Matt Harvey gets the ball today against the Houston Astros of the American League at Kissimmee. That just sounds odd. The Mets and Astros were born in 1962 to the National League. (There will be a separate post on that later). For them to be in the AL West doesn’t look right.
Harvey is the Mets’ prized prospect and made a strong first impression during ten starts last year. Not only does he have the physical tools and the stuff, but he showed a willingness to challenge hitters and showed a composure beyond his years.
HARVEY: Goes today vs. Houston (AP)
Travis d’Arnaud will make the trip, as will outfielders Collin Cowgill and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team will stay back to play the University of Michigan, Fred Wilpon’s alma mater.
Jonathan Niese and Dillon Gee will pitch in that game. For Gee, it will be his first game since undergoing surgery last summer to repair an artery in his pitching shoulder. Gee began throwing last September and said he doesn’t have any concerns.
David Wright has the day off. He will play in three more exhibition games before leaving for the World Baseball Classic next Saturday.
Here’s today’s lineup and some thoughts about it for the Mets’ exhibition opener against Washington:
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, cf
Ruben Tejada, ss
David Wright, 3b
Ike Davis, 1b
Marlon Byrd, rf
Lucas Duda, lf
John Buck, c
Justin Turner, 2b
Jordany Valdespin, dh
Shaun Marcum, rhp
LINEUP THOUGHTS: Zack Wheeler, Cory Mazzoni, Jeurys Familia and Darin Gorski will also pitch for the Mets. I like that Wheeler pitching in relief. Yes, it’s only an exhibition game, but there are still nerves involved. No sense adding extra pressure. … Marcum should get two innings or roughly 30 pitches to start. He’s the projected fifth starter. … The first four in the batting order are as I suggested several days ago. Notice how Terry Collins separated Ike Davis and Lucas Duda with Marlon Byrd. It’s important to separate the two strikeout machines. … The spring training objectives is for starting pitchers to make six starts and compile 30 innings. Hitters need around 50 to 60 at-bats.
METS NOTEBOOK: First baseman Rhyne Hughes was signed to a minor league contract and will report to the minor league camp. Hughes hit 13 with 56 RBI in 266 at-bats for the Double-A Bowie. … Jenrry Mejia is in camp, delayed over a week with a visa issue.
During last night’s Mets telecast on SNY, general manager Sandy Alderson announced that RHP Jenrry Mejia will be promoted from Binghamton to Triple-A Buffalo today.
Mejia made his fourth start of the season pitching for the B-Mets yesterday and went five innings against the New Britain Rock Cats, giving up four runs (all earned) on five hits, with five strikeouts and three walks. He threw 75 pitches, 44 for strikes.
Terry Collins had previously said that Mejia could join the big-league club and pitch out of the bullpen in relief at some point this season. Alderson echoed those sentiments and said it’s possible Mejia could join the Mets bullpen later this season.
Mejia is 1-0 with a 3.79 ERA in four rehab starts between Single-A and Double-A this month.
Man, it’s really getting crowded in Buffalo… But it looks like the top three starters for the Bisons will now be Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia and now Jenrry Mejia. Meanwhile back in Binghamton, look for Darin Gorski to replace Mejia and get back into the rotation. At least that’s what Pete tells me…