Amed Rosario
Amed Rosario

During the past two weeks, I reached out to current and former players, coaches, scouts and league executives to learn who on the Mets is most likely to take a big step forward in 2020 compared to 2019.

The following three players were mentioned most...

1) Amed Rosario

Rosario hit .287 with a .323 OBP, 15 home runs, 30 doubles and 19 stolen bases, while producing 2.7 WAR in 2019, according to FanGraphs.

As soon as he started to get himself stable and performing well in the field, he also began swinging at fewer pitches out of the strike zone, while swinging at more pitches in it. Not surprisingly, he also started making more and better contact overall, while also reducing how often he struck out.

"I think for him, it's important he has a healthy, positive spring training that carries into April," an NL advance scout told me, which was added on to by a second rival evaluator.

"In the second half last year, when he looked relaxed and in command, when he had a good balance going, you saw him become one of the better shortstops in the National League," he explained. "If he doesn't come out of the gate with that same groove, I fear he'll have a similar up-and-down season to what he did last year."

Rosario, 24, has gotten better every year of his career. However, his most important accomplishment in 2019 may have been how he successfully shook off criticism from media and disappointment from fans. This is huge for him. It will not be the last time he faces adversity and massive criticism, but at least now he has the experience to pull from to know he can fight through it.

"To be able to take the next step I just need to keep working hard and focus on the little details the same way I did in the second half," Rosario told me. "I want to be able to produce like that for a full season. With consistency and hard work the results will be there." 

2) Marcus Stroman

I was surprised to see Stroman on this list because -- for me -- he pitched as expected during his time last season with the Mets. In fact, he had just one really bad start out of eight, the rest of which were worthy of being a mid-to top-of-the-rotation starter.

His time with the Mets extrapolated across a full 30 games would have netted out around a 3.25 ERA, 3.0 WAR and 160 strikeouts in 170 innings. This is also on par with 2020 projections from FanGraphs.

Nevertheless, I guess based on name recognition, his results in Toronto and pitching in front of an improved infield defense, experts feel he can be much better than the above stats.

Also, "I don't think people realize how difficult it can be getting traded like that," a front office source with an NL East team recently told me. "It's chaotic enough to get traded midseason, but to also have to manage local family and friends, their expectations, your expectations, everyone wants tickets, there's a sudden barrage of media requests, it can be a lot to take on out of the blue."

"That will be mostly behind him (in 2020)" he continued. "We've always liked that he's a smart, competitive kid and I think you'll see that and see him perform better because of it."

Frankly, I'm most excited to see a full season of the 'Stro Show.'



"Marcus has an intensity and focus about him that pushes him to be one of the best," Curtis Granderson told me about Stroman. "It can inspire his teammates, as well. He's a guy that is always looking for different ways to improve and ready for the challenge."

Stroman is a fascinating, captivating pitcher and person. He's a hustler, he's short and revels in beating the odds against him. He's intense. He's not shy about to defending himself or his teammates, and he clearly, desperately wants to win with the Mets. This could describe us as Mets fans as well.

It can cut both ways, though, so he has to be careful.

"He holds grudges and walks with a big-ass chip on his shoulder," an anonymous, former teammate that enjoyed his time with Stroman told me. "Don't get me wrong, this can be a good thing because it can motivate guys around you, but I've also seen it bring him down and put up a wall a bit."

3) Edwin Diaz

Three things were repeatedly mentioned to me when people talked about how Diaz can rebound from 2019 and return to dominating like he did in 2018. First, he must get off to a strong start so his confidence can remain high. Second, he, new manager Luis Rojas and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner have to be on the same page in terms of expectations and his usage. Third, he better have learned last season how to "pitch," and not just throw 100 mph.

He got swings and misses with his slider, but opposing hitters were always waiting for it, a rival scout pointed out to me. And, when they got it, they hit it -- and hit it hard.

"Diaz has immense talent. Also, Hefner is prepared. He will prove to be a very good hire," one league executive that had interest in hiring Hefner told me. "I think you'll see a drastic difference in how he uses guys and how often he gets them up and down, specifically Diaz. This will help in a lot of ways."

"And don't discount what Dellin Betances brings to him in terms of experience and shaking off adversity in New York," the same source wisely added. "He will help, too."

The runners up

Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil and Noah Syndergaard were under consideration more than other players on the current roster, but no one I talked with was willing to lock them in as his or her top choice.

In the case of McNeil, most of the hesitation was based on playing time.

For instance, if J.D. Davis and/or Jed Lowrie is not traded, their presence could eat into McNeil's at bats, make him a super utility guy and require added preparation.

"Preparation is the biggest key for a utility player," former Mets utility man Frank Catalanotto added. Former Mets third baseman Howard Johnson told me accepting the role and entering each day with the right mentality will also be important for McNeil.

As for Syndergaard, the belief that his elbow or shoulder will give out one day remains the top concern for people intrigued by his potential to return to being an ace. That said, they all agree that if Rene Rivera catches him each start that it can only help Noah's success in 2020.

Lastly, if I could guarantee Nimmo will be healthy and play in at least 140 games, he would have everyone's support. I can't, though, so experts had similar skepticism.


Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is a senior writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. His book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets second baseman Robinson Cano suited up for his first Grapefruit League game of the season on Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals, as he drew a walk in his first at-bat and finished the game 0-for-1.

During the game, Cano spoke with SNY's Steve Gelbs in the dugout about his offseason workout routine and what's it like being a mentor to younger players on the team.

"I just have to focus more this year on my legs," Cano said. "This offseason that's something that I did... It feels good today, it's good to be back."

 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano
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During Friday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals, SNY's Steve Gelbs caught up with Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo.

Nimmo's name has been in the headlines the last few days, as he was scratched from Wednesday's lineup for additional cardiac screening. 

But all of the tests came back just fine, and Nimmo said in the clubhouse before Friday's game that he has "a little bit larger heart," a quote that Gelbs asked Nimmo about during the game.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo
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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen (Charles LeClaire)
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen (Charles LeClaire)

On Friday afternoon, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen joined the Joe & Evan show on WFAN to discuss everything from hiring Luis Rojas to Yoenis Cespedes' progression this offseason.

The pair asked Van Wagenen what made Rojas (and Carlos Beltran) the right fit to manage the Mets.

"There was something we were looking for specifically for this club," Van Wagenen said. "We wanted a guy that could clearly be a players' first manager, somebody that could walk into our clubhouse and connect with the guys, be able to cross cultural lines with our clubhouse, be able to connect with the veterans, be able to connect with the young guys, the American kids, the international guys. And we felt like Carlos, and now Luis were the right fits."

Tags: Dellin Betances, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes
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Infield prospect Andres Gimenez blasted a solo homer to right field to break a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning as the Mets beat the Cardinals, 3-2, on Friday afternoon at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie. >> Box Score


5 things to know about Friday's game...

1) Brandon Nimmo returned to the lineup after missing two games to undergo cardiac tests (he's fine). Nimmo got the start in center field, singled in his first at-bat, and finished 1-for-2 with a run scored.

Tags: Andres Gimenez, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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In his latest mailbag, MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone answers questions about Jacob deGrom, Edwin Diaz, Steven Matz, and what the Mets' bullpen could look like on Opening Day...


Why are the Mets and Jacob deGrom working to add a new pitch to his repertoire? It seems he's been doing pretty good without it. ~ Anthony M through Facebook.

I though the same thing, Anthony.

To be clear, though, deGrom is not adding a brand new pitch. He's simply working to perfect a backdoor slider (deGrom threw his slider over 31 percent of the time in 2019).

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway (Joe Camporeale)
Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway (Joe Camporeale)

Former Mets manager Mickey Callaway, now the pitching coach for the Angels, recently spoke with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic about the hire of Luis Rojas as the team's new manager.

"He's going to do just fine," Callaway told Rosenthal. "He's very prepared. Great baseball mind.

"Managing and coaching in the minor leagues is nothing like managing in the major leagues, but he has the familiarity with the players on his side. He's not going to have to sit there for half a season and get to know what makes these guys tick. That's going to be so valuable to him."

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Danny Abriano
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The Mets and Cardinals got things going early in their Friday afternoon matchup, each scoring a run in the first inning.

After Marcus Stroman gave up a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the top of the first, the Mets found themselves in a two on,-two out situation in the bottom frame.

With Brandon Nimmo at second after singling to right and Robinson Cano at first after a walk, Dominic Smith hit a line drive perfectly in between the first and second basemen into right field, and it was enough to bring Nimmo home to tie up the score.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Robinson Cano
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Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who has been out since Wednesday due to a battery of cardiac tests, has been cleared and is back in the lineup on Friday against the Cardinals.

Before Friday's game, Nimmo explained what led to the tests and what the outcome was.

"They got a report from the cardiologist that they would just like to look at something that had gone on with the physical that we did," Nimmo said. "So I was not allowed to go onto the field for that game. And we just went back and ran some tests, but the tests take 24 hours. So that time I went to get the test done -- the first one -- and then I had to wear a wearable device for 24 hours and then go and get a stress test done. I passed the stress test last night, and everything is good to go."

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Danny Abriano
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Sep 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) rounds the bases on a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Sep 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) rounds the bases on a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Brandon Nimmo returns to the lineup as the Mets take on the St. Louis Cardinals at Clover Park in Port St. Luice, Fla. on Friday at 1 p.m.

Mets notes

Robinson Cano will make his spring debut for the Mets. Marcus Stroman will take the mound again, while Tim Tebow goes back to left field and the bottom of the lineup.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo
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Mets manager Luis Rojas at spring training
Mets manager Luis Rojas at spring training

Mets Spring Training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Thursday, in case you missed it...


After a few days of cardiac-related screenings, Brandon Nimmo has been cleared to resume baseball activities >> Read more

Rick Porcello tossed two scoreless innings as a Mets team of mostly minor leaguers lost to the Marlins on Thursday >> Read more

The Mets have reportedly checked in on veteran free agent catcher Russell Martin >> Read more

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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October 6, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Russell Martin (55) celebrates after hitting a two-run home run in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals in game three of the 2019 NLDS playoff baseball series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
October 6, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Russell Martin (55) celebrates after hitting a two-run home run in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals in game three of the 2019 NLDS playoff baseball series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

The Mets are reportedly entertaining the idea of adding another veteran catcher to the roster.

According to a report from MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Mets are among the group of teams to have "checked in" on 37-year-old free agent Russell Martin.

Heyman also lists the Oakland A's among the teams interested in Martin, whom Heyman says has turned down other offers to do what's best for his family.

Tags: Rene Rivera, Wilson Ramos
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The Mets got a clean pair of innings from Rick Porcello before ultimately falling to the Marlins 3-1 on Thursday night. >> Box Score

5 things to know from Thursday's game...

1) After pitching just one inning in his spring training debut, Rick Porcello pitched two scoreless innings on Thursday. After striking out Brian Anderson for the second out in the first inning, Porcello allowed back-to-back singles to Corey Dickerson and Jesus Aguilar, but he was able to get Garrett Cooper to ground into a force play to end the inning. Porcello then pitched a perfect second inning, forcing two ground-outs and striking out Ryan Lavarnway to end the inning. 

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Robert Gsellman
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After being scratched from Wednesday's Mets lineup due to additional cardiac screening, center fielder Brandon Nimmo has been cleared for baseball activities, per general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

Van Wagenen spoke with reporters in Jupiter, Fla. during the early innings of Thursday's game against the Miami Marlins, and while he wouldn't get into the specifics of the tests, he said that everything was strictly precautionary.

"Just wanted to follow up on the news from Brandon yesterday, make sure I give everybody the good report that Brandon is doing well. All the tests came back in a good fashion. He's been cleared for baseball activities, so he'll be resuming his work tomorrow back in Port St. Lucie and we're ready to get him back.

"We're always looking to be pre-cautious. We never want to put players in harm's way, and I think this was a perfect example of that."

Tags: Brandon Nimmo
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 (Jim Rassol)
(Jim Rassol)

Rick Porcello makes his second spring training appearance as the Mets take on the Miami Marlins in Jupiter, Fla. on Thursday night at 7:05 PM.

Mets notes

Brandon Nimmo is once again not in the lineup, as he contiues to go through cardiac screening. Matt Adams was scheduled to play first base, but he was a late scratch from the lineup.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo
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Sep 29, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Sep 29, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Brandon Nimmo's late scratch from the Mets' lineup on Wednesday due to a cardiac screening caused many to raise an eyebrow, but the report that came out Thursday saying he had another cardiac-related appointment set up for Thursday was cause for concern. 

Well, Nimmo's wife, Chelsea Jane, wants everyone to calm down. 

CLICK BELOW TO SEE TWEET

Tags: Brandon Nimmo
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Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Amed Rosario's strong second half convinced the Mets to scrap any notion of experimenting with him in center field, but it hasn't quite convinced scouts of his long-term viability at shortstop -- especially with a couple of top prospects in the organization.

As such the 2020 season seems to loom as crucial for Rosario's future in Queens. 

After all, in Andres Gimenez and Ronny Mauricio, the Mets have two young shortstops ranked in the Top 100 prospects lists by MLBPipeline.com, Baseball America, and Keith Law/The Athletic. And Gimenez is getting close, likely to start the season in Triple-A. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, John Harper
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Jul 21, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Seth Lugo (67) pitches the ball against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)
Jul 21, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Seth Lugo (67) pitches the ball against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)

Seth Lugo hit a small roadblock in his spring training development when he suffered a small fracture in his pinky toe after banging it on something in his hotel room. But, after just five days from the initial diagnosis, Lugo was already back to work -- and that hasn't stopped. 

According to Newsday's Tim Healey, Lugo completed some fielding drills on Thursday, and is set to throw a live batting practice session on Sunday. 

That's what the Mets want to see from Lugo, who is going to be a crucial part of their pitching staff this season, no matter where he's featured. Lugo mentioned over the weekend that the fracture doesn't affect the way he's been pitching. 

Tags: Seth Lugo, Scott Thompson
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Mets reliever Edwin Diaz
Mets reliever Edwin Diaz

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It can be hard when watching meaningless baseball to not react strongly to a good or bad performance. Despite the outcome of the game meaning nothing and the fact that the players involved in that meaningless game are working on things, stifling fandom and not overreacting one way or the other is not natural.

That takes us to Edwin Diaz and what went down on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie.

Diaz, fresh off a disastrous 2019 season, made his spring training debut and the results of his one inning mirrored the innings he turned in on many occasions last season.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Danny Abriano
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A general view at Mets spring training
A general view at Mets spring training

Mets Spring Training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Wednesday, in case you missed it...


The Mets got good news on injured J.D. Davis after the MRI on his shoulder revealed no new structural damage >> Read more

Edwin Diaz reacted after his uneven debut, saying he was "a little bit anxious" >> Read more

After his spring training debut, Noah Syndergaard spoke about the connection he had with Wilson Ramos >> Read more

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, JD Davis, Noah Syndergaard, Tim Tebow, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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The Astros' electronic sign-stealing scandal rocked MLB right before the 2020 season, with the league's Jan. 13 investigative report revealing that Houston used a live-feed center-field camera in 2017 and at least part of '18.

As teams like the Mets and Yankees prepare for their return to the diamond in the spring, they naturally have a guard up with preventing sign stealing from runners on second base.

Breaking down examples on Wednesday's Baseball Night in New York, SNY's Anthony Recker and Todd Zeile explained to Doug Williams and Andy Martino how pitchers and catchers keep opposing teams guessing by mixing things up.

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Feb 24, 2020; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets outfielder Tim Tebow flies out to left field in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports  (Jim Rassol)
Feb 24, 2020; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets outfielder Tim Tebow flies out to left field in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

Tim Tebow is set to play for Team Philippines in the Qualifying Round of the 2021 World Baseball Classic, the premier international baseball tournament announced Wednesday.

The 32-year-old LF/DH, who has been with the Mets since New York signed him to a minor-league contract in September 2016, joins the Philippines squad next month.

The Philippines' qualifiers for Pool 2 run from March 20-25 at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona, with five other teams -- Czech Republic, Great Britain, New Zealand, Panama and Spain.

Tags: Tim Tebow
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The Mets got a good start from Noah Syndergaard, but a shaky Edwin Diaz outing ultimately led to a 4-2 loss to the Houston Astros on Wednesday in Port. St. Lucie. >> Box Score

5 things to know from Wednesday's game...

1) Noah Syndergaard had exactly the kind of performance Mets fans were hoping to see. After an up-and-down 2019 campaign, Syndergaard pitched two scoreless innings in his 2020 spring debut. He allowed one hit and struck out two batters, showcasing that nasty slider that seemed to avoid him for large stretches of last season. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso
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Noah Syndergaard got his first start on the mound in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday against the Astros, and there were two main focuses heading into it: his connection with Wilson Ramos and his slider.

Both were positives after the short, two-inning outing. 

Starting with Ramos, manager Luis Rojas said that Syndergaard and the Mets' top catcher would be working to improve their chemistry after last season when Syndergaard was open with management about not trusting him behind the plate. Ramos admitted that he was working on his framing this spring as well, one of the areas Syndergaard reportedly didn't like. 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos, Scott Thompson
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Edwin Diaz had an uneven spring training debut, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out one and walking none in his only inning of work while also flashing a swing-and-miss slider and hitting 98 mph with his fastball.

"I felt good out there," Diaz said after the game through the Mets' translator. "A little bit anxious because it was the first time being out there in a real game and facing real batters. But other than that I felt really good."

After allowing a ground ball single and run-scoring double to Aledmys Diaz to start his outing, Diaz struck out Kyle Tucker swinging with a down-and-in slider before inducing a fly out to right field. Diaz then allowed a run-scoring double down the line before ending his outing by getting a soft ground ball back to the mound.

Tags: Edwin Diaz
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Brandon Nimmo (Jim Rassol)
Brandon Nimmo (Jim Rassol)

Mets manager Luis Rojas said after Wednesday's game that he isn't concerned about Brandon Nimmo in the wake of a cardiac screening that resulted in his being scratched from the lineup. 

Rojas referred to the screening as "precautionary," according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, adding that he wasn't sure what caused the additional tests. 

The Mets said earlier Wednesday that Nimmo had been scratched in order to receive "additional cardiac screening."

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Danny Abriano
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Aug 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) runs the bases celebrating his solo home run in the fourth inning setting the Mets all time single season home run record against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) runs the bases celebrating his solo home run in the fourth inning setting the Mets all time single season home run record against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

One month away from the regular season with the March 26 game against the Nationals at Citi Field, the Mets' quest for an NL East Division crown -- and, ultimately, the NL pennant -- is fast approaching.

As the countdown to Opening Day continues, opening odds are out for the Mets and both pursuits, via BetOnline.ag.

The Mets are 11/4 to win the NL East and 8/1 to win the NL. They each rank third in their respective categories.

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Hall-of-Famer Mike Piazza arrived at spring training on Wednesday and (among other things) spoke about the Mets ownership situation.

"These deals are complicated," Piazza said. "I think Mets fans -- rightly -- should be interested, obviously (in) the future of the team. The team had a very good second half last year. I was able to talk to Luis (Rojas) this morning. I think they're in good hands. I think it's a very difficult division."

When it comes to how the uncertainty might impact the players, Piazza didn't seem concerned.

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Mets INF/OF J.D. Davis had an MRI on his injured left shoulder that did not reveal "a ton of inflammation" or "new structural damage," and will begin rehabbing on Wednesday, GM Brodie Van Wagenen said.

"It sounds like we're in a pretty good spot with it overall," Van Wagenen added, noting that the MRI did reveal what looked like an old labrum injury.

While Davis will begin rehabbing immediately, he will refrain from baseball activity for a week before being reevaluated.

Davis spoke roughly an hour after Van Wagenen, saying he was relieved that the damage revealed by the MRI was old.

Tags: JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard warms-up during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard warms-up during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

Noah Syndergaard gets the ball for the first time this spring, as the Mets host the Astros at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie at 1:10 p.m. on SNY Wednesday. 

Mets notes

After Syndergaard, Edwin Diaz is lined up to be one of the pitchers to go for the Mets. Justin Wilson will also get the ball, along with Tyler Bashlor

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Noah Syndergaard, Scott Thompson
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Mets RHP Michael Wacha (Reinhold Matay)
Mets RHP Michael Wacha (Reinhold Matay)

Mets Spring Training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Tuesday, in case you missed it...


J.D. Davis injured his left shoulder while diving for a ball at third base and will undergo an MRI on Wednesday >> Read more

Michael Wacha weighed in on the potential that the Mets could go with an outside the box solution to fill the No. 5 slot in the rotation >> Read more

Scouts and execs weighed in on how Seth Lugo could impact the Mets' 2020 season >> Read more

Tags: Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Seth Lugo, Tim Tebow, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Feb 18, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom warms-up before workouts at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 18, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom warms-up before workouts at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

New York City should expect some hardware to arrive in the next few months, as both Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom and Yankees new ace Gerrit Cole are the favorites to bring home the Cy Young awards in their respective leagues this season.

William Hill sportsbook has both deGrom and Cole as 3/1 favorites to win the award in 2020.

"DeGrom has won two Cy Youngs in a row and is in his prime, and Cole is coming off of one of the greatest pitching years of all time," said Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill's director of trading, according to The Post.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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The Mets fell to the Detroit Tigers 9-6 on Tuesday afternoon in Lakeland, Fla., but the loss did not come without some fireworks.

As part of a four-run top of the sixth inning, the Mets launched a pair of home runs, including a two-run blast from Tim Tebow, his first hit of 2020 first spring.

Tebow's opposite-field home run was also his first extra-base hit with the Mets in four years of spring training appearances. Tebow certainly possesses a fair amount of power, as even though he didn't hit for a high average with Triple-A Syracuse last season, he did hit four home runs.

Check out the full highlights from Tuesday's game, including Michael Wacha's spring debut, and more …

Tags: Tim Tebow
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The Mets were playing in Lakeland against the Tigers on Tuesday, but Jacob deGrom was still in Port St. Lucie putting in work on the mound.

DeGrom threw two simulated innings, and all went well for the Mets' ace as he threw to big league hitters like Brandon Nimmo and Amed Rosario. He said after the session that his fastball felt great, but his secondary pitches still needed some work.

"Through most of my camps, fastball command is good early on and it's just getting offspeed where I want it. So that's going to be the main work heading into Opening Day," he said. 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Scott Thompson
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Mets' Seth Lugo (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets' Seth Lugo (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

All eyes may be on Edwin Diaz in spring training, as a return to dominance by the young closer is widely considered crucial to the Mets' hopes of winning the NL East. But is he really the key to bullpen success in 2020? 

Or is it Seth Lugo?

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, John Harper
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After a couple lopsided innings, the Mets fell to the Tigers, 9-6, in Lakeland, Fla. on Tuesday. >> Box Score

5 things to know from Tuesday's game...

1) Michael Wacha got his first start of the spring, and pitched well in his two innings on the rubber. He allowed one hit and two walks, but struck out two and didn't allow a run over that span. The radar gun had him topping out around 96 mph, which he said after the game is a "good sign."

Tags: JD Davis, Scott Thompson
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May 8, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) throws to first base on a ground out by San Diego Padres left fielder Hunter Renfroe (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports (Orlando Ramirez)
May 8, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) throws to first base on a ground out by San Diego Padres left fielder Hunter Renfroe (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports (Orlando Ramirez)

Mets INF/OF J.D. Davis left Tuesday's spring training game against the Tigers in the fifth inning after diving for a ball at third base.

Afterward, Davis stayed down for a few minutes before getting up and departing the game.

Davis was evaluated after the game and initial tests said there was nothing wrong, but an MRI on Wednesday will confirm that.

Tags: JD Davis, Danny Abriano
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Michael Wacha
Michael Wacha

The Mets are "internally discussing" the option of not going with a set five-man rotation when the season starts, according to The Post's Joel Sherman. In fact, the fifth starter may not even be a thing at all. 

One player gunning for that spot is Michael Wacha, who took the mound for his first spring training start Tuesday against the Tigers. He pitched well over his two innings of work, but the main question after his performance was about the report -- something he wasn't aware of and, frankly, didn't really care about. 

"I didn't read anything like that and they have mentioned anything like that," he said. "My focus right now is going out here today, doing what I can out there and competing. Then, control those five days in between my next start, get those mechanics where I need them to be, make those adjustments I wish I would've made out there going into this next one. But I just try not to worry too much about what others are saying."

Tags: Steven Matz, Scott Thompson
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Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes
Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes

A version of this story was originally published on Jan. 21, 2020


Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

When the offseason began, the thought of Yoenis Cespedes contributing to the 2020 Mets was a pipe dream. Then, he started hitting bombs. Then, his contract was restructured to incentivize him making it back on the field. Then, he started running.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Andres Gimenez fields ground balls during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Andres Gimenez fields ground balls during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

It will be Michael Wacha getting the start as the Mets face Tigers in Lakeland, Fla. on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.

While Wacha is thought to be in competition with Steven Matz for the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation, it might not be that simple

Mets notes

Andres Gimenez, Jake Marisnick, and J.D. Davis are the highlights of the lineup with the Mets traveling to Lakeland. Notable is that Davis, who has been getting lots of reps at third base this spring, is back at the hot corner.

Tags: Andres Gimenez, JD Davis, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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Mets RHP Michael Wacha
Mets RHP Michael Wacha

Barring injury, the Mets are expected to enter the season with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and Rick Porcello in their starting rotation. But the No. 5 spot might not be as simple as deciding between Steven Matz and Michael Wacha.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, among the options the Mets are "internally discussing" is not going with a set No. 5 starter at all.

Instead, the team would choose the best matchup each time it needed the fifth starter -- which will be most of the time once the first few weeks of the season are over. 

Tags: Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Danny Abriano
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Mets LHP David Peterson (Jim Rassol)
Mets LHP David Peterson (Jim Rassol)

Mets Spring Training is in full swing in Port St. Lucie. Here's what happened Monday, in case you missed it...


Wilson Ramos credited his performance against the Nats on Monday to offseason changes >> Read more

Along with Ramos, pitching prospect David Peterson was one of the standouts on Monday >> Read more

After the Mets' win over the Nats, Luis Rojas talked about his developing relationship with Terry Collins >> Read more

Tags: Andres Gimenez, David Peterson, Dominic Smith, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Danny Abriano
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Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake are certainly different than their predecessors, and not just because of age. 

Sure, Hefner and Blake's ages don't even combine to that of departed Mets' pitching coach Phil Regan, but both Regan and ex-Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild are baseball lifers. Blake has never been a pitching coach at any professional level, while Hefner was the Twins' assistant pitching coach in 2019.

But both are an indication that the role of a pitching coach has changed, and teams are looking for someone who can blend what a pitching coach needs to bring in-game with preparation and analysis, a background that both Hefner and Blake possess. 

Baseball Night in New York talked about the ever-evolving role of a pitching coach and the challenges that Blake and Hefner might face in their first seasons in the dugout.

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"Wilson Ramos hit ball, ball go far" was the mantra for the Mets on Monday in their spring training win over the Nationals. 

Ramos smashed a pitch just foul during his first at-bat, and the ensuing pitch matched it, but this time stayed in play and flew over the left field fence. 

But his day wasn't done there. Ramos also hit himself a double, going 2-for-2 during his team's 2-1 victory. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Wilson Ramos
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Luis Rojas
Luis Rojas

Luis Rojas said he was happy with Monday's 2-1 win over the Nationals despite the fact that spring training isn't about results. 

"We know spring training is not about results, but it's good to see the guys shaking hands and all that," Rojas said after the game. "Looked like we were playing really good baseball, once again really good defense. ...Everybody moving around, everybody backing up in position, we turned a double play again, called a good game, pitched a good game. So we played really good baseball today."

Wilson Ramos got things started with a solo home run in the second inning to put the Mets up 1-0, and Rojas took notice, saying he likes what he's seeing from Ramos early.

Tags: Wilson Ramos
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The Mets took down their NL East-rival Nationals, 2-1, for their first spring training win on Monday.  >> Box Score

5 things to know from Monday's game...

1) Top pitching prospect David Peterson got the start for the Mets, and looked pretty good in his first spring outing. He let up just one single, but no runs. MLB.com's Anthony DiComo also pointed out that the radar gun had his fastball sitting around 93-94 mph, which is up from his previous seasons. That's a good sign for the lefty.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, David Peterson, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Paul Sewald, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, Scott Thompson
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Mets pitching prospect David Peterson took the mound Monday afternoon for a spring training matchup with the Nationals, and put together a solid performance.

On the mound for 2.0 innings, Peterson allowed just one hit and zero runs, while also striking out two batters before a call to the bullpen was made to end his day.

"It was good." Peterson said on his first outing of spring training. "I felt really good on the mound physically and mentally. I thought Buffalo and I were on the same page and it felt good to get out there and compete again."

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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Andres Gimenez fields ground balls during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets prospect Andres Gimenez fields ground balls during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

The following are insights, ideas and notes gathered from recent conversations with team sources, rival executives, reporters, front office assistants, and talent evaluators...


Based on conversations with team insiders, at this early point in the spring, it sounds to me like Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil will 100 percent be kicking off Luis Rojas' lineup in April.

After that, expect Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto and some flip-flopping between Wilson Ramos and Robinson Cano. Amed Rosario seems destine to hit eighth or maybe even ninth on certain occasions, while the J.D. Davis/Yoenis Cespedes situation will impact left field and the heart of the lineup in a way that can't be known yet.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Brandon Nimmo, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher David Peterson (77) waits to do defensive drills during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher David Peterson (77) waits to do defensive drills during a workout at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

Minor League prospect David Peterson gets the start for the Mets down in Florida at 1:05 p.m. against the reigning World Seres champion Washington Nationals.

Mets notes

Jeff McNeil and Brandon Nimmo will bat first and second in for the Mets, while Pete Alonso bats third as a DH and former Yankee Eduardo Nunez is in the lineup hitting seventh.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso
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With MLB Spring Training well underway in Florida and Arizona, farm systems and their prospects are getting an extra look at this time of the year.

The Athletic's Keith Law put together his Top 100 prospects for 2020, and had four Mets on his list: 

17. SS Ronny Mauricio

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