Mets Matters: Thoughts On Mets Winning Exhibition Opener

THE GAME: Ruben Tejada hit a two-run homer and Collin Cowgill drove in a run with double as the Mets won their exhibition opener, 5-3, over Washington. One game does not a spring training make, but if you’re going to play the games it is better to win them.

WHEELER IMPRESSIVE: Zack Wheeler wowed them in his first appearance of the spring, giving up a walk and hit in two scoreless innings. Wheeler threw mostly fastballs and sliders, the two easiest pitches to throw at the start, and will work more on his secondary pitches later in the spring. Even so, manager Terry Collins – despite Johan Santana’s condition – said Wheeler would likely open the season for Triple-A Las Vegas. The Mets believe they have a keeper in Wheeler, who threw 30 pitches with 19 of them strikes and working in the 94-96 mph., range and need to move him along slowly. He’ll continue to get work, but as spring training progresses and more innings go to the starters, he could get time in minor league or split squad games. Said Wheeler: “There wasn’t really nerves. I was just a little pumped up going out there. After I got settled down, after the first couple of batters, I think everything went well.’’ Translation: Yes, there were nerves.

PARNELL GETS TOUGH SAVE: With Frank Francisco down with elbow soreness, Bobby Parnell becomes the closer. Parnell worked the ninth and got out of trouble caused by an infield hit and error. I’d much rather see Parnell get in and out of trouble than blow hitters away. The more acclimated he becomes to working out of pressure situations the better. The word on Francisco is he might pick up a baseball Monday, but it would be several weeks before he’s throwing in games. The chances are very good he’ll open the season on the DL and Parnell will be the closer. Jeurys Familia will get a chance to close in a split-squad game Sunday against Houston in Kissimmee.

FELICIANO SIDELINED: Lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano was diagnosed with a heart condition and will be required to wear a monitor to measure an irregular heartbeat. Collins told reporters: “My understanding is he has a heart condition that could possibly be very serious. So that’s why we’re being very, very careful with him. Until we get further results on some of the tests he took in New York, he’s not to be on the field.’’ There remains the distinct possibility this could be the end of Felicano’s career.

NOTES: Shaun Marcum had a rough outing, giving up three runs on four hits, including a two-run homer to Chris Snyder. Marcum said he was having mechanical problems and pushing his change-up. … Somehow, the Mets still think they can get four starts for Santana and have him ready for the Opening Day. What’s the big rush? … Jenrry Mejia will start Tuesday against St. Louis. … Daniel Murphy is working out, but hasn’t been cleared to hit.

ON DECK: I’ll have my Sunday Column for you tomorrow morning. Have a great night.


7 thoughts on “Mets Matters: Thoughts On Mets Winning Exhibition Opener

  1. mets won’t bring wheeler north even if he is lights out so they don’t lose a arb year… pathetic

    • ejs: Yes, that’s all part of the equation. If the Mets truly believe Wheeler can help them this year and keep him down, they are telling us they don’t think much of the rest of the team.-JD

      • I know I don’t think much of the rest of the team.

        Seriously. With Johan not ready and Niese , Gee and Harvey your only holdovers, nothing great in the pen and no outfield does anyone think they will make a run at the World Series?

        If you aren’t in it for the WS what is the rush?

  2. Where he starts the season is all about how long he is owned by the Mets. He spends a couple weeks down on the farm and he is owned for one more year. Everyone blasted Omar for starting Ike in the minors. will yun all blast the lord of Metsland when he does the same? doubtful but we shall see.

    • Was Ike ready to come up back then? I do not recall him tearing it up. I do recall the plan to have marginal players be at 1B until he was ready.

    • I don’t recall anyone blasting Omar for not brining up Ike ealry. People blasted Omar for a lot of other things though. Like rushing Mike Pelfrey, Mejia, Carlos Gomez, Fernando Martinez, among others.
      They can leave Wheeler down until sometime in May and keep the Arbitration year, allowing them to control a potentially very good player for another year, which of course is something only the Mets, being the cheapskates they are, do.
      Wait, what’s that? The Nationals did it with Harper and the Angels with Trout? No way, only the Mets do stuff like that.