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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mets News and Notes: Conforto Debuts Saturday, Niese Throws Bullpen Session, Dice-K in bullpen, No Trade Talks Yet with Mets

Mets News and Notes:

First Round Pick Conforto makes debut Saturday:
First-round pick Michael Conforto will make his professional debut as the DH for the Brooklyn Cyclones on Saturday.

Conforto, the 10th overall pick in the draft, officially signed a week ago. The Oregon State outfielder attended the Golden Spikes Award ceremony on Thursday in Los Angeles. He was one of three finalists, but did not win the award.

Keith Law rates Conforto as the No. 32 prospect in MLB. Law writes about the two-time Pac-12 Player of the Year:

Conforto was the most advanced college bat in the draft class this year, leading Division I in OBP despite playing in a major conference (Pac-12, for Oregon State), while showing above-average power and adequate defense in left field. He doesn't have huge upside, but he's very close to major league ready and should be at least an above-average regular with a higher ceiling if the power exceeds expectations. The Mets should fast-track him if his performance warrants it.

Niese Throw Bullpen Session:
Jon Niese threw a pregame bullpen session Friday at Petco Park and pronounced himself ready to come off the disabled list on Monday to face the Seattle Mariners.

Niese has been on the DL with a strained left hamstring since June 22.

Dice-K in bullpen:
Daisuke Matsuzaka will be stationed in the bullpen in the series against the Padres.

However, Terry Collins does not plan to use Matsuzaka in relief later this weekend, in order to ensure Matsuzaka would available on Monday to step in at Seattle should Jonathon Niese have an issue and end up unavailable.

Still, the full expectation now is that Niese will return from the disabled list on Monday to face the Mariners. At that point, Matsuzaka's return to the bullpen will be official.

Matsuzaka opened the season as a reliever. He produced a 2.22 ERA in 17 appearances.

No Trade talks yet with Mets:
With less than two weeks until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, Sandy Alderson indicated that he has so far had little dialogue with other GMs.

"It's hard to say exactly what will happen on the trade market," Alderson said before Friday's second-half opener against the Padres. "I don't want to get into speculation about those things. Honestly, I haven't had a lot of conversations. So it's not clear to me what the opportunities will be. We'll just have to wait and see. My hope is things pick up a little bit as we get into the schedule after the All-Star break, and maybe even after this weekend. But right now we're just kind of canvassing the possibilities."

It was reported earlier this week that the Mets are making Bartolo Colon available.

Asked generically if the Mets might trade a veteran even with a good road trip and acquire young players, Alderson replied: "It's conceivable, I guess. It wouldn't be our first choice, I don't think, but it's a possibility."
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