Mets pitchers Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler, all of whom are competing for a spot on the roster (Photo Credit: USA today Sports Images)
Mets pitchers Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler, all of whom are competing for a spot on the roster (Photo Credit: USA today Sports Images)

Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz are a lock to be in the team's starting rotation when it begins their 2017 season in exactly two weeks...

Matt Harvey should be a lock, but has struggled this spring after last year's season-ending surgery to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. I expect he'll make the Opening Day roster, though I do think there's a small chance he stays back in St. Lucie where he'd begin the season in extended spring training and on the disabled list.

Meanwhile, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and Zack Wheeler have all pitched well enough to be considered for the rotation's final spot.

"It's a great problem to have," Terry Collins said Sunday. "We came into this camp knowing we had depth in the rotation. ... They have stepped up and showed us we weren't wrong."

Wheeler must be available down the stretch

Wheeler has allowed three runs and struck out three batters in 4.1 innings this spring.

"You've got to be careful what you're seeing in March, but certainly Zack got our attention the other day," manager Collins said Sunday. "I can't wait to have him get back out there again."


Zack Wheeler wams up during a spring training game in St. Lucie (Credit: Barr-USA Today Sports)


Wheeler had Tommy John surgery in early 2015 and suffered multiple setbacks during his rehab last summer. Nevertheless, following both of his Grapefruit League starts this spring, he told reporters that he feels great and is ready to begin the season.

Unfortunately, he will not be allowed to exceed 125 innings pitched this season because he hasn't thrown in a big-league game in two years, Sandy Alderson said last week.

The Mets believe they'll be competing for a playoff spot this season. I'm sure they'd love to have Wheeler contributing down the stretch (and in the postseason). So, because of the innings limit, my hunch is they'll slow-play his debut and keep him in extended spring training through April and May. Wheeler is not going to be happy. However, it will allow the Mets to be extra cautious with his return, as well as conserve innings and keep him in position to pitch for them in September and October.

Gsellman is a mid-rotation starter... on another team

Based on his performance this spring, and what he did last year, Gsellman has to be the fifth starter during the first month or two of 2017.

He had a 2.42 ERA (2.63 FIP) and 1.27 WHIP, while striking out 42 batters in 44.2 innings during seven starts and one relief appearance last season. So far this spring, he has thrown 12 innings in four Grapefruit League games, has a 2.25 ERA and struck out seven batters.


Mar 13, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) throws during a spring training game against the Miami Marlins at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports


"He's got no fear, he's not afraid of anything in any situation," Collins said Sunday, praising Gsellman's most recent outing. "He knows what he can do and goes out and does it. Knows he can throw strikes, knows he's got a weapon that is hard to hit and he uses it."

I's pretty clear that Gsellman would be a mid-rotation starting pitcher if he was not on the Mets, which is why I don't think there's much debate about what his role will be for the Mets in 2017.

"The talent level is so high you have to compete, it makes you better," Gsellman said after his last appearance. "I think last year I was in the second (round of) cuts and this year I am competing to make the team. It's a lot of fun."

That's sweet. It's good to be humble. But, the fact is, the sink and velocity he gets off his two-seam fastball - not to mention how effective he is with his breaking ball and change up - qualify him as a big-league pitcher. End of story. There's nothing he has to prove in Triple-A, and -- since he doesn't profile as a relief pitcher -- he's a no-brainer to make rotation.

"They're all on track," Collins said. "They're getting more work. The more pitches they throw, the more confidence they have, and trust in their stuff a little bit more."

Lugo will play a big role in this team's success

The big talk this past winter- not just from the Mets, but all around baseball - was how every team now needs a guy in the bullpen that can be a short-order, situational reliever, as well as someone that can go multiple innings and bridge the gap between the bullpen and starting pitchers that last just five or six innings per start.

Lugo is capable of being that guy for the Mets.

The days that Syndergaard or deGrom go deep, Lugo can rest or pitch in short relief. Or, on days when Matz and Harvey leave their start early, Lugo can pitch two or three innings and get everything in order before handing the ball off to Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia. It's a hugely important job, just ask the entire American League about Indians reliever Andrew Miller.


Feb 24, 2017; Lugo (67) throws a pitch at JetBlue Park. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


It's also worth noting that, while Lugo may have struggled in his last spring appearance for the Mets, he's been dominant pitching for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

In his most recent outing (this past weekend), Lugo retired the first 11 batters he faced. He eventually gave up just one hit in five innings, while striking out three batters and walking no one against Venezuela, whose lineup featured Jose Altuve, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Gonzalez and Victor Martinez, among other notable big-league players.

The spin on his curve ball is so hard and right that the opposition often makes weak contact against him, assuming they make contact at all. The thing is, as he sees the same batters more and more each game, he's forced to use the rest of his arsenal, which is not nearly as effective.

I realize the Mets were 7-1 in games started by Lugo last season, during which he had a 2.68 ERA and struck out 5.6 batters per nine innings. However, in nine relief appearances, he also had a 2.65 ERA and struck out 8.5 per nine innings.

In other words, because he is so uniquely qualified to become this team's version of Miller, which is the type of player this staff is desperately in need of, I expect he'll begin this year in the bullpen, while making the occasional spot start when needed.


Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. He recently left his position as Executive Editor and Dir. of Digital Content for SNY.TV to help sports brands build their own digital content businesses...

Tags: Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone

 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes (hamstring) will begin his rehab assignment with the Single-A St. Lucie Mets on Friday evening.

Cespedes began a running program last Monday and will hit in the three hole in his first game action since the end of April.

"He feels he's getting better," Collins said last week, according to Newsday's Anthony Rieber. "He told me today that the leg's really feeling a lot better. I think everything's on the upswing. He had a big smile on his face. He's glad to be back. I just said, 'Look, when you get started, take it easy in the beginning. See how you feel.'"

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz throws ages the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz throws ages the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Steven Matz (flexor strain) and Seth Lugo (elbow) will continue their minor league rehab assignments on Sunday with AAA and AA respectively. 

Matz (flexor strain) pitched four innings and allowed five runs and five hits in a rehab start Tuesday night with Triple-A Las Vegas. It is possible he is activated from the disabled list early next week if all goes well over the weekend.

In High-A St. Lucie, Lugo (elbow) allowed seven runs (six earned) and seven hits in three innings during his second rehab start earlier this week.

Tags: Seth Lugo, Steven Matz
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The Mets (19-26) open a three-game series against the Pirates (22-26) on Friday night at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Mets lost two of three games to the Padres earlier this week at Citi Field.

The Mets are 3-7 over their last 10 games. ... They are fifth in the majors with 124 runs scored in May. ... The Mets are second in the majors with 43 runs scored in the first inning this season. 

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

Right-hander Jacob deGrom, (3.56 ERA/3.23 FIP, 1.31 WHIP), who had his start on Thursday skipped due to the threat of inclement weather, will be on the hill on Friday.

deGrom tossed seven scoreless innings while allowing four hits, walking three, and striking out nine last Friday against the Angels.

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Mets RHP Tyler Pill pitches during a spring training game in 2017 (Credit: USA Today Images)
Mets RHP Tyler Pill pitches during a spring training game in 2017 (Credit: USA Today Images)

The Mets have promoted RHP Tyler Pill to the big-league roster and sent RHP Rafael Montero back to Triple-A to Las Vegas, the team announced prior to Friday's game.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Pill, who wear No. 56 and be available for Friday's game, RHP Seth Lugo was moved to the 60-Day Disabled List.

Pill, who turns 27 on Monday, was 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA in nine combined starts between Triple-A and Double-A this season. He allowed 51 hits, issued 15 walks and struck out 26 batters.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Rafael Montero, Zack Wheeler
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Conforto's All-Star bid 00:04:24
Steve Gelbs and Anthony DiComo discuss Michael Conforto's success so far this year and why he should be a National League All-Star.

The last time a player was voted to start the All-Star Game despite not appearing on the ballot came in 1974, when Steve Garvey of the Dodgers won a write-in campaign and appeared for the National League at first base. In fact, only one other time in major league history did a write-in candidate win the balloting: outfielder Rico Carty of the Braves in 1970.

So the odds are stacked against Michael Conforto being voted to start for the National League in Miami on July 11, when the 88th All-Star Game comes to Marlins Park.

Tags: Michael Conforto
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Paul Sewald (51) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Adam Hunger-USA Today
Paul Sewald (51) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Adam Hunger-USA Today

Mets rookie RHP Paul Sewald continued his stellar pitching Thursday night, throwing three scoreless innings.

Sewald, who turns 27 today, entered in the top of the fourth inning after starting pitcher Rafael Montero was pulled from the game. Sewald allowed just one hit and one walk, while racking up four strikeouts in three innings. 

Tags: Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin, Seth Lugo
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Alderson on frustrating season 00:03:36
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson discusses how he is coping with the team's current struggles with health and consistency.

The way Terry Collins has been handling the bullpen is frustrating some people in the team's front office, sources recently told NY Post reporter Joel Sherman.

Sherman's colleague, Mike Puma, was told by team sources that Sandy Alderson has specifically been irked by...

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Matt Harvey, TJ Rivera
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Nelson Figueroa on Montero nod 00:01:05
SNY Mets analyst Nelson Figueroa discusses Terry Collins' decision to start Rafael Montero in place of Jacob deGrom on Thursday night.

After being notified three and a half hours before the game that he would be starting, Rafael Montero struggled mightily against the Padres, picking up his fourth loss of the season.

Montero threw 87 pitches in only three innings, allowing three runs and five hits.

The 26-year old walked three batters, all in the first inning, which helped lead to San Diego jumping out to an early 2-0 lead.

Tags: Rafael Montero
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Mets legend and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver doesn't follow the team closely anymore, but was irritated when told of Noah Syndergaard's desire to throw harder.

When Bill Madden of the NY Daily News told Seaver that Syndergaard's lat injury might have been caused by working out too much in an effort to increase his velocity, Seaver rolled his eyes.

"What's with these guys and this obsession today with velocity?" he asked Madden. "How about just pitch! Learn how to pitch! Because eventually that velocity will be harder and harder to maintain on a consistent basis."

Seaver then noted that the most important pitch for a pitcher is "strike one."

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the Padres at Citi Field. Credit Noah K. Murray-USA Today
Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the Padres at Citi Field. Credit Noah K. Murray-USA Today

The Mets were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position Thursday night and managed to score only three runs against the last-place Padres and Dinelson Lamet, who was making his big-league debut.

Lamet allowed just one run and three hits in five innings, while racking up eight strikeouts in his debut, including three against Michael Conforto.

"It's definitely frustrating," Conforto said after the game about the team's production.

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This season, thanks to Citi, each time the home run apple goes up at Citi Field, another step is taken in the fight against childhood hunger.

For each Mets home run at Citi Field this season, Citi has pledged to donate $2,000 to No Kid Hungry. Every dollar donated provides 10 healthy meals, meaning each Citi donation provides up to 20,000 meals to kids in need in NYC and throughout the U.S. Learn more at NoKidHungry.org/onedollar.

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Collins, Conforto on Mets' loss 00:05:11
Mets manager Terry Collins and outfielder Michael Conforto share their thoughts on the Mets' 4-3 loss to the Padres in the series finale.

The Mets (19-26) travel to Pittsburgh and begin a three-game series Friday night with the Pirates (22-26) at PNC Park at 7:10 p.m.

Jacob deGrom (3-1, 4.56) will be pitching with an extra day of rest after the Mets bumped his start a day to avoid a possible rain-shortened outing on Thursday. In his last start, he allowed no runs on four hits in seven innings against the Angels...

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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 5/25 00:03:43
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling break down the Mets' 4-3 loss to the Padres.

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

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) Rafael Montero labored his way through 87 pitches in three innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He walked four batters, including three in the first inning. Paul Sewald and Josh Edgin combined to pitch five scoreless innings in relief, but Addison Reed allowed the Padres to score an insurance run in the ninth inning.

2) Lucas Duda hit a solo home run in the second inning to put the Mets on the board, then drove in the team's second run with an RBI single in the eighth. Michael Conforto tied his career-high with four strikeouts, but came through on a base hit in the ninth inning to extend his hitting streak to ten games.

Tags: Rafael Montero
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The Mets (19-25) will finish their three-game series against the Padres (17-31) on Thursday night at Citi Field. The series is split as the Padres won last night, 6-5, thanks to a go-ahead homer in the eighth by Hunter Renfroe. 

Michael Conforto has reached base safely in eight of his 10 plate appearance this series which includes two home runs. This month, he leads the NL in slugging percentage (.750), extra-base hits (15), and is tied for most runs scored (24). 

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

Right-hander Rafael Montero, (8.10 ERA/5.38 FIP, 2.52 WHIP), who is filling in for Jacob deGrom. With the threat of inclement weather, the Mets pushed deGrom's start back to Friday.

Tags: Rafael Montero
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The Mets are pushing back Jacob deGrom's start to Friday due to anticipated inclement weather and will have Rafael Montero start on Thursday night against the Padres at Citi Field, manager Terry Collins said.

It has been raining in New York City for the majority of Thursday, and the forecast calls for rain on and off during the game, which is scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Rafael Montero, Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler
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 (Wilfredo Lee/AP)
(Wilfredo Lee/AP)

 

The Mets activated SS Asdrubal Cabrera (thumb) from the 10-day DL prior to Thursday's game and optioned C Kevin Plawecki to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Cabrera went 2-for-5 in a rehab game Wednesday night for Double-A Binghamton.

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes
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May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) hits a home run against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
May 2, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) hits a home run against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Mets outfielder Jay Bruce is back in the lineup Thursday after missing Wednesday's game due to back tightness.

He left Tuesday night's game against the Padres after the bottom of the fifth due to the back issue.

"We have enough guys hurt right now, so being cautious I think is the right move," Bruce said about sitting out on Wednesday. "I fully expect to be back in there tomorrow." 

Bruce said Monday's off-day and "not doing too much" might have contributed to his back tightening up on him.

Tags: Jay Bruce
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SNY's Steve Gelbs and Anthony DiComo of MLB.com were live from Citi Field today providing the latest updates on the Mets and answering questions from fans.

Click below to watch.

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In this week's Meet the MetsCast, comedian Steve Hofstetter, SiriusXM's Rob Brender and I try our best to be upbeat and positive in our assessment of the Mets, while talking about...

  • The awesomeness of Michael Conforto...
  • How this season is feeling like every Batman movie...
  • Who goes to the bench when Yoenis Cespedes returns...
  • The impact of missing Seth Lugo...
  • The more surprising Rivera, T.J. or Rene...
  • Terry Collins and running a beleaguered bullpen...

To listen to the show, click play below or use this link to download...

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Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)
Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)

Based on what happened before Wednesday's game, it appears the team's management is not letting Terry Collins talk to reporters about the player injuries.

In response to the directive, a source the NY Post's Ken Davidoff that Collins was "downright irate."

Collins was more or less vague Wednesday when asked about Jay Bruce, who was out of the starting lineup due to a back issue that pulled him from a game the night before.

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Blevins on his bullpen role 00:04:03
Steve Gelbs sits down with Jerry Blevins to discuss his recent success despite his heavy workload.

The bullpen and the way Terry Collins is handling it is such a collective mess right now, it's actually difficult to write about in a coherent and constructive manner.

The whole situation is mind numbing.

Last night, Collins and his team held a 5-3 lead heading into the seventh inning, but the bullpen faltered late, blew the lead and the game and the Mets lost, 6-5, to the Padres.

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JR Sport Brief: Vote Conforto! 00:01:34
In the latest installment of JR Sport Brief on SNY.tv, JR champions the effort to vote Mets OF Michael Conforto into the All-Star Game

Michael Conforto went 2-for-3 with two walks, a run scored, and an RBI during Wednesday's loss against the Padres after hitting two home runs during Tuesday night's 9-3 win.

Conforto is now one home run shy of Freddie Freeman and Bryce Harper, who lead the National League with 14 home runs. He is also fourth in OPS...

Tags: Michael Conforto
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Collins, Gsellman on loss 00:04:22
Manager Terry Collins and pitcher Robert Gsellman reflect on the Mets' disappointing 6-5 loss.

Tonight at 7:10 pm, the Mets (19-25) and Padres (17-32) conclude a three-game series at Citi Field. 

Jacob deGrom (3-1, 3.56 ERA) will start for the Mets after throwing seven shutout innings against the Angels in his previous start.

For the Padres, Dinelson Lamet will make his big league debut. He was 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA in eight starts with San Diego's Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League.

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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 5/24 00:03:40
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling break down the Mets' 6-5 loss to the Padres.

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

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) The Mets blew a 5-1 lead to the lowest scoring team in the National League. Josh Smoker allowed a monstrous go-ahead home run to Hunter Renfroe leading off the eighth inning. It was the second straight game Smoker surrendered a home run to the first batter he faced.

2) New York led 5-3 with two outs and nobody on in the seventh, but Fernando Salas allowed a single and consecutive walks to load the bases. Neil Ramirez yielded a game-tying single to Wil Myers, who missed a grand slam by inches. 

Tags: Robert Gsellman, Wilmer Flores
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May 23, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
May 23, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) in the dugout during game against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Mets manager Terry Collins was vague Wednesday when asked about the timetables regarding injured players on the team. 

While Collins and the team had previously been open with discussing injuries, they have recently taken an approach where they do not give a timeline for a player's return. 

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The Mets (19-24) play Game 2 of a three-game series against the Padres (16-31) on Wednesday night at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Padres last night, 9-3.

Michael Conforto became the first Mets player to record three RBI in the first inning last night after launching a leadoff homer and picking up a two-RBI single. He hit another solo shot in the fourth inning, finishing the day 3-for-4 with a career-high four RBI and two runs scored. 

He has five home runs and 10 RBI in his last eight games. 

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

Right-hander Robert Gsellman, (6.75 ERA/4.56 FIP, 1.73 WHIP), who is back in the rotation after being skipped last week. Gsellman was struggling as a starter, which prompted his move to the bullpen where he has made two appearances. He has thrown three total innings in two appearances allowing one earned run on two hits while striking out three and walking one. 

Tags: Robert Gsellman
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New York Mets starting pitcher Tommy Milone pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Citi Field. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Tommy Milone pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Citi Field. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)

LHP Tommy Milone has a sprained left knee and has been placed on the 10-day disabled list, the team announced Wednesday.

LHP Josh Smoker will likely make his first Major League start in Milone's place on Saturday, although RHP Rafael Montero is also a possibility, reports Newsday's Marc Carig

Tags: Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, San Diego Padres, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler
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Apr 13, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) triples in three runs in the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Apr 13, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) triples in three runs in the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Travis d'Arnaud has been activated off the disabled list after pitcher Tommy Milone landed on the DL with a sprained left knee, the team announced Wednesday. 

D'Arnaud, who had been dealing with a bone bruise, went 0-for-4 and caught nine innings for Triple-A Las Vegas during his rehab assignment on Tuesday night.

Tags: Rene Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud
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In his fourth season in the upper levels of the Mets minor-league system, things are finally clicking for 26-year-old right-hander Tyler Pill.

Pill, a fourth-round pick in 2011 out of Cal State Fullerton, opened the season without allowing an earned run in his first 34 1/3 innings between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas.

After limiting New Orleans to one run in 6 1/3 innings on Sunday, Pill now boasts a Pacific Coast League-leading 1.96 ERA.

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Rosario gets ready for Mets 00:00:32
SNY checks in with New York Mets shortstop prospect Amed Rosario, as he gets ready for the big leagues at Triple-A in Las Vegas.

On a team filled with young talent, Mets SS prospect Amed Rosario stands out - not just for his incredible talent, but for the pure joy he has playing the game.

"If you didn't know anything about baseball and were watching this game, I'm pretty sure you would know who the best player on the field is," a veteran American League scout told me this past weekend as we watched Rosario play in a game for Triple-A Las Vegas.

"It's the kid at short," he added. "And, he just happens to be the youngest guy out there."

Rosario, 21, was recently ranked the fifth-best prospect in baseball by Baseball America, and the best prospect in baseball by ESPN.com's Keith Law.

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Jeep Pitchcast: Chacin struggles 00:00:24
Jeep Pitchcast examines Jhoulys Chacin's inability to execute his pitches against the Mets.

Jeep Pitchcast examines Jhoulys Chacin's inability to execute his pitches against the Mets. 

"In honor of Matthew Broderick, this was Jhouly's Chacin's day off today," SNY's Ron Darling said. "He got nickeled-and-dimed, he got hit out of the ballpark."

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Matt Harvey's mechanics 00:03:22
Nelson Figueroa and Gary Apple break down some of Matt Harvey's mechanical issues on the mound and discuss how they can be addressed.

Despite being staked early to a 7-0 lead, Matt Harvey (3-3) labored through 103 pitches and five innings Tuesday against the Padres, though he still managed to get his first win since April 11.

"Obviously, he wasn't real sharp tonight," Terry Collins said after the game. "He just didn't have his command. It wasn't very good. His velocity was down. ... He had to work hard to get through the fifth inning and he did that. There is a space for that in the process of getting better. There's nothing wrong with it, being able to go out there and battle your butt off and keep your team in the game."

It was Harvey's first time pitching in Citi Field since being suspended three games on May 6 for missing a Saturday afternoon game against the Giants. He was greeted with a mix of unenthusiastic cheers and jeers by the roughly 20,000 fans in attendance.

Tags: Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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This season, during every Mets home game on SNY, you can enter for a chance to win Mets tickets and be featured as the Mets Trivia Drive contestant live on SNY.

Just follow @SNYtv on Twitter and during the 5th inning look for the SNY 5th Inning Sweepstakes Presented by your Local Ford Dealers question.

Tweet your answer to @SNYtv using #SNYFord5thSweepstakes to be automatically entered to win.

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Collins, Conforto, Harvey on win 00:06:25
Terry Collins, Michael Conforto and Matt Harvey discuss the team's seven-run eruption in the first inning and Harvey's shaky outing.

The Mets (19-24) continue their series against the Padres (16-31) tonight at Citi Field.

Robert Gsellman (2-3, 7.12 ERA, 1.73 WHIP) will start for the Mets for the first time since allowing six runs in a start against the Brewers.

Jarred Cosart (0-1, 2.70 ERA, 1.50 WHIP) will make his fourth start and second for the Padres since returning from a month-long stint on the disabled list with a strained hamstring.

Tags: Matt Harvey, San Diego Padres, Steven Matz
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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 5/23 00:05:02
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling recap the Mets' 9-3 win over the Padres.

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

Things you should know about tonight's game...

1) The Mets scored seven runs on eight hits in the first inning, bookended by Michael Conforto's leadoff homer and two-run single. Curtis Granderson and Wilmer Flores had a sacrifice fly and RBI single, respectively, and Lucas Duda hit a two-run double. Conforto went deep again in the fourth and Duda added an RBI single in the seventh.

2) Conforto notched his second multi-homer game of the season and drove in a career-high four runs. He and Duda both finished 3-for-4, while Flores and Neil Walker had two hits apiece.

Tags: Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto
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The Mets (18-24) open a three-game series against the Padres (16-30) on Tuesday night at Citi Field. The Mets, who were off on Monday, took two games out of three from the Angels this past weekend. 

With a win tonight, Terry Collins will secure his 500th win with the Mets. Davey Johnson (595) and Bobby Valentine (536) are the only managers to have more wins in Mets history.

The Mets have adjusted their starting rotation as Robert Gsellman is scheduled to throw Wednesday, followed by Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler, with Saturday's starter to be determined.  

Tags: Matt Harvey
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New York Mets' Curtis Granderson (3) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Thursday, June 16, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Curtis Granderson (3) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Thursday, June 16, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Back at the winter meetings in December 2013, Curtis Granderson officially signed with the Mets for four years, $60 million. He then took a playful jab at his former employer based in the Bronx...

"A lot of the people I've met in New York have always said true New Yorkers are Mets fans," Granderson said during his introductory press conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. "So, I'm excited to get a chance to see them all out there."

Granderson rarely has said anything provocative during his time in Queens. But, as his four-year contract approaches its expiration at season's end - and as Granderson's age seemingly begins to catch up with him - the Mets unequivocally have gotten their money's worth from the deal.

Tags: Curtis Granderson
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Mets have optioned RH reliever Hansel Robles to Triple-A Las Vegas and recalled LH reliever Josh Smoker, it was announced Tuesday.

The 26-year-old Robles, who has a 6.23 ERA in 21 2/3 innings (21 games) this season, had gotten hit especially hard lately.

He allowed 12 runs (including four home runs) during his last three appearances, spanning just 2 2/3 innings...

Tags: Hansel Robles, Josh Smoker
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 (USA Today)
(USA Today)

RHP Seth Lugo will make a rehab start for High-A St. Lucie tonight, the Mets said.

Lugo, who pitched for team Puerto Rico during the World Baseball Classic, has been out all season due to a partially torn UCL in his right elbow. He tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings for St. Lucie on May 18 during his first rehab game.

He had started his rehab by pitching in extended spring training.

Lugo, 27, had a 2.67 ERA (4.33 FIP) and 1.09 WHIP with 45 strikeouts and 21 walks in 64 innings (eight starts, nine relief appearances) for the Mets in 2016 during what was his rookie season...

Tags: Seth Lugo
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Mets have hit 58 home runs this season -- the fifth-most in the National League and 11th-most in all of baseball.

Here are the five longest, according to ESPN's Home Run Tracker:

  1. Lucas Duda: 450 feet on April 11 against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
  2. Travis d'Arnaud: 449 feet on April 29 against the Nationals at Nationals Park...
Tags: Lucas Duda, Michael Conforto, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes
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Mike Piazza: Road to the HOF 00:07:22
SNY recaps Mike Piazza Day as the legendary catcher had his No. 31 retired by the Mets after his enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.

The Dodgers traded Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile to the Marlins on May 18, 1998, for Bobby Bonilla, Jim Eisenreich, Charles Johnson, Gary Sheffield and Manuel Barrios

In less than four days, the Marlins would turn around and trade Piazza to New York for prospects Preston Wilson, Ed Yarnall, and Geoff Goetz.

The next day, May 23, Piazza -- who had already hit 177 career home runs -- played the first of his eventual 972 games for the Mets.

"Piazza was a marquee-type guy and we needed that type of player," then-GM Steve Phillips told me in 2015 about the decision to pursue Piazza. "We were a good little team, but we needed to get a superstar. At the same time, we know from previous discussions that the Marlins liked our top outfield prospect, Preston Wilson, as well as some of our young pitching talent."

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This season, Verizon customers can enter to win unique baseball experiences to every Tuesday Night Baseball home game... all you need is a current Verizon Wireless or Verizon Fios account!

It's better baseball from the Better Network.

To enter, go to SNY.TV/VERIZON or click here for more information...

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GEICO SportsNite: BNNY on Harvey 00:04:29
The BNNY panel debates if and when Matt Harvey will ever regain his untouchable form ahead of his start against the Padres at Citi Field.

The Mets begin a three-game series at Citi Field against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.

Matt Harvey (2-3, 5.56 ERA) will face Jhoulys Chacin (4-3, 4.61 ERA) in the series opener at 7:10 p.m.

LHP Steven Matz is set to pitch in a rehab game for Triple-A Las Vegas as well.

Tags: Matt Harvey, San Diego Padres, Steven Matz
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Noah Syndergaard (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)
Noah Syndergaard (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)

Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard said he has "no clue" when he will return to the mound despite saying his torn lat has improved.

"It's just a very specific injury," Syndergaard told the New York Daily News' Daniel Popper. "So there's really no timetable."

The Mets have not given an official timetable for Syndergaard's return. He won't throw for another few weeks and was placed on the 60-day disabled list earlier in May.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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GEICO SportsNite: BNNY on Harvey 00:04:29
The BNNY panel debates if and when Matt Harvey will ever regain his untouchable form ahead of his start against the Padres at Citi Field.

Mets RHP Matt Harvey thinks he has fixed a flaw in his delivery, which he adjusted prior to his start against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

"Looking at video from successful starts that I've had in the past, we found out that my arm slot was like six inches higher,'' Harvey said Sunday, according to Newsday. "Not this past start, but the previous ones. It kind of dated back to last year when I had some issues with my rib and I couldn't throw from my normal arm slot because of the injury."

Harvey pitched 5 1/3 innings on Wednesday, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks while striking out five against the Diamondbacks. He said afterwards that it was the best he felt on the mound in two years.

He told Newsday that the adjusted delivery is the same one he used in 2013, when he had a 2.27 ERA and 0.93 WHIP with 191 strikeouts in 178 1/3 innings...

Tags: Matt Harvey
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Who do the Mets need back now? 00:02:42
Michelle Yu, Sal Licata, John Harper and Peter Botte take a look at the Mets' crowded DL and debate over who they need back the most.

New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)

In March, Mets GM Sandy Alderson told MLB Network Radio that Zack Wheeler will have a roughly 125-inning limit on his workload this season.

Wheeler is currently on pace to reach 125 innings by late July, early August, since he's already made eight starts and thrown 43 1/3 innings this season.

"I can't worry about July, I've got to worry about right now," Terry Collins said this past weekend, when asked about Wheeler's total innings. "Right now, he's one of the horses we've got to ride to get back on the right track."

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Hall of Fame Inductee Mike Piazza makes his acceptance speech during the 2016 MLB baseball hall of fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center. (Gregory Fisher)
Hall of Fame Inductee Mike Piazza makes his acceptance speech during the 2016 MLB baseball hall of fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center. (Gregory Fisher)

Tomorrow, May 23, is the 19th anniversary of Mike Piazza's first game with the Mets...

In this week's MetsBlog Q&ACast, I talk with Greg Prince about his new book, Piazza: Catcher, Slugger, Icon, Star, which you can learn more about by clicking here!

In the 20-minute interview, Prince and I talk about...

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GEICO SportsNite: Conforto 00:01:47
Budding Mets star Michael Conforto honors EMS workers in Jersey City by paying them a visit and giving them free tickets to Sunday's game.