As I said in yesterday’s morning notes, the Mets were interested in trading away some of their non-core prospects to alleviate New York’s 40-man roster crunch. Sandy Alderson now has one less spot to worry about, as he struck a deal with the Los Angeles Angels to receive cash in exchange for relief pitcher Elvin Ramirez.
As Chris McShane pointed out in the above article, it’s tough to watch Elvin head out of town because his arm has a lot of potential, but his inability to locate pitches in the strike zone are what ultimately made him expendable. He put together a solid 2.13 ERA in 55 minor league innings last season, but when called upon to make the trip to Flushing, he struggled to a 5.48 ERA, walking 20 hitters in 21.1 innings pitched. The Angels are apparently on the hunt for some relief arms, the Mets could always use some extra cash, and a match was made. With all the veteran arms claiming this year’s bullpen spots and Jeurys Familia a favorite to land in the ‘pen at some point this season, Ramirez moved down a bit on the depth chart, and eventually, out of the organization.
With this roster issue, there seems to be some interesting debates going on in Terry Collins’ office. Earlier this week, potential back-up middle infielder Brandon Hicks was cut, and it looked as though Omar Quintanilla would be taking his 40-man spot to be the reserve to Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy. However, with the lack of proven outfielders and the potential for shaky defense, Kirk Nieuwenhuis may bump Q from the Opening Day roster. Yup, him and his .069/.208/.069 triple slash from camp may be heading north thanks to his good defense. Adam Rubin notes this could be a possibility because of the above, but also because Captain Kirk is already on the 40-man, and Q is not.
Danny Abriano kept us current with the day’s news and notes coming out of PSL, and most of it included positive injury reports. Daniel Murphy is expected to play in a Grapefruit League game today, as that’s a sure sign that he’ll be ready to play Monday. David Wright is also expected to be on the field for Opening Day, and the Mets are hoping Shaun Marcum will be able to take the mound by April 7th. Jeremy Hefner is feeling OK after getting hit in the elbow Tuesday with a Carlos Beltran comebacker, so the Mets don’t look all that bad now with regard to the injury front. Hopefully, I didn’t just jinx it.
New York welcomed the Astros to PSL and beat them pretty easily in a 6-2 victory. Jonathon Niese got his final tune-up before Monday, and looked good as the southpaw finished a strong spring last night. Marlon Byrd supplied a majority of the offense, bringing home three runs with two extra-base hits (double and home run). You can get your Rising Apple recap right here. The Rising Apple Report hit the air waves for the 13th time, as Danny and Sam Maxwell talked about the starting pitching and all the injuries happening in a short period of time. They also welcomed Andres Salgado from Marlin Maniac to preview the 2013 Miami Marlins.