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Spring Training

The Mets (19-12) play?their final?spring exhibition game today?against the?Rangers (9-19) in Arlington, Texas (2:05 pm).

Dillon Gee?(2-0, 2.49) will start for the Mets and will be opposed by Ross Detwiler (0-1, 4.15) for the Rangers.

https://twitter.com/Mets/status/584380499331690496

Tags: dillon gee, Hide, Mets, new york mets, rangers, Spring Training, texas rangers, treilly8, Tim Reilly
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The Mets have reassigned?outfielder?Alex Castellanos and relief pitcher?Chasen Bradford to minor league camp (Rubin, March 28).

Castellanos was brought in by the Mets this offseason on a minor league deal?with an invite to spring training.

Bradford was a 2011 draft pick by the Mets and has played at every level within their farm system. The 25-year-old right-handed reliever is likely to rejoin the bullpen at Las Vegas to start the season.

Tags: alex castellanos, chasen bradford, Mets, Minors, new york mets, News, spring training, treilly8, Tim Reilly

The Yankees announced four changes to their 2015 Spring Training schedule Friday (Hoch, Oct 31).

Their March 13 game against the Red Sox will start at 7:05 p.m. and they will host the Phillies March 15 at Steinbrnner Field in Tampa.

March 18's game against Atlanta at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., will start at 6:05 p.m., and the March 22 at Port St Lucie against the starts at 1:10 p..

Tags: Spring training, Yankees, Jerry McGuire
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Today's cuts:

RHP ?Noah Syndergaard and RHP Rafael Montero were both reassigned.

RHP?Joel Carreno, RHP?Cory Mazzoni, INF?Brandon Allen?and INF?Matt Clark?were also reassigned, while C?Juan Centeno?and RHP?Ryan Reid?were optioned to the minor league camp.

Tags: Spring Training, Toby Hyde

I'm not listing every minor leaguer's line, only those that are notable, good or bad.

@ Washington Nationals 11, Mets 5 (In Viera, Radio Only)

Position PlayersCF Brandon Nimmo: 1-1. He's having a very nice spring

Tags: Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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Most of the attention following Monday's Spring Training game was focused on Zack Wheeler's 2014 Spring debut and Curtis Granderson's two homeruns. That's sensible, if the Mets are going to be good in 2014, they'll need big seasons from both of those two. How about the prospects that are unlikely to make the 2014 Opening Day roster, but could help the team at some point in the future?

- Brandon Nimmo looks terrific. He added 10 pounds of muscle for the second straight season, but said that in doing so, he has maintained his speed.

Monday, he ripped an RBI single to right on a hanging breaking ball.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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This is a fun time of Spring Training, when top prospects get to throw in big league games before teams tighten up their rosters to more closely reflect their regular season 25-man personnel.

FridayRafael Montero: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Montero was 91-93 in his two innings of work. He used his changeup at 87-88, and one at 84, early in counts at 1-0, 0-1 and 1-1 to set up his fastball.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Rafael Montero, Spring Training, Steve Matz, Toby Hyde
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As many players packed up to make the trip to Jupiter for the team's third spring training game, a few pitchers long-tossed on the dewy outfield grass of Tradition Field.

RHP Jenrry Mejia, one?of the best-coiffed guys in camp, stretched out his arm before a bullpen session with other pitchers.

Tags: avsny, Spring Training, Andrew Vazzano

Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler tossed a side session of 35 pitches on Saturday.

Syndergaard and Wheeler got all their work in during the session as fans lined up around the four mounds between Field 4 and 7 to watch the two young phenoms in action.

Dan Warthen goes over the plan for the pitchers...

Tags: avsny, Spring Training, Andrew Vazzano
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Bobby Parnell threw his first live batting practice on Saturday, clearing a "big mental hurdle" for himself.

He tossed 35 pitches to David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Eric Young Jr., mixing in curveballs to go along with his fastball.?Parnell said he tried to keep everything down in his first live bullpen session.

"Going early like this, you don't expect to be perfect. By no means was I, but everything was down and I feel like I can work off that really well," he said.

Tags: avsny, Spring Training, Andrew Vazzano
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Spring training is an autograph collector's dream. Players walk on the same paths as the fans down here, so they're readily accessible between drills as they jog from field to field.

The autograph seekers run the gamut in age from just able to walk to barely able to walk, so it's always an interesting mix of people asking for signatures on any number of things. The popular choice, of course, is a baseball, but hats, gloves, shirts and jerseys are also brought forth to be inked by the players.

After some pitcher batting practice in the cages, fans gathered to get some John Hancocks from Dillon Gee, Daisuke Matsuzaka (surprisingly popular) and Jenrry Mejia, among many others...

Tags: avsny, Spring Training, Andrew Vazzano
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After morning stretches, the pitchers broke up into throwing and non-throwing groups. The non-throwers made their way to the "Gator Pit," where they worked on a myriad of different drills on slices of a full baseball field.

Josh Edgin practiced covering first base, as John Church looked on...

Cory Mazzoni practiced bunting, trying to get his bunts to stop within the spray-painted area in front of him...

Tags: avsny, Spring Training, Andrew Vazzano
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Rob Brender and Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog watch pitching prospect Rafael Montero face hitters in a live batting practice session, as they break down the action and discuss his future.

http://web.sny.tv/media/video.jsp?content_id=31384801

Tags: avsny, Spring Training, Video Diary, Andrew Vazzano

STEP Camp, which is a slightly extended Spring Training for the Mets top prospects not in Major League camp, began Saturday.

Here's the full STEP Camp roster.

Pitchers[sny-table rowheader=true columnheader=true]

Tags: Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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Robert Brender, MetsBlog:

Sandy Alderson and Bob Geren are working with the catchers to go over the new rules on plays at the plate. Alderson met with Joe Torre, now the Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations for Major League Baseball, on Thursday to discuss the new rules, which look to eliminate home-plate collisions and avoid concussions for catchers.

The GM, coach and catchers were discussing using the swipe tag and their change of positioning around the plate, as players sliding into home cannot initiate contact and must slide. This is the second time this week catchers worked on the new rules going into place this season.

Tags: avsny, Spring Training, Andrew Vazzano

MetsBlog's Rob Brender spent Thursday following the team's catchers, shadowing Travis d?Arnaud, Anthony Recker and the rest of the backstops, during their day of throwing drills, batting practice, catching bullpens, and more...

http://web.sny.tv/media/video.jsp?content_id=31374951

Tags: avsny, matthewcerrone, Spring Training, Andrew Vazzano

While most of the focus is on Major League Spring Training, beginning this weekend, the first of hundreds of Mets minor leaguers will officially populate the back fields of Port St. Lucie.

Minor leaguers who are on the Mets' 40-man roster, or were invited to Major League Spring Training as NRI are already officially in Port St. Lucie of course.

Key DatesFebruary 22 - Early Camp Pitchers & Catchers

Tags: Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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Noah Syndergaard threw his first bullpen of Spring Training yesterday, and drew rave reviews.

Everyone has Terry Collins' quote that he was "throwing 97 miles an hour today with a hook from hell," but Jared Diamond at the Wall Street Journal has the followup in which Collins told his youngster, ""You're not going to make the team throwing on the side."

Adam Rubin at ESPN has a great honest characterization from Syndergaard of his own work, ?"he spent the offseason working to upgrade his changeup. He threw eight or 10, he recalled, in Monday?s session.??I kind of impressed myself a little bit,? he said.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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Mets pitchers and catchers report officially Saturday, but many of the smart or eager players are already in Port St. Lucie. Yes, the guys are throwing, running, fielding grounders and talking to reporters, who are tweeting out?blurry?pictures. These are important traditions after all. It's baseball activities if not actual baseball.

Here's the reminder: there will be next to no news generated this week unless some pitcher's arm falls off, or a guy breaks a bone.

Here's a primer on the major battles for the 2014 Mets.

Tags: Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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Who else is coming to the Mets Spring Training?

Here's the full list of players invited to camp: righthanded pitchers Chase Bradford, Joel Carreno, John Church, Jeremy Hefner, Rafael Montero, Miguel Socolovich, Noah Syndergaard, Cory Mazzoni and Logan Verrett; lefthanded pitchers Adam Kolarek and Jack Leathersich; catchers Taylor Teagarden and Kevin Plawecki; infielders Brandon Allen, Eric Campbell, Anthony Seratelli and Daniel Muno and outfielders Dustin Lawley, Cory Vaughn and Brandon Nimmo

Yesterday, we touched on Danny Muno and Cory Vaughn.

Tags: Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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As in the big leagues, results of minor league spring training games do not matter. Last year, we dutifully chronicled the results of those games however. This year I expect to do the same. All four minor league "groups" played games on Friday and Saturday and all had Sunday off as a camp day.

The only affiliate to publicly discuss any of these games was the B-Mets, who wrote a recap of Friday's group two game. Richard Lucas had a big day, with a single, a double, and a homer. Why do you care? You don't really. Lucas was a fourth-round pick in 2007 out of high school in Jacksonville who hit .251/.360/.377 in advanced-A St. Lucie last year while playing first base. He's playing for a spot in double-A this year if Allan Dykstra earns a promotion to AAA Las Vegas.

B-Mets broadcaster and media relations man Tim Heiman made a nice catch. In the first spring game of 2012, 1B Travis Ozga was, like Lucas, a triple shy of a cycle. Rather than portending big things, Ozga went on to hit .173/.253/.288 in 49 games in AA.

Tags: Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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Sometime this afternoon, we'll have our "results" from our first minor league games of the 2013 Spring Training. Like early big league games, these results, on a day-by-day basis mean almost nothing. As with the big league games, the rosters of each team will hardly resemble their Opening Day forms. Many players will play up a level. That is, guys who would be expected to break camp in advanced A will play in the "AA" game. Why? Well, many of the actual Las Vegas 51s are still in big league camp. That creates a trickle-up effect through the system.

So yeah, actual baseball-like results for minor league players coming later today.

Tags: Spring Training, Toby Hyde

Sunday, the Mets reassigned Zack Wheeler and nine other guys to minor league camp in the first cuts of the spring. Usually, these are cuts for guys who have zero chance of making the team, and nine of the 10 guys fit this profile.

There was player sent to the backfields who was moderately surprising (like in a very mild way) Collin?McHugh. Why surprising? Well, he has big league experience. The 25-year old made four starts and four relief appearances in August and September 2012. He was hit hard in those appearances, yielding a 7.59 ERA on 27 hits, five homers and 21 runs in 21.1 innings. His strikeout to walk rate was a solid 2.13 (17 K/8 BB). In 4.2 innings this spring... Scratch that last sentence, nothing useful can come of it.

I thought McHugh had an outside chance to make the big league roster out of spring training if there was an injury to one of the five rotation regulars and he outperformed Jeremy Hefner. The first part of the last sentence is sort of happening. The second part has not. ?While Johan Santana is not hurt, but he's not exactly a healthy pitcher, and seems "likely" ticketed for the disabled list to start the season. Ted Berg tells everyone to shut up, stop worrying and appreciate the man. The Mets will need a fifth starter for the first time on Sunday, April 7th at the latest. I had figured that the Mets would want to keep multiple options in camp for that spot. Now, McHugh's demotion more or less clears the way for Hefner if Santana cannot go.

Tags: Spring Training, Zack Wheeler, Toby Hyde
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Due to today's game being the Mets last home game until next Thursday most of the regulars saw extensive action.? While it was nice to see Duda and Davis handle the LHP I'll concentrate on Matt den Dekker and Wilmer Flores.

den Dekker worked a very patient full count ground out in his first AB against a righty, laying off low breaking pitches.? His AB's against the lefties were not so encouraging? getting his knees buckled on a steady diet of breakers.? He will certainly need to be more competitive against same side pitching for him to see success at AAA, much less on the big league level.?? There was of course this sweet catch which have become spring training regulars from den Dekker.

Wilmer Flores lined up at 3B in today's game which was unfortunate because just about every play went to Justin Turner at 2B.? I think even Justin Turner grounded out to Justin Turner at one point... In the 7th Flores finally saw his first defensive play.? He may have drifted off, or he might be really slow.? On a slow roller he charged and had no play on Brandon Barnes.? After a routine play followed, Flores had another slow roller in the 8th, with men on 1st and 2nd.? On a play that David Wright would have charged to field in front of the runner and sent to second to possibly start a double play, Flores had to play it behind the runner and barely threw out the Astro's catcher Carlos Perez.? After liking what I saw from Flores at 2B earlier in the spring, I came away from today's game wondering if Flores might actually be too slow to even play 3B regularly.

Tags: Matt den Dekker, Spring Training, Wilmer Flores, Zach Lutz
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I don't know if Gavin Cecchini is the most enthusiastic baseball player I've ever met, but it's close. After talking with him for a few minutes, I felt exhausted. Ok, I kid, but the Mets first round pick in 2012, is a high, high energy guy.

The following is a conversation we had after the first day of Spring Training for STEP Camp position players on February 28, 2013.

 

Tags: Gavin Cecchini, Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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In 2012, Mets righthander Hansel Robles dominated the New York-Penn League, made Zoolander references feel less dated, and earned a spot on the Mets' 40-man roster.

While turning 22 in August 2012, Robles was untouchable as a Cyclone, putting up a 1.11 ERA in 72.2 innings over 12 starts with 66 strikeouts against 10 walks and 47 hits allowed. He fanned 24% of opposing batters and walked a ridiculous 3.7%. ?His 1.11 ERA led the League, and his walk rate was fourth, third among the Cyclones, and his strikeout rate was seventh.

So, Saturday, after Matt Harvey and Collin McHugh took their turns against some version of the Marlins and their minor league affiliates, Robles came on for his second spring outing. In giving up five runs on two walks and four hits, including a three run homer, he looked like he did not belong on a big league mound. Robles was throwing three below average Major League pitches, a fastball at 87-90, a slider at 81-82 and a changeup at 83-84 mph. One National League scout described the slider to me as "flat," although it did produce two strikeouts in his first inning of work One of Robles' changeups turned into a three run home run by Joe Mahoney, a 26-year old fighting to make the Marlins roster. After that, he was a little shy about using the offering.

Tags: Hansel Robles, Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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http://web.sny.tv/media/video.jsp?content_id=25640301

Bigger and better? That's the goal for Brandon Nimmo, the Mets' 2011 first round pick.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Spring Training, Toby Hyde

I touched on some nice Mets' performances from Montero, d'Arnaud & Valdespin Thursday against the Nats in the last post. This one will focus on things that were poor, and unfortunately it's a lengthy list, mostly focusing on defensive miscues by youngsters.

- Josh Satin fell over trying to backhand a ball in the sixth inning. It was ruled an infield hit.

- Juan Lagares made a nice leaping catch in the 10th inning, but also pulled up short on a play in the sixth. His failing was offensive; he took a called third strike - on a 92 mph fastball - with one out and a runner, Matt den Dekker, at third, representing the tying run in the seventh inning. Lagares must be thinking about putting the ball in play in that situation. Instead he took a hittable pitch. Den Dekker later scored on a wild pitch.

Tags: Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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Rafael Montero threw two solid innings for the Mets in a 4-4 Spring Training tie in 10 innings on Thursday in Viera against the Nationals in his spring training debut for the big club. The 22-year old still has not thrown a pitch in double-A.

On Thursday, against Steven Strasburg, he was the best thing the Mets had going. In his two innings of work, Montero allowed one run, on three hits, all doubles, did not walk a batter and did not strike out one either. By my count, 24 of his 41 pitches were strikes, a rate of 58.5%.

Montero, whose best attribute is his command, was not at his best on Thursday. He went to two-ball counts on each of the first three hitters he faced and seven of his nine adversaries overall. In the first inning he was 92-94 mph with his heater. In the second inning, he was 92-93 with one 90 and one 94 offering each.

Tags: Rafael Montero, Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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Given who's in camp a little over a month before opening day, lets take a hack at projecting the Opening Day rotation assignments for the full-season clubs. And hey, an injury or two could change my mind.

AAA

Jeremy Hefner

Tags: Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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Darin Gorski had a rough Wednesday afternoon. He he had trouble throwing strikes. I counted 48 pitches, of which 25 were balls. (I might have missed a pitch or two - Adam Rubin had him at 49 pitches.) Either way, Gorski's strike percentage was under 50%. By my count, he threw first-pitch strikes to just five of the 12 hitters he faced.

Gorski acknowledged his location was not sharp and it was a problem: "It was just a matter of some close misses and not really having the fastball command that I wanted, but it's still early so it's something to work on," he said after the game. As for why he struggled, "Maybe [I was] trying to be bit too fine. Could be a little bit of the approach and being able to find that command."

His two part cure: mechanically "keep everything smooth and consistent and go from there" and in approach, be "aggressive in the zone."

Tags: Darin Gorski, Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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http://web.sny.tv/media/video.jsp?content_id=25626857

Noah Syndergaard is big. He's also one of the Mets' top five prospects. We talked yesterday.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Spring Training, Toby Hyde

Minor League game begin on March 15. There will be four teams - AAA, AA, A+ and A. On travel days, the AA and AAA teams travel together while the two a-ball teams travel (or not travel) together. All games begin at 1 pm. Most are played on the back fields, except on days when the big league team is off, and the kids can use the big stadium.

Note that the Marlins and Cardinals share a complex at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, so all games will either be in Port St. Lucie or Jupiter.

In years past, because so many of the players destined for AAA on Opening Day were playing with the big league team, many players ended up playing a level up. That is, guys who would actually break camp with AA Binghamton, were playing in AAA games, and guys who would end up in A+ were playing in AA games.

Tags: Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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http://web.sny.tv/media/video.jsp?content_id=25623435

The Mets drafted Kevin Plawecki in the supplemental first round in 2012, immediately making him the system's top catching prospect. That honor was short-lived however, as he slipped to the number two backstop in the organization after Travis d'Arnaud's arrival from Toronto.

So, what's he working in and thinking about come Spring Training 2013? He tells us.

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Spring Training, Toby Hyde

Can Wilmer Flores play second? It's the question I focused on as I watched a very spring training-ish 6-4 Mets loss on Monday night. Matt den Dekker made a ridiculously good catch to rob Anthony Rendon of a homerun that ended up on SportsCenter's Top 10 plays. Still, we knew he could go get it. How about Flores?

The former shortstop moved to third last year, and then started mixing in time at second base for AA Binghamton. He's played at the keystone the last few winters too.

Monday, he looked just fine. He initiated a double-play in the first inning. In the second inning, he made a nice turn on a 5-4-3 double play, reaching back towards first to corral a slightly off-target David Wright throw. In the third inning, he handled a chance ranging maybe five or six steps to his left, before going into a half-slide to make the pickup. A batter later, he tracked down a chopper up the middle, but by the time he reached it, he had no chance to get the speedy Eury Perez.

Tags: Spring Training, Wilmer Flores, Toby Hyde
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Lets talk about 2B/3B/OF Wilmer Flores just a little bit. The 21-year old can hit, but he is still looking for a position.

Sunday, he entered behind Ruben Tejada in the Mets' exhibition against the University of Michigan. He homered on a 3-1 pitch in his second at-bat. In his third at-bat, he sent one to the warning track in left. He said it was a slider that he got down towards the end of the bat and did not hit well. Even so, the ball carried out to the track.

Flores is carrying three gloves in his locker these days, a second baseman's, a third baseman's and an outfielder's. He got to use both of his infielder's gloves Sunday. I did not see him make any plays at third. At second, he handled a routine grounder and a less routine grounder. In the ninth inning, the Michigan catcher, Cole Martin chopped a ball on the right side. Cole Frenzel, playing first made an attempt on the ball, but could not reach it. Flores, moving well to his left made the play deep in the hole, and made the short throw to first base where pitcher Carlos Torres was covering. He's played a significant amount of second base in winter ball and describes himself as getting comfortable there.

Tags: Spring Training, Wilmer Flores, Toby Hyde
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Sunday, I mixed backfield bullpens followed by a "Major League" game filled with minor leaguers. The highlights of the game were two innings of Rafael Montero pitching and a Wilmer Flores homer and a slick defensive play.

We will have footage of Noah Syndergaard's first bullpen of the spring, and as a Met and some comments from him along in a bit. For now, lets focus on Montero, who retired all six Michigan Wolverines he faced, using a pop-up, two groundouts to the right side, two flyballs and a strikeout.

He threw 20 pitches, 16 for strikes, a rate of 80%. Montero locates well, especially for a pitcher who has just conquered advanced-A, but pitchers just do not throw that many strikes over the course of a season. The Major League average is 62% strikes, and Cliff Lee led all MLB pitchers in strike percentage in 2012 at 70.5%, the only pitcher to surpass 70%. R.A. Dickey (69%) was second, while Jordan Zimmermann (68%), Kyle Lohse (67%) and Bronson Arroyo (67%) rounded out the top five.

Tags: Rafael Montero, Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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Saturday was the first official day of pitchers and catchers who are in STEP Camp. Position players, while they're all in town, do not report until the 27th and had the day off Saturday.

So, what happened? A little stretching, a little throwing, a little running, some PFP (Pitcher fielding practice) and some BP (batting practice).

 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Spring Training, Steve Matz, Toby Hyde
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http://web.sny.tv/media/video.jsp?content_id=25607701

Tags: Spring Training, Toby Hyde

Matt Cerrone forwarded along the roster for the Mets' STEP Camp for their top minor leaguers who aren't in big league camp.

PITCHERS

Bowman, Matt (22)

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Here's is today's Spring Training Diary, hosted by MetsBlog's Michael Baron, featuring footage of Dan Warthen talking to his staff; Zack Wheeler, Travis d?Arnaud, and Johan Santana in action; and Lucas Duda and Ike Davis in the cage...

http://web.sny.tv/media/video.jsp?content_id=25597099

Tags: Spring Training, Video Diary, Matthew Cerrone

I'm heading to Sunday and Monday's Mets Spring Training games - as a fan, with friends. We will hang out in the sun, have a beer and perhaps even a taco in a helmet.

In addition to full roster discussions once they're released, what other preview-type coverage are you interested in seeing around here?

Tags: Standard, Spring Training, Toby Hyde

According to ESPNNY's Adam Rubin, CF Brandon Nimmo, the Mets first round pick in the 2011 draft, will not break spring training with the Savannah Sand Gnats, but will instead stay in Extended Spring Training.

In the long run, this does not really matter. Nimmo, who turned 19 in March, was not going to contribute to the 2012 Mets or the 2013 Mets or the 2014 Mets. However, in the short-run this is a conservative assignment. In the previous two years' drafts, 12 of the 16 high school position players drafted in the first round began the subsequent season in full-season baseball. However, this year's fifth overall pick, the Royals' Bubba Starling will also be ticketed for extended spring training.

Trends are a nice half-story in player development, but every assignment is dictated by what's right for the specific player. In this case, the Mets clearly feel that Nimmo will progress better by not breaking camp with Savannah.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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A+

The aspiring St. Lucie Mets lost to the aspiring Palm Beach Cardinals 9-2 Friday. The Metsies committed seven errors.

Starter Yohan Almonte lasted four innings, but struggled with his fastball command.

Tags: Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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AAA

In the Bisons' penultimate game of spring training, a 2-1 loss to the AAA Cardinals, RHP Matt Harvey threw 6.2 innings and gave up two runs, both in the bottom of the second inning. By the way, Harvey will essentially be on turn with an extra day of rest, to start for the Bisons on Opening Night in Pawtucket next Thursday.

Hitters mentioned in the Bisons' recap: C Lucas May and Valentino Pascucci.

Tags: Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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I had Goeddel ranked #33 in this year's Top 41 Mets prospects. He was outstanding in May in Savannah in 2011, working in the low 90s as part of a four-pitch arsenal. On some nights his slider looked like a big league offering. A sore shoulder sidelined him in June and July and he struggled to find his feel when he returned. He looks headed for St. Lucie to begin the year.

Tags: Erik Goeddel, Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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AAA

The Bisons earned their first win of the 2012 spring season by beating the Cardinals' minor leaguers 3-1. Sean Ratliff, who suffered a career-threatening eye injury last year, was 2-3 with an RBI single. When I saw Ratliff early in spring training, I didn't even recognized him. He used to be one of the most cut players, but, unsurprisingly, in a year away from the game, with limited work outs, he put on a bunch of weight. I don't know where Ratliff, who is now 25, fits in the system at this point. In the second half of 2010, he hit .317/.371/.562 in 73 games for AA Binghamton. The guys fighting for playing time in the Bisons' outfield include Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jordany Valdespin, Juan Lagares and likely Adam Loewen.

LHP Mark Cohoon held the almost-Cardinals to one unearned run in five innings.

Tags: Spring Training, Toby Hyde
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The aspiring Savannah Sand Gnats, the A-ballers dropped an 11-1 decision to the Marlins in Jupiter. The Marlins ran hard-throwing 19-year old Jose Fernandez, one of their top prospects out on the hill.

RHP Logan Verrett started for the Mets, yielding two runs over five innings. Thanks to this wonderful game report from Carson Cistulli at Fangraphs, Verrett was throwing a fastball at 88-92 mpg, a slider at 82-84 mph and a changeup. Carson has some interesting observations about the way Verrett changed the look on his slider - he liked the one that had mostly vertical break. I suspect however, that what he called the slider with gloveside run was actually a changeup.

Tyler Pill, who was scheduled for 5 IP, went 4.1 and allowed seven runs before hitting his pitch count. Pill was the Mets' 4th round pick last year while Verrett was the third-rounder.

Tags: Spring Training, Tyler Pill, Toby Hyde
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