PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets first-base coach Tom Goodwin was standing in the dugout during Wednesday's game, doing a live television interview in the seventh inning while Kyle Farnsworth pitched to Cardinals infielder Kolten Wong.
Suddenly, Farnsworth left a pitch flat and Wong crushed it.
"Oh my," Goodwin gasped on air, his eyes flicking skyward as the ball soared out of the park.
It has been that type of spring for Farnsworth, who entered camp as an odds-on favorite to make the Opening Day bullpen. Because manager Terry Collins values experience in his relief corps, Farnsworth and Jose Valverde both entered camp with strong chances to make the team. The manager said as much before workouts even started.
But performance matters, and Farnsworth has struggled to succeed with his high-80s velocity. The former flame-throwing closer gave up two more runs Wednesday to increase his Grapefruit League ERA to 5.40.
With just 15 days to go before the Mets head north to Montreal, Farnsworth does not have much time to draw even with bullpen competitors such as Vic Black, Carlos Torres and Jeurys Familia -- all of whom are enjoying successful springs. Manager Terry Collins said Wednesday that he already considers Torres a part of his Opening Day bullpen.
Assuming those three, Scott Rice and John Lannan all make the roster alongside closer Bobby Parnell, that leaves just one spot available for Farnsworth, Valverde or another dark horse candidate. But Collins is not ready to write anything in ink just yet.
"You've got to be careful when you've got 15-plus years in [the league]," Collins said of evaluating Farnsworth. "Not being around Kyle much, you've just got to be patient a little bit and see where he is in 10 days or so."