Earlier this week, we learned that Frank Francisco is experiencing inflammation in his throwing elbow, and now he won’t be allowed to start throwing a baseball again for another two weeks to allow the swelling to decrease. Both Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson spoke about the situation and mentioned Francisco was behind in his rehab because of personal issues during the winter (dealt with death in his family), possibly contributing to him not being completely healthy coming into camp. He participated in fielding drills yesterday, but that will be the extent of it for now.
I understand that personal issues can get in the way of someone’s professional life; it has happened to each and every one of us. However, coming off the kind of season he had in 2012, I wouldn’t want that to be one of the reasons why I’m experiencing a setback so early in camp. I feel for Francisco, as this is certainly frustrating, but he had to have a feeling that something like this was on the horizon because he didn’t stick to his rehab plan.
Although it is concerning to have a main part of your bullpen already go down with an injury (and not really knowing the severity yet), I do think the candidates vying for spots in the bullpen give this part of the roster plenty of depth. Bobby Parnell is mentally and physically ready to assume closer duties on Opening Day if he needs to, with a viable set-up man in Brandon Lyon bridging the gap. Collins and Alderson have continued to mention the presence of Greg Burke, which could end up being a great signing for New York. Michael Lecolant talked about the bullpen on Rising Apple yesterday, touching upon how valuable Josh Edgin already is to this team, despite still technically being a rookie.
The more I hear about Collin Cowgill, the more I like and really think the trade to acquire him from the Oakland Athletics this winter will turn out to be a huge win for the Mets. The mentality he brings to the team should create a wonderful dynamic, especially with a mostly unproven set of outfielders in camp. Adam Rubin went a little more in depth about Cowgill’s background, as he’s had to prove himself every step of the way, and is looking forward to doing the same in New York. He’s already been a part of two division winning teams that had no expectation to be successful (’11 with Arizona and ’12 with Oakland), so he’s used to what people are saying about the Mets. I’m pulling for him to have a big Spring and break camp with either the starting job in center field or in right field.
As usual, there was plenty of great stuff on Rising Apple yesterday to get your daily dosage of the Mets to keep up with what’s happening down in PSL. Fred Wilpon spoke to the media and assured them his financial struggles are over moving forward, and we could see the Mets’ payroll approach the $140 million mark again, if it’s prudent to do so. Danny Abriano covered that and other Spring Training notes from day 3 in PSL, and he also transcribed Sandy Alderson’s chat with Mike Francesa on WFAN, which covered a wide range of topics.
Rich Sparago, Sam Maxwell, and myself took to the airwaves to put together the seventh episode of the Rising Apple Report, as we were very fortunate to bring Greg Prince on the show from Faith and Fear in Flushing. We talked about his latest book, The Happiest Recap, and some American Pie. We also continued the second part of our Rising Apple Roundtable Discussion, as each staff writer weighed in on who the most valuable bench player will be in 2013.