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Off to a Good Start

Mike SteffanosFriday, March 3, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

We're not going to plan a ticker tape parade for late October based on a nice spring training opener, but things are looking "so far, so good" for the Mets. The news that neither Pedro nor Wagner will pitch in the WBC can only bring all Mets fans a sigh of relief. They can talk pitch counts all they want, but I just don't see older pitchers being served by trying to dial it up ahead of schedule. Once again, Bud Selig proves that he is an idiot.

Xavier Nady was very impressive in his first game. He's certainly heard what's been said about his fading star as a prospect, and wants to prove everyone wrong. Omar Minaya and the Mets hope he does, too. He's taken a lot of heat over that deal. Only time will tell if Nady can hit right-handers well enough, most experts see him as a fourth outfielder, platoon type guy.

Many of the Mets that will play in the WBC have scattered to their respective teams, which gives some guys a chance to get a better look than they normally would get. Mitch Wylie already opened some eyes in yesterday's game. One of the real pleasure of spring games is that player that manages to come out of nowhere to push for a roster spot. Who will it be this year?

Newsday: Toe no go for Pedro
David Lennon reports on Pedro's reasons for pulling out of the WBC. Pedro's not sure how much pain he will have to pitch through this season, but he's determined to push forward:

I have no idea if I'm going to feel it all year. I can assure you that I still feel it right now. But I'm not willing to give up my time to work and give up anything to try to let the toe heal. I'm going to heal my toe, probably, on the field. If it doesn't, well, I'll deal with it in the best way possible.

Pedro was having problems with the toe for most of the second half of the season and was effective. If the new shoe can keep things tolerable for him that's probably the best that can be expected this year. I know the usual talk radio suspects are going to be beating on this all spring, but the truth is that any pitcher in his 30's is working around a lot of pain during the year. Let's see how it plays out for a while before we let them get to us.

Daily News: The new guys look good
Adam Rubin reports on the Mets successful spring opener, where new Mets Carlos Delgado and Xavier Nady impressed. Rubin quotes David Wright on the pair:

Nady got my MVP vote. Everything he hit was hard, to all parts of the field. You could see in batting practice he has unbelievable power all over the field. And Delgado ... he can roll out of bed and just hit.

Rubin also reports that Delgado and Beltran will be able to participate in the Mets game this evening since the Puerto Rican team is practicing in St. Lucie.

NY Times: More second base
Ben Shpigel reports on the Mets second base situation. Kaz Matsui had a bad spring training opener and was booed by Met fans. Shpigel mentions Jose Vidro and Tony Graffanino as two players that Minaya will pursue if Kaz falls flat. I just can't see the Mets giving up any more talent to rent a second baseman when supposedly they are convinced Anderson Hernandez is the future of that position. I'd rather see them go with Jeff Keppinger in the interim if they don't believe Hernandez is quite ready.

Mets.com: David Wright has to wait for a real payday
Marty Noble reports that after failing to reach an agreement with David Wright's representatives, the Mets imposed a salary on Wright that is only $47,000 over the minimum.

Noble also reports that rule 5 draftee Mitch Wylie was impressive in 2 innings he pitched in the grapefruit opener against the Cardinals, pitching 2 scoreless innings. Noble quotes catcher Ramon Castro:

Wow. He throws hard, good stuff. Fastball, sinker. Who let him go?

Noble also passes along the sad news that Mr. Koo will not return to the Mets after the WBC.

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