Mike Pelfrey, Mike Jacobs Looking Good in New York Mets Spring Training
Just hours after the news about Jose Reyes' pending stint on the DL filtered down to the players at Tradition Field, it was business as usual as spring training continued in earnest.
There wasn't too much of note coming out of the 8-2 defeat to the Boston Red Sox. But here are a few pieces of information to consider when you're looking to whet your appetite now that today's game with the Twins has been rained out.
The two-three-four spots in the rotation are essentially up in the air. We know that Johan will fill the No. 1 spot and that either Fernando Nieve or Jon Niese will anchor down the No. 5 position.
John Maine, Mike Pelfrey, and Oliver Perez will be the trio in the middle. But what order they go will probably depend on the next few weeks of spring ball down in the Grapefruit League.
You would think that Maine is more suited to the No. 4 spot, and neither Big Pelf nor Ollie has shone so far.
Pelfrey has been roughed up in an inning in each of his two starts, but has otherwise been stellar. Meanwhile, Perez has achieved his early goal of throwing strikes, but is yet to see serious results.
Pelfrey started slowly against the Red Sox on Thursday, but he settled down and eventually looked pretty good. He gave up three first-inning runs on four base hits, even though his backup slider looked pretty sharp and the rally got started with a Baltimore chop down the third base line.
His breaking ball was effective to the right-handed batters, and his fastball—some 20 MPH faster at 93—kept hitters off balance. In fact, after the rough first inning, he mixed in his split-finger changeup and recorded back-to-back one-two-three innings.
Three of his four strikeouts were looking, and he rebounded well the second time through the lineup.
I would probably give Perez the nod right now, although I suppose the difference between throwing second or third is irrelevant. The key to note from his outing is that there are lots of things to like so far.
Roster Spot Battles
Daniel Murphy will be starting the season at first base, so talk about Ike Davis and Mike Jacobs unseating him is, for the time being, pointless.
More pressing is the final roster spot. It seems as though it will come down to Mike Jacobs and Frank Catalanotto.
Jacobs, a veteran pull hitter, got a base knock the other way on a curveball away, and he hit a home run off left-handed pitcher Fabio Castro to the deepest part of the ballpark to straightaway center in the seventh inning.
Traditionally they are his two biggest weaknesses—hitting to the opposite field and handling southpaws—so those were important at-bats.
Catalanotto didn’t do much to help his cause for the final bench spot on the big league ball club though. He went 0-3, failed to get the ball out of the infield, and grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
Jacobs hasn't complained about playing second fiddle to the more inexperienced Murphy, and his patience and commitment to just making the team should be applauded. It looks like it could pay off and, considering the lack of depth in general in the Mets squad, an extra bat with major league time on his resume is never a bad thing.
Rain, Rain, Go Away
The Mets fielded a pretty strong team before the rain swept away the starters.
Pagan, Castillo, Wright, Bay, Francoeur, and Cora all started the game before being replaced by rookies after the 50-minute rain delay. They went a combined 1-10 against John Lackey and Joe Nelson before the tarp was rolled out, and the team mustered three hits in four innings.
Luis Hernandez, looking to prove he has some value in the infield, booted a couple ground balls, including one in the eighth that could have been a double play around the horn.
He looked a little too eager to please the coaching staff, and he will need to relax if he wants to make an impact this year.
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