Tim Rohan | New York Times - "For the last few years, the Mets’ rehabilitation team has given metal coins to more than 40 players for getting through a program designed to get them healthy. Not every player receives one. The injury must be a significant one — such as Harvey’s Tommy John surgery — that keeps the player out for a while, and the player must put forth a genuine effort. The coins, then, are their reward. Pearson views them as a motivational tool, something the players can strive for, a keepsake they can cherish later in life. Some players are ecstatic to receive their coins; others are indifferent. But in general, they understand the coin’s purpose."
(Chris Soto: My military vet friends will understand the significance of the "challenge coin." A momento for all the hard work that you put in for X amount of years, a reminder of the botherhood that you established with the other guys you were with during your time. While not exact, these coins serve a similar purpose. A reminder of all the hard work they had to do to get back into the game. A reminder to love the game as much as you can, because, in one moment it can be taken away from you for a significant amount of time.)
Mike Puma | New York Post - "Manager Terry Collins said he expects to give Gilmartin every chance to succeed this exhibition season in a lefty competition that also includes Scott Rice, Jack Leathersich and Diego Alvarez. As it stands, Josh Edgin is the only lefty assured a spot in the bullpen. “You have to give him an opportunity to pitch,” Collins said Wednesday. “He’s got to show us what he can do. In that situation you don’t want to send him out there once or twice. As we get into spring training we’re going to find out, ‘Can he get that left-handed hitter out?’ "
(Chris Soto: Strap in folks....cause this is going to be one heck of a battle. This is the 1st time in a while where none of the starting positions are up for grabs, so the primary battles in camp are going to be for bench spots and the 2nd LOOGY role. Gilmartin is going to in for one heck of a fight as Rice and Alvarez have both shown the ability to get lefties out, while Leathersich is just a K machine against both sides.)
Brian Joura | Mets 360 - "The Mets didn’t sign Cuddyer because of his defense. Instead it was the promise of a big right handed bat that made him so attractive to the club. Two years ago, Cuddyer won the batting title and he arrives at Citi Field with a lifetime .352 wOBA. He’s clubbed 112 HR the past six years and brings the promise of a big stick to the lineup. Cuddyer offers the possibility of being an ideal fifth-place hitter.....So, how do we see him doing in 2015?"
(Chris Soto: Joura and his team are projecting a .800 OPS in 2015 from Cuddyer. If he attains that, then i will do cartwheel in the 3 feet of snow that is sitting outside right now. Only 13 OF'ers posted an OPS of .800 or better last year, so that kind of production will put Cuddyer amongst the top offensive OF in baseball again.)
Mike Vornukov | nj.com/mets “Noah Syndergaard's frustration finally came to a boil midway through last July. Beat up by the Pacific Coast League, his ERA hovered above five. Frank Viola, his pitching coach at Las Vegas, would not relent with his pupil. In Syndergaard, he saw a talented pitcher in need of guidance. By late August, Viola noticed a modification. Syndergaard produced better workouts and side sessions between starts. He accepted there was improvement to be made. His attitude had adjusted to the rigorous demands, and his performance lifted too. Syndergaard arrived to spring training this month flying under the radar. Matt Harvey's return has garnered the spotlight. Steven Matz is the hot-shot prospect who has stolen the attention. Yet, Viola says, Syndergaard is better than ever before. A season of deep-set struggles has changed him and bettered him. Syndergaard will testify to the results. The crucible of hitter-friendly Las Vegas has turned him from robotic hard-thrower to pitcher. A curveball and changeup now provide steady compliments to that fastball. And a person who had difficulty handling the demands of his stature received what Viola deemed a "wake-up call." Viola says the Syndergaard that has arrived here is "not the same Noah I had last year. It's that drastic difference." His bullpen sessions are more precise. He is more confident and understanding. When he will be able to pitch in a rotation with Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom is unknown. "Being in the big leagues has been my dream ever since I was a little kid," Syndergaard said.”
(Herb G. Thor certainly seems to have matured in 2014, and both he and his spring workout buddy Steven Matz, will be hard to leave out of the Mets rotation in 2015. Both appear to be ready. However, if the Mets’ brass is serious about making a run at the post season, they certainly might opt for experience and leave Niese and Colon in it until the end. On the other hand, if the Mets have fallen out of the race, they could go with the youth program and bring up the dynamic duo from Las Vegas.)
Mike Puma | nypost.com “Jeurys Familia might have raised the bar too high for himself last season. The right-hander was so good for the Mets — pitching coach Dan Warthen said he was maybe as good as any reliever in baseball for the season’s final five months — it might be best to lower expectations on Familia for 2015. That’s asking an awful lot,” Warthen said Tuesday referring to Familia’s 1.86 ERA from May 1 through the end of the season. “But I have great confidence that he will be a big factor.” The 25-year-old Familia took a long-awaited leap last season. In a bullpen that includes power arms Jenrry Mejia, Vic Black and Bobby Parnell, it’s Familia who might have the best overall stuff. He is expected to begin the season in a setup role, but the Mets still view Familia as capable of handling the ninth inning.”
(Herb G. The emergence of Familia is an exciting development. He has always had great potential, but seemed to fall short on delivering it each year. Now we are left to wonder if the way he finished last year is the real Familia. If so, he has to be added to the mix of possible closers on the team. It is a good problem to have, but does not make T.C.’s job any easier. Although he may be the best of the lot, he is probably #3 in line behind Mejia and Parnell. And without closer experience, his value as a trade chip would not be quite as high.)