In Part I of this breakdown of Mets pitching depth, we found that at the upper levels of the minors, and for the duration of the 2014 season, it's Noah Syndergaard, and not much else. Again, with Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom already getting a taste of the big leagues, and Syndergaard on the way if his elbow holds up, this is neither cause for concern nor a surprise. The best and most advanced of this group of pitchers can reasonably be expected to reach the big leagues in 2015 with the rest trickling in in the subsequent years.


Advanced Single-AAt this level, we're now talking about guys who can help the Mets not in 2014, but in years down the road, possibly as early as late 2015 for the arms in advanced-A already and 2016 for those in Savannah if they move quickly.

LHP Steven MatzFollowing 6 2/3 shutout innings on Sunday, Matz now has a 1.73 ERA to go along with a 23.9 percent strikeout rate and an 8.5 percent walk rate in advanced Single-A. He's fourth in the Florida State League in ERA, and eighth in strikeout rate. He has not allowed more than two earned runs in any start and after a weird hiccup in late April/early May, when he walked four batters in consecutive starts, he's been lights out and has not walked more than two in any of his last four starts. In those four starts, he's fanned 21 and walked six in 23 2/3 innings while allowing six runs, three earned (1.14 ERA).

Matz has a plus fastball, and the potential for an above-average changeup and an average curveball. He's pretty clearly the Mets' best pitching prospect in A-ball at the moment and given that he turned 23 last Thursday, should earn a promotion to Double-A Binghamton this summer (likely after the first half ends, and he gets to enjoy the FSL All-Star Game on June 14). With a good second half in Binghamton in 2014, he could start 2015 in Triple-A, and make himself an option later in the 2015 season.

RHP Gabriel YnoaThe top-line numbers for Ynoa: 3.88 ERA, 15.9 strikeout percentage and a 5.3 walk percentage in a league where the average ERA is 3.44, with an 18.2 percent strikeout rate and a 8.1 percent walk rate doesn't look like much. However, Ynoa, who turned 21 the day after Memorial Day, has been much, much better over the last few weeks.

IPERAAVGOBPSLGKBBTBFK%BB%
1st 6 Starts30.676.16.331.375.538171114511.77.6
Last 4 Starts251.08.250.265.29222210022.02.0
That's just ridiculous. Ynoa has an average-ish fastball (92-94), a slider and a changeup and he can throw all three for strikes out of a nice, easy delivery. He has a pretty advanced feel for pitching and demonstrated an impressive feel for setting up hitters and locating his stuff in the zone. He's a fly-ball pitcher, when guys just make weak contact against him and when he's on, he does not walk anyone. Given his age, the Mets can afford to let him take his time, but if his next six starts are anything like his last four, my preseason No. 13 prospect should head to north to Double-A this summer as well.

RHP Michael Fulmer A little bit like Ynoa, the top line numbers don't look great, but they appear to camouflage some nice progress. Fulmer is trying to bounce back from a lost 2013 and he's run a 4.70 ERA with 38 K against 14 BB in 46 innings.

In April, he ran an 8.00 ERA while the FSL hit .361/.384/.482 against him in 18 innings. In May, that was down to a 2.57 ERA and a .245/.336/.355 opponents' batting line in 28 innings. Overall, the good news is that he's cut his walk rate from 12.3 percent last year to 6.6 percent this year. The bad news is that in return he's giving up more hits, and more homeruns as the FSL has hit .295/.355/.409 against him this year. He still throws in the low to mid-90s, and get to 95 mph late in his starts. He's a big young guy, who looks like he should have a durable frame, who turned 21 in March. If everything comes together for Fulmer, who has been working on adding a two-seamer to get more ground balls and his changeup, there's still a rotation piece in here. A reliever pumping 95 is a nice downside option too.

Fulmer, my preseason No. 14 prospect, feels like he's on a slower course than Matz or Ynoa. If he figures it out in the second half, he might earn a shot at Binghamton, or the Mets could leave him in St. Lucie to lead a potential FSL playoff chase. Even so, if he starts in Double-A in 2015, he's more of a big league consideration in 2016.

RHP Domingo TapiaThe 22-year-old might have the best fastball in the system this side of Syndergaard, at 96-98 mph with sink and run when it's right. He struggled mightily to throw strikes last year (14 percent walk rate) and has been a little better this year (11.6 percent). Still, it's come with a surprising cost: he's stopped missing bats completely, as he's struck out just 10.5 percent of opponents this year. When he gets rolling, it feels like he's unstoppable, generating grounder after grounder (he has a 12 and two 14 groundball out performances in his last six starts). However, some nights he never finds that rhythm. The story this week was that his good start was helped by his slider. He's been working on the pitch for years (like at least four).

While the Mets can keep Tapia as a starter to facilitate his development, the bet here is that eventually he finds a home in a bullpen and could be helping the big league team by 2016.

RHP Matt KochKoch, the Mets third-round pick in 2012, throws lots and lots of fastballs. Last year, he rode them to a 19.4 percent strikeout rate and a 1.1 percent walk rate (!!!) in Savannah. This year, in the FSL, without another pitch to keep batters honest, he's down to a 11.1 percent strikeout rate and a 4.2 percent walk rate and a 2.70 ERA. He's coming back from a scary injury at the end of last year when he took a line drive off his head, and has recovered nicely. Maybe there's a hard-throwing reliever in here, but it's tough to project an MLB starter in here with a strikeout rate around 10 percent and no average secondary pitch.

Luis CessaThe 22-year-old Cessa has struck out 10 percent of opposing batters through his first eight starts in the FSL on his way to a 3.98 ERA. There's some feel here, but after a nice 2013 in the comfy confines of Historic Grayson Stadium, my preseason No. 24 prospect, looks more like an organizational soldier than a big league starter through the first third of the 2014 season.


Single-A

This year's Savannah Sand Gnats rotation does not have the big fastballs of Fulmer or Tapia, or the potential of Matz or Ynoa, but there are a few potential big league caliber arms lurking a few years away in this rotation.

RHP Miller DiazDiaz is 2 2/3 innings shy of qualifying for the SAL league leaders. If the 22-year had those two innings, he and his 1.93 ERA would be ninth in the league.

Since allowing three runs in four inning in his first start of the year, he's given up just 10 runs, six earned, in his last 38 innings -- a 1.42 ERA. Overall, he's struck out 29.9 percent of opposing htitters and walked 10.2 percent. Including his four hit-by-pitches takes his "free bases" rate of walks+HBP to a heavy 12.4 percent. He's really almost done with the SAL. He works off a fastball that's mostly 92-94, and will touch 95 to go along with a slider and changeup. However, he loses velocity over the course of his outings.

He's listed at a sturdy 6'1", 210, and appears to be in better shape than last year when he was in Brooklyn. Scouts who have seen him recently do not see either the command or changeup to stick as a starter in the big leagues, but there might well be a big league middle reliever in here in a role where he can really cut loose on the velocity in short outings.

RHP Robert GsellmanGsellman, my preseason No. 25 prospect, rolled through April, but had to sit for three weeks at the beginning of May with a hamstring injury.

He has not looked quite as sharp since his return, but he's sitting on a 2.27 ERA with a 19.9 percent strikeout rate and a 5.4 percent walk rate. He won't turn 21 until July and has made nice progress in the last year. Over the weekend, he spotted his fastball well down to both sides of the plate to batters of both hands. His second pitch is a nice changeup that he throws with good armspeed. However, his curveball, which looked better earlier in the year, remains very much a work in progress. he had real trouble throwing it for a strike in this last start. He needed to slow the pitch down into the low-mid 70s, and soften its break to keep it in the strikezone. He sits around 91-94 with his fastball. With a big body at 6'4", 200lbs, Gsellman has a build that looks like it should hold up to a full year in a rotation.

It's a very small leap of imagination - like a better curveball - to see him slotting into the back of a big league rotation, otherwise he's a bullpen candidate.

RHP Kevin McGowanAfter his first three starts this year, the 22-year-old McGowan had a 5.27 ERA and a 11/6 K/BB ratio in 13 2/3 innings. Since then he's allowed almost nothing. In his five starts since April 29, he's given up one run (it was unearned) on 17 hits in 32 1/3 innings. The SAL has hit .152/.228/.161, against him in that time with a 19.5 percent strikeout rate and a 8.9 percent walk rate. At 6'6", McGowan throws his fastball 91-94 to go along with his slider and changeup. Some nights in the SAL, he barely needs his secondary offerings. His strikeout and walk rates are ordinary, but there's a potential big league arm in McGowan's big body. He could be a back of the rotation type or middle reliever if he makes it, although he'll need plenty of work on his secondary stuff. McGowan looks like a potentially nice find out of D-II Franklin Pierce College, in the 13th round last year.

RHP John Michael GantGant, who grew up in Savannah, but moved to Florida before high school, has the enviable task of pitching at home. The 21-year-old has done well, working to a 2.67 ERA with a 20.9 percent strikeout rate and 8.9 percent walk rate. That strikeout rate is down from his 27.6 percent rate in the New York-Penn League last year. Gant is 6'3" and lean with a loose, easy delivery. He has good feel with his changeup and can throw his curveball for strikes.

The problem in projecting a big league role for him comes back to his fastball which is still 88-91. It just might be too soft to hold a big league role. Jeff Paternostro at Amazin' Avenue has a little more, and the same basic conclusion.

RHP Chris FlexenI've been relatively high on the 19-year-old for a while, but he's been a mess in the first half of the year for Savannah: 6.37 ERA, 41 IP, 50 H, 25 BB, 23 K, 5 HR. There's still a good arm in here, but his control has been consistently erratic as he's walked three batters or more in all but one of his eight starts. Forget about locating within the zone, it doesn't matter how hard a pitcher throws if he can't throw strikes (just ask Domingo Tapia). Forget MLB roles or timetables. Nothing matters until his command improves.


I excluded Rob Whalen here, who's been on the disabled list with a hand infection and limited to four starts for the Gnats.

Tags: Analysis, Toby Hyde

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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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)

WFAN's Ed Coleman reported on air from St. Lucie that the Mets and free-agent Neil Walker are close to agreeing to a contract extension, the station said on Twitter.

According to Daily News reporter Kristie Ackert, a source close to Walker and the Mets said a possible deal with the Mets this spring would include the 2017 season, plus two additional years, and be worth slightly more than $40 million.

The Mets talked with Walker's agent on Saturday and planned to do so again on Sunday, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said this past weekend.

Tags: Neil Walker
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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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Mets 3B David Wright fields ground balls on a back field in Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Mets 3B David Wright fields ground balls on a back field in Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

Mets 3B David Wright threw on a back field at Tradition Field on Sunday for the first time since having season-ending neck surgery last June.

Wright later told reporters that he took it easy and was simply going through the motions today.

"There's still a ways to go before I feel comfortable," he explained. "It's going to take time."

Wright said he believes he'll be ready for Spring Training. 

Tags: David Wright
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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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John Harper from Mets camp 00:05:06
MLB Insider John Harper joins Daily News Live to discuss all the questions surrounding the Mets' Spring Training.

Mets RHP Zack 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, reports Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News.

Prior to Sunday, Wheeler most recently threw for about 10 minutes on Thursday, but only played catch.

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

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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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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Feb 14, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) walks to the field during spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) walks to the field during spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

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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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 17 00:02:24
SNY's Steve Gelbs and John Harper of the NY Daily News cover Mets camp, including close looks at Travis d'Arnaud and Jose Reyes.

David Wright is tentatively scheduled to play catch on Sunday for the first time since having season-ending neck surgery last June, manager Terry Collins said >> Read more!

Jeurys Familia left camp on Friday to deal with a personal matter and is expected back Saturday.

Mets SS prospect Amed Rosario and 1B prospect Dominic Smith took batting practice together >> See pictures and read more here!

MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone followed Jose Reyes, who looks like he never left the Mets for Miami >> See pictures and read more here!

Tags: Jose Reyes, Travis d'Arnaud
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Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches during the first inning: USA TODAY Tommy Gilligan
Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches during the first inning: USA TODAY Tommy Gilligan

Former major league pitcher and pitching coach Tom House believes that Noah Syndergaard could suffer an arm injury as soon as this summer, he told Bob Klapisch of The Record

House, who pitched seven years in the major leagues, said Syndergaard's adding of 17 pounds of muscle only hurts his development. 

"Unfortunately, this is an injury waiting to happen by the second week of June," House told Klapisch. "Unless you're picking up a ball while you're getting stronger, you're just adding muscle that doesn't know how to throw. It's unskilled muscle."

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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. (Steve Mitchell)
. (Steve Mitchell)

Bartolo Colon, who signed a one year deal worth $12.5 million with the Braves this offseason, initially thought he was going to return to the Mets for 2017.

"I had the idea that I was probably going to stay with the Mets at the end of the season," Colon told the NY Post through an interpreter. "My family is up there, but it's a business, and I had to do what was right for me and my family. This was a business decision.''

"The Mets did a lot for me,'' Colon added. "It's just one of those things.''

Colon, who turns 44 years old in May, had a 3.43 ERA (3.99 FIP) and 1.21 WHIP in 191 2/3 innings (33 starts, one relief apperance) last season for the Mets...

Tags: Bartolo Colon, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Mets 1B prospect Dominic Smith (74) watches top SS prospect Amed Rosario (61) during big-league batting practice at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Mets 1B prospect Dominic Smith (74) watches top SS prospect Amed Rosario (61) during big-league batting practice at Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

Mets SS prospect Amed Rosario and 1B prospect Dominic Smith took batting practice together during Friday's big-league workout at Tradition Field in St. Lucie.

It was pretty cool seeing them in the same place, crushing baseballs together and talking hitting with the big-league team's assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler.

It's also worth noting they spent time intensely working on their high-five routine...

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Mets infielder Jose Reyes looks off field during batting practice in Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Mets infielder Jose Reyes looks off field during batting practice in Tradition Field (Credit: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

It feels like Jose Reyes never left. He looks at home here in St. Lucie.

And, despite a successful team having been built after he left for Miami, he carries himself and interacts with his current teammates as if he had been here the entire time.

In the old days, I marveled at watching Reyes field ground balls and throw to first base. It's such a routine, simple act, but he was so much more smooth -- yet also explosive -- in his movements it made the players around him look they were playing a different game...

Tags: Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Terry Collins (10) in the dugout before the start of a game. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Terry Collins (10) in the dugout before the start of a game. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

 

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

Tags: David Wright, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Travis d'Arnaud, Zack Wheeler
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Yesterday was my first day in Mets camp, and -- despite this being my 10th season covering spring training -- I had a really difficult time getting my bearings on field. At first, I thought it was me. But, I quickly realized the Mets are doing things slightly different than they have in the past.

Interestingly, they are adjustments every team probably should have implemented years ago -- especially in a world where every person is holding a camera capable of live streaming information to thousands of people.

For instance, the day's workout schedule is no longer posted in public. And, whereas media had long been able to walk up and down the dirt surrounding the grass (from left field to right field to behind the backstop), we are now only allowed to be in a designated 15-20 foot area marked by yellow lines in front of the dugouts...

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 (Derik Hamilton)
(Derik Hamilton)

Mets INF Jose Reyes has been told he'll take some fly balls in center field during Spring Training in addition to getting work at third base, shortstop, and second base.

"I don't see any problem," Reyes said about transitioning to the outfield at this stage of his career. "I feel like I'm a good athlete," he concluded.

Reyes added that he's excited to potentially play next to David Wright this season.

"I can't wait for that to happen," he said. "He's my big brother, we've got a lot of love for eachother."

Tags: David Wright, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes
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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 16 00:03:51
MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone and Ted Berg of USA Today discuss the day's events at Mets Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler played catch Thursday, "felt good," and is aiming to throw off a mound on Saturday or Sunday, Mets manager Terry Collins said >> Read more.

Collins announced that Noah Syndergaard will start Opening Day, April 3, against the Braves at Citi Field, which the pitcher said was a huge honor >> Read more.

"I'm here until I'm not," Jay Bruce told reporters with a dry tone when asked about rumors of Sandy Alderson attempting to trade him before Spring Training >> Read more.

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New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) watches batting practice before action against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher)
New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) watches batting practice before action against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher)

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

  • RHP Zack Wheeler, who has been dealing with elbow tenderness, felt good Thursday after playing catch and will hopefully throw from the mound on Friday.
  • RHP Noah Syndergaard will start on Opening Day, which is April 3 against the Braves at Citi Field.
  • Collins does not yet have the starting rotation mapped out for the entire first week of the regular season.

 

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler
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Aug 16, 2016; Syndergaard against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 16, 2016; Syndergaard against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Terry Collins has named Noah Syndergaard the Mets' Opening Day starter.

According to Collins, Syndergaard earned the honor with the way he pitched last season.

Syndergaard said it's a "huge honor" and that he's thrilled about how much confidence Collins has in him.

The Mets begin their 2017 season on April 3 at Citi Field against the Braves...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Mets OF Jay Bruce speaks to the media in St. Lucie for the first time in 2017 (Photo: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)
Mets OF Jay Bruce speaks to the media in St. Lucie for the first time in 2017 (Photo: Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com)

Mets OF Jay Bruce walked in to the team's media room, sat down at the microphone, answered every question, said all the right things, smiled once or twice, got up and walked back in to the clubhouse. The end...

He was professional and courteous, complimented the roster and hyped the team's potential. But, he also spoke like someone dragged to a party he was not invited to attend.

"I'm here until I'm not," he said with a dry tone when asked about rumors of Sandy Alderson attempting to trade him before Spring Training.

It's a perfect response, because it's true for all of us. But the context of Bruce's short seven months in New York, it has a different meaning. It reads and sounded like someone biding his time...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets RHPs Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard threw side-by-side bullpen sessions on Thursday in Port St. Lucie.

Click below to watch

Tags: Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard
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 (Brad Penner (USA Today))
(Brad Penner (USA Today))

Mets OF Jay Bruce had a "pretty easy time" with the trade rumors during the offseason, he said Thursday in Port St. Lucie.

"I'm here until I'm not," Bruce explained, adding that he's been going through trade rumors for two years and didn't concern himself with them.

The Mets picked up Bruce's option after the season, but efforts to trade him failed. He was then told last month that the plan was for him to be the team's everyday right fielder.

Regarding the possibility of getting time at first base, Bruce said he hasn't been told anything yet but that if the Mets want him to, he'll "bust his ass" to make sure he does what he can at first base...

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Mets video recap: Feb. 15 00:02:43
SNY's Steve Gelbs and Anthony DiComo of MLB.com discuss the day at Mets camp, including news about Jeurys Familia and Neil Walker.

SNY's Steve Gelbs and Anthony DiComo of MLB.com discuss the day at Mets camp, including news about Jeurys Familia and Neil Walker.

Earlier today, Steve and Anthony answered fan questions on Facebook during Spring Training Live, which you can watch here.

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Neil Walker
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Mets manager Terry Collins spoke with the media in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday. Here's what we learned...

  • If closer Jeurys Familia is suspended for the beginning of the season, the Mets will "have to go outside the box" at times -- including potentially using LHP Jerry Blevins -- when it comes to closing games.
  • OF Michael Conforto is "too good a player" to continue to struggle.
  • If everyone is healthy, there will likely be two spots open in the bullpen, and the team could "very easily" take three left-handers...
Tags: Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia, Neil Walker, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo
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 (Andrew Fielding-US PRESSWIRE)
(Andrew Fielding-US PRESSWIRE)

The Mets will play an exhibition game against the Army baseball team at West Point on March 31, it was announced Wednesday.

It will be the ninth time the Mets have played at West Point, with the last meeting coming in 1984.

The game will be the Mets' final one before Opening Day at Citi Field on April 3 against the Braves.

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Sep 27, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Erik Goeddel throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh inning at Great American Ball Park. The Mets won 8-1. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sport (David Kohl)
Sep 27, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Erik Goeddel throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh inning at Great American Ball Park. The Mets won 8-1. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sport (David Kohl)

Mets reliever Erik Goeddel had off-season surgery to remove a bone spur in his pitching elbow, he told MLB.com's Anthony DiComo on Tuesday in St. Lucie.

According to Goeddel, the bone spur caused him periodic pain throughout last season.

In 36 appearances (35 2/3 innings) for the Mets last season, Goeddel, 28, was 2-2 with a 4.54 ERA (4.21 FIP) and 1.31 WHIP while striking out 36 batters.

Tags: Erik Goeddel
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Mets Video Recap: Feb. 14 00:02:22
SNY's Steve Gelbs and Dave Lennon of Newsday discuss the day's events at Mets Spring Training in Port St. Lucie.

Terry Collins talked to reporters and said Travis d'Arnaud has a lot of work to do, and it's business as usual for Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed >> Listen and Read more!

Familia reported to Tradition Field after briefly being delayed at his home in the Dominican Republic due to a visa issue >> Read and See More!

David Wright is hitting and fielding, but he won't start throwing until later this week >> Read more!

Jay Bruce will get some work at first base this spring >> Read more!

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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

1) Travis d'Arnaud has a lot on shoulders as he works to improve his health, swing and throwing from behind the plate. "But, he's up for it," he knows he had a bad year in 2016 and he believes he can be better than that...

2) Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed have been told to approach spring training the same way they did last year, with Familia slotted as the closer and Reed as the team's set-up man, despite reports that Familia could be suspended to start the season...

3) David Wright is expected to start throwing a baseball later this week. There will be some activities this spring that Wright takes part in and some that he will not >> Read more.

4) Jay Bruce will get some time practicing at first base, mostly as a hedge against the potential of losing Lucas Duda's power to an injury during the season >> Read more

Tags: David Wright, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia, Travis d'Arnaud, Willie Reed
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 (Brad Penner (USA Today))
(Brad Penner (USA Today))

Mets OF Jay Bruce will get at least "some" time fielding ground balls at first base, Terry Collins told reporters Tuesday at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie.

According to Collins, because Lucas Duda is coming off an injury-shortened season, he'd like to see Bruce get exposure to first base, in the event Duda ends up injured again.

That said, Collins noted, "We're not pushing it on him."

Tags: Jay Bruce
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Mets pitchers Zack Wheeler, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman (USA TODAY Images)
Mets pitchers Zack Wheeler, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman (USA TODAY Images)

Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo and Zack Wheeler will compete in Spring Training to determine who will be the team's fifth starting pitcher, Terry Collins told reporters Monday.

Gsellman and Lugo were a combined 8-3 with a 2.65 ERA in 15 starts last season filling in for Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz.

Wheeler hasn't pitched in the majors since having Tommy John surgery in 2014.

"We aren't sure how many innings he's going to be able to pitch," Collins said of Wheeler, who was 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA in 2014. "So, do you burn those innings early, or do you burn those innings late? And that is certainly a discussion we will have as we go through Spring Training."

Tags: Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler
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 (Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports Images)
(Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports Images)

The Mets have outrighted INF/OF Ty Kelly to Triple-A Las Vegas, the team announced Tuesday.

He will be a non-roster invite to Spring Training.

Tags: Ty Kelly
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Concerns with Familia? 00:01:45
The Baseball Night in New York panel breaks down how the Mets should handle the Jeurys Familia situation as Spring Training approaches.

Jeurys Familia reported to Tradition Field on Tuesday after briefly being delayed at his home in the Dominican Republic due to a visa issue.

Familia told reporters he was advised by his lawyer to not discuss his domestic violence incident.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, though MLB expects to make a decision regarding a potential suspension before Opening Day, commissioner Rob Manfred said the last week of January, according to Dave Lennon of Newsday.

Tags: Jeurys Familia
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Mets Spring Training kicks off 00:03:05
Mets manager Terry Collins and starting pitcher Matt Harvey address the media from Port St. Lucie as Mets Spring Training gets underway.

Mets pitchers and catchers will take the field today for their first official workout of Spring Training.

Terry Collins and David Wright are expected to address the media later in the day.

The majority of the team's position players are already in camp. However, they are not required to be there until Feb. 17, as the roster's first official full-squad workout isn't until Feb. 19...

 

Tags: David Wright, Jerry Blevins, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler
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Expectations for Matt Harvey 00:05:16
Gary Apple and Nelson Figueroa speculate on what to expect from Matt Harvey in the 2017 season.

Matt Harvey feels great, especially having been able to run a routine off-season throwing program this past winter, he explained to reporters Monday at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie.

"I was able to pick it up in December, kind of like a normal offseason, which was different from the Tommy John when I had an entire offseason off," he explained. "

Harvey tossed a bullpen session earlier in the day in front of teammates and media...

Tags: Matt Harvey
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Terry Collins on Spring Training 00:08:01
Terry Collins speaks on the feeling of Spring Training and having 52 guys returning from last season.

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

  • Regarding RHP Zack Wheeler, Collins said the team will get him ready to start games and decide at the end of Spring Training where he fits best, with the bullpen being an option.
  • Wheeler and RHPs Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo will compete for the fifth spot in the starting rotation.
  • There is no plan to get OF Michael Conforto time at first base right now.
  • Collins sees the "fire" that he's seen in the past from RHP Matt Harvey. "You know this guy," Collins said. "This guy likes to be the number one."
Tags: David Wright, Jerry Blevins, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler
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Mets health update 00:03:57
Anthony DiComo and Steve Gelbs forecast the roles of Zach Wheeler and David Wright, who are coming off significant injury.

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler expects to work as both a starter and reliever during Spring Training, he told reporters Monday at Port St. Lucie.

The Mets have discussed the possibility of having Wheeler start the season in the bullpen, which would enable him to transition to the rotation later in the season without having to be shut down due to an innings limit.

Wheeler, who hasn't pitched in the majors since 2014 - due to Tommy John surgery and rehab setbacks - said he's not getting his hopes up for any one specific role.

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Mets GM Sandy Alderson and OF Yoenis Cespedes (Image Credits: USA Today Sports)
Mets GM Sandy Alderson and OF Yoenis Cespedes (Image Credits: USA Today Sports)

Sandy Alderson recently told the New York Post that he has no issue with Yoenis Cespedes playing golf during the season, since it has no impact on his ability to play baseball.

Cespedes posted a photo of himself golfing last summer as he was simultaneously missing time on field with a leg injury that eventually landed him on the disabled list.

"Last year there was an unfortunate juxtaposition between the golf and the leg injury that didn't sit well with some fans, and wasn't looked on favorably by the media," Alderson explained in a lengthy interview with Steve Serby. "I don't think there was any real connection between the two."

The Mets and Cespedes agreed to a four-year, $110 million deal earlier this offseason.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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GEICO SportsNite: Mets in camp 00:03:14
The Mets return to Port St. Lucie as they begin Spring Training with questions surrounding the health of Matt Harvey and David Wright.

Noah Syndergaard told reporters Sunday that his arm and elbow are healthy, so much so that he hopes to add velocity to his fastball this coming season...

"I always want to throw harder and continue to make the game easier," he explained, talking from the media room at Tradition Field. "I feel like my velocity jumped up from my rookie season to last year, so I'm always going to try to raise that kind of bar."

Syndergaard, 24, averaged the highest velocity among big-league starting pitchers with his fastball (98.0 mph), slider (90.9 mph) and changeup (89.8 mph) last season, according to FanGraphs.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Jul 15, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jerry Blevins (39) pulls a hair out of the helmet of catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Jul 15, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jerry Blevins (39) pulls a hair out of the helmet of catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Jerry Blevins returned to the Mets last week by signing a one-year, $5.5 million contract, which reportedly includes a $7 million team option for 2018 with a $1-million buyout.

As a free agent this winter, Blevins had been rumored to be seeking a $6-8 million salary, but with as much as a three-year commitment.

The guaranteed salary of $6.5 million put Blevins roughly in line with what Mike Dunn is making per year.

Tags: Jerry Blevins
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Mets pitchers and catchers officially reported to Tradition Field yesterday. The group will do light training and conduct physicals Monday before returning for their first official workout on Tuesday.

Also on Monday, Terry Collins will hold his first Spring Training Press Conference at 11:30 am ET, which will air live on SNY.

The majority of the team's position players are already in camp. However, they are not required to do so until Feb. 17, since the roster's first official full-squad workout isn't until Feb. 19...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard
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Aug 1, 2016; Alderson speaks to reporters after the trade deadline (Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Aug 1, 2016; Alderson speaks to reporters after the trade deadline (Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said it is possible that the current Mets team could be his best one yet, but more than that, he is confident because of just how deep the starting rotation is at the moment, he told Steve Serby of the New York Post.

"First of all, we have some very good starting pitching, but we also have some very good depth for the rotation," he said.

In addition to the "Core Four" pitchers -- Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Steven Matz -- Alderson said he is optimistic about Zack Wheeler, Robert Gsellman, and Seth Lugo.

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