GM Sandy Alderson said not to discount Jordany Valdespin as a potential leadoff hitter. Valdespin had two singles in that role in last night’s 4-4 tie with Washington.
Valdespin played second base last night and will get a chance to play the outfield. There is a chance Valdespin could make the roster at second if Daniel Murphy isn’t ready.
Murphy will be out for another week to ten days with a strained muscle in his right side.
Valdespin made a bad impression with the Mets last year because of his lack of hustle, and compounded that by being suspended in winter ball. He’s been the good soldier so far this spring.
A spot could be emerging for Valdespin because Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who was given a chance to win the leadoff job, so far has spit the bit. Nieuwenhuis batted fifth and played left field last night (Collin Cowgill played center) and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. So far, he is hitless in 12 at-bats with six strikeouts.
FELICIANO DIAGNOSIS: Pedro Feliciano was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called left ventricular noncompaction. Feliciano was diagnosed at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Clinic at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and has been cleared to resume throwing.
“I am ready to return to spring training with my team,” Feliciano said in a statement released through his agent Melvin Roman’s PR firm. “I will attend to my ailment that was discovered during a routine checkup and not because of pain, but I can honestly say it will not keep me up at night. I will be on top of my condition, but it will not stop me from playing baseball.’’
Feliciano will be required to wear a heart monitor. He hopes to join Josh Edgin as a situational lefty reliever.
Terry Collins called Feliciano a “one-hitter man,’’ which, unfortunately was not how the Mets used him a couple of years ago. He was run into the ground, and when he signed crosstown and developed arm problems the Yankees said they abused him.
There was no denial by the Mets.
BYRDAK BACK IN CAMP: Lefty reliever Tim Byrdak, who underwent shoulder surgery last August, is expected to report to spring training camp Friday.
Byrdak had been at home working on his rehab. He’s throwing on flat ground at 90 feet and will work up to 120 feet before throwing off the mound by the time camp breaks.
The timetable is for him to be ready by the second half.
ROCK AND ROLL: Shea Stadium gave us the Rolling Stones and Beatles. Citi Field can’t match that, but there will be rock and roll at the stadium this summer.
The Mets announced today four bands to perform this summer: Foreigner (June 14), Nas (July 19), O.A.R. (Aug. 2) and Third Eye Blind (Aug. 23).