Monday, March 18, 2013
Mets News and Notes: Wheeler, Mets Rotation, Buck, Wright, Murphy, d'Arnaud
For the first time since suffering a right oblique strain and being scratched from a Feb. 27 Grapefruit League game, Zack Wheeler pitched in a game Monday. Wheeler was demoted to minor league camp a week ago.
Wheeler Tweeted: "Felt good to get back in a game today. Tossed 3innings and 1 hit. Felt great"
The Mets' rotation order is beginning to become clearer.
While the Mets have yet to commit, it appears Jonathon Niese will be followed in the rotation by Shaun Marcum in Game 2 against the San Diego Padres and Matt Harvey in Game 3.
That will allow the Mets to separate similar-throwing Marcum and Dillon Gee in the rotation.
Gee would likely go in Game 4, the opener of a series against the Miami Marlins. The Mets then can go back to Niese in Game 5 before turning to Jeremy Hefner.
John Buck, who had been scheduled to catch on Sunday and today, instead has been given off by Terry Collins.
Buck has been dealing with the flu, according to the manager.
David Wright (intercostal strain) returned to camp Sunday and said he had no regrets about participating in the World Baseball Classic. Wright also insisted he was upfront with the organization about his injury, even though it took him a week to report it to Team USA officials. Wright told reporters he is unsure about his availability for Opening Day. But Terry Collins said Wright told him he would be ready for the April 1 matinee against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field.
Daniel Murphy, who continues to experience stiffness after playing five innings at second base in a minor league game Friday, will not reenter a game until Wednesday at the earliest, Collins said. The manager added that should Murphy not get into a game by the weekend, he likely would open the season on the disabled list. That’s because unlike Wright, Murphy has seen no game action during spring training. Murphy received a cortisone shot for a strained intercostal muscle Feb. 19.
If Wright and Murphy both open the season on the DL, Justin Turner should man third base and Jordany Valdespin man second base, according to the manager.
Turner hopes to return to game action no later than Thursday. X-rays of his sprained right ankle were negative.
Speaking of Catching on, Travis d’Arnaud went 2-for-3 and scored twice, including the tiebreaking run in the seventh, as the Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-2, Monday at Roger Dean Stadium.
“I’m feeling loose and just having fun, not trying to overstress myself and overthink everything,” said d’Arnaud, who is hitting .345 with four doubles in 29 Grapefruit League at-bats.
D’Arnaud nonetheless is ticketed for Triple-A Las Vegas to open the season.