Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mets News and Notes: Santana not ready, D'Arnaud going to minors?, Captain America, Murphy, Nieuwenhuis, Valdespin


Mets News and Notes:

Perhaps it was stating the obvious, but Terry Collins acknowledged Wednesday that Johan Santana is “not too close” to returning to a mound.

“Each and every day we’ll see how he feels,” Collins said. “When he thinks his arm -- the strength -- is there to get on the mound and throw a bullpen, he’ll do it. But he’s the only source we have as to how he feels. We checked with him this morning and found out what he was going to do today. And tomorrow, we’ll leave tomorrow until when I see him tomorrow and see where we stand.”

Sandy Alderson acknowledged meeting with Santana earlier this week.

“Just to make sure we were on the same page,” Alderson said. “He understood from our standpoint he would be ready when he’s ready and there wouldn’t really be any further comment about it in terms of a precise date that he’d be ready to pitch. If that was clearing the air, that was clearing the air, I guess.”

Did the air need clearing?

“Not from my standpoint. Perhaps from his,” Alderson said. “Whatever purpose it served, we had a conversation.”

Travis D'Arnaud went 0-for-3 Wednesday against the Washington Nationals, but he still is hitting .261 in Grapefruit League play.

His days in camp may be numbered, though.

The Mets, like other major league teams, must ship out prospects on the 40-man roster by Friday if they want to minimize the risk to the organization.



Generally, if 40-man-roster players remaining in major league camp become injured within 15 days of Opening Day, they earn major league service time and pay and have to land on the disabled list to open the season until they heal.

So players such as d'Arnaud and Wilmer Flores, who are on the 40-man roster but not likely to make the Opening Day roster, should be dispatched to minor league camp by Friday.

Like anyone watching the World Baseball Classic, Jeff Wilpon is aware of the accomplishments of David Wright for Team USA. Wilpon also is aware of Wright being labeled Captain America" on the telecasts.

"It's nice that they're calling him Captain America, and he's living up to it," Wilpon said.

So doesn't Wright merit being the Mets' captain, too?

Wilpon said he could not talk about that yet -- implying there would be something to talk about.

So stay tuned, but all signs point to Wright receiving the recognition before Opening Day. He would become the fourth captain in team history, joining Keith Hernandez (1987-89), Gary Carter (1988-89) and John Franco (2001-04).

Terry Collins said he expected Daniel Murphy to get into a game this weekend for the first time during spring training, although it will be on the minor league side.

Murphy is returning from a strained intercostal muscle on his right side. He went through a busy day Wednesday at the team's complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., that included taking grounders and batting practice.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who has been working out indoors, is now aiming to get on the field to begin baseball activities Thursday. Nieuwenhuis did a comprehensive workout inside today as he works back from a bone bruise on his left knee, which he suffered sliding into second base 10 days ago.

Jordany Valdespin, who was struck in the groin with a fastball Monday, is penciled into the starting lineup Thursday and Friday, according to the manager. Collins said he gave Valdespin off from Wednesday's trip because he wanted to get Brian Bixler a start at second base.
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