Tuesday, the Rockies and A's swapped oft-injured/disappointing lefthanders Brett Anderson and $2 million for Drew Pomeranz and minor leaguer Chris Jensen.

We've been running a series where we compare the players involved in trade packages to those in the Mets organization. This concept works a lot better when there are more players involved. Both the Dexter Fowler to the Astros and the Doug Fister to the Nationals deals involved at least three players. With more players, we can be a little looser about assigning a type of player and tweaking around the edges to make the values roughly match.

Anderson EvaluationAnderson is the more expensive player, and the one who has performed better, when he's healthy in the big leagues. He's a groundball generating machine; his gb% has risen from 50.9% in 2009 to 54.6% in 2010 to 57.5% in 2011, to 59.8% in 2012 and then 62.9% in 2013. That's as clear a trend as one could possibly hope to see. On the other hand, his games started and innings pitched by year has been heading in the opposite direction - falling each year.

.                           Games Started                        IP

2009                      30                                         175.1

2010                       19                                         112.1

2011                        13                                          83.1

2012                         6                                          35.0

2013                         5                                           44.2

 

For his career, he owns a 3.81 ERA, a 3.56 FIP, and an 8.2 fWAR but only a 6.1 RA9-WAR. Those last two numbers illustrate well how the WAR metric for pitchers is calculated. RA9- WAR is read as "WAR calculated by runs allowed per nine innings. Standard fWAR uses FIP, which rewards groundballers.

Anderson's injury history covers most of his body parts: head (concussion), lower back (stiffness/tightness), left elbow (strain/inflammation/Tommy John surgery), right knee (hyper extension), upper back (spasms), left thumb (sprain), right ankle (sprain), right foot (stress fracture). Is the Tommy John surgery in 2011 the most significant? Or is it the sum of all the injuries?

Anderson is no longer cheap, and cutting costs was clearly a major factor for the A's. He is owed $8 million in 2014 and his contract calls for a club option of $12 million in 2015 with a $1.5 million buyout.

Anderson is not the kind of injury-risk pitcher the Mets have signed in the last few years. Instead, the Mets have made smaller one-year gambles on Chris Capuano ($1.5 million in 2011), Chris Young ($1.1 million in 2011 and a minor league deal in 2012), Shaun Marcum ($4 million in 2013), Daisuke Matsuzaka (MLB minimum in 2013). On a payroll at or below $90 million as the Mets have run recently and seem poised to run in 2014, the $8 million Anderson will earn in 2014, or more precisely, $6 million net the $2 million Oakland sent along, just does not fit.

Anderson is big (6'4", 235 lbs) and can touch 93 mph with his fastball although he sits 91-92 mph.

 

The ReturnDrew Pomeranz has pedigree. The Indians drafted him fifth overall in June 2010 out of Mississippi. A little over a year later, the Indians shipped him to Colorado to complete their trade for Ubaldo Jimenez.

What Pomeranz doesn't have is results. He made four starts and four relief appearances a year ago for Colorado and gave up 25 hits and 15 runs in 21.2 innings. Most damning, moreso than the four home runs, were the 19 walks (!) against 19 strikeouts. He made 15 starts in AAA where he ran a 4.20 ERA, walked 9% of the opponent batters and fanned 26% in a season cut short by biceps tendonitis.

Stepping backward, Pomeranz put up good numbers across the board in 2011 with the Indians in AA in Akron. The Rockies promoted him to the big leagues after he was traded. While his topline ERA of 5.40 in four appearances is not impressive, the underlying stats say he was closer to holding his own: a strikeout rate of 17%, a walk rate of 6.5%, and a 2.59 FIP.

Pomeranz started 2012 in the big leagues, but the Rockies dispatched him to AAA after he ran a 4.70 ERA in his first five starts in which he had 20 strikeouts and 15 walks in 23 innings, that's a strikeout rate of 18.5%, but a walk rate of 13.9%. Down in AAA, in the thin air of Colorado Springs, he was much better: 2.51 ERA in 9 starts and 46 strikeouts (22%) against 20 walks (9.4%) in 46.2 innings over nine starts. Note that his walk rate would still be above MLB or AAA averages. He finished 2012 in the Rockies' rotation, eventually making 22 starts for a 4.93 ERA and a 4.81 FIP.

In terms of stuff, Pomeranz is extremely reliant on a fastball that averages 91 mph and a curveball in the upper 70s (that's plus velocity) to go along with a seldom used changeup. In 2011 and 2012, he threw his fastball over 76% of the time - a rate that would have been the third-highest fastball usage among qualified MLB starters. At ESPN, Keith Law still calls Pomeranz's curveball plus.

I forgot about Pomeranz's other injury problems which include an appendectomy, and quad and hip issues. (Thanks Jay Jaffe.)

Pomeranz has a walk problem. It's been over 9% in AAA and has spiked well above that in the big leagues. Oakland will have the luxury of sending him to AAA to try to get him right.

 

The Minor LeaguerChris Jensen is a big RHP (6'4", 200) who the Rockies drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 draft from San Diego. In his age 22 season, he put up a 4.55 ERA with a 21% strikeout rate and a 5.8% walk rate in 152.1 innings in the hitter-friendly California League. Note however, that Jensen's home ballpark in Modesto is one of the League's two pitcher friendliest (along with San Jose). I probably saw Jensen in 2012 with Asheville, but whatever impression he made on me at the time did not survive a year and a half.

BP says Jensen was 91-94, touching 95 as a starter, with a 83-86 mph changeup and breaking ball at 77-80 that was inconsistent. Jordan Gorosh thinks he can be a "back-end starter who has the ability to log innings." Law calls him "just a guy."

 

Mets CompsThe Mets really do not have a pitcher whose profile looks like Drew Pomeranz. Clearly, shedding Anderson's salary was important to Oakland, in addition to the gamble on Pomeranz, who has 1.05 years of MLB service time. Thus, we will confine our search for comps to pre-arb players, preferably with something like a year of MLB service time or less.

Our service time/cheap requirement dispatches Dillon Gee and his 3.028 years of MLB service.

Jenrry Mejia and his 1.14 years of MLB service are close enough to Pomeranz. Mejia's five start run in 2013 - 2.30 ERA, 27.1 IP, 27 K, 4 BB, was better than anything Pomeranz has strung together at the Major League Level. Mejia's value should be depressed by the fact that, thanks to Tommy John surgery and Jerry Manuel, he's thrown 100 innings in a season only once and never exceeded 110. Mejia's injury problems post-Tommy John surgery make him a fellow traveler with Pomeranz and Andersen.

If you want no MLB success, with control problems think Jeurys Familia.

If you want no MLB success, with success in AA, think Cory Mazzoni. Like Pomeranz, Mazzoni will likely start the 2014 season in AAA.

Jensen could be Rainy Lara or Tyler Pill. I kinda like the Lara angle better. He's a low 90s fastball guy, with a changeup and slider that is decidedly his third pitch. He has size (6'4") and a 3.76 ERA in the Florida State League but underwhelming peripherals (16% strikeout rate and 6% walk rate).

 

ConclusionI think this deal is something like Jenrry Mejia and Rainy Lara for Brett Anderson. Anderson was due a minimum of $9.5 million - his 2014 salary plus his buyout - at the time he was traded.

Colorado took the more expensive player, with a longer big league track record with a huge injury report. Oakland took the cheaper guy with a walk rate worse than average, no big league track record of success and a shorter injury report. Both guys are gambles in their way.

Let me be clear again: I don't think Jenrry Mejia is a great match for Drew Pomeranz in many if not most respects. However, I've decided among Mets pitchers under team control, he's the closest in value and fit given what Oakland appeared to be trying to accomplish.

Given the health risks on Anderson, and the cost, in dollars - especially on a ~$90 million payroll - and players, he made little sense for the Mets in the winter of 2013-2014.

Tags: Analysis, Toby Hyde

Matthew Cerrone | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me

I'm happy to introduce SNY.TV's newest podcast, "Meet the MetsCast," featuring me, comedian Steve Hofstetter and SiriusXM host Rob Brender.

In this debut episode, our first pitch is all about Opening Day, including personal memories and our take on the best and worst opening day starting pitchers over the years.

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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 went for an MRI on his left elbow on Wednesday and will likely not be ready for Opening Day, manager Terry Collins told reporters.

Matz had thrown on Tuesday for the second-straight day, but still felt something in his elbow after the session, Collins added. 

The 25-year-old Matz, who had surgery to remove a bone spur in September and has dealt with elbow and shoulder issues among others since underdoing Tommy John surgery in 2010, was to start Monday. Zack Wheeler got that start instead.

"It's worrisome that he continues to be injured off and on," Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters this past weekend. "That's the difficulty. We don't think it's serious. On the other hand, starting pitchers are relied on every five days. I'm not sure exactly where this is going to take us."

Tags: Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Figueroa on Famila suspension 00:07:10
Mets analyst Nelson Figueroa discusses how Jeurys Familia's suspension will effect the bullpen during the first few weeks of April.

Mets RHP Jeurys Familia has been suspended for the first 15 games of the 2017 season due to the alleged domestic violence incident he was involved in last October.

"The Mets fully support MLB's domestic violence policy, the discipline handed down today by Commissioner Manfred, and the decision by Jeurys to accept his penalty without an appeal," the team said in a statement.

Tags: Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia
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Mar 29, 2017; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Sean Gilmartin (36) throws a pitch during the first inning of an MLB spring training baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Mar 29, 2017; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Sean Gilmartin (36) throws a pitch during the first inning of an MLB spring training baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

 

Six pitchers combined to allow two runs on six hits as the Mets ended their Grapefruit League schedule with a 2-2 tie against the Braves on Wednesday afternoon at Champion Stadium in Kissimmee, FL.

For a full box score, click here.

Tags: Hansel Robles, Rafael Montero, Sean Gilmartin, Tim Tebow, TJ Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud
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Mets manager Terry Collins (10) looks on from the dugout. Mandatory Credit: Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mets manager Terry Collins (10) looks on from the dugout. Mandatory Credit: Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Mets officials must decide on a final 25-man roster by Sunday afternoon.

According to multiple reports Wednesday morning, it was still not determined whether Jeurys Familia (who has since been suspended), Juan Lagares (oblique strain), Steven Matz (sore elbow) or Michael Conforto (depending on Lagares) will be on the Opening Day roster.

"Due to some injuries and everything that always complicates it, now we got some tougher decisions to make," Mets manager Terry Collins said Tuesday. "We're very lucky we have some depth on our club to fill in those holes."

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LHP Sean Gilmartin gets the start when the Mets face the Braves. He has thrown 6.2 innings this spring, allowing eight runs (five earned) on eight hits to go along with four strikeouts and three walks.

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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

Juan Lagares tested his strained left oblique on Wednesday by running and said he should be "good to go" for Opening Day on April 3, reports Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

Lagares, who plans to hit on Thursday, left Saturday's game due to the injury.

The results of his MRI were better than expected, Terry Collins told reporters on Tuesday.

Lagares is hitting .190 with one home run and two RBI in 42 at-bats this spring, and had been expected to make the Opening Day roster as the team's fourth outfielder.

Tags: Juan Lagares, Yoenis Cespedes
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Mar 2, 2017; Cespedes (52) looks on prior to playing the Marlins at First Data Field. Credit: Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2017; Cespedes (52) looks on prior to playing the Marlins at First Data Field. Credit: Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Yoenis Cespedes has high expectations of himself and for the Mets in 2017.

"I think this entire team has come together and we all have that mentality we know we can win a World Series," Cespedes said Monday, according to the Bergen Record. "I think we are going to approach the season by taking it one game at a time, day by day."

Cespedes and the Mets agreed to a four-year, $110 million contract this past winter, which followed 2016 when he earned $27.5 million and opted out his previous deal.

"Me particularly, I'm just going to work on trying to stay healthy because I know if I can stay healthy, I can help my team out and I know I can have a very good season," he continued.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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May 31, 2016; Colon (40) laughs with pitchers Noah Syndergaard (34) and Jacob deGrom (48) during batting practice before a game at Citi Field. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports
May 31, 2016; Colon (40) laughs with pitchers Noah Syndergaard (34) and Jacob deGrom (48) during batting practice before a game at Citi Field. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have officially announced that Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey will start against the Braves during the first three games of the season.

The Braves will counter with Julio Teherán against Syndergaard, Bartolo Colon against deGrom and left-handed starter Jaime Garcia against Harvey.

According to multiple reports, Robert Gsellman has been told he will also be in the team's rotation, though the organization has yet to state this in an official announcement.

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Are you a Mets fan looking for an outlet for your excitement and enthusiasm before Opening Day? Well, mark your calendar for this Friday...

The Mets and Citi are hosting a "Let's Go Mets Fan Rally" this Friday, March 31 at Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall, from 9 am - 3 pm.

The event will feature interactive games and giveaways, plus appearances by Mets legends Ron Darling and Mookie Wilson and Mr. and Mrs. Met!

So put on your orange and blue, click here, and join us at Grand Central this Friday!


Most pressing Mets questions 00:02:34
Eamon McAnaney and John Harper address the most pressing questions surrounding the Mets as the regular season quickly approaches.

The Mets play their final Grapefruit League game of the spring today.

In Orlando, Sean Gilmartin will start against Josh Collmenter and the Braves at 1:05 p.m. Rafael Montero is expected to pitch in relief as he continues to battle for a final roster spot.

Meanwhile, back in St. Lucie, Noah Syndergaard will throw in a minor-league game. He will face the Braves in less than a week on Opening Day at Citi Field.

Lastly, also in St. Lucie, team officials will continue deciding on a final 25-man roster, which could possibly not include Jeurys Familia (potential suspension), Juan Lagares (oblique strain), Steven Matz (sore elbow) or Michael Conforto (depending on Lagares).

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The Mets have sent C Kevin Plawecki to minor league camp, manager Terry Collins said Tuesday.

The team is expected to carry catchers Travis d'Arnaud and Rene Rivera on the Opening Day roster.

Plawecki, 26, hit .197 with a .298 OBP and .265 SLG with one HR and 11 RBI in 48 games with the Mets last season...

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Rene Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud
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Post Game Extra: Mets tie Cards 00:03:02
Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez break down the Mets' 3-3 tie with the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.

 

Robert Gsellman allowed three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out six in six innings as the Mets tied the Cardinals, 3-3, on Tuesday afternoon at First Data Field in St. Lucie.

For a full box score, click here.

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Lucas Duda, Robert Gsellman, Sean Gilmartin, Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets relievers Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed (Credit: USA Today Sports Images)
Mets relievers Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed (Credit: USA Today Sports Images)

The Mets will be in good position to make a trade for a relief pitcher this summer, assuming they need one, according to baseball insiders.

By combining an infielder -- such as Wilmer Flores, Gavin Cecchini or T.J. Rivera -- with a second-tier pitching prospect -- such as Thomas Szapucki or Marcos Molina -- Sandy Alderson should have more than enough ammunition to make a meaningful deal before the trade deadline.

Their best fit may be with the White Sox, Royals and -- again -- the Orioles...

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RHP Robert Gsellman has thrown 17.1 innings this spring, allowing only four runs (three earned) on 15 hits to go along with nine strikeouts and four walks.

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Prospective Mets relievers 00:02:01
Doug Williams, Todd Zeile and Andy Martino talk about Rafael Montero being a dark horse candidate for the Mets bullpen.

The Mets have re-assigned RHP Paul Sewald to minor league camp Tuesday morning.

In 11 appearances this spring, Sewald allowed four runs and seven hits, while striking out 12 batters in 14.1 innings pitched.

In mid-March, Terry Collins listed Sewald among 8-10 pitchers that had quietly emerged in camp as possible candidates to make his Opening Day roster.

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DNL on Matz, Harvey and Conforto 00:02:53
Sandy Alderson talks Steven Matz, while the panel talks about Matz's injury, Matt Harvey's velocity and Michael Conforto on the roster.

Today at 1 pm on SNY, the Mets and Robert Gsellman host Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals in a Grapefruit League game at First Data Field in St. Lucie.

This past weekend, it was reported that Gsellman has been told he'll be part of the team's rotation when the regular season starts next Monday, April 3.

Juan Lagares had his oblique examined in New York yesterday, the results of which are expected to be reported today. Lagares spent 22 days on the DL with the same injury in 2014.

Also today or tomorrow, the Mets expect to learn from MLB how many games Jeurys Familia will be suspended for a domestic violence inicident that occured last October.

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Wheeler says he's ready 00:04:24
Zack Wheeler talks about his successful start Monday, and declares himself ready for the 2017 season.

The Mets played two split-squad games Monday, during which Seth Lugo started against the Nationals in St. Lucie, while Zack Wheeler started against the Marlins in Jupiter.

Following yesterday's news that Steven Matz will miss his next start due to elbow pain, it's been assumed that the team may need to choose between Lugo and Wheeler to be their fifth starter.

In Jupiter, Wheeler threw five scoreless innings, faced 19 batters, struck out three and allowed two hits.

Tags: Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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GEICO SportsNite: Zack Wheeler 00:01:26
Zack Wheeler says that he showed he can still be locked in on the mound, while Terry Collins says that Wheeler will have pressure on him.

Zack Wheeler allowed two hits, struck out three and walked two during five scoreless innings as the Mets beat the Marlins, 5-0, in Jupiter.

Seth Lugo allowed eight hits (including three homers) and four runs in 4 1/3 innings as the Mets lots to the Nationals, 6-0, in Port St. Lucie...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Josh Edgin, Michael Conforto, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, TJ Rivera, Zack Wheeler
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Lagares vs. Conforto in outfield 00:04:20
The Mets Talk Live panel discusses Juan Larages' oblique strain and whether or not Michael Conforto will be playing for him.

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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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...

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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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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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