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The Amazing Mr. Bannister

Mike SteffanosSunday, March 26, 2006
By Mike Steffanos


Things certainly have been going well for rookie Brian Bannister this spring. In his first three starts he pitched so well that he forced himself into the Mets' thinking. Then he goes out yesterday without his signature control of all 4 pitches, and manages to battle his way through a respectable start. The significance of this is that most young pitchers struggle early in their careers with this very situation -- battling through a start without their "A" game.

So as all of our attention turns to Pedro's 2006 spring debut, we feel a little more secure about one of the big questions heading into this spring -- starting pitching depth. I doubt in their wildest dreams the Mets dared to hope for what Bannister has shown them this spring.

Pedro Alert
Pedro Martinez will be making his first start of the spring for the Mets today at noon, facing Kris Benson and the Orioles in Port St. Lucie. The game will be televised on channel 11. Martinez hopes to go 3 innings in this outing.

New York Post: Bannister Toughs it Out
Mark Hale reports on rookie Brian Bannister's difficult outing yesterday. He lacked control of all of his pitches, giving up 5 hits, 5 walks and a wild pitch in 5+ innings. He got out of a few jams, and probably deserved better than the 3 runs he was charged with (1 earned) for his outing. In the process, Bannister impressed Mets fans and, more importantly, the coaching staff. Hale quotes Bannister, who was asked how yesterday's start might affect the battle for the fifth starter position:

I don't know. That's completely up to them. They just said they were proud of me, that I battled out there, that I scrapped and I didn't give in. That's what they look for in a young kid. Sometimes it comes down to not talent but heart. I hung in there and found a way [yesterday].

Newsday: More Bannister
David Lennon offers another quote from Bannister:

I was basically pitching out there with no weapons. I managed to get through a postseason lineup from last year without too much damage. I was happy with the outing.

Bannister actually felt that the Mets' decision makers having the chance to see how he battled through adversity could work in his favor:

It showed mental toughness, character and heart. I'm glad they were able to see that in spring training, because that's a big part of who I am as a pitcher.

Newark Star-Ledger: Middle Finger Update
Don Burke updates us on Billy Wagner's middle finger, apparently Wagner is only too happy to demonstrate for reporters that it still works. Wagner was pleased with the absence of discomfort from the "sheath tendon stiffness" while tossing with Aaron Heilman before yesterday's game:

This was a good test. Last week, I felt it whenever I threw, even when I was playing catch. I didn't feel anything today. It was completely different. This definitely feels like a big step forward.

Mets.com: Presents for Glavine
Marty Noble has a feature on presents that some of the other Mets would like to give Tom Glavine in honor of turning 40 yesterday. Some of my favorites:

  • David Wright: The ability to pull a pitch.
  • Chris Woodward: A bobblehead doll of him with no gray hair.
  • David Wright: The ability to pull a pitch.
  • Steve Trachsel: A bottle of 'Gloom Away.'
  • Omar Minaya: We could smash QuesTec for him.

New York Times: Professor Rickey
David Picker offers up a great feature on Rickey Henderson's new gig as spring training instructor for the Mets. He quotes Jose Reyes on his new mentor:

When he talks, I listen and then I listen some more. He tells me stuff that I didn't know. And he's so funny. He explains things and makes everybody laugh.

More Mets Stories:
SportsSpyder Mets
Pro Sports Daily Mets

Comments (2)

brian was set up for failure. Not only was his offense abesent so was his defense with AH AND kepp out of position.HECK if you play both and sit Reyes et al, LET KEPP PLAY 2nd and AHern SS!!!!!!!

Again I say; BB is a second coming of Heilman with more pitches. His pedigree, college career, selection for the USA speak to the likelihood of his eventual success.

On the other hand 8-0 today speaks loudly, especially against the bensons, with Vz getting the save.

Brad Halsey to the A's: are they grooming Zito
's successor?

Ed, I honestly thinked Bannister helped his cause by gutting it through that bad game as much as he did with the great starts he had before that.

Man, I don't know what the A's are doing. They must see a lot mote in the Admiral than I do. What do they have, about a dozen starting pitchers now?

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