Posted by Christopher Soto at 8:00 AM
Kevin Kiernan | New York Post - "After his first Mets press conference here, [Kevin] pulled Long aside and asked him what Mets hitter has the best chance to become better this season. Long didn’t hesitate. “Murphy,’’ he said. “A batting title is not out of his grasp. He’s got a lot of pop and a lot of potential. There is more ability in there and we are going to try to draw it out." Long said he believes Murphy not only can hit for a higher average but can add power to his swing as well, so that is the best of both worlds increased power and increased average.
(Chris Soto: Reports out of camp have been nothing but positive for Kevin Long so far. Scouts are seeing improved usage of Murphy's lower half which is allowing him to drive the ball with more power to all fields. Long has been a slam dunk signing so far. Along with Murphy, Nimmo, Granderson, and Duda have also reportedly improved on their swings thanks to Long's instruction. We'll see how much effect it's actually having when games start this week.)
Joe D. | MetsMerized - "You may have been surprised that Michael Cuddyer is deaf in his left ear due to a childhood virus. He has barely played left field in his career because of it, but is willing to give it a shot after he was told that manager Terry Collins is considering the idea of keeping Curtis Granderson as the right fielder.“I hate to take anything away from Curtis; he played very well out there,” Collins said. “And to now say, ‘Go play left,’ and Michael has never played right in Citi Field is difficult.”
(Chris Soto: The main reason for the proposed move of Grandy from RF to LF is because his below average arm sapped any defensive value gained from his glove/range. That said, Cuddyer's arm is not much better and quite frankly, RF is not the easiest of positions to play in Citi Field with the way the wind swirls. Deaf or not...I would actually put Cuddyer in LF for one simple reason...Juan Lagares. Granderson himself has pretty good range whereas Cuddyer's is below average. Lagares has a quicker step and moves faster to his right thus is able to cover more ground going in that direction to help out Cuddyer.)
Danny Abriano | Rising Apple - "Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters that Lucas Duda should begin hitting off a tee this week, with the expectation that Duda will start taking batting practice next week. It was reported on February 26 that Duda would not swing a bat for a week, which should mean that Wednesday or Thursday is the targeted date for him to begin hitting off a tee."
(Chris Soto: Teams are generally much more cautious with injuries in Spring Training thus the reason Duda has not swung yet. That said the timing makes sense based on the info we have so far about Duda needing a week off after injuring his oblique some 3 weeks before that. Intercostal strains generally take 3-4 weeks to heal completely so everything seems to be in order. If everything works right, we should see Duda in a Spring Training game around March 15th-ish)
Jerry Crasnick | ESPN New York - "Jimmy Rollins spent a lot of years with the Philadelphia Phillies antagonizing New York Mets fans with his swagger and competitive spirit. He was among a select group of opposing players that fans in Flushing Meadows most loved to hate. But when Rollins assembled his choice of preferred offseason trade destinations, the Mets ranked surprisingly high on his list."This was my No. 1 landing spot," Rollins said from Los Angeles' spring training camp, "and I considered the Mets to be No. 2. They have some arms over there -- oh my gosh."
(Chris Soto: Wow...and here we thought Rollins would never play for the Mets. This tells me one of two things. A) that the Phillies were asking for an astronomical price from the Mets for Jimmy Rollins, which, he rightfully didn't pay. Or B) the Phillies never wanted to trade Rollins in division to begin with. That something that the average fan doesn't understand. Trades within division, where you face the team 19 times in a season, rarely occur. This was no different.)