While the Phillies are set with Cole Hamels as their Opening Day starter, the Mets aren’t there yet with Johan Santana.
Santana threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Sunday, and is not yet at full strength following surgery to repair a torn mtorn meniscus in his left knee.
“Everything is where it’s supposed to be,” Santana told reporters in Port St. Lucie. “I don’t expect to be 100 percent right away. It’s going to take some time. We’ve got around seven weeks to get everything going and I’m pretty sure we’re not going to have any problems.”
It’s looking as it that might be the case. Griffey, who lives in Orlando – where the Braves train in spring training – has wanted to play for Atlanta. He might soon get the case. The Braves confirmed interest today according to ESPN.com.
I broached Griffey to the Mets a couple of weeks ago, a thought that was rather coldly received. Apparently, the Braves still think he has something left.
He does vs. the Phillies, hitting .357 against them last season. Of course, Griffey isn’t the same player, but for a team wanting to win this year he’s a good piece to have. He’s exactly the kind of bat you trade for in July. Why not have him all season?
The Phillies, by the way, have already named Cole Hamels their Opening Day starter.
Mets spring training tickets are currently on sale for games at Tradition Field. To watch the Mets on the road in Florida, you’ll have to contact the home teams’ web sites.
Tradition Field tickets range from $6 to $25. Tickets are available in all price ranges and against all opponents.
Manager Jerry Manuel suggested to reporters he might bat Luis Castillo first and drop Jose Reyes to third.
I’m not crazy about the idea. My first inclination is Reyes will get power happy and put more balls in the air than he does already.
I wouldn’t have a problem with Castillo first if his legs are sound, but I’d hit Reyes second instead of third. If Reyes improves his on-base percentage, the No. 3 hitter will see a lot more fastballs.
As good as Reyes is leading off, hitting second might make him a better hitter if he becomes more disciplined. I still want Reyes to walk more and strike out less, bunt more and put the ball on the ground. If he’s protecting a good leadoff hitter, it just might go to improve Reyes’ game even more.
HERNANDEZ: Adds depth to rotation.
The Mets’ never-ending search to add pitching depth continued today with the signing of Livan Hernandez, El Duque’s half-brother. Hernandez, 34 next Friday, will compete with Jon Niese, Freddy Garcia and Tim Redding for the fifth starter role. He was signed to a minor league deal, but could earn $1 million if he makes the big league roster.
Bet on it.
“I just feel we need to have numbers,” said GM Omar Minaya. The Mets have 29 pitchers in camp.
Hernandez is an innings eater. He threw 180 last season for Minnesota and Colorado, but logged at least 200 the previous eight years. He has won at least 11 games the past nine seasons.
I like the signing. Minaya is right; a team can’t have too much pitching, and Hernandez has a history of durability.
This signing also leaves Pedro Martinez out in the cold.