the direction of the franchise.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo


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