Adam Rubin of ESPN New York writes:
In desperate need of clearing several spots, the Mets have put out word to other teams that they are interested in moving non-core prospects on the 40-man roster.
Among those available via trade: Gonzalez Germen, Darin Gorski, Reese Havens, Juan Lagares, Cesar Puello, Elvin Ramirez and Hansel Robles.
That is based on the assumption that Omar Quintanilla, Aaron Laffey, Marlon Byrd, LaTroy Hawkins and Scott Atchison have all made the team, and nobody at this point believes they haven’t.
Any prospects cut from the 40-man roster will have to pass through waivers and there could be some casualties.
Also, regarding Puello, Andy Martino reminds us:
Well, we all knew this was coming after all those minor league deals we signed this offseason…
Even without the oblique injury, Zack Wheeler would be opening the season in the minor leagues, which was always the proper decision.
Maybe he wouldn’t have been sent down today with nine others, but as spring training goes on and the need to stretch out the starters increases, Wheeler’s innings would have been reduced, something the Mets did not want to happen.
WHEELER: Heading for Vegas.
Since he is better off getting regular innings, today’s demotion was inevitable. With the oblique hampering him, there’s no sense in trying to squeeze him in. He’s better off resuming a normal routine in the minor league camp, where he’ll throw in the bullpen again before getting into a game.
There’s always the possibility of Wheeler pitching in a “B” game, but for now he’s in the right place for his development. The Mets have long been accused of rushing pitchers – see Mike Pelfrey and Jenrry Mejia – and as they are building again they can’t afford to make a similar mistake with Wheeler, regardless how he feels.
“It’s the big leagues, of course I want to be here,’’ Wheeler said. “I’m not surprised. They told me this could happen.’’
This is a good way to get a career started. Mets outfield prospect Cesar Puello is linked to Anthony Bosch’s biogenesis clinic in South Florida, joining such luminaries as Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera and former Met prospect Fernando Martinez.
In an e-mail statement, the Mets said: “Because of the ongoing investigation, we have no comment. We refer all questions to Major League Baseball.’’
Puello was injured for much of 2012 while playing for Single-A St. Lucie, and Martinez, you’ll recall, was frequently injured during his unsuccessful tenure with the Mets.
FRANCISCO TO THROW: Reliever Frank Francisco could begin throwing this weekend. He is down with elbow inflammation. If Francisco opens the season on the disabled list, which remains a distinct possibility, it could create a spot for submariner Greg Burke.
NOTEBOOK: Daniel Murphy received a cortisone injection yesterday in New York and is expected to be out seven to ten days. … If Pedro Felciano shows he has something left he could join Josh Edgin as a lefty in the bullpen. Terry Collins feels limited with only one lefty reliever. … The Mets have an intrasquad game Friday and start the exhibition schedule Saturday against Washington.
Sorry for the short post, I’ll have something else for you around noon. Have a great day.
On the morning after, Johan Santana said he felt good and would throw a bullpen session tomorrow. Each day is another hurdle, and it isn’t a stretch to say tomorrow’s pen might be more important than yesterday’s start.
The Mets are already planning April’s rotation. There are two versions of it, one with Santana and one without. The one with Santana will be such that each start comes with an extra day of rest. With the off-days in April, that shouldn’t be difficult.
Santana threw mostly in the 87-88 range, but with more strengthening could boost that slightly. Important, however, was he maintained roughly a 10 mph. difference between his fastball and change-up.
* Reliever Pedro Beato has stiffness in his shoulder and will undergo a MRI.
* Outfielder Scott Hairston will be out for at least two weeks with a strained oblique muscle (he took a cortisone injection this week). It is very possible Hairston could open the season on the disabled list. As of now, Kirk Nieuwenhuis does not appear to be an option as a bench player.
Here’s today’s lineup against the Marlins:
Ruben Tejada, ss
Daniel Murphy, 2b
Justin Turner, 3b
Lucas Duda, rf
Josh Satin, 1b
Josh Thole, dh
Cesar Puello, lf
Mike Nickeas, c
Matt den Dekker, cf
Jon Niese, lhp
Note: Jose Reyes isn’t expected to play today, but could face his former team tomorrow.