- The Mets Intrasquad Game ended in a 0-0 tie yesterday. Zack Wheeler struggled with his fastball command as he was "throwing across his body." He called it an easily fixable mechanical flaw. Jon Niese look impressive as he K'd 3 in his 2 innings of work while giving up no hits. Rule 5 pick Sean Gilmartin also had an impressive performance K'ing 4 in 2 innings of work while working around 3 hits allowed.
Kevin Kiernan | New York Post - "If all goes well the rest of spring training, the Mets want the Comeback Kid to pitch in Washington against the Nationals — but not the season opener. Game 3 is likely and then he will make his Citi Field comeback in the Mets’ second home game of the season, a night game, versus the Phillies. The Dark Knight Returns.”
(Chris Soto: I fully understand the team's desire to reduce the tension involved in Harvey's first game back, however, one can easily see this is a marketing technique to try and drive sales for the rest of the games during the Opening Series. Opening Day is going to sell out whether Harvey pitches or not....but Game 2 and 3 generally are lower attendance games.)
Marc Carig | via Amazin Army Twitter - "According to Carig, all players were informed that they needed to be on the bench for the entirety of the intra-squad game. When Wright was pulled from the game after his 2 at-bats, he noticed that Syndergaard was not there. He found Thor sitting in the clubhouse eating lunch and proceeded to scold him for doing so."
(Chris Soto: Good for Wright! From what it sounds like, Wright was not mean about it, he didn't yell or show any aggression. He just calmly but assertively denounced Syndergaard's choice to not follow the rules put in place. Thor understood his mistake and will learn from it. You can blatantly see the culture change that is happening with this team right now. It has gone from a fun loving, camaraderie team to one who expects to win and is all about business and getting the job done.)
Kevin Kernan | nypost.com “Kevin Long is not into hype. I 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.’’ “The thing is, he makes you believe it, and I think that’s what makes you feel so good,’’ Murphy said of the Yankees former hitting coach. “He makes you believe what you believe, which is that you’re a killer.’’ A killer. The Mets sure could use a few more killers at the plate.”
(Herb G. I’ve always believed that Murphy is a fine contact hitter, potentially able to hit .300 consistently. His power potential, however, is suspect. I worry that if he tries to jack too much, his average will suffer. If Murph indeed does win a batting title, would Alderson still let him walk at the end of the season, as has been so thoroughly rumored? There is some precedent for that, isn’t there? I think Murphy is a goner. Dilson Herrera is the heir apparent at 2B, with Reynolds, and even Flores as backups. But if Murphy does have a banner season offensively, as Long predicts, he will probably get a qualifying offer. In that case, we would get back the draft choice next year, that we lost when we signed Cuddyer this year.)
John Harper | nydailynews.com “All eyes are on Matt Harvey here, especially as he threw live to hitters on Monday, but none more intently than those of Noah Syndergaard. The Next Big Thing for the Mets has Harvey’s arsenal of pitches but little of his self-assurance. So now it’s no accident that Syndergaard has been paired with Harvey in drills and live batting practice sessions, following the Mets’ comebacking ace to the mound. “You hope some of it rubs off on Noah," was the way Terry Collins put it Monday. Of course, it’s worth remembering the righthander is only 22 years old. Still, Syndergaard himself was honest on Monday in saying that he needs to try to carry himself a little more like Harvey, admitting that he’s not always the most confident guy on the mound. “Just watching his warm-up pitches in bullpen," Syndergaard said, “you see the amount of focus, determination he had there. You could just tell by the look in his eyes that he knew what he wanted to accomplish. One thing I can take from him, the demeanor he takes out there to the mound. I’m a fairly anxious guy, I want to go full speed all the time. Watching him, the poise that he has out there, it’s all calm and relaxed. That’s something I want to be able to take from him."
(Herb G. As young as he is, there is a lot that Professor Harvey can impart on the young Mets pitchers. It is encouraging to see that Thor is eager to take in all he can from Harvey, and that he has identified Matt’s demeanor on the mound as something to emulate. Also, that Warthen thought to pair the two of them up in the early going says something about the intention of the team to hold onto Thor at all costs. If the arrangement shows signs of bearing fruit as spring training progresses, it might not be a bad idea to add Matz to Harvey entourage, although with Matz’s maturity, he may not be as much in need of the mentoring as Noah.)