Feb 23, 2013; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis (right) greets shortstop Ruben Tejada (left) at home plate after Tejada hit a two run homer in the first inning against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Mets Notes: Daniel Murphy Closer to Returning to Action

Daniel Murphy had to take a trip to New York Tuesday to get a cortisone shot in his right side at the Hospital for Special Surgery for his strained intercostal muscle, and the second baseman said the shot is already taking affect; he joined his teammates on the field before yesterday’s 5-3 win against the Nationals, involving himself in pre-game stretching, among other activities. He is still not cleared to start swinging a bat yet, which should hopefully come within the next few days.

I’m happy to see Murph already taking positive steps toward getting back onto the field, as we’re continuing to see that this injury was a minor one and all the steps the Mets have taken to care for it have been out of precaution. Without him in the lineup today, Justin Turner earned the start at second base. I was thinking it myself, but I was also asked on twitter why Turner was getting the start there instead of Jordany Valdespin or Wilmer Flores. It seemed a little odd that Turner got the start so early in the spring instead of Valdy, who could have a more significant impact at second base should Murphy go down for an extended period of time. However, my thought process was that Terry Collins could be showing his worth to Sandy early so either he can prove why they should hold onto him, or showcase him for possibly interested trade partners.

Both Jamie Hoffmann and Pedro Feliciano took trips to New York to further investigate what doctors noticed in their physicals down in PSL, and although Hoffmann is cleared to play, Pedro is not, being diagnosed with a small hole in the exterior of his heart. When asked, Feliciano said he feels good and the condition is not life threatening, it could be very serious, and he will wear a heart monitor for a couple of days to further analyze what’s going on. I really hope this isn’t any significant for Feliciano, as his career has been derailed by injuries since he left the Mets in 2010.

The Mets took to Tradition Field yesterday for their first Grapefruit League game against the Washington Nationals, and they were able to come away with the victory, 5-3. Shaun Marcum gave up a home run, but Zack Wheeler shined in two scoreless innings, while Ruben Tejada got New York off to a good start with a first-inning, two-run homer. You can get the Rising Apple recap and thoughts on the win right here.

Also on Rising Apple yesterday, Danny Abriano told us to not fret over the results during Spring Training, as there are plenty of other things to watch for before the regular season gets underway, and Dan Haefeli took us on a trip down memory lane, recapping some of the staff’s most memorable moments from 2012.

New York is back in action today, as the squad splits for two different contests. Matt Harvey will make his spring training debut on the mound against Bud Norris and the Astros at 1:05pm EST, while Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee will toe the slab against the University of Michigan baseball team at 12:10pm EST. To get a look at the players headed with Harvey to face Houston, check out Adam Rubin’s photo.

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Tags: David Murphy New York Mets Pedro Feliciano Zack Wheeler

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