And we'll finish up our prospect rankings by position, appropriately enough, with the guys who are on the mound at the end of the game, relievers.

This is the diciest of my position lists. Many of these pitchers are still working as starters in the minor leagues. The idea is that they are more likely to be productive Major League relievers than starters.

We started the pitching look with left-handed starters here and relievers here. For the position players, we go: center fielderscorner outfieldersthird baseshortstops,  catcherfirst base and second base.

RHP Relievers1. Vic Black

2. Jacob deGrom

3. Domingo Tapia

4. Jeff Walters

5. Cory Mazzoni

6. Luis Mateo

7. Logan Verrett

8. Bret Mitchell

9. Erik Goeddel

10. Akeel Morris

11. Ricardo Jacquez

12. Tyler Bashlor

13. Matt Koch

14. John Church

15. Chasen Bradford

16. Beck Wheeler

17. Rainy Lara

 

1. Black, who was acquired with 2B Dilson Herrera for Marlon Byrd/John Buck tops this list because he's MLB ready. Oh, and he averages 96 mph with his four-seam fastball. He's ready based on his heat and his success in AAA to step in and be a productive MLB reliever right now.

2. deGrom (pictured at right) is the toughest guy to move off the starter list onto the reliever list. I've been a deGrom fan since I first saw him pitch in 2012. I've long believed that his 92-96 mph sinker would get him to the big leagues, but the development of his secondary offerings would dictate whether he was going to be a starter or reliever when he got there. And, through the middle of the summer of 2013, the development on deGrom's slider had stalled. Thus, under the tutelage of Mets' pitching coordinator Ron Romanick he shifted towards throwing a curveball.  He's long and lean, and if he can figure out the curveball, still has a chance to start. Basically, deGrom was pretty close to Pacific Coast League average as a starter in 2013 while pitching in a very difficult environment in Las Vegas.

.                 ERA               SO%               BB%           HR%JdG               4.52                    19.0                   7.3                  1.8

PCL               4.43                   19.5                   9.1                   2.2

While deGrom has a chance to start, I think the better bet is on him finding a role coming out of a bullpen throwing mid-90s sinkers.

3. It all went backward in 2013 for Tapia, who turned 22 in December. His walk rate spike to 14%, almost twice his 2012 rate of 7.1% and dragged his ERA up to 4.62. He still throws hard, and the ability to fire heavy fastballs at 96-98 separates him from many others on this list. He's big and the ball comes with natural life and a four-seam grip. The Mets have an interesting choice with Tapia in 2014, but I'd like to see him stay a starter in the AA Binghamton rotation so that he picks up more game innings, and more chances to improve on his slider and changeup.

4. Walters set a Binghamton Mets single-season save record, but the more salient point is that he pitched well, with a 2.09 ERA and a 26.7% strikeout rate against a 7.1% walk rate. The Mets rewarded Walters by adding him to the 40-man roster in the fall. He throws 92-94 and has a functional slider, which will be plenty to be a potentially useful middle reliever. He will start 2014 in Vegas and a mid-season callup, as soon as the Mets need an arm for the bullpen is in the cards.

5. The former second round pick, Mazzoni struggled with injuries in 2013. He had elbow neuritis in April and then arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus at the beginning of August that ended his season. Mazzoni ended 2012 in the Eastern League and began in AA in 2013. While his ERA improved only slightly, from 4.46 to 4.36, he raised his strikeout rate from 16.1% in 2012 to 26.2% in 2013. He will start 2014 in AAA. He's a three-pitch guy with a fastball, slider and split/change. With a couple of professional seasons to his credit, and at 6'1", 190, I don't see the results or durability to hold up to a starter's workload.

6. Luis Mateo, the darling of last winter's prospect ranking season, had Tommy John surgery in June, 2013. Mateo has a good arm, going 90-95, and sitting 93-95 early in games. His slider at 87 mph has promise as well. His changeup was firm and inconsistent whenever I've seen it. So why is he a reliever: health and innings. Healthy; there some jerky motions in his delivery, and a history of elbow problems including bone chips in 2008. Innings: Mateo threw a combined 11.2 innings in 2013. His 2014 will be truncated severely as he will be at 12 months post-surgery by June. In an absolute best-case scenario, he gets to 60ish innings in double-A. Nope, at age 24 in 2014, the best estimate is that he simply will not have enough innings in the minors to help as a MLB starter. He's bullpen bound fulltime in 2015.

7. No one named Verrett has ever pitched or played in the big leagues. Logan Verrett is trying to change that. The Mets' third round pick in 2011, he was solid if not spectacular for the AA Binghamton Mets in 2013. He ran an ERA of 4.25 in 24 starts thanks to a strikeout rate of 22.5%, a 5.3% walk rate and 21 homeruns allowed. The reason he's not a starter: a fastball that lives 88-90, topping out at 91 as a starter. The reason he might be a solid reliever, he has a good slider and an improving changeup. He had more in the arm as a reliever at Baylor and perhaps his velocity will play up in short bullpen appearances. He'll start 2014 in Las Vegas.

8. In June, when Mitchell was promoted to advanced-A from Savannah, I wrote: "Mitchell is a sleeper of a relief prospect. He missed all of last year with a labrum tear in his hip and came back throwing 92-94 out of the bullpen this year with a curveball at 81-83 that has a chance to be a plus pitch in the big leagues. The Gnats’ catchers told me his changeup was pretty darn good too, but he didn’t need it out of the bullpen, and I saw it so little, it is more myth than reality as far as I’m concerned. Mitchell fanned 33.9% of opposing batters (41 of 121) and ran a K/BB ratio of 5.9. Barring injury, he’ll pitch at AA certainly and has the stuff to be a capable MLB reliever." Moving from the SAL to the FSL brought his strikeout rate down from 34% to 23% while his walk rate more than doubled from 6% to 15%. I still like the arm, but he must come a long way with his command to become a big league reliever.

9. I was surprised that the Mets added Erik Goeddel to the 40-man roster in November. He's similar to Verrett, but he's been both more injured and more inconsistent in the minors. On the other hand, he offers a tick higher upside.  As a starter in AA, he gave up a hit an inning (135) walked 9.9% of opposing batters and struck out 21%. National League pitchers had a 19.9% and a 7.7% strikeout rate in 2013. Eastern League pitchers were similar, fanning 20.1% of opposing batters and walking 9.1%.... As a starter, Goeddel’s velocity has been 89-92 for the most part, although he can reach back for more and touch 95. He’s a four-pitch guy with a curve, slider and changeup. Some nights in Savannah, the curve looked like a big league pitch and some nights the slider looked like a big league offering, but it seemed rare that he had both working at once. Some nights his fastball command was solid, others it was very erratic. According to Jeff Paternostro at Amazin’ Avenue, Goeddel remained fairly inconsistent appearance to appearance this year.

10. Drafted as a raw teenager out of the US Virgin Islands in 2010, it's taken Morris four seasons to land on his likely full-season debut in 2014. He can touch 96 with his heat, and that's enough to slot in here. The good from his year in Brooklyn: a 1.00 ERA and 30% strikeout rate. On the other hand, his 13% walk rate against some of the minors' least disciplined hitters suggests how far he has to go.

11. At 5’9″ and slender, I saw Jacquez strike out the side in my only look at him while throwing 92-94 and sitting at 94. He showed a slider at 87 that was flat, but an effective complement to his heat. He was untouchable in Kingsport last year. I expect he will start in Savannah, be very good, and earn a mid-season promotion to St. Lucie. The Mets drafted Jacquez in the 25th round this year out of Central Arizona JC. He began his college career at Texas, but was kicked off the team for a second rules violation when he warmed up, but was too “dehydrated” to pitch (read: hungover).

12. The Mets gave Tyler Bashlor a $550,000 bonus in the 11th round out of South Georgia College. He can fire his fastball in the mid-upper 90s. BA had him 92-94 last year, touching 97. In 15.2 innings in the Appalachian League in 2013, he walked 12 guys.

13. When he was on in 2013, the 6'3" Koch sat 90-93 with his fastball and could touch 95. That's a big league fastball. All of his secondary stuff was inconsistent, although by the end of the year, he was focused on improving his curveball. Koch's season ended early after he was hit in the head by a line drive in a scary, scary moment.

14. Church, who turned 27 in November, just keeps plugging along and moving up the Mets' system all the way up to an NRI to Spring Training in 2014. He split 2013 between Binghamton and Las Vegas, fanning 71 in 64.2 innings of work. He's a low 90s fastball guy with a slider.

15. Chasen Bradford could be another slider specialist. He threw the pitch over 42% of the time in games when he was tracked by pitchfx in the Arizona Fall League. He too was an NRI to Spring Training in 2014. At 83.76 mph, it could be a really nice weapon. His fastball runs sits 89-91, although he will touch 92. He was very good in 20 outings at the end of last year for the B-Mets and has a chance to break spring training in Las Vegas this year and might, with success, and some fortuitous timing, make his MLB debut in 2014.

16. Beck Wheeler throws a forkball, and it is a fun weapon. A-ball hitters had no idea what to do with it as evidenced by the 24-year-olds 36% strikeout rate in 2013 with Savannah. Wheeler is a great story; he nearly lost his legs in a boating accident, but now he's a professional athlete.

17. Scouts told me they saw Lara as a middle reliever in Savannah when the right-hander was 90-91 most of the time. He could touch 92 most nights or 93 on a really good one. He complements that with a slider and a changeup. The slider is below average now, but he has feel for it, and throws it a lot.

Tags: Top Prospects Series, Toby Hyde

Mar 4, 2017; Lagares holds both of his bats during a spring training game. Credit: Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2017; Lagares holds both of his bats during a spring training game. Credit: Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The results of Juan Lagares' MRI were better than the Mets hoped, manager Terry Collins told reporters on Tuesday.

The Mets are a "bit more optimistic" Lagares will be healthy enough to be on the Opening Day roster, reports Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. 

Lagares left Saturday's game with an oblique injury. He was examined Monday in New York, where he received an MRI during the late afternoon...

Tags: Juan Lagares, Yoenis Cespedes
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Matz throws a bullpen session during spring training workouts in St. Lucie. Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Matz throws a bullpen session during spring training workouts in St. Lucie. Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Mets LHP Steven Matz threw on Tuesday for the second-straight day, including some pitches from the mound, and looked "pretty decent," pitching coach Dan Warthen told the NY Post's Mike Puma

Matz, who has irritation in his left elbow had his last start skipped, threw on flat ground from 70 feet on Monday morning, according to the team's beat writers.

Warthen said Matz felt tight at first during Monday's session but then loosened up. Warthen added that the team is working with Matz to shorten the arc of his arm to create "less banging" with his elbow.

Tags: Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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The Mets have sent C Kevin Plawecki to minor league camp, manager Terry Collins said Tuesday.

The team is expected to carry catchers Travis d'Arnaud and Rene Rivera on the Opening Day roster.

Plawecki, 26, hit .197 with a .298 OBP and .265 SLG with one HR and 11 RBI in 48 games with the Mets last season...

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Rene Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud
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 (Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports Images)
(Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports Images)

 

Robert Gsellman allowed three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out six in six innings as the Mets tied the Cardinals, 3-3, on Tuesday afternoon at First Data Field in St. Lucie.

For a full box score, click here.

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Lucas Duda, Robert Gsellman, Sean Gilmartin, Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets relievers Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed (Credit: USA Today Sports Images)
Mets relievers Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed (Credit: USA Today Sports Images)

The Mets will be in good position to make a trade for a relief pitcher this summer, assuming they need one, according to baseball insiders.

By combining an infielder -- such as Wilmer Flores, Gavin Cecchini or T.J. Rivera -- with a second-tier pitching prospect -- such as Thomas Szapucki or Marcos Molina -- Sandy Alderson should have more than enough ammunition to make a meaningful deal before the trade deadline.

Their best fit may be with the White Sox, Royals and -- again -- the Orioles...

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RHP Robert Gsellman has thrown 17.1 innings this spring, allowing only four runs (three earned) on 15 hits to go along with nine strikeouts and four walks.

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Prospective Mets relievers 00:02:01
Doug Williams, Todd Zeile and Andy Martino talk about Rafael Montero being a dark horse candidate for the Mets bullpen.

The Mets have re-assigned RHP Paul Sewald to minor league camp Tuesday morning.

In 11 appearances this spring, Sewald allowed four runs and seven hits, while striking out 12 batters in 14.1 innings pitched.

In mid-March, Terry Collins listed Sewald among 8-10 pitchers that had quietly emerged in camp as possible candidates to make his Opening Day roster.

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DNL on Matz, Harvey and Conforto 00:02:53
Sandy Alderson talks Steven Matz, while the panel talks about Matz's injury, Matt Harvey's velocity and Michael Conforto on the roster.

Today at 1 pm on SNY, the Mets and Robert Gsellman host Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals in a Grapefruit League game at First Data Field in St. Lucie.

This past weekend, it was reported that Gsellman has been told he'll be part of the team's rotation when the regular season starts next Monday, April 3.

Juan Lagares had his oblique examined in New York yesterday, the results of which are expected to be reported today. Lagares spent 22 days on the DL with the same injury in 2014.

Also today or tomorrow, the Mets expect to learn from MLB how many games Jeurys Familia will be suspended for a domestic violence inicident that occured last October.

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Mar 2, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) delivers a pitch in the game against the Miami Marlins at First Data Field. Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) delivers a pitch in the game against the Miami Marlins at First Data Field. Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets expect Jeurys Familia to be suspended for fewer than 30 games stemming from a domestic violence incident last October, according to the Daily News reporters Kristie Ackert and Christian Red.

Familia met with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in New York on Monday and the Mets are expected to learn the length of Familia's probable suspension within the next 48 hours, according to the NY Post's Joel Sherman.

Last year, Manfred issued a 52-game suspension to shortstop Jose Reyes and a 30-game suspension to Aroldis Chapman for their own roles in separate domestic violence incidents.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes
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Wheeler says he's ready 00:04:24
Zack Wheeler talks about his successful start Monday, and declares himself ready for the 2017 season.

The Mets played two split-squad games Monday, during which Seth Lugo started against the Nationals in St. Lucie, while Zack Wheeler started against the Marlins in Jupiter.

Following yesterday's news that Steven Matz will miss his next start due to elbow pain, it's been assumed that the team may need to choose between Lugo and Wheeler to be their fifth starter.

In Jupiter, Wheeler threw five scoreless innings, faced 19 batters, struck out three and allowed two hits.

Tags: Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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GEICO SportsNite: Zack Wheeler 00:01:26
Zack Wheeler says that he showed he can still be locked in on the mound, while Terry Collins says that Wheeler will have pressure on him.

Zack Wheeler allowed two hits, struck out three and walked two during five scoreless innings as the Mets beat the Marlins, 5-0, in Jupiter.

Seth Lugo allowed eight hits (including three homers) and four runs in 4 1/3 innings as the Mets lots to the Nationals, 6-0, in Port St. Lucie...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Josh Edgin, Michael Conforto, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, TJ Rivera, Zack Wheeler
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Lagares vs. Conforto in outfield 00:04:20
The Mets Talk Live panel discusses Juan Larages' oblique strain and whether or not Michael Conforto will be playing for him.

At this point, Michael Conforto will almost certainly replace Juan Lagares. To be honest, I think the roster spot may have first gone to Brandon Nimmo, because the Mets really want Conforto playing every day - even if it meant doing so in Triple-A Las Vegas.

Unfortunately Nimmo is nursing a hamstring injury and is also doubtful for the start of the season, so Conforto is the only option left to be the team's fourth outfielder - even if it again means inconsistent at bats and covering center field, where he's only played six times during his career.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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With Steven Matz's status in question, today's split-squad games could play a major role in the renewed race for the final rotation spot between Seth Lugo and Zack Wheeler...

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GEICO SportsNite: Matt Harvey 00:02:31
Eamon McAnaney discusses Matt Harvey's strong outing this afternoon against the Braves and gives the latest update on Steven Matz's injury.

The Mets will play two split-squad games on Monday. And, with Steven Matz's status in question, each game could play a major role in the race for the final rotation spot. 

In St. Lucie, Seth Lugo (7 IP, 2.86 ERA) will start against Max Scherzer and the Nationals in St. Lucie.

Meanwhile, also at 1:10 pm, Zack Wheeler (7.1 IP, 8.59 ERA) will start against the Marlins and Tom Koehler at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.

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Post Game Extra: Mets top Braves 00:03:20
Matt Harvey turned in his best start of the spring and Jose Reyes banged out three hits in the Mets' 8-2 win over the Braves.

Matt Harvey pitched his longest outing of the spring, giving up two runs in six innings, and the Mets defeated the Braves by a score of 8-2 at First Data Field.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Three things you should know about today's game...

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Robert Gsellman has landed a spot in the Mets rotation, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Gsellman's rotation spot comes following the news that Steven Matz will miss his next start with left elbow irritation. The Mets will be cautious with Steven Matz, Heyman said, adding that either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo will take the final spot in the rotation. There is also the possibility of Lugo pitching out of the bullpen.

Gsellman (17.1 IP, 1.56 ERA) has pitched in five games this spring. He posted a 2.42 ERA in eight regular season games in 2016, including seven starts. Lugo (7 IP, 3.86 ERA) is coming off several strong starts in the World Baseball Classic for Puerto Rico. In 17 games for the Mets in 2016, Lugo went 5-2 and had a 2.67 ERA. 

Zack Wheeler (7.1 IP, 8.59 ERA) has struggled so far this spring, giving up seven runs and nine hits, including four home runs.

Tags: Robert Gsellman
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New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey throws against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training game at First Data Field. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey throws against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training game at First Data Field. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Matt Harvey turned in a sharp outing on Sunday, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings against the Atlanta Braves at First Data Field. 

Harvey, making his fifth Grapefruit League start of the spring, threw as hard as 97 miles per hour early on and regularly hit 93-94 miles per hour throughout the game. He also found success mixing in his off-speed pitches. He struck our four batters and walked one. He lo

Matt Harvey turned in a sharp outing on Sunday, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings against the Atlanta Braves at First Data Field. 

Tags: Matt Harvey
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Mar 10, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) warms up before a spring training game against the Houston Astros at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Mar 10, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) warms up before a spring training game against the Houston Astros at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

RHP Matt Harvey (12.1 IP, 7.30 ERA) will start for the fifth time this spring as the Mets welcome the Braves to Port St. Lucie for a Grapefruit League matchup slated for 1:10 p.m.

In his most recent start, Harvey gave up three runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

RHP Matt Wisler (12.1 IP, 5.84 ERA) will start for Atlanta.

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New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (12) connects for a base hit during the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell)
New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (12) connects for a base hit during the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell)

Michael Conforto would replace Juan Lagares on the Mets roster if Lagares is further hampered by a left oblique strain, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Lagares, who left Saturday's game with the injury, will get an MRI on Monday, according to Puma. 

Lagares is hitting .190 with 1 home run and 2 RBI in 42 at-bats this spring. Meanwhile, Conforto is hitting .346 with 3 home runs in 52 at-bats this spring. His most recent home run came on Saturday against Atlanta.

Tags: Juan Lagares
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Mar 5, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) throws against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Mar 5, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) throws against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Mets (13-16-1) will host the Atlanta Braves (7-20-1) at First Data Field at 1:10 p.m. on PIX11.

RHP Matt Harvey (12.1 IP, 7.30 ERA) will make his fifth start of the spring. Harvey gave up three runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings on Monday against the Detroit Tigers.

RHP Matt Wisler (12.1 IP, 5.84 ERA) will start for Atlanta.

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Feb 17, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) leaves the practice field during spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 17, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) leaves the practice field during spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

RHP Jacob deGrom is hoping to pitch 200 innings and make 35 starts this season, he said to reporters on Saturday after making a start against Mets minor leaguers.

"It's not easy to go out there and throw 200 innings -- I don't think anybody here has, not including playoffs," deGrom said. "So that's kind of the next thing for us, to get out there and make the 35 starts and get to that 200 mark." 

DeGrom's heaviest workload was in 2015, when he pitched 191 innings in the regular season before pitching 25 more innings during the postseason. He pitched 148 innings in 2016, posting a 3.04 ERA in 24 starts before his season was cut short due to ulnar nerve surgery.

So far this spring, deGrom has a 2.93 ERA and 17 strikeouts in four Grapefruit League starts.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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GEICO SportsNite: Mets vs Braves 00:02:38
Terry Collins reflects on Saturday's game against the Braves, Juan Lagares' injury and what it could mean for the team moving forward.

Rafael Montero went five scoreless innings in his first Grapefruit League start, but Juan Lagares had to leave in the third with an oblique strain as the Mets defeated Atlanta 3-0 in Kissimmee, Fla., Saturday.

For a full box score, click here.

Three things you should know about today's game...

Tags: Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Rafael Montero
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Mar 14, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Mar 14, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Jacob deGrom did not allow an earned run and struck out five in a minor league outing Saturday morning in Port St. Lucie.

 "Honestly, I think I feel better than I felt at any point last year," deGrom, who threw 77 pitches, told reporters afterward. 

DeGrom, who allowed three hits, was 7-8 with a 3.04 ERA last season before ending his season Sept. 1. He had surgery to reposition the ulnar nerve in his right elbow on Sept 21.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Rafael Montero makes his first start of the spring today against the Braves. (David Kohl)
Rafael Montero makes his first start of the spring today against the Braves. (David Kohl)

Rafael Montero will make his first Grapefruit League start today against the Braves. Montero has made eight relief appearances and is 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA (four earned runs in 13.1 innings).

Former Met R.A. Dickey will start for Atlanta. He's 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA in four starts in 15 innings, having given up three homers and eight walks with eight strikeouts.

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First baseman's view of practice 00:02:14
SNY.tv hooked up Mets prospect Dominic Smith with a camera to see infield practice through the first baseman's eyes.

SNY.tv hooked up Mets prospect Dominic Smith with a camera to see a live infield practice session through the first baseman's eyes.

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Running wild on Syndergaard 00:05:11
Jon Hein and Dan Graca ask if the Mets ought to scrap the Syndergaard/d'Arnaud combo, since runners are swiping bases with impunity.

The Astros stole four bases Friday with Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard on the mound and Travis d'Arnaud behind the plate.

Astros center fielder Derek Fisher, who averaged a stolen base every three games during his minor-league career, swiped three bags against Syndergaard and d'Arnaud...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud
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Post Game Extra: Mets lose 00:02:45
Gary Apple and Ron Darling break down the Mets' 2-0 loss to the Houston Astros.

Noah Syndergaard allowed one run in six innings as the Mets lost to the Astros, 2-0, on Friday afternoon at First Data Field in St. Lucie.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Three things you should know about today's game...

1) Syndergaard was largely dominant, striking out five batters while allowing four hits and walking none. His ERA for the spring is 2.63. 

Tags: Addison Reed, Noah Syndergaard, Travis d'Arnaud
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Lennon and McAnaney on Reyes 00:01:11
David Lennon and Eamon McAnaney talk about the expectations for Jose Reyes heading into the 2017 season.

Mets infielder Jose Reyes is confident he can steal 30 bases this season, he told Newsday's David Lennon after returning from the World Baseball Classic.

"Terry [Collins] knows that I'm not going to be running out there crazy like I used to," Reyes explained. "I know the kind of lineup that we have. When I go, I need to make sure that I'm going to make it. My body feels good. I've got the green light, but I don't want to be giving away outs. It's not going to happen that way."

Reyes is expected to hit leadoff and start at third base in David Wright's absence. The last time he stole 30 bases was in 2014 when playing for the Blue Jays...

Tags: Jose Reyes
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Noah Syndergaard will be making his fourth Grapefruit League start. In 7.2 innings this spring, Syndergaard has allowed three runs and seven hits with four walks and six strikeouts.

It's possible today is his final start of the spring depending on how the Mets handle his last week of preperation for Opening Day.

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Mar 13, 2017; Asdrubal Cabrera (left) celebrates with Jay Bruce (right) after hitting a home run at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 13, 2017; Asdrubal Cabrera (left) celebrates with Jay Bruce (right) after hitting a home run at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Despite using the same lineup Wednesday and Thursday, save for Kevin Plawecki being in for Travis d'Arnaud on Thursday, Terry Collins said he has not yet committed to a set order, though he hopes to by Opening Day...

"I don't know what it's going to be right now, I really don't," he insisted after Thursday's game. "We'll decide night to night, who we are facing and who fits where. ... Right now, I have no idea what the lineup is going to be."

The lineup he used earlier this week, which drew praise from fans and media, looked as follows, with the catcher hitting eighth in front of the pitcher...

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Lugo on WBC Experience 00:01:30
Seth Lugo describes his experience in the World Baseball Classic and how it helped prepare him for the 2017 season.

Where will Zack Wheeler start 2017?

Mets GM Sandy Alderson suggested Thursday that Zack Wheeler could still make the Opening Day roster as a relief pitcher, though he will not be used in a traditional bullpen role.

"You have to put bullpen in quotes," Alderson said, qualifying his statement, according to Newsday. "Is it a traditional bullpen role? Or, a less traditional bullpen role?"

Alderson said earlier this spring that Wheeler will not be allowed to throw more than 125 innings this season since it will be the pitcher's first full year back after having Tommy John surgery in 2015.

This past off-season, I heard the team had been considering having Wheeler piggyback starts made by - I assume - Matt Harvey and Steven Matz, who are most likely to throw the fewest innings per start.

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First baseman's view of practice 00:02:14
SNY.tv hooked up Mets prospect Dominic Smith with a camera to see infield practice through the first baseman's eyes.

Mets 1B prospect Dominic Smith spent four weeks in big-league camp this spring, during which he hit .194 with a .324 OBP and four RBI in 31 at-bats in 18 Grapefruit League games.

He is widely considered the organization's second-best prospect.

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Gsellman vs. Lugo for final spot 00:08:09
The Mets Talk Live panel discusses Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo as the competition picks up to be named the Mets' fifth starter.

SNY's Mets Talk Live panel discusses Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo as the competition picks up to be named the Mets' fifth starter.

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GEICO SportsNite: Citi Field 00:01:39
GEICO SportsNite takes a look at the new amenities at Citi Field for the upcoming 2017 season.

The Mets (12-15) face the Astros (11-12) today from First Data Field at 1 p.m. ET.

The game can be seen live on SNY and heard on 710AM WOR radio. 

RHP Noah Syndergaard (7 2/3 IP, 3.52 ERA) will make his fourth Grapefruit League start. It could be his final start of the spring depending on how the team intends to handle his last week of preperation for Opening Day, April 3, when he's slated to start against the Braves at Citi Field.

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Cabrera on game ejection 00:01:08
Asdrubal Cabrera explains his argument with umpire Angel Hernandez that resulted in an ejection from Thursday's game.

Mets SS Asdrubal Cabrera was ejected by home plate umpire Angel Hernandez during Thursday's 1-0 loss to the Nationals in West Palm Beach, FL.

Cabrera was irritated after asking for a time out during his at-bat, which was not being granted by Hernandez. On the next pitch, Cabrera lined a single to center field. Running to first base, he glanced back at Hernandez, who ejected him after Cabrera arrived to first base.

"I've never seen that before," Cabrera said when asked about that kind of confrontation with an umpire during Spring Training...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera
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GEICO SportsNite: Mets lose 00:00:52
Robert Gsellman and manager Terry Collins speak to reporters following the Mets' 1-0 loss to Washington on Thursday.

Robert Gsellman allowed one run (unearned) in 5 1/3 innings as the Mets lost to the Nationals, 1-0, on Thursday afternoon in West Palm Beach, FL.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Three things you should know about today's game...

1) Gsellman allowed four hits while striking out two and walking two. He has a 1.56 ERA this spring.

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Hansel Robles, Robert Gsellman
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Remember when Citi invited Mets fans to vote for their favorite The7Line t-shirt design?

Well, after a close vote on Facebook, Mets fans have chosen their favorite new t-shirt!

At the team's "What's New at Citi Field" event, Mr. Met and the Citi Perk Patrol unveiled this new t-shirt designed by The 7 Line. However, this shirt will not be for sale - you can ONLY get one by catching it from the Citi Perk Patrol during the in-game t-shirt launch this season at Citi Field.
 
We can't wait to try to catch one! Can you?

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Granderson's second home run 00:00:50
Curtis Granderson ties the game at nine with a two-run homer to right field, his second long ball of the game.

Curtis Granderson started in center field and hit two home runs batting cleanup Wednesday against the Marlins at First Data Field in St. Lucie, Fla.

"We're a power hitting team," Terry Collins said after the game, during which he hit Neil Walker fifth, followed by Jay Bruce and by Lucas Duda. "You are looking at guys in the six, seven and eight (spots in the lineup) (who) have a chance to hit the ball out of the ballpark."

In 100 plate appearances batting fourth in 2016, Granderson hit .351 with six home runs and 18 RBI, but hit just .218 batting leadoff.

Tags: Curtis Granderson
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Robert Gsellman will make his fifth appearance of the spring as he continues to make his case for being the team's fifth starter in 2017. In 12 innings this spring, Gsellman has allowed three runs and 11 hits, while striking out seven batters and walking two. 



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Takeaways from Wheeler and Matz 00:07:37
Mets Talk Live reflects on the recent spring outings of Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz.

Zack Wheeler threw 66 pitches in three innings Wednesday against the Marlins, during which he allowed four runs and four hits and walked three batters.

In his previous outing he allowed two runs, three hits and hit 97 mph with his fastball.

"We won't make any decisions until we get down to the last week," Terry Collins said after the game, when asked if Wheeler will be on the Opening Day roster. "His arm strength is there, he feels good, it's a matter of getting him out there."

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Mets Talk Live talks deep bench 00:04:23
The Mets Talk Live crew examines the team's depth and the competition for a number of roles this spring.

Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo is still not running, according to Matt Ehalt of The Record.

Nimmo's recovery was set back a few more days after bothering his hamstring again Friday during running drills, he told reporters on Saturday.

The young outfielder was running at 90 percent last Thursday, and there was a belief that he could potentially play the field on Saturday before he re-aggravated the injury, reported Kristie Ackert of the NY Daily News.

Nimmo originally injured the hamstring two weekends ago playing for Italy in the World Baseball Classic. The team's manager, Marco Mazzieri, initially told the NY Times that it was believed to be a Grade 1 strain, which would likely force Nimmo to be sidelined for at least a few weeks. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo
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What's on tap for Thursday

The Mets travel to face the Nationals at 1:05 p.m. RHP Robert Gsellman (12 IP, 2.25 ERA) is slated to face off against RHP Erick Fedde (8.2 IP, 5.19 ERA).

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Post Game Extra: Mets lose 00:03:31
Gary Apple, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' loss to the Miami Marlins on Wednesday.

Curtis Granderson homered twice and drove in five runs, but the Mets fell to the Marlins, 15-9, on Wednesday at First Data Field.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Three things you should know about today's game...

1) Steven Matz allowed five runs on eight hits and a walk with one strikeout in four innings.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Mar 22, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; during the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports (Gary A. Vasquez)
Mar 22, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; during the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports (Gary A. Vasquez)

Mets RHP Seth Lugo gave up four runs and five hits, while striking out seven, in four innings Wednesday for Puerto Rico, who lost, 8-0, to the United States in the World Baseball Classic finals.

Tags: Seth Lugo
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June 05, 2011; Flushing, NY, USA; The New York Mets logo behind home plate before a game against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Braves 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Andrew B. Fielding-USA TODAY Sports (Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports)
June 05, 2011; Flushing, NY, USA; The New York Mets logo behind home plate before a game against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Braves 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Andrew B. Fielding-USA TODAY Sports (Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports)

Former Mets player and manager Dallas Green passed away Wednesday at the age of 82.

Green made five appearances for the Mets in 1966. He managed the club from 1993-1996, taking over for Jeff Torborg during the season. He was fired and replaced by Bobby Valentine late in the 1996 season. 

He also managed the Yankees in 1989 and the Phillies from 1979-1981, leading the franchise to its first World Series crown in 1980.

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Feb 24, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) looks on from the dugout during the first inning at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 24, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) looks on from the dugout during the first inning at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

By tomorrow morning, the Mets will have just eight Grapefruit League games left before starting the 2017 season April 3 against the Braves at Citi Field.

"It's crunch time," Terry Collins stated Monday, when asked about the remaining schedule and decisions facing the team during their final two weeks in Florida.

Here's what has to be decided before April 3...

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Steven Matz is making his fourth Grapefruit League start. In 8.2 innings this spring, he's allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits, while striking out six batters.

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Mar 8, 2017; Jupiter, FL, USA; Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker (12) walks towards the dugout before a spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 8, 2017; Jupiter, FL, USA; Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker (12) walks towards the dugout before a spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Nationals failed to acquire a closer this past winter, and they've seemingly made no steps toward resolving the issue this spring training.

"We haven't really discussed it at any length," the team's manager Dusty Baker recently told the Washington Post's Chelsea Janes.

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View of the sunset as New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies play in the second inning at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray)
View of the sunset as New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies play in the second inning at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray)

The Mets will take on their Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s, at First Data Field on March 30 before departing Port St. Lucie for New York.

The following day, the Mets will welcome the Army Black Knights to Citi Field for an exhibition match at 1:10 p.m. The teams will play a seven-inning game and parking at Citi Field will be free. 

General admission tickets for Field Level seating are $10 and net proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Mets Foundation. All active and retired military members with military identification will be allowed to attend the game along with one guest for free.

The game against Army was scheduled to take place at West Point, but was moved to Citi Field this morning due to last week's snowstorm.

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