Zack Wheeler was one of the ten the Mets re-assigned to the minor league camp this morning.
In addition to Wheeler, also sent down were: Collin McHugh, Gonzalez Germen, Darin Gorski, Elvin Ramirez, Wilfredo Tovar, Hansel Robles, Juan Lagares, Cesar Puello and Reese Havens.
WHEELER: Sent down today.
The highly-touted prospect acquired from San Francisco for Carlos Beltran two years ago expressed disappointment, but not surprise at the demotion. After all, GM Sandy Alderson has said several times Wheeler would not be rushed.
“I expected it,’’ said Wheeler. “They told me this at the start of spring training.’’
Wheeler, who has been sidelined with a strained oblique, threw off the mound this morning at Port St. Lucie.
Pitching coach Dan Warthen spoke with Wheeler this morning to offer some homework advice.
“I told him to work on his secondary pitches and fastball command on both sides of the plate,’’ Warthen said.
Here’s today’s lineup against the Cardinals:
Marlon Byrd, rf
Justin Turner, 2b
Collin Cowgill, cf
Lucas Duda, dh
Andrew Brown, lf
Brandon Hicks, 3b
Zach Lutz, 1b
Landon Powell, c
Omar Quintanilla, ss
Shaun Marcum, rhp
Have you seen Johan Santana?
I found Waldo, but Santana remains among the missing.
WALDO: Have you seen Santana?
That is the question of the day as the increasingly moody left-hander was nowhere to be found despite being scheduled to work out.
Santana has been irritated since the weekend when he threw an unscheduled bullpen session. Manager Terry Collins was unaware and suggested it might be in response to the suggestion by GM Sandy Alderson he wasn’t in top shape when he reported.
Santana, even with his string of injuries that would make anybody depressed, has usually been accessible and friendly. Now, he doesn’t acknowledge hello and blows off the simplest of questions.
Collins excused Santana from today’s workout when the pitcher said he felt it would be better off if he concentrated on physical therapy, such as stretching out his arm.
“We are day to day with him,’’ Collins said. “He’s ready when he’s ready.’’
Collins doesn’t have a date set, but it is closing in on time for a decision to put Santana on the disabled and let Jeremy Hefner prepare himself for Santana’s spot of the staff and Jon Niese to prepare to start Opening Day.
There are few television analysts as knowledgeable and entertaining as Keith Hernandez, who, if you asked him the time would tell you how to build a watch.
HERNANDEZ: Don’t forget to tip your waitresses.
Not only does he know baseball, but today showed he could work on Animal Planet, The Weather Channel and do QVC, which ironically has its corporate headquarters across the street from Tradition Field.
When the Mets are in Washington, always expect a history lesson.
After the starting pitcher leaves the game during spring training, writers wander in and out of the pressroom and clubhouse, where the televisions are always on.
Today, Hernandez was in mid-season form, talking about the spinner sharks gathering off the beaches on the Atlantic post; how to survive a tornado; and hawked Icky Poo, a product designed to eliminate pet odors.
When somebody in the pressroom asked: “What is Icky Poo?”
As if on que, one writer said: `He’s coming into pitch.”
Good Saturday morning. A little talk in the clubhouse about the USA losing last night to Mexico. The operative word being “little.’’
I’ve only been here a few days, but trust me on this one, after doing 20 some spring trainings the days are usually all alike. We’re usually in the clubhouse by 7:45 in the morning, sometimes earlier depending on where the game is that day.
The first thing most players do is head straight to a corner wall where the lineup is posted. Most guys know the night before if they’ll be playing, but it is a force of habit for many.
The Mets’ clubhouse has changed over the years. Once shamed about not honoring their past, photos of Mets’ alumni are plastered over the walls. Tom Seaver, Ed Kranepool, Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez, Dwight Gooden, Mookie Wilson and Jerry Koosman.
Always fun to look at.
It is too soon to say much definitive about Terry Collins’ 2013 Mets other than it has the makings of a long year.
Twice this afternoon, the frustrated Mets’ manager answered seemingly innocuous questions about his roster with a curt, “It is March 8.’’
PARNELL: Making strides.
One silver thread out of today’s 3-2 loss to Detroit was reliever Bobby Parnell, who pitched a 1-2-3 sixth as he’s settling in to the closer job with Frank Francisco destined to open the season on the disabled list with a sore right elbow.
Parnell could always throw hard – sometimes in triple digits – but had trouble with command of his secondary pitches. That wasn’t the case against the Tigers.
“My curveball is working really well,’’ said Parnell. “Last year, I was inconsistent with my curveball. Today I was able to able to throw it for strikes early in the count.’’
Parnell was aggressive and attacked the hitters, and perhaps most importantly threw his curveball in counts where the hitter would normally be expecting a fastball.
“His breaking ball has really improved,’’ Collins said. “I loved his demeanor. He’s going after hitters like he knows he’s going to get them out.’’