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Matt Harvey Slated for Grapefruit League Debut March 6th

February 27th, 2015 at 8:09 PM
By Mike Phillips

While Matt Harvey's regular season return date has yet to be determined, he is set to make his return to the mound very soon. The Mets announced their pitching schedule for the first slate of Grapefruit League games, and Harvey is slated to return to action on March 6th. That game will be against the Detroit Tigers in Port St. Lucie, and is also set as SNY's first telecast of the preseason.

The game will be a dual treat for Mets fans as Noah Syndergaard is slated to pitch in relief that day. The Mets also announced that Dillon Gee will start the exhibition season on March 4th, and Bartolo Colon will pitch on the 5th along with prospect Gabriel Ynoa in relief. Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz will start split squad games on the 7th, while Jonathon Niese and Zack Wheeler will follow. Gee is slated to work in relief on the 8th as well, so it will be interesting to see how Gee's workload falls during Grapefruit League action.

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Noah Syndergaard Motivated by Snub at End of 2014 Season

February 26th, 2015 at 5:58 PM
By Mike Phillips

Noah Syndergaard entered last season as the New York Mets' top pitching prospect. Almost every pundit expected Syndergaard to make his major league debut during the 2014 season, but after struggling with Triple-A Las Vegas the Mets passed on a promotion. The snub came as a bit of a surprise considering the Mets needed to add Syndergaard to their 40 man roster anyway after the season, but the young righty has used it as a motivational tool.

During a talk with reporters in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday, Syndergaard acknowledged that the call from GM Sandy Alderson telling him he wouldn't debut in 2014 was heartbreaking, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports. While Syndergaard acknowledges he didn't really deserve a promotion based on his performance last season, he admits he was stunned when Alderson let him know his season was done after Las Vegas was eliminated from the playoffs in September. That phone call has turned into a tool to help Syndergaard focus more on finally reaching the majors. Syndergaard described this feeling by stating,

"I use it as a little extra motivation, because I don't want to hear that phone call again."

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Terry Collins Denies Retirement Talk, Looking Forward to 2015 Season

February 25th, 2015 at 5:52 PM
By Mike Phillips

New York Mets' manager Terry Collins denied talk that he could retire at the end of the season, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports. Rosenthal's report was initially informed by discussions with a friend of Collins who suggested the Mets' skipper could retire at season's end. Collins, who turns 66 in May, is in the last year of his contract but isn't planning on walking away anytime soon.

Collins told Rosenthal that he was excited for this upcoming season, particularly due to the Mets' incredible pitching staff. While Collins acknowledged that he doesn't plan on managing until he is 75, he would like the opportunity to come back next season. Whether Collins gets that opportunity depends on how the Mets play this season.

Collins and the Mets have raised expectations for this season by stating their goal of reaching the playoffs. While having a lofty goal is admirable, raising the bar can lead to some consequences if the goal isn't met. If the Mets get off to a slow start in a competitive National League, Collins could face the ax in order to try and salvage the season. GM Sandy Alderson has said that a bad April won't cost anyone a job, but time will tell if that choice needs to be made.

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Lucas Duda Suffers Mild Oblique Strain in Camp

February 24th, 2015 at 1:21 PM
By Mike Phillips

The New York Mets have their first injury issue of the 2015 campaign. First baseman Lucas Duda will get a couple of days off after suffering a strained left oblique, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports. Mets' skipper Terry Collins told Rubin that he believes Duda suffered the injury as a result of working too hard in preparation for the upcoming season. Collins noted that when he arrived in Florida last month, Duda was already in the batting cages working on his stroke.

Duda, who led the team in home runs (30) and RBI's (92) last season, won't be allowed to swing a bat for the next two to three days to allow the injury to heal. The Mets will allow Duda to participate in fielding drills during that time frame, and the hope is that he will be ready to go for the team's first full squad workout on Thursday. Today also marks the day that all position players are scheduled to report to camp, although the majority of the team's position players have already been in Florida for a few weeks.

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Dillon Gee not Thrilled About Potential Bullpen Move

February 23rd, 2015 at 11:43 AM
By Mike Phillips

After failing to trade Dillon Gee this winter, the New York Mets are prepared to keep him around as a member of their bullpen in 2015. Gee appears to be the odd man out in the Mets' rotation with Matt Harvey set to return from Tommy John surgery, and GM Sandy Alderson has ruled out the use of a six man rotation. That would send Gee to the bullpen, and Gee doesn't appear to be thrilled with that prospect.

In an interview with Mike Vorkunov of NJ.com, Gee indicated that he hasn't heard from manager Terry Collins about his role but has paid attention to the press clippings about him this winter. While Gee is willing to play wherever the Mets tell him right now, he expressed his belief that he is fully capable of being a starter in the league. Gee told Vorkunov,

"I feel like I should be starting somewhere. I think my record and stuff have proven that I could be a starter in the big leagues. So to be sent to the bullpen this early in my career when I could be getting on another role. I've pitched well-before I got hurt last year I was pitching extremely well. I'd say it's just frustrating to know that I could be in the bullpen where I definitely could be starting, a starter still."

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