Mets find power stroke with 3 HRs vs. Nationals

Mets find power stroke with 3 HRs vs. Nationals

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez completed his longest and best outing of the spring, but his performance was matched by Mets right-hander Matt Bowman. Both pitchers completed five scoreless innings in New York's 8-3 victory on Thursday night at Space Coast Stadium.

The Mets scored four runs in the eighth off reliever Craig Stammen, punctuated by a two-run homer from Matt den Dekker, one of three jacks for New York. The Nationals' only offense came in the sixth off reliever Jeurys Familia, who was removed with two outs in the inning after allowing three runs on four hits.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets prospect Bowman stellar in spot start

Mets prospect Bowman stellar in spot start

VIERA, Fla. -- For Mets Matt Bowman, receiving a last-minute callup from Minor League camp for a spot start in Thursday's game was rewarding enough. Doing so against the Nationals, his favorite team from the moment he attended their inaugural game in Washington as a middle schooler, only added to the experience.

Part of him is still a fan. Standing on first base after a fifth-inning single during the Mets' 8-3 victory, Bowman told Ryan Zimmerman -- the longest-tenured National -- that he has enjoyed watching him "for a good long while now."

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flores shakes off sore left foot against Nats

Flores shakes off sore left foot against Nats

VIERA, Fla. -- Wilmer Flores' return from a bruised left foot proved relatively uneventful -- 1-for-3 with a walk in the Mets' 8-3 win over the Nationals on Thursday, plus seven innings at shortstop with two defensive chances. All of which was just fine for Flores, who endured some soreness after missing three games with an injury that could have been much worse.

"I feel it a little bit, but I've just got to go through it," Flores said. "It's going to be sore after, but I feel great."

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets shield Colon, give Niese intrasquad duty

Mets shield Colon, give Niese intrasquad duty

VIERA, Fla. -- Though Jon Niese was a late addition to Thursday's Mets intrasquad roster in Port St. Lucie, Bartolo Colon was not. Once New York named Colon its Opening Day starter against the Nationals, the club abandoned all thought of using him in that evening's Grapefruit League game -- also against said Nats.

Colon, who relies largely on the deception he generates by changing speeds, faced the Nationals five times last season and once already this spring. With his Opening Day start only two weeks away, avoiding their hitters was a priority.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets' pitchers may hit 8th with Wright in mind

Mets' pitchers may hit 8th with Wright in mind

VIERA, Fla. -- Though Matt Harvey may be more interested in the 80-odd pitches he is scheduled to throw in Friday's spring start against the Cardinals, manager Terry Collins plans to add a layer of intrigue to Harvey's afternoon: As he did 10 times last year and may do even more frequently this summer, the manager will bat his pitcher eighth.

Collins said he is considering doing so more often because it would allow him to shift David Wright from third to second in the lineup, increasing his at-bats over the course of the season and, theoretically, his RBI opportunities as well.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ne-Yo added to lineup for Mets concert series

Ne-Yo added to lineup for Mets concert series

VIERA, Fla. -- Three-time Grammy Award-winning singer Ne-Yo has been added to the Mets' 2015 postgame concert series, the team announced on Thursday. He will perform after the Aug. 15 game against the Pirates at Citi Field, with tickets starting at $20 at mets.com/concerts.

Ne-Yo, who has sold more than 10 million records worldwide, released his sixth consecutive Top 10 studio album earlier this year. He joins the Steve Miller Band (June 27) and Heart (July 25) on the Mets' postgame concert series.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lagares, Mayberry power up to back sharp Montero

Outfielders go deep as pitching prospect holds Yanks to 1 run over 4 innings

Lagares, Mayberry power up to back sharp Montero

TAMPA, Fla. -- John Mayberry Jr. homered off Masahiro Tanaka and Juan Lagares cracked a two-run blast off Dellin Betances as the Mets defeated the Yankees, 7-2, on Wednesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Lined up to serve as the Yanks' Opening Day starter, Tanaka permitted three runs (two earned) and four hits over 4 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out seven. The right-hander threw 47 of 59 pitches for strikes and said that he has been working on throwing his two-seam fastball more often this season.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Is Montero pitching his way into starting rotation?

Collins won't rule it out for righty after strong start against Yanks

Is Montero pitching his way into starting rotation?

TAMPA, Fla. -- Mets manager Terry Collins continues to dangle the possibility that Rafael Montero could pitch his way into the starting rotation to open the season. The 24-year-old right-hander continues to do everything he can to keep that possibility alive.

Facing a lineup that included most of the Yankees' projected starters, Montero allowed one run on three hits in four innings. He struck out four and didn't walk a batter in the Mets' 7-2 Grapefruit League win Wednesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Parnell throws scoreless inning in Triple-A game

Murphy hits off tee, still questionable for Opening Day with strained hamstring

Parnell throws scoreless inning in Triple-A game

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- A gaggle of scouts, executives and Minor League players gathered around a back field of the Mets' complex Wednesday to watch former closer Bobby Parnell pitch. Several of them clutched radar guns, curious to see how fast Parnell -- nearing the one-year anniversary of his Tommy John surgery -- would throw.

The one person decidedly uninterested in velocity was Parnell. Focusing on quieting his mechanics while working in particular on his two-seam fastball, Parnell shrugged off radar-gun readings that rested around 90 mph, topping out at 92.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cuddyer ready to lead youthful Mets to the postseason

Cuddyer ready to lead youthful Mets to the postseason

Michael Cuddyer is ready to be a veteran leader for a Mets club that's full of young talent but hasn't advanced to the playoffs since 2006.

The 35-year-old Cuddyer, who signed a two-year, $21 million deal in the offseason, is a 14-year veteran who's made it to the playoffs six times.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wheeler has successful Tommy John surgery

In addition to having UCL replaced, righty also has flexor pronator tendon repaired

Wheeler has successful Tommy John surgery

TAMPA, Fla. -- The first step toward getting right-hander Zack Wheeler back into the Mets' rotation has been completed.

"Zack Wheeler this morning underwent successful surgery at HSS in New York to repair the flexor pronator tendon and reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He is expected to make a full recovery," the team said in a statement Wednesday.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gilmartin making case for role in Mets' bullpen

Gilmartin making case for role in Mets' bullpen

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Mets have been taking an extra long look at their left-handed bullpen candidates since losing Josh Edgin for the season to Tommy John surgery.

So the fact that Rule 5 Draft selection Sean Gilmartin came in to start the fifth inning of Wednesday's 7-2 Grapefruit League win over the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field and retired all four batters he faced was noteworthy.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wright's bat remains hot as Gee stretches out

Backed by infielder's third spring homer, righty works four scoreless

Wright's bat remains hot as Gee stretches out

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- David Wright continued his hot month at the plate with a two-run homer off former teammate Collin McHugh on Tuesday in the Mets' 4-3 loss to the Astros at Tradition Field.

Wright's drive in the third inning was one of only two hits the Mets mustered all day, and both came off McHugh, who struck out seven in five innings. McHugh's Mets counterpart, fifth starter Dillon Gee, worked four scoreless innings.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harvey has no issues not starting either opener

Ace trusts Colon to get season underway with a win against Nationals

Harvey has no issues not starting either opener

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- As far back as September, Matt Harvey had penciled Opening Day onto his calendar, going as far as to proclaim that he was chalking the game against the Nationals up "as a 'W'" on April 6.

The realities of rehabilitation and the politics of Mets camp have slowed the ace only slightly. A more subdued Harvey tipped his cap on Tuesday to Bartolo Colon, who will receive the Opening Day start in his stead, and to Jacob deGrom, who will start the home opener on April 13 against the Phillies. Harvey will pitch the third game of the season on April 9, as well as the Mets' second home game on April 14.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets not banking on Black's Opening Day availability

Right shoulder tendinitis continues to keep reliever out of game action

Mets not banking on Black's Opening Day availability

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- With less than two weeks left until camp breaks, right-handed reliever Vic Black stands in the most precarious position of several Mets players nursing injuries -- a "question mark," according to general manager Sandy Alderson, who added that he's "not sure where [Black] will be on Opening Day."

Black, who has not pitched since March 9 due to right shoulder tendinitis, completed his regimen of anti-inflammatory medication and played catch off flat ground on Tuesday, but he's still not ready to return to game action. If he is not at full strength by April 6, Black will join Bobby Parnell and Josh Edgin as unavailable core bullpen members.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

NFL's Jennings throws first pitch in visit to Mets

Running back shares admiration for those able to excel on the diamond

NFL's Jennings throws first pitch in visit to Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Mets camp on Tuesday was supposed to be a fun, relaxing outing for New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings. But a fleeting moment of stress overtook him when he thought back on the Mets' most erratic first pitch of last summer, courtesy of rapper 50 Cent.

"That was the only thing I said: 'I cannot emulate 50 Cent,'" Jennings recalled, laughing. "If I just get it from Point A to Point B without it stopping at Point F, I'll be OK."

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lefty candidate Leathersich optioned by Mets

Move reduces competition for bullpen role to Gilmartin, Rice, Alvarez

Lefty candidate Leathersich optioned by Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets' left-handed bullpen competition lost a member on Tuesday, when the team optioned No. 21 prospect Jack Leathersich to Minor League camp.

Though Leathersich boasts tremendous upside, having struck out 15.4 batters per nine innings last year at Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas, he also walked 4.6 batters per nine. Those control issues leaked into his first big league camp, when he walked five over 4 2/3 innings and posted a 9.64 ERA.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cuddyer among many hitting heroes behind deGrom

Veteran singles, homers in 8-run second; righty sharp after allowing dinger in first

Cuddyer among many hitting heroes behind deGrom

JUPITER, Fla. -- Jacob deGrom got off to a slow start on Monday, allowing a two-run homer to Michael Morse in the first inning. But things turned quickly as the Mets responded with an eight-run second inning, punctuated by Michael Cuddyer's solo home run.

The big outburst off Mat Latos enabled deGrom to settle and the Mets to coast to a 12-3 victory over the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harvey the ace, but Colon to start Mets' opener

Veteran, 41, oldest Opening Day starter in team history, and oldest in Majors since 2006

Harvey the ace, but Colon to start Mets' opener

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Mets could have looked in any number of directions to find their Opening Day starter. They could have nodded toward youth, rewarding Jacob deGrom for his National League Rookie of the Year campaign. They could have defaulted to Matt Harvey, who expects this summer to be his rebirth as staff ace. They could have honored Jon Niese, the rotation's longest-tenured member. Before Zack Wheeler injured his elbow, the Mets could have cued up him as well.

In lieu of all of them, the team will turn to 41-year-old, 17-year veteran Bartolo Colon, who led the Mets with 15 wins last season. Colon will pitch April 6 in Washington, the club announced Monday, followed by deGrom and Harvey. That lines deGrom up for the April 13 home opener at Citi Field.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bell's final toll: Longtime closer elects to retire

All-Star from 2009-11 with Padres, fiery reliever bows out after 11-season career

Bell's final toll: Longtime closer elects to retire

Heath Bell turned down the stereo long enough in his 31-foot Fleetwood RV on Tuesday afternoon to take a few questions about the next chapter in his life, although he didn't take the foot off the gas pedal, as he bombed his way across the Florida Panhandle.

A day after being released by the Nationals, Bell was only a few hours into what he was expecting to be a three-day solo drive back to San Diego, where he will join his wife, Nicole, and their four children for good.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flores ditches walking boot, says he'll be set for opener

Flores ditches walking boot, says he'll be set for opener

JUPITER, Fla. -- Shedding his walking boot on Monday morning, Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores expressed confidence that he will be ready for Opening Day despite fouling a ball off his left foot Sunday. X-rays taken later that day revealed only a bruise; by Monday, Flores had graduated from a walking boot to a simple wrap around the foot.

"It was bad yesterday -- I couldn't even walk on it," Flores said. "It's a little bit swollen. I'm having a problem walking right now. I'm just going to go day by day and we'll see how it goes."

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harvey appears primed to return to dominant form

Coming back from Tommy John surgery, Mets righty enjoying outstanding spring

Harvey appears primed to return to dominant form

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira led off the second inning against Matt Harvey with a single and immediately stole second base. The Mets ace-in-waiting, coming off Tommy John surgery, never blinked. Three outs later, Teixeira was still on second.

The Mets had hoped that Harvey, who doesn't turn 26 until later in the week, could bounce back to be the pitcher he was before Tommy John surgery cost him the 2014 season, the pitcher who started the All-Star Game at Citi Field the year before.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Backed by early homers, Harvey twirls scoreless outing

Lagares, Duda and Wright take CC deep; Mets ace allows two hits over 5 2/3 to beat Yanks

Backed by early homers, Harvey twirls scoreless outing

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Three home runs against Yankees starter CC Sabathia and another encouraging performance from right-hander Matt Harvey lifted the Mets to a 6-0 Grapefruit League win over the rival Yankees on Sunday afternoon at sold-out Tradition Field.

The Yankees also lost Jose Pirela, who suffered a concussion in the first. He was injured when he slammed into the center-field wall chasing a drive off the fence by Mets leadoff hitter Juan Lagares, who circled the bases for an inside-the-park homer.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Collins doesn't want Mets to fixate on hitting homers

Offense displaying plenty of power this spring, but skipper says line drives are key

Collins doesn't want Mets to fixate on hitting homers

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Even before the Mets get back to Citi Field, where the fences have been moved in, there have been signs that the lineup could be more powerful this season. Four more homers in Sunday's 6-0 Grapefruit League win over the Yankees at Tradition Field gave them 23 in the first 20 Grapefruit League games. Free-agent acquisition Michael Cuddyer has four, an encouraging sign for a team that hit just 125 all last season.

Terry Collins digs the long ball as much as anybody. But the Mets manager doesn't want his hitters to become fixated on home runs, either.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Facing another tough lefty, Duda swats first spring dinger

Day after taking on Tigers' Price, Mets slugger goes deep off Yanks' Sabathia

Facing another tough lefty, Duda swats first spring dinger

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Early Saturday morning, first baseman Lucas Duda climbed onto a bus for the two-and-a-half hour ride to Lakeland, where the Mets were playing the Tigers in a Grapefruit League game. When it ended, he made the same trip back.

That's a lot of travel time, especially since it meant the left-handed hitter would be facing David Price, one of the toughest lefties in baseball. Against Price, Duda went 1-for-3 with two strikeouts.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lagares hits inside-the-park HR

Yankees' Pirela injured on play, carted off

Lagares hits inside-the-park HR

PORT ST.LUCIE, Fla -- Yankees center fielder Jose Pirela was carted off after he crashed into the center-field wall during the first inning of Sunday's game against the Mets at Tradition Field.

Pirela was diagnosed with a concussion and was taken to Tradition Medical Center in an ambulance for a CT scan.

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Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matz gets optioned to Minors after solid start vs. Tigers

Coaches like lefty prospect's chances to return this year

Matz gets optioned to Minors after solid start vs. Tigers

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Mets left-hander Steven Matz was optioned to Minor League camp following his start on Saturday, marking the second straight day that one of the club's top prospects has been optioned out of big league camp.

Despite the postgame news, which Matz said did not come as a surprise, the southpaw came away from his final Grapefruit League start feeling encouraged by both his outing against the Tigers, as well as his spring performance as a whole.

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Castellanos leaves Tigers' game with foot contusion

Utility man is latest to join Mets' growing injury list

Castellanos leaves Tigers' game with foot contusion

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The injuries just keep coming for the Mets, as outfielder/first baseman Alex Castellanos left Saturday's game against the Tigers with what the club is calling a right foot contusion.

Castellanos suffered the injury in the sixth inning after colliding with a baserunner as he tried to corral a wild throw from catcher Johnny Monel. Castellanos, who also suffered a right hand injury earlier this spring, limped off the field and into the clubhouse following the play.

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.