Like last year, Mets Sluggers will rest for the first week

Curtis Granderson, Michael Cuddyer, David Wright and Daniel Murphy will rest during the first few exhibition games, something Terry Collins introduced last year.

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Collins said that this is an effort to ease them into game action. I believe that this puts a second half rush on the Mets big hitters, and could result in them starting the season slower than if they had start the had started with everyone else.

Collins was criticized for doing this last year with Murphy and Wright, but now has expanded to Grandy and Cuddyer. Here is the rest of Collins presser with the media:

Matt Harvey faces live hitters; Feels Good

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Matt Harvey faced Curtis Granderson, David Wright and Daniel Murphy on Friday, with them not swinging in one of the backfields of the Tradition Field complex.

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Harvey’s first game will be on March 6th (Friday) at Tradition Field LIVE on SNY at 1pm EST.

Mets announce first weeks starters

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When probable pitchers are announced, you know baseball is around the corner. Here are the planned starters for the first week of exhibition games (MetsBlog.com)

March 4: Dillon Gee
March 5: Bartolo Colon, Gabriel Ynoa in relief
March 6 (on SNY): Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard in relief
March 7 (split-squad, home): Jacob deGrom, Matt Bowman in relief
March 7 (split-squad, away): Steven Matz, Rafael Montero in relief
March 8: Jon Niese, Tyler Pill and Dillon Gee in relief
March 9: Zack Wheeler, Carlos Torres in relief

I’m very excited to see that we will be seeing Matt Harvey on SNY in 8 days. I do wonder, however, why the Mets aren’t having Wheeler pitch until the 9th. I know its only a few days, but I think he should be pitching on the 4th as well. Gee has two starts before Wheeler toes the rubber? Interesting.

Lucas Duda injures Oblique; day to day

Duda is the first of many injuries for the Mets in 2015, luckily for the Mets, it was before games begin, and we mean exhibition games.

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When asked about Duda’s oblique strain, manager Terry Collins said, “He’s going to start hitting in two to three days and everything is going to be fine.”. It was later released that Duda received a cortisone shot, and that he hasn’t swung a bat since January. Collins was oblivious to this, and his “day to day” status, might become 2-3 weeks. At least that’s my experience with the cortisone shot. There is over a month until the regular season starts, so I have faith that Duda’s injury won’t impact his productivity.

Terry Collins speaks to media

Terry Collins returned to camp this weekend and has put things in full gear. Just like Sandy Alderson, Terry sounded very optimistic, but noted that the departure of Eric Young Jr will hurt the Mets speed wise. It is an interesting question: Who will steal the most bases in 2015? Wright stole a lot of bases in 2013, but toned it down when he injured his hand doing just that in 2014. The only speed threat that could surprise a lot of people on the bases is Juan Lagares, but only if he is more aggressive. Other possible speed threats could include Daniel Murphy and Matt den Dekker (if he makes the team).

Air Review #1: 2/14/15 United 106 + Aegean 501 (Newark – Thessaloniki)

Niko Goutakolis:

Hello MetsPlus readers. I’m starting a new mini-series of reviews called AirPlus Reviews. For those of you that would like to check out my first flight review, read below!

Originally posted on Airline Plus Reviews:

My first Air Review is in the books. This itinerary is a two-part, as international travel is so long it’s worthy of two posts. Not only was this my first air review, it was my first time in an airport lounge! The United Club in Newark! Now, I knew coming into this that the United Club was among the worst airport lounges worldwide, so I didn’t have high expectations. Maybe I need to go to a Lufthansa Senator Lounge to have my opinion changed, but I enjoyed the United Club! United Club Newark Enterance

Upon entrance, we forfeited our one-time passes, and walked pass big double-doors. This didn’t look like a lounge, it looked like a train station! The gourmet options ranged all the way from Carrot Sticks to Crackers with nothing in-between! (insert SFflyer123 Carrot Stick joke) The drink selection was great, however. I had two Hot Chocolates, three Cranberry Juices, and a…

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Sandy Alderson speaks to the media in place of Collins

Sandy Alderson spoke to the media for the first time since the Winter Meetings. Terry Collins was originally supposed to speak to the media yesterday, but has left camp due to the passing of his father. He is expected back within the week.

Sandy sounded optimistic, but provided a lot of “I don’t know” responses, which kind of put me on edge…. again.

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The first game is on March 3rd for the New York Mets, with the first home game (also the first game that will be televised on SNY, will be on March 5th). I have not yet worked out my spring schedule and don’t know if I will be heading down. It looks cold in New York (I’m still in Greece) that we might sneak out there for a weekend.

Nelson Figueroa to be Mets Pre/Post game host

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Nelson Figueroa made his final Mets appearance versus the Houston Astros on Game 162 of 2009 at Citi Field.

On a personal note, Figueroa was very nice to me. He signed my hat, twice, in 2009, and he was a very humble guy in post game press conferences, at least from what I can remember.

When SNY fired Bob Ojeda, I was a little surprised when Figgy was deemed the front runner. Mainly because besides an appearance on MLB Network, I hadn’t herd what Figueroa was doing in the past 5 years. I guess it’s a good thing, him along with Gelbs and Apple (doing new duties) comes the “New SNY”, and it could be good for the “New Mets”. Still, there was some criticism, like Jerry Seinfeld….

Top 5 Mets story lines heading into camp

5. Wright and his injury-

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You don’t have to go two blocks in NYC without finding a piece of David Wright merchandise, it’s like that with him and Derek Jeter exclusively. So, when Wright got injured in mid-september, hopes of a wild card died before we could blink. Wright says he’s 100% healthy, but I want to see a strong Spring from him this year. Wright always has a good first half, and kind of slows down as we get into the summer, usually ending up with a 290 average, 20 home runs and 85 RBI’s. 2014 was completely different, and with this new pressure to be the “face” of NYC Baseball sports, I think the Mets need the old David back.

4. Shortstops, Flores or Tejada?

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Flores is the shortstop? Not so fast. As I talked about in my last post, if Tejada hits 350, and Flores hits under 200, Tejada is getting the nod, because that is what Terry Collins likes to do, in-season and during spring training, removing the confidence of the player, and changing the focus of the game from Mets vs Nats to Flores vs Getting demoted to AAA in favor of Tejada.

3. Terry Collins and the hot seat -

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If there is one good thing about these billboards for Mets ownership, it has slightly reduced the strain on Terry Collins, as the hatred has shifted focus to Sandy Alderson and the Wilpons. Chris “Mad Dog” Russo said that Collins is on the hot seat entering spring training, and could get fired if the Mets aren’t above 500 come Memorial Day weekend. I hope this means Collins manages with a more competitive tone.

2. Parnell, is he the closer? -

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Bobby Parnell will return from Tommy John surgery in 2015, and the debate on who should be the Mets closer is very interesting. My bet is only the only man who hasn’t closed, Familia. I believe this because Familia had the lowest ERA of anyone on the Mets last year, and held composure very well. If this or Mejia happens, what role does Parnell go into, could he be a potential trade chip?

1. Matt Harvey, even if you don’t want him to be- 

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Harvey will be happy to know that he is once again the topic of conversation in Port St. Lucie. Questions like “Will Harvey be Harvey?” “Will Harvey have an innings limit?” “Will the man of the hour pitch on Opening Day?” are three of many questions surrounding Matt Harvey. Luckily, he loves talking to the media, so him getting “distracted” and “overwhelmed” by attention probably won’t impact his readiness for Opening Day, but could impact his cockiness.

3 Days until Spring Training! Oh the Joy!

Hey everyone. I got a chance to write a quick post while I’m on vacation. MetsPlus starts daily Spring Training coverage on February 25th, so, stay tuned!

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As players from all across the league descend on Florida and Arizona, a sense of hope gets renewed. Teams like the Dodgers, Cardinals and Tigers, locks to make the postseason in some role, have the early confidence as the exhibition games commence. The teams that won’t make the postseason like the Phillies and the Astros get to see 2018 early with youngsters playing in the late innings of games. Then there are the guys in the middle. It’s sort of like a team that are not buyers or sellers during the trading deadline, so they are called stand-patters (something I talked about HERE, last June). The Mets have been stand-patters in the trading deadline for years, and there has always been issues with the team entering spring training. A lot of players on the Mets have a lot of things to prove this spring, like Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero , two players that are on the verge of making big-league camp, but are getting hurt by the large rotation and poor 2014 seasons. Steven Matz gets a pass during spring training, as he has just been put on the spot this offseason by the writers, and of course, his exception 2014 performance. On the hitting side, I still think that we could see a secret competition between Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada for shortstop. (If Tejada hits 350, and Flores hits under 200, Tejada is getting the nod, trust me.)

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So rejoice Mets fans, it’s spring training. Games start in two weeks, so get ready for some good old baseball coming back to a TV/Radio near you!

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