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

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

Mets closer Jeurys Familia is in New York on Monday and is expected to meet with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred regarding a potential suspension for the domestic violence incident he was involved in this past October, reports Mike Puma of the NY Post.

The Mets expect a decision within the next 48 hours, according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post.

Familia returned to St. Lucie last Monday after throwing 3 1/3 scoreless innings across four appearances for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

Tags: Jeurys Familia
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Wheeler (45) pitches against the San Diego Padres in 2014. Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Wheeler (45) pitches against the San Diego Padres in 2014. Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

I've been writing for weeks that the likely result to start the season would be Robert Gsellman in the rotation, Seth Lugo in the bullpen, and Zack Wheeler in St. Lucie for extended spring training.

It's been announced that Gsellman will be in the rotation. But now that Matz is a question mark, Lugo and Wheeler may be needed in the big-league rotation.

The Mets have an off day between their first and second game of the season. So, technically, they could skip a starter and not need Matz until April 9, which is 13 days from now. However, if they decide Matz will need more time than that to get right, my bet is they go with Lugo over Wheeler, who hasn't pitched in a big-league game since 2014...

Tags: Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Mar 4, 2017; Lagares holds both of his bats during a spring training game. Credit: Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2017; Lagares holds both of his bats during a spring training game. Credit: Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

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

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

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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Matz throws a bullpen session during spring training workouts in St. Lucie. Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Matz throws a bullpen session during spring training workouts in St. Lucie. Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Mets LHP Steven Matz, who has irritation in his left elbow and is having his start skipped, threw on flat ground from 70 feet on Monday morning, according to the team's beat writers.

He threw four rounds, first throwing 20 pitches, then three rounds of 10, pitching coach Dan Warthen told reporters.

Matz felt tight at first but then loosened up, added Warthen, who said the team is working with Matz to shorten the arc of his arm to create "less banging" with his elbow. 

Tags: Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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With Steven Matz's status in question, today's split-squad games could play a major role in the renewed race for the final rotation spot between Seth Lugo and Zack Wheeler...

To follow the game live online, click here to access SNY Gameday
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GEICO SportsNite: Matt Harvey 00:02:31
Eamon McAnaney discusses Matt Harvey's strong outing this afternoon against the Braves and gives the latest update on Steven Matz's injury.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mar 2, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For a full box score, click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where will Zack Wheeler start 2017?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Brandon Nimmo
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What's on tap for Thursday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Feb 27, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) at bat against the Houston Astros during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 27, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) at bat against the Houston Astros during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

In the NY Times, James Wagner talks with Jay Bruce about his new-found use of advanced to statistics thanks to the team's head of research and development T.J. Barra >> Read more!

"I don't live and die by it, but there are definitely numbers out there that tell a story," Bruce told Wagner. "I'm a game changer offensively and I want to do that as much as I can."

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Infielder Gavin Cecchini is ranked as the Mets third-best prospects.
Infielder Gavin Cecchini is ranked as the Mets third-best prospects.

The Mets today announced that RHP Ben Rowen and Erik Goeddel, outfielder Travis Taijeron and infielders Gavin Cecchini and Matt Reynolds have been reassigned to minor league camp.

Rowen, Goeddel, Taijeron, Cecchini and Reynolds are all expected to begin the 2017 season playing for Triple-A Las Vegas.

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MTL on rookie pranks tradition 00:02:42
The Mets Talk Live crew talks about the tradition of rookie pranks in baseball.

What's on tap for Wednesday

The Mets were off Tuesday. They return to Grapefruit League action today in St. Lucie where they'll host the Marlins at 1:10 pm.

According to the team's website, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler are both scheduled to pitch. However, the last time this situation occured, the Mets pushed Wheeler back a day so he could start instead of entering a game in relief.

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Travid d'Arnaud throwing issues 00:03:42
The guys from Mets Talk Live discuss Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud and his struggles with throwing out base runners.

With a left-handed batter in the box Sunday, Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud sailed a ball in to left field while intending to throw out Dee Gordon attempting to steal third base.

The error resulted in a renewed discussion in print, on Twitter and on air about d'Arnaud's arm strength and accuracy, which is something he says he's been working to improve this spring.

In 2016, d'Arnaud caught just 22 percent of runners attempting to steal a base against the Mets. This spring, seven of eight runners have successfully stolen a base with him behind the plate...

Tags: Travis d'Arnaud
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SI's NL predictions 00:04:35
The Mets Talk Live crew on Sports Illustrated's prediction that the Cubs will defeat the Mets in the National League Division Series.

Sports Illustrated made its annual Major League Baseball predictions, picking the Mets to lose to the Cubs in the NLDS.

SI has the Mets beating the Giants in the Wild Card game before losing to Chicago.

The magazine picks the Nationals to win the NL East before losing to the Dodgers in the NLDS...

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Mets minor-league OF Kevin Kaczmarski parked his car Monday in Jacob deGrom's spot in the player parking lot at First Data Field.

In response, deGrom closed up Kaczmarski's entire car in shrink wrap, an image of which was later posted to Twitter by their teammate, reliever Josh Smoker...

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Mar 20, 2017; Salas (59) throws to first during a spring game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Credit: Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 20, 2017; Salas (59) throws to first during a spring game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Credit: Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Mets reliever Fernando Salas made his first Grapefruit League appearance Monday.

He gave up one hit and threw a wild pitch, but retired the final two batters he faced during his two-thirds of an inning.

"It's good to get him back and out there," manager Terry Collins said. "He's going to get a bunch of work here in the next 10 days."

Salas missed all of the team's workouts due to a visa issue that kept him in Mexico. However, while home, he was able to pitch one inning during the World Baseball Classic.

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First day of spring 00:03:20
The guys from Mets Talk Live play a lighthearted game to celebrate the first day of spring.

What's on tap for Tuesday

The Mets are off today. They return to Grapefruit League action Wednesday in St. Lucie where they'll host the Marlins at 1:10 pm.

According to the team's website, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler are both scheduled to pitch. However, the last time this situation occured, the Mets pushed Wheeler back a day so he could start instead of entering a game in relief.

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