WRIGHT: Likes WBC intensity.
David Wright is not the one to go to if you want to knock the WBC. He’ll be on the Major League Baseball Network tonight trumpeting its praises.
He’s not buying it will take away from preparing for the regular season.
“I think it will help with the development of getting ready for the regular season because you’re talking about playing in meaningful games, big at bats, trying to get runners over, get runners in,’’ Wright said.
“We were talking today with our manager Jerry Manuel and he likes the idea of a lot of us going to play in the classic because it puts us in those real life game situations where every at bat counts, being unselfish, trying to do things for the good of the team, and hopefully that will put us in a position where we are ready come first week of April.”
Not to mention the last week of September.
When I look at the Mets offensively, the deterioration of fundamentals is the main problem. With essentially the same line-up as Willie Randolph’s, pounding the fundamentals has to be Manuel’s biggest challenge.
So much for the platoon in left. Manager Jerry Manuel said it is Daniel Murphy’s job to lose, and he’ll see a lot of time against left-handed pitching. That doesn’t mean Fernando Tatis is useless. He’ll get at-bats in right against left-handed pitching, which means less playing time for Ryan Church.
I like the confidence Manuel is showing in Murphy, and I hope it continues even when there’s an inevitable slump. The onus now is on Church to produce vs. lefties so he stays in the line-up.
Manuel’s thinking is Murphy has less holes in his swing and approach than does Church.
Here’s why you can never have enough pitching. Fifth-starter candidate Tim Redding won’t throw off the mound for a week because of discomfort in his right shoulder.
Redding underwent off-season surgery to repair a stress fracture in a toe on his left foot, and he said rushing back caused the soreness.
Word is he should be fine, but during the season when a pitcher gets shut down for a week if often means the DL.
DELGADO: Who will we get?
Does anybody know for sure which Carlos Delgado we will see this year? The second half terror that made an MVP run, of the first half horror that had him heading out of town?
Nobody knows. Delgado insists it wasn’t a health issue but a mechanical issue.
Outside of Luis Castillo, Delgado has as more pressure on him than any Met to prove himself this year, and that begins with spring training.
Jose Reyes said he looked like a kid. Jerry Manuel said he looked lighter. Luis Castillo reported to spring training 17 pounds lighter: “I’m a new man, right now.”
The Mets were unable to rid themselves of Castillo’s contract, so he’s back in camp with his value in the hope of a bounce back season. Manuel may bat Castillo first or second, but he has options because the veteran reported in good shape.
No Met faces more pressure to get off to a fast start (to quiet the boo birds who are lining up now) than Castillo. It’s a good sign he took things seriously in the offseason and shed the weight that put pressure on his knees.
We don’t know how Castillo will do, but he’s determined to make another impression. So far, so good.