Matt den Dekker has shown how he plays the game during this spring’s Grapefruit League schedule. He plays the game hard. Unfortunately for the Mets, they got a dosage of the consequences from that mentality, as the outfield prospect broke his wrist while trying to make a catch yesterday against the Detroit Tigers. The severity of his injury has not yet been determined, as he needs to make a trip up to New York for the specific diagnosis and whether or not it will require surgery.
It’s a shame den Dekker suffered this injury so close to the end of camp; he had an outside chance of making the roster for Opening Day, but I felt he would have been up in the Bigs some time this season if he started the year in Las Vegas and consistently got at-bats. Once he’s healthy again, he’ll join Travis d’Arnaud in Triple-A, who was officially sent back to the minors after a solid Spring Training in Big League camp. In 35 at-bats, the top catching prospect hit .343/.415/.457 with 4 doubles and 4 RBI. If he spends the first 20 days of the season in the minors, the Mets can delay his free agency until 2019. That combined with the $6 million John Buck is due to earn (plus his good performance during camp) are likely the two main reason d’Arnaud isn’t making the trip north with the team.
In a pre-game workout, David Wright participated in full batting practice for the first time since he was shutdown with an intercostal strain he suffered in the World Baseball Classic. The results were the same as his workout from Saturday, as the captain felt no pain while swinging the bat, and maintains he’ll be ready for Opening Day. Daniel Murphy played the field and hit in a minor league game yesterday, and was in high spirits when he spoke to Kevin Burkhardt and Keith Hernandez during yesterday’s WPIX broadcast. The real test will be how he feels today, but this seems to be the most optimistic he’s been in a while. I hope both of these guys are ready for next week, as it would be a big boost for this team to virtually be at full strength to start the year.
Yesterday brought some cuts as the Mets continue to trim down their roster in advance of the regular season. Some of the notable cuts include Aaron Laffey, Andrew Brown, Brian Bixler, and Jamie Hoffmann. According to Adam Rubin, Laffey will be starting in Triple-A, and will be their first option to call up if a rotation member gets hurts. His demotion also shows us that Shaun Marcum is indeed healthy and ready for the season to start. However, the most notable demotion (outside of d’Arnaud) is Brandon Hicks being outrighted by New York. He had a spot on the 40-man, and was the favorite to win one of the backup middle infielder positions, but his .116 average and four errors ended up sealing his fate. Rubin says Omar Quintanilla has essentially won a spot on the team, although there was no official announcement. I’m happy for Q, as he deserves a chance, and I pleaded my case for him about three weeks ago.
New York played two games yesterday, dropping one to the Tigers at home by a score of 9-4, while making a comeback against the Cardinals in Jupiter, winning 10-7. You can get your Rising Apple recap right here. Also, Matt Silverman submitted a guest post to the site yesterday, talking about the 1973 Mets, while also giving us an excerpt from his latest book, called Swinging ’73.