The ongoing confusion over baseball's new sliding rules spilled over into a postgame confrontation between Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and umpire Jim Joyce after their 9-7 loss to the Mets at Citi Field Thursday.

The two had to be separated after Rizzo confronted Joyce about a call that led to a critical double play in the top of the ninth, according to Daily News reporter Cristian Red.

"You blew it," Rizzo said on his way to the clubhouse, Red reported. "I don't need it out there either. You want to yell? Yell! I'm right here."  

"You're the one that came up and talked to me," Joyce reportedly replied.

In the ninth inning, with the Mets up two runs and Jayson Werth at first base, Daniel Murphy hit a sharp grounder to Mets SS Asdrubal Cabrera, who flipped the ball to Neil Walker at second base.

Walker's throw was not in time to get Murphy at first base. However, umpires ruled Murphy out because's Werth's slide was illegal, according to the new rules implemented after Chase Utley's slide broke Ruben Tejada's leg during last season's NL Division Series.

"I have no problem with that slide, it's a great slide, it's what we're taught to do," Neil Walker said after the game.

In the fifth inning, Werth's made a similar slide that was ruled legal.

"I know I've been told four or five different things from different crews about the rules, and last time, I was told it was going to be a common-sense-type thing," National manager Dusty Baker said after the game. "I don't know how you teach young players now to break up a double play, because there's no such thing as breaking up a double play."

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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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Tim Tebow (Reinhold Matay)
Tim Tebow (Reinhold Matay)

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


Yoenis Cespedes broke his media silence for the first time -- despite saying he would go all season without speaking -- and said he could be ready for opening day. >> Read More

Another Mets Prospect Deep Dive, this time on OF Jake Mangum, whose all-around game could see him rise through minors quickly >> Read More

Tags: JD Davis, Jeurys Familia, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes
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Day 2 of live spring training action for the Mets ended in the form of Sunday's 3-3 tie with the Cardinals, but two performances highlighted New York's main takeaways from the draw against St. Louis.

Led by a performance on the mound and at the plate with an old and new player, sixth-year LHP Steven Matz and recently-acquired CF Jake Marisnick discussed their respective performances after they respectively flashed over the course of the afternoon at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Toeing the rubber for the first time since Sept. 28's 3-0 win over the Atlanta Braves to end his 2019 regular season, Matz got the start and was happy with how he performed overall.

Tags: Steven Matz
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J.D. Davis had a breakout 2019 season in his first year with the Mets, batting .307 with 22 home runs in 140 games. The Mets acquired him from the Houston Astros on Jan. 6, 2019 after he played just 66 games in two seasons with the team.

Davis spoke to SNY's Steve Gelbs on Sunday during the Mets' 3-3 tie with the St. Louis Cardinals about how he was a different person before coming to New York.

"Me, learning from how I was with the Astros, and my personality, I was kind of the quiet guy," Davis said. "I was a fly on the wall. I tried to blend in, not have any attention towards myself. Coming in here, I wasn't as happy as I was with the Astros. I wasn't really expressing myself. I remember just coming in and being free and loose, and just wanting to at least have a relationship with these guys. And these guys have the same kind of desire as well.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto
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Jeurys Familia put all his offseason work to the test on Sunday, when he made his spring training debut against the Cardinals in the Mets' 3-3 tie in Port St. Lucie. 

Familia got the first two hitters he faced out, and after allowing a single and a walk, he got out of his one inning on the mound without allowing a run. Overall, it was a solid start to his spring, especially with his splitter looking to have that sharp bite back. 

"I was excited to be out there," he said through team translator Alan Surriel after his performance. "It's been awhile since I've been on a mound actually pitching in real game action, to be able to go out there and to throw and to see the results of my hard work this offseason. It felt good."

Tags: Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Scott Thompson
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The Mets and Cardinals worked their way to a 3-3 draw after nine innings of baseball in Port St. Lucie on Sunday afternoon.  >> Box Score

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

1) Steven Matz made his spring debut, pitching in one inning that didn't start the way he wanted. Harrison Bader took a 1-0 fastball over the left field wall to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead. Matz discussed it after the game, saying he wanted to hit the glove side, but it stayed too much over the middle of the plate. Other than that, no damage came to the man battling to make the rotation in camp. 

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Steven Matz, Scott Thompson
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Steven Matz kicked off his 2020 campaign on Sunday, when he took the mound to start against the Cardinals in a spring training matchup in Port St. Lucie. And though it didn't go according to plan to begin, Matz came away happy with the results in the end. 

St. Louis' leadoff hitter Harrison Bader took Matz deep on the second pitch of the game, a middle-in fastball that he turned on to left field. But after that, he settled down and his stuff looked sharp as he finished his inning of work. 

"I'm actually really happy with it. I think my changeup was down, my curveballs were down, arm feels good," he said. "I think the one critique I have on myself is just glove-side fastball. That last out to [Matt] Wieters and the home run, I was trying to go inside to a righty. That's normally my bread and butter pitch. So that's the one thing, but other than that, I felt good with everything."

Tags: Steven Matz, Scott Thompson
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CF Jake Marisnick blasted his first home run in a Mets uniform in the second inning on Sunday afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Marisnick led off the inning, and took Adam Wainwright deep to left center to tie the game at one.

He hit 10 home runs over 120 games in 2019 as a member of the Houston Astros. The Mets acquired him on Dec. 5 in exchange for porspects Blake Taylor and Kenedy Corona.

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June 9, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Mississippi St. center fielder Jake Mangum (15) hits a two-run double in the second inning at the NCAA Super Regional at Hawkins Field. Mandatory Credit: George Walker IV/The Tennessean via USA TODAY NETWORK (George Walker IV)
June 9, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Mississippi St. center fielder Jake Mangum (15) hits a two-run double in the second inning at the NCAA Super Regional at Hawkins Field. Mandatory Credit: George Walker IV/The Tennessean via USA TODAY NETWORK (George Walker IV)

After drafting Brett Baty, Josh Wolf, and Matthew Allan with their first three picks, the Mets selected Jake Mangum with their fourth-round-pick in 2019, but he could be the first of the bunch to make it to the majors ...


The Skinny

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 179 lbs

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Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes said he wasn't going to speak to the media at all this season, but that didn't last very long as he sat in front of the mic on Sunday morning. 

Joined by team translator Alan Surriel, Cespedes got right to the point when asked if he will be ready for Opening Day. His answer?

"If I continue progressing the way that I am, yes," he said. 

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Scott Thompson
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Sep 23, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Steven Matz will make his spring training debut on Sunday when the Mets face the Cardinals at 1:10 p.m. at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie on SNY. 

Mets notes

Other than Matz, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Brad Brach, Tyler Bashlor, and Franklyn Kilome are all scheduled to make an appearance on the mound. 

Tags: Franklyn Kilome, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Steven Matz, Tyler Bashlor, Scott Thompson
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Rick Porcello (Jim Rassol)
Rick Porcello (Jim Rassol)

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


The latest mailbag from MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone answers questions on non-roster invitees, Luis Guillorme and more >> Read More

SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino goes in depth on what to look for this spring with Steven Matz and Michael Wacha >> Read More

The ribbon cutting ceremony at Clover Park, the Mets' new spring training home, happened on Saturday. Check it out >> Read More

Tags: Luis Guillorme, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz
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As the Mets kicked off their 2020 spring training slate with a split-squad game against the Miami Marlins in Port St. Lucie on Saturday, Luis Rojas saw the game through a new perspective.

For the first time, Rojas watched the game from the dugout as a major-league manager.

Rojas' Mets fell to the Marlins 5-3 on Saturday, but as is the case with all spring training efforts, the game was more about getting things right for Opening Day rather than immediate results.

Still, Rojas was pleased with what he saw in his first game as a manager.

Tags: Wilson Ramos
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The Mets fell to the Miami Marlins 5-3 in a split-squad outing in Port St. Lucie on Saturday, but the offense looked strong to get things started.

In the top of the first inning, Jeff McNeil slapped a single to left field to get things going, setting the table out of the leadoff spot. After loading the bases, Wilson Ramos drove in a pair with a wind-blown ground-rule double down the right-field line.

Check out the full highlights from Saturday's game with the Marlins...

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Wilson Ramos
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The Mets played two split-squad games on Saturday afternoon to kick off their spring training schedule. With one group staying in Port St. Lucie, the other group took the field in Jupiter, Fla. against the St. Louis Cardinals.

In that game, the Mets handed the ball to Marcus Stroman to get things started. 

In the first inning, Stroman gave up a one-out single to Matt Carpenter, but he followed that up by striking out both Paul Goldshmidt and Yadier Molina on sliders down in the zone.

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 (Jim Rassol)
(Jim Rassol)

The Mets' split squad in Port St. Lucie got this year's spring training schedule started with a 5-3 loss to the Miami Marlins. >> Box Score

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

1) Rick Porcello got the first spring training start for the Mets in Port St. Lucie. The right-hander pitched only the first inning, with some mixed results. Porcello allowed a single to Monte Harrison with one out, and after stealing second, Harrison came around to score on a Garrett Cooper single. He did strikeout Isan Diaz on three pitches in the inning as well.

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos
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Sep 12, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 12, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman (7) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Both teams struggled offensively as the Mets lost 2-0 on Saturday in a split-squad contest against the Cardinals. >> Box score

4 things to know from Saturday's game...

1) Marcus Stroman got the ball and pitched a solid first inning, allowing a hit but striking out both Paul Goldschmidt and Yadier Molina. But Tyler O'Neill led off the second with a home run to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Stroman got Tommy Edman to ground out on a comebacker, but after a walk and a single, Stroman's day was done after 1 1/3 innings pitched.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, JD Davis, Rene Rivera
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Mar 28, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Seth Lugo (67) throws a pitch to the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Mar 28, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Seth Lugo (67) throws a pitch to the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

After suffering a small fracture to his pinky toe in his hotel room Monday nightSeth Lugo returned to the Clover Park mound on Saturday to throw a bullpen session, and said he's suffering minimal ill-effects from the minor injury.

"It felt pretty good," Lugo said. "Pitches were coming out real good. I felt a little soreness when I got done but that's to be expected. Hopefully tomorrow that's gone."

Lugo informed the Mets after arriving at the ballpark on Tuesday that he had hurt the toe while banging it on something in his hotel room, and an X-ray revealed the small fracture.

Tags: Seth Lugo
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Clover Park is the spring training home of the Mets, and the newly-renovated facility hosted its first game as the team welcomed in the Marlins on Saturday.

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon was on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with Port St. Lucie mayor Gregory Oravec.

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Sep 23, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

PORT ST. LUCIE -- The competition between Steven Matz and Michael Wacha for the final spot in the rotation represents one of the few unsettled questions in Mets camp. If all six starters remain healthy, and if Rick Porcello performs competently, either Matz or Wacha will have to move to the bullpen.

Despite their need to win a job, both pitchers are tasked with the typical spring training project of prioritizing process over results, especially in their early appearances. They won't be judged exclusively on performance, but on their adherence to personal goals set with new pitching coach Jeremy Hefner.

If you're watching closely enough, you can find clues to how each is progressing. Here's a guide for what to watch, based on a chat with both Matz and Wacha.
 

Tags: Steven Matz, Andy Martino
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In his latest Mets mailbag, Matthew Cerrone weighs in on non-roster invitees, Luis Guillorme and youngsters around the NL East.


The calendar has turned from Hot Stove to sunshine and palm trees.

Not surprisingly, so have questions being sent to me for my weekly mailbag post.

Here are answers to the most common questions to come in, all of which focus on the farm system, prospects and guys that can help the big-league team.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Matthew Cerrone
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 (Jim Rassol)
(Jim Rassol)

Marcus Stroman gets the start for the group of Mets traveling to Jupiter, Fla., Saturday at 1:05 p.m. for a split-squad matchup against the Cardinals. The other half of the team is hosting the Marlins in Port St. Lucie.  

Mets notes

Amed Rosario and Brandon Nimmo will bat first and second in for the Mets, while former Yankee Eduardo Nunez is in the lineup hitting fifth.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo
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Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Rick Porcello (22) works on defensive drills during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)
Feb 16, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Rick Porcello (22) works on defensive drills during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports (Jim Rassol)

Rick Porcello will make his first appearance in a Mets uniform as he gets the start on the mound in one of two split-squad games on Saturday. The other half of the team will face the Cardinals at 1:05 p.m.

Mets notes

Pete Alonso will hit second in Saturday's lineup against the Marlins, while newcomer Jake Marisnick will play center field and hit sixth. Tim Tebow will be available off the bench.

Tags: Pete Alonso
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Mets' Brandon Nimmo (Treated Image by SNY)
Mets' Brandon Nimmo (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

When the 2019 season began, it appeared pitchers had found an up-and-in hole in Brandon Nimmo's swing about the size of Wyoming, his native state, and they pounded away at it to the tune of 26 strikeouts in his first 61 plate appearances of the season.

At which point he crashed into the fence in Atlanta on April 14th, causing a neck injury that also messed with his swing and eventually forced him to the sidelines for four months. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, John Harper
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Luis Rojas spoke in Port St. Lucie Friday afternoon just a day before the Mets kick off their first game of spring training, and discussed the progress he's seen out of injured outfielder Yoenis Cespedes so far this offseason.

On what he saw from Cespedes this week and how long until he's ready

"Well I think it was a really big week for him. He's advancing, he's progressing, he's doing things everyday that just impress you. He's out there taking fly balls with the rest of the outfielders -- obviously limited in the movement laterally and covering ground -- but he's out there, he's moving, getting behind balls, making throws in. He threw a couple to home plate yesterday, he made a couple of throws after a cutoff in relays. Facing live pitching."

"He's basically going through the schedule at lets say 75 percent of it, 80 percent of it from what everyone else is doing. So that's big news for us and the timelines not...we don't know yet. He's got to go through this progression. And our performance staff is working close with him, and he's doing a good job responding to it."

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard
Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard

Most anybody and everybody who knows pitching, it seems, still believes Noah Syndergaard can be one of the best pitchers in baseball, based on his talent. But what does he need to do to make it happen after 2019, the worst season of his career? 

Opinions on that varied among the several people I spoke to about the Mets' righthander, most centering around pitch selection and/or mental approach, something Syndergaard copped to himself in Port St. Lucie last week, saying his struggles last season were at least partly a case of "paralysis by analysis; thinking too much." 

However, Bob Ojeda, the former Mets pitcher, who has also worked as a minor-league pitching coach and SNY analyst, delivered a harsher critique that was aimed at Syndergaard's Thor persona, if you will.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, John Harper
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May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of New York Mets helmet in the dugout before a game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of New York Mets helmet in the dugout before a game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Josh Wolf is a projectable 6-foot-3, 170-pound power arm with more room to physically mature. Here's what to know about the Mets prospect...


The Skinny

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 170 lbs

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


With Mets Spring Training kicking off, we're about to go from "best shape of his life" stories that often don't matter to game results that never matter >> Read more

Yoenis Cespedes and Jacob deGrom faced off against each other in live BP >> Read more

Tags: Jacob deGrom, JD Davis, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Yoenis Cespedes
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One of the most memorable moments for the Mets in 2019 came on August 9 against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.

With the Mets in the midst of a 12-wins-in-13 games streak, Washington pushed out to a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. But the Mets refused to go down quietly against Nats closer Sean Doolittle, and after Todd Frazier tied the game on a three-run shot, it was Michael Conforto who later singled in Juan Lagares to give the Mets the win. 

The Mets then celebrated in style, as Pete Alonso led the charge to rip Conforto's jersey off in the middle of the field.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Steven Matz
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J.D. Davis had a breakout 2019 season in his first year with the Mets, batting .307 and hitting 22 home runs in 140 games.

He talked to SNY's Todd Zeile at spring training about his swing and how he prepares for games. Zeile noticed Davis' ability to hit the ball to right field and stay off breaking balls.

"I started really tuning into that right-center or at second base probably by college, it's just the way my swing worked," Davis said. "It helped me stay more on the fast ball and not really pull off on any offspeed."

Tags: JD Davis
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There's been plenty written and said about Pete Alonso's rookie season.

And rightfully so, as the Mets first baseman slugged an MLB rookie-record 53 home runs and drove in 120. 

But as Mets spring training gets underway in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Alonso is now looking ahead to the new season, and he's got some lofty goals for this 2020 group.

Tags: Pete Alonso
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On Thursday night, Mets' Jeff McNeil joined the Mets Hot Stove at Duffy's in Port St. Lucie.

McNeil reflected on his 2019 All-Star season, what caused his power surge in the second half of the season, and how he feels about being the everyday third baseman.

Tags: Jeff McNeil
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