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

 (Jasen Vinlove)
(Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets host the Nationals on Saturday at First Data Field in Port St. Lucie, live on SNY at 1:10 p.m.

Coverage begins on SNY at 12:30 p.m. with Mets pregame.

LHP Sean Gilmartin will get the start for the Mets, with LHP Jerry Blevins also scheduled to pitch.

Tags: Jerry Blevins, Sean Gilmartin
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Conforto fighting for spot 00:03:17
Michael Conforto went 2-3 with a home run in the Mets' first spring game, and could make roster decisions difficult for Terry Collins.

The Mets beat the Red Sox, 3-2, on Friday afternoon in Fort Myers.


  • Mets pitchers took a combined no-hitter into the seventh inning.
  • OF Michael Conforto went 2-for-3 with a home run.
  • C Travis d'Arnaud went 2-for-2.
  • RHP Seth Lugo, who is competing with Robert Gsellman and Zack Wheeler for the fifth spot in the rotation, walked two and struck out three while allowing no hits in two scoreless innings...
Tags: Hansel Robles, Jerry Blevins, Josh Edgin, Michael Conforto, Rafael Montero, Robert Gsellman, Sean Gilmartin, Seth Lugo, Travis d'Arnaud, Zack Wheeler
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'Hello Jerry' with David Wright 00:06:10
Season two of #HelloJerry begins with a special guest, Mets third baseman and captain David Wright.

Season two of #HelloJerry begins with a special guest, Mets third baseman and captain David Wright

Tags: David Wright, Jerry Blevins
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Mets Triple-A pitching coach Frank Viola wants to be on a big-league staff, despite playing a major role in the development of Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler.

"After being in Vegas for four years, I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't love to have an opportunity to make a difference in the big leagues," Viola recently told the NY Post. "If it happens, it happens.

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Mar 20, 2016; Red Sox DH David Murphy (18) is tagged out at home plate by Mets during a spring training game at Tradition Field. Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 20, 2016; Red Sox DH David Murphy (18) is tagged out at home plate by Mets during a spring training game at Tradition Field. Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets open their 2017 Grapefruit League schedule today at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Red Sox at JetBlue Field in Fort Myers, Fla.

The game will not be on SNY, but can be heard on radio at 710 AM WOR in New York.

Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Wilmer Flores, Amed Rosario, and Travis d'Arnaud will headline the trip, while Yoenis Cespedes, David Wright, Jose Reyes and the rest of the roster remain back in St. Lucie to work out in camp.

Seth Lugo will start for the Mets, after which RHP prospect Marcos Molina is expected to pitch.

Tags: Seth Lugo
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Live from Duffy's: Jose Reyes 00:04:23
Jose Reyes talks with Steve Gelbs on Mets Hot Stove about his relationships with David Wright, Asdrubal Cabrera and Amed Rosario.

Jose Reyes, spending his first Spring Training back with the Mets since signing a minor league deal last summer, discussed his evolving relationship with David Wright during an appearance on Hot Stove on Thursday night.

"I've known him since 2001," Reyes said. "We're like brothers. We get along very good. ...We just enjoy the game and enjoy the fact that we're here and enjoy playing together one more time."

Reyes described coming back to Port St. Lucie like going home to the Dominican Republic. "This is home for me," he said.

On shortstop prospect Amed Rosario, Reyes said -- as someone who's been in the same position -- he's given Rosario advice on how to handle the expectations...

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes
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Live from Duffy's: Terry Collins 00:06:20
Mets manager Terry Collins chats with Steve Gelbs on David Wright's return and how the Mets plan on using Jose Reyes this season.

Mets manager Terry Collins is excited for the upcoming season, although he does face some unique challenges, he told Mets Hot Stove on Thursday night.

Entering his sixth season as the Mets' skipper, Collins is amazed that he's just 43 games shy of becoming the longest-tenured manager in club history. Collins called New York a "tremendous place to manage" and added that being in baseball, "you want to manage on the biggest stage, and that's where I'm at."

Collins also discussed the difficulty of getting everyone enough playing time, saying that the players "have to buy into it. We're going to be very, very good and very fun to watch. But we've got to keep our good players healthy."

 

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Live from Duffy's: Granderson 00:04:09
Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson stops by Mets Hot Stove to chat with Steve Gelbs on the upcoming season.

Mets OF Curtis Granderson doesn't have much of a preference where he hits in the lineup and believes that being aggressive within the strike zone is a key to his success, he told Mets Hot Stove on Thursday night.

The 34-year-old hit leadoff for a majority of the first half last season until Jose Reyes joined the Mets in early July. Granderson said that he doesn't really care where he bats and that "wherever TC puts me, I'll find a way to make myself comfortable one way or the other because the first at-bat is really the only at-bat where you're in that first position."

He also discussed the difference in his approach between 2015 and 2016, saying that "the big thing is being aggressive. I don't think the approach last year, affected, one way or the other, the walks or the power numbers." He added that he wants to "be aggressive in the zone" and that is "the philosophy here with the Mets."

Tags: Curtis Granderson
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Live from Duffy's: Matt Harvey 00:06:28
Matt Harvey talks with Steve Gelbs about maintaining his intimidating presence on the mound and his recovery from surgery.

Mets RHP Matt Harvey looks forward to regaining the form he displayed during his dominant 2013 season while also helping lead the club to a World Series title, he told SNY during Mets Hot Stove on Thursday night. 

Speaking about his struggles last year, which ended in July following surgery to remove a rib after he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, Harvey said "it was a tough experience and I'm glad it's over, but I'm ready to go." Asked whether he plans on altering the style of pitching he had prior to his injuries, Harvey said "the goal is to regain 2013 form and go out there and do what I did then."

The 27-year-old also talked about bringing a championship to New York, saying he can "kind of envision the parade that we're gonna have" when he looks around the Mets' locker room.

Tags: Matt Harvey
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d'Arnaud on his expectations 00:02:41
Travis d'Arnaud joins Mets Hot Stove to discuss his expectations for himself behind the plate and at bat this season.

Glenn Sherlock may have been hired this past offseason to be the entire team's catching instructor, but he was clearly tasked with planting himself in Travis d'Arnaud's back pocket.

In the week that I've been here, I've only seen d'Arnaud out of ear shot from Sherlock once or twice, and it was walking from one field to another where Sherlock eventually ended up anyway...

Tags: Rene Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud, Matthew Cerrone
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The Mets considered trading OF Michael Conforto for Tigers OF J.D. Martinez before re-signing Yoenis CespedesJon Heyman of FanRag sports reported.

According to Heyman, the Mets decided that one year of Martinez, who will be a free agent after this season, in exchange for Conforto, wasn't enough.

MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone reported on Jan. 5 that the Mets had made calls to Detroit about the possibility of trading for Martinez before agreeing to a four-year deal with Cespedes...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Steven Matz
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Maggie Wiggin, MetsBlog.com:

With the roster largely set, the Mets have begun looking at lineup construction to maximize the offense from a team that underperformed for much of last season. As usual for this team, one of the spots still pending a long-term answer is leadoff.

When Jose Reyes is starting, it's largely a given that he will bat leadoff, assuming his bounceback 2016 numbers continue to hold steady. With major question marks surrounding David Wright's health, this may very well resolve the leadoff issue for the bulk of the season. 

The vast majority of Reyes's career plate appearances have come out of the leadoff spot and despite no longer displaying the stolen base prowess that secured him that spot in his youth (nor the on base percentage that tends to define the classic leadoff hitter nowadays), his reputation and general offensive competence will certainly place him there for the foreseeable future...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Jose Reyes, Neil Walker, Maggie Wiggin
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 (Steve Mitchell)
(Steve Mitchell)

 Mets manager Terry Collins spoke with the media on Thursday in Port St. Lucie. Here's what we learned...

  • The Mets will send outfielders Juan Lagares and Michael Conforto, infielder Wilmer Flores, and catcher Travis d'Arnaud to their Grapefruit League opener against the Red Sox on Friday. 
  • The hope is that David Wright will serve as designated hitter on Saturday.
Tags: David Wright, Josh Edgin, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Neil Walker, Travis d'Arnaud, Wilmer Flores
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Syndergaard to start Opening Day 00:05:36
Noah Syndergaaard joins Mets Hot Stove from Port St. Lucie to talk about what it means to be the Opening Day starter.

Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard is excited about his Opening Day start, he told SNY during Mets Hot Stove on Wednesday night.

"It's an awesome feeling," he said. "I'm extremely excited that Terry instills that kind of confidence in me, and I'll rise to the occasion." 

On skipping the upcoming World Baseball Classic, Syndergaard said his "heart and soul is with the Mets and that's who I want to compete with," adding that he threw lots of innings in 2015 and 2016 and wanted to give his arm a break...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

The Mets have signed RHP Wilfredo Boscan to a minor league deal, the team announced Thursday.

He will report to minor league camp.

Boscan, 27, had a 6.46 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in 15 1/3 innings (one start, five relief appearances) for the Pirates in 2016 during what was his first major league season...

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Tradition Field, the Mets' Spring Training hjome in Port St. Lucie, has been renamed First Data Field, it was announced Thursday.

The ballpark has been the Spring Training home of the Mets since it opened in 1988, and it was announced this past November that the Mets would spend at least the next 25 years playing there...

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Feb. 21, 2017: Mets RHP Matt Harvey gets set to throw during a bullpen session (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb. 21, 2017: Mets RHP Matt Harvey gets set to throw during a bullpen session (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

I know, and you know, the Mets have some serious pitching talent. I actually take it for granted, I think. But, when seeing them all lined up together, throwing side by side, it takes the realization to a different level...

This morning, I watched Zack Wheeler work at length for the first time this spring. He threw free and easy and - most important - he showed no signs of discomfort or awkwardness. There was no shaking out his arm or looking at his elbow, which is what I recall earlier in camp. In today's instance, it was all business. He simply tossed a bullpen session, did it well, and that was that...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 22 00:02:25
SNY.tv covers the day in Mets camp that includes bullpen sessions for Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler.

The Mets continued workouts at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday...


Zack Wheeler threw a bullpen session and could get his first game action on March 8 >> Read more

Curtis Granderson, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Neil Walker will be leadoff options >> Read more ...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto, Neil Walker, Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Zack Wheeler
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It was photo day today, which is when players get in full uniform to pose for head shots, pictures and promos used across baseball...

The individual photographers and media outlets set up stations that players go through one by one, where they stop, take direction and mostly do whatever is asked of them...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Matthew Cerrone
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 (The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports)
(The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports)

 Mets manager Terry Collins spoke with the media on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie. Here's what we learned...

  • Wednesday was the best Collins has seen RHP Zack Wheeler throw since his Tommy John surgery. Wheeler could get in to a Grapefruit League game on March 8.
  • Collins thinks RHP Noah Syndergaard is doing the right thing by not pitching in the upcoming World Baseball Classic...
Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Steven Matz, Travis d'Arnaud, Zack Wheeler
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Alderson on d'Arnaud, Conforto 00:04:32
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson dishes on some hot topics including expectations for Travis d'Arnaud and Michael Conforto.

With the return of Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce to New York's outfield this season, along with the presence of Curtis Granderson, 23-year old Michael Conforto has seemingly lost his spot in the starting lineup.

But Mets general manager Sandy Alderson does not believe it will discourage him from coming in and having a strong spring training, something that would make the decision about the outfield significantly more difficult for the GM.

"Well I think the important thing for Michael is to have a good spring, regardless of what happens at the end," Alderson told SNY's Gary Apple. "One of the things we focus on around here is process and not results. So I think Michael is committed to having a good spring, and you know, the way things are configured now, make it tough on us."

While Conforto will be attempting to prove to Alderson he belongs in the starting lineup this spring, he is not the only Met looking to show management of improvements made since last season...

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Kevin Plawecki, Michael Conforto, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes
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Zack Wheeler joins Hot Stove 00:02:39
Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler talks injuries and rehab as he eyes a return to the Mets starting staff in 2017.

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler threw another bullpen session on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie, mixing curveballs in for the first time.

Wheeler could pitch in his first Grapefruit League game on March 8 against the Astros, manager Terry Collins said.

Wheeler threw about 20 pitches off a mound on Sunday for the first time since he felt some tenderness in his right elbow during a recent bullpen session.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen said last Wednesday that the tenderness Wheeler felt during his bullpen session early last week was likely due to scar tissue, which remains from his Tommy John surgery...

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

When Jose Reyes doesn't start, the main options for the Mets at leadoff will be Asdrubal CabreraCurtis Granderson, and Neil Walker, manager Terry Collins said recently.

Reyes hit .267 with a .326 OBP and .443 SLG with eight HR, 13 doubles, four triples, and nine stolen bases in 60 games for the Mets last season.

He's expected to hit leadoff when he starts, but the Mets' starting infield from left to right as of now is expected to be David Wright, Cabrera, Walker, and Lucas Duda.

Granderson has had lots of experience hitting leadoff, but Collins is wary about moving him from the middle of the lineup...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Lucas Duda, Neil Walker
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Wright discusses health, Reyes 00:05:03
Gary Apple and Nelson Figueroa catch up with David Wright to discuss his health, the 2017 team and playing with Jose Reyes again.

David Wright is expected to only DH - and not play in the field - this weekend when Mets begin their the Grapefruit League schedule, Terry Collins told reporters Tuesday at Tradition Field.

"He is making strides," Collins said, noting that Wright may not get time at third base until the middle of March. "He probably won't play a lot until we make sure his arm is right. ... We just don't want him overexposed where if he makes a bad throw all of a sudden it's a big story."

Tags: David Wright
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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 21 00:02:35
MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone and SNY Mets analyst Nelson Figueroa discuss the day's events at Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

The Mets continued workouts at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie on Tuesday...


The dynamic between David Wright and Jose Reyes has changed, as has their role on the Mets >> Read more

Reyes, Yoenis Cespedes, and Asdrubal Cabrera have been spending lots of time together at camp >> Read more...

Tags: Addison Reed, Asdrubal Cabrera, David Wright, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes
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Feb., 2017: David Wright and Jose Reyes taking infield at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb., 2017: David Wright and Jose Reyes taking infield at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

The dynamic I see between David Wright and Jose Reyes is not what I remember from the old days. It has changed, just as I am sure they have changed as men.

In the early days of their relationship, they were the two young guys called up to Shea Stadium at roughly the same time. The team was built around them. They were always paired together in photo shoots, on magazine covers and on the same side of the field...

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb. 20, 2017: Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes talk between batting practice sessions during Spring Training (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb. 20, 2017: Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes talk between batting practice sessions during Spring Training (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

The big-name players on the Mets are all spending way more time together on and off field than I recall seeing here in previous spring trainings. That said, Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes are close to inseparable.

They stretch together, they hit in the same groups, they eat together before and after practice, and they joke around in the field and at the cage. They're clearly doubling down on the friendship they began building last summer.

Hopefully, that escalation doesn't end in St. Lucie, but continues to grow and fuel the team's run production like it did during the second half in 2016...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets manager Terry Collins spoke with the media on Tuesday in Port St. Lucie. Here's what we learned...

  • 3B David Wright will likely serve as a designated hitter initially during Grapefruit League games.
  • If RHP Jeurys Familia is suspended for his domestic violence incident, Collins is not worried about him keeping himself in shape during the time away from the team.
  • OF Jay Bruce will not take fly balls in center field during Spring Training.
  • The Mets have seen the potential of C Travis d'Arnaud, who is "extremely dangerous" when he's swigning well. "Everybody is allowed to have a bad year," Collins said about d'Arnaud's performance in 2016...
Tags: David Wright, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Rafael Montero, Travis d'Arnaud
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 (Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports)
(Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports)

Free agent C Matt Wieters is close to signing what will likely be a two-year deal with the Nationals that contains an opt-out after the first year, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

The deal will be worth $21 million, with $10 million paid in 2017, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Wieters, 30, hit .243 with a .302 OBP and .409 SLG with 17 HR and 66 RBI in 124 games last season for the Orioles.

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Rene Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud
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Reed on becoming Mets closer 00:04:28
Reliever Addison Reed joins Mets Hot Stove to discuss his outlook for the 2017 season.

In the event Jeurys Familia begins the season under suspension, Addison Reed will be the team's closer and Fernando Salas will be his set-up man, Terry Collins said Monday.

"As of today, he would be that guy, because he has done it before and he's been successful at it," Collins said of Reed, who had a 1.97 ERA and identical 1.97 FIP in 80 games last season.

He and the Mets avoided salary arbitration in December, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $7.75 million, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Tags: Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia
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Feb. 21, 2017: The sun rises over Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Feb. 21, 2017: The sun rises over Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

It was not photo day Tuesday morning. I wish I knew that, because I thought it was and got to Tradition Field at 6:55 am ET. No worries, though, since it was a great opportunity to watch the sunrise and catch the ballpark get started for the day...

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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 20 00:02:48
SNY's Steve Gelbs and Marc Carig of Newsday cover Monday at Mets camp, including Neil Walker rumors and a close look at Amed Rosario

The New York Mets seem comfortable together in spring training as they prepare for their first game on Friday. Team morale also seems high.

Contract discussions between second baseman Neil Walker and the Mets are "probably dead."

Shortstop Amed Rosario, one of the top prospects in baseball, said he has learned a great deal from Jose Reyes.

Manager Terry Collins said he sees upside in what Rosario and outfielder Michael Conforto, and also said Fernando Salas would step into the set-up role should Addison Reed become interim closer in the event Jeurys Familia is suspended under the MLB's domestic violence policy.

Tags: Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Neil Walker
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Rosario shows off personality 00:03:56
Mets prospect Amed Rosario makes an impression and shows his personality to reporters while the Mets Talk Live crew discusses his potential.

New York Mets manager Terry Collins spoke to the media on Monday in Port St. Lucie, Florida, as the team readies for its first spring training game this Friday. 

  • He said Fernando Salas would become the Mets' eighth-inning set-up man "because he has done it before, because he has been successful at it" in the event closer Jeurys Familia is suspended under the MLB's domestic violence policy. 
  • He said he was looking forward to seeing how shortstop Amed Rosario, considered one of the top prospects in baseball, will play this spring.
Tags: Michael Conforto
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In the 10 years I've been coming to Tradition Field, I don't recall seeing so much smiling and laughing going on between the team's star players and the coaching staff.

It's nice to see. It's one of those things that - if the Mets go on to have a poor season and miss the playoffs - people will look back on and blame, saying they were too loose and not taking things seriously enough. Of course, if they steamroll the NL East and get back to the World Series, we'll look back and believe their success started in St. Lucie...

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Photo: Chris McShane
Photo: Chris McShane

Mets prospect Amed Rosario is thankful to have Jose Reyes guiding him as a mentor, the shortstop told reporters through an interpretar on Monday.

"Well I'm so thankful to God first, and then I'm so thankful that I have people like Jose," Rosario said from Tradition Field. "Jose doesn't just give me advice on the field. He really tells me how to carry myself as a person off the field. To always make the right choices, do the right thing. So that's a really great thing to have."

Rosario and Reyes spent time together in Binghamton last year as Reyes was making his way towards the majors. While Reyes appeared in only nine games for the Mets' Double-A affiliate, Rosario played in 54, hitting an impressive .341 with two home runs, 31 RBIs, and 14 doubles.

Tags: Jose Reyes
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Walker (20) watches Yoenis Cespedes in the batting cage at Tradition Field. Credit: Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Walker (20) watches Yoenis Cespedes in the batting cage at Tradition Field. Credit: Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Latest Update (Feb. 20)

1:25PM: The feeling from the Mets side is the Neil Walker contract extension discussions are probably dead, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Tags: Neil Walker
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Jose Reyes, David Wright, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes take batting practice at Tradition Field in 2017 (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Jose Reyes, David Wright, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes take batting practice at Tradition Field in 2017 (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

In his talk with the team before stretching on Sunday, Terry Collins essentially told the team that last year was an anomaly because of the injuries. He said he's proud of how they fought through adversity, but this year will be different...

In short, because I was down wind and roughly 40 feet away from where he was standing, I heard him say they will be healthy and strong and continue what they started in 2015.


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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 19 00:02:12
MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone and SNY Mets analyst Nelson Figueroa discuss the day's events at camp in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

The Mets and Neil Walker are close to agreeing to a contract extension that could pay him roughly $40 million over three years >> Read more

David Wright threw a baseball on Sunday for the first time since having season-ending neck surgery last June >> Read more

Zack Wheeler, who dealt with elbow tenderness last week, returned to the mound on Sunday >> Read more

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Finally on Sunday, during the team's first official full-team workout of Spring Training, David Wright and Jose Reyes were in the same place at the same time. Of course, it took a while before they stood close enough to one another to exchange words and be photographed together...

Actually, at one point, Reyes literally jobbed to a different field as Wright emerged.

"Uh oh, David's here, I need to go," he said laughing...

Reyes returned, photographers and reporters gathered, but they continued to stand apart...

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Sandy Alderson: Mets are all in 00:01:28
New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson says that the team is "all in" to win a World Series in 2017, and is willing to add payroll to do so.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson spoke with the media in Port St. Lucie on Sunday and credited ownership for the current payroll being as high as it is now and said the team can raise the payroll, if necessary, despite still having OF Jay Bruce on the roster.

There are currently no ongoing trade discussions at the moment, Alderson said, and that the team is preparing to enter the season with current players and make adjustments from there. He said the best possibilty is to have six outfielders hitting .400 in Spring Training

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Feb 14, 2017; Matt Harvey (33) talks with Collins (10) during workouts at Tradition Field. Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2017; Matt Harvey (33) talks with Collins (10) during workouts at Tradition Field. Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Terry Collins said in his speech to the team before Sunday's first official full-team workout of the season he told the players that they better have "swagger" and need to act like they will win in 2017, adding that he is confident the Mets will be playing in October.

Collins told reporters that players are entering camp knowing what they were still able to accomplish last year by rising up when many of the starting pitchers suffered injuries.

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Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper reacts after a called third strike in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game four of the 2016 NLDS at Dodger Stadium. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper reacts after a called third strike in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game four of the 2016 NLDS at Dodger Stadium. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

In January, Nationals OF Bryce Harper posted a video of himself and his brother, Bryan, singing in excitement for Ohio State's College Football Playoff game against Clemson.

Barstool Sports shared it on their Instagram account, where Syndergaard responded in the comment section, calling Harper a "douche."

When Harper was asked about comment over the weekend at Nationals camp, the outfielder didn't exactly laugh off the incident. 

"I don't know, Syndergaard does what he does and the Mets do what they do," Harper told reporters, according to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. "So we are going to worry about what we do in our clubhouse and do everything we can do win ballgames and hopefully have a better record than any team in Major League Baseball." 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Less than a year and a half ago, MLB.com considered then 19-year-old Mets RHP Marcos Molina to be the organization's top pitching prospect. He then had Tommy John surgery, missed an entire season and dropped to fourth on MLB.com's 2016 list last summer.

Molina, now 21, tossed a bullpen session Saturday a few feet away from Dan Warthen, Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson and his staff...

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Feb 17, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of the catchers gear of New York Mets catcher Rene Rivera (not pictured) on the 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; A general view of the catchers gear of New York Mets catcher Rene Rivera (not pictured) on the field during spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Yoenis Cespedes told reporters that the Mets have a "great chance" to win the World Series in 2017 if the team stays healthy. He also said he feels calmer knowing that he landed a four-year contract extension with the Mets. Read more here

Metsblog's Matthew Cerrone captured photos of Matt HarveyNoah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Terry Collins signing autographs at the end of Saturday's practice. Harvey seemed to draw a larger crowd than Syndergaard, but all of them drew fans. See pictures and read more here

 

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Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Terry Collins spent a good chunk of time at the end of today's practice signing autographs for Mets fans...

It was quite a frenzy, especially considering Harvey and Syndergaard were signing at the same time. And, I have to say, though people were going pretty crazy to get to Syndergaard, I actually think Harvey created a bigger buzz...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler
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Mets manager Terry Collins spoke to reporters Saturday in Port St. Lucie. Here is what we learned... 

  • Yoenis Cespedes is "driven" and "determined" to perform up to expectations this season. 
  • Cespedes is also relaxed and in great shape this year. 
  • David Wright is on schedule to throw either on Sunday or Monday, though he is not at camp Saturday. 
  • While he is not at camp Saturday and won't be there Sunday, Jeurys Familia is expected to return Monday
  • The team has not had this much depth since Collins has been manager of the team. 
  • Collins is excited and has nervous energy for Sunday's first official full team practice. 

Tags: David Wright, Jeurys Familia, Yoenis Cespedes
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Mar 30, 2016; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) connects for a double in the first inning during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Mar 30, 2016; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) connects for a double in the first inning during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Yoenis Cespedes told reporters on Saturday that he is more comfortable heading into this season because of his contract extension and that he believes the Mets have "a great chance" to win the World Series as long as the team stays healthy.

"Having [the extension] really gives me a sense of calm knowing that I am no longer year to year and that my home is here with the Mets for the next four years," he said, adding that it gives him tranquility and he can prepare and focus better. 

 

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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I love watching the pitchers throw their bullpen sessions on the 10-pack on the back side of Tradition Field's training complex. There are a lot of people hanging around, from media, to coaches, to front office executives, multiple pitchers throwing at one time, multiple catchers, teammates tracking pitches and side conversations about mechanics and pitch section...

In the case of right-handed, side-arm reliever Ben Rowen, who signed a free-agent, minor-league contract, it was an opportunity for Dan Warthen to talk with him about his repertoire and how he approaches right-handed batters compared to left-handed batters...

Tags: Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb 14, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) fields ground balls during spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 14, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) fields ground balls during spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Mets closer Jeurys Familia left Tradition Field before Friday's workout and returned on Saturday morning, only to leave again, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.

Familia was originally expected to return on Saturday, but he will miss workouts for a second consecutive day due to MLB's investigation into his domestic violence arrest, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post

Tags: Jeurys Familia
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