Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mets News and Notes: Feliciano, Wheeler, Beltran, d'Arnaud, Murphy, Baxter, Santana, Francisco


Mets News and Notes:

Sandy Alderson confirmed Pedro Feliciano's Twitter pronouncement that the southpaw can resume baseball activity while an evaluation of his heart continues.

"Pedro will wear the monitor for the next two weeks, but he has been cleared to resume baseball activity during that time," Alderson Said..

Zack Wheeler predicted he would be ready to pitch in his next Grapefruit League assignment on schedule, but it's hard to fathom the Mets giving him that opportunity.

Given the length of time remaining in spring training and the importance of Wheeler to the franchise, the Mets will conservatively treat Wheeler's right oblique strain, which has been labeled "mild" by Sandy Alderson.

"No question," Terry Collins said. "He said he could even pitch today. He said, 'I could have pitched.' And I said, 'No, there's no sense in pushing it.'

"We're not even to March yet. [Pitching coach] Dan [Warthen] brought up the other day that this time last year we were throwing batting practice. I said, 'You've got a long time. Just make sure you get your treatment."

Carlos Beltran announced that he thought the Mets were winners in the trading-deadline deal two years ago that sent him to San Francisco for Zack Wheeler.

“It worked out better for them,” Beltran said, referring to the Mets as the winners. “I thought we were going to go to the playoffs and it didn’t happen. But it is what it is. I took the chance of going to the team that was fighting for a playoff spot and it didn’t work out for me. But it worked out for the Mets.”

Still, Beltran was complimentary about their brief pregame meeting and Zach Wheeler’s upside.

“All I’ve heard is he’s a good prospect,” Beltran said. “He has good stuff. I mean, he’s a young guy. I think they’ve got the people here to mold him to be the pitcher he can be for the organization -- the ace that they’re looking for.”

The Mets have decided catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud is too valuable to be blocking the plate. Terry Collins said he met with the 24-year-old d'Arnaud on Wednesday to relay the organization's preference and reasoning.



Said Collins: "I told him, 'Trav, I know you're a tough guy. I know it's baseball. But if you want to play for the next 15 years, the last thing we need is to have you reinjure your knee. Just get in front of that plate and let them have the plate. And if you receive the ball early, get yourself in a good position. But I'm not going to let you stick that left leg out there and have somebody who is just a reckless guy come charging in and have you shorten your career. I'm not going to allow that to happen right now."

Daniel Murphy is about seven to 10 days from entering a Grapefruit League game, Terry Collins said.

Collins said Murphy should begin swinging a bat in the next couple of days.

Daniel Murphy received a cortisone shot Feb. 19 in New York for a strained intercostal muscle on his right side.

"Certainly we're looking forward to getting him out here pretty soon and starting the process of the dry swings, followed by the tee, followed by the soft toss," Collins said. "The issue with Murph is to pull him back a little bit, because when he starts swinging, he can swing a 1,000 times before you know it."

Prospect Wilmer Flores has been seeing significant time at second base in Murphy's absence.

Mike Baxter said he was high school teammates at Archbishop Molloy in Queens for two or three years with Gilberto Valle, who has been accused of having cannibalistic intentions.

"There will be no comment about the 'cannibal cop,'" Baxter said.

Johan Santana is scheduled to long toss again today, then resume throwing off a mound Friday for the first time since being backed off because of shoulder fatigue.

The Mets expect Santana to face batters for the first time during spring training on Tuesday -- either in a back-field "B" game or in a batting-practice setting.

The club still aims for Santana to enter a Grapefruit League game March 10 or 11. That would allow Santana to get four spring-training starts and be ready for the April 1 opener against the San Diego Padres.

Frank Francisco threw on flat ground Wednesday for the second time since elbow inflammation subsided. Francisco tossed a baseball at about 70 feet with bullpen coach Ricky Bones.
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