MIAMI -- Bobby Parnell joined New York Mets teammates on Monday at Marlins Park, but the former closer has hurdles to clear before being activated from the disabled list.

Monday marks the fourth day of Parnell's shutdown while he deals with what the team has labeled forearm soreness. Parnell plans to resume throwing on Thursday, although initially only on flat ground -- not on a mound.

Parnell underwent Tommy John surgery on April 8, 2014.

His exam last week with team doctor David Altchek did not reveal any structural damage, Parnell said. Instead, the reliever suspects, throwing continuously throughout the winter -- except for a one-week break at Christmastime -- led to forearm fatigue.

"Just achiness we couldn't shake," Parnell said. "We never really thought anything was wrong. We just wanted to be sure."

Parnell noted that Jeurys Familia's success as the closer has been great for the team and for Parnell personally. It has allowed Parnell to work back from the elbow surgery without having to rush.

"It really benefits me from a selfish standpoint," Parnell said.

Parnell's fastball velocity registered as low as 89 mph in his last rehab appearance with Class A St. Lucie before getting shut down last week. Still, Parnell expressed confidence he quickly would resume throwing at the mid-90s levels he enjoyed before Tommy John surgery. He noted he was throwing 94-95 mph in a previous rehab appearance.

"I feel like the velocity is there," Parnell said. "... I feel like after these next four days, it's going to show itself."

MIAMI -- Third baseman David Wright reported to the New York Mets' facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida, on Monday and ramped up his baseball activity in preparation for his return from a right hamstring strain.

Wright was not asked to move laterally, but he did field grounders hit at him and worked on turning double plays, assistant general manager John Ricco said. Wright took swings off a tee and hit baseballs soft-tossed to him. He also threw.

Wright is eligible to return from the disabled list on Thursday, but is not expected back before the weekend. And that might be the most optimistic projection.

"He's not that close," manager Terry Collins said. "He won't be back Wednesday or Thursday."

MIAMI -- Barring something drastic occurring during Dillon Gee's start for the New York Mets on Monday night against the Miami Marlins, he will not be bounced from the rotation to make room for Rafael Montero, manager Terry Collins said.

Montero is being summoned for a spot start on Tuesday at Marlins Park.

The Mets do not intend to go to a six-man rotation, though, so something has to give.

[+] EnlargeRafael Montero
AP Photo/Bill KostrounThe purpose of Rafael Montero's spot start is to give the Mets' starters an extra day of rest, according to Terry Collins.

The strong likelihood is that Montero returns to the minors after the start to continue pitching in Triple-A Las Vegas' rotation.

The date of Tuesday's spot start was first identified by Mets staff during spring training. It is designed to give all of the other starting pitchers an extra day of rest -- and not just Matt Harvey, according to Collins.

Gee, who turns 29 on Tuesday, is coming off a quality start against the Atlanta Braves in which he allowed two runs in seven innings. He nonetheless is 0-1 with a 5.60 ERA through three starts.

Later this season, Montero or one of the other standouts from Las Vegas' rotation -- Steven Matz or Noah Syndergaard -- may very well bump Gee from the rotation. But it's too soon for that to be a consideration.

"Unless something drastically happens, he's going to be fine," Collins said about Gee remaining in the rotation beyond Monday's start. "We're not looking to make any changes."

In order to make room for Montero on the major league roster, the Mets are leaning toward demoting a position player before Tuesday's game, with Danny Muno seemingly the most logical candidate.

Assuming Montero does not have a short outing and tax the bullpen, the Mets then may summon a position player such as Wilfredo Tovar from Las Vegas after Tuesday's game when they demote Montero. Tovar could stay at the major league level until David Wright is ready to return from the disabled list as soon as this weekend. However, if Montero has a short outing and the bullpen gets taxed Tuesday, the Mets may need to summon a reliever to replace Montero until Wright is ready.

Collins insisted Montero's spot start really is not about Gee. The manager noted that Bartolo Colon, Jonathon Niese and Jacob deGrom could use the extra day of rest in addition to Harvey.

"We think the best way to stay away from injury is rest," Collins said.

Collins predicted a spot starter would be utilized later in the season as well to provide extra rest. The manager added that the goal for Harvey is to make 30 starts this season, with a one-week shutdown later in the season possible if the innings totals get too high.

Monday's Mets-Marlins lineups

April, 27, 2015
Apr 27
3:57
PM ET

MIAMI -- Here are the lineups for Monday's 7:10 p.m. ET series opener between the New York Mets and Miami Marlins at Marlins Park.

Mets

Curtis Granderson, RF

Juan Lagares, CF

Lucas Duda, 1B

Michael Cuddyer, LF

Daniel Murphy, 2B

Eric Campbell, 3B

Wilmer Flores, SS

Kevin Plawecki, C

Dillon Gee, RHP

Marlins

Dee Gordon, 2B

Martin Prado, 3B

Giancarlo Stanton, RF

Marcell Ozuna, CF

Michael Morse, 1B

J.T. Realmuto, C

Ichiro Suzuki, LF

Adeiny Hechavarria, SS

Jarred Cosart, RHP

Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been reinstated from paternity leave and been designated for assignment. He opened the season 2-for-29. Saltalamacchia is owed $14.2 million through the end of the 2016 season.

Hechavarria has been named NL Player of the Week. He hit .500 (12-for-24) with 10 RBIs and eight runs scored for the week.

Series preview: Mets at Marlins

April, 27, 2015
Apr 27
9:45
AM ET

NEW YORK METS (14-5, first place/NL East) at MIAMI MARLINS (8-11, third place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Dillon Gee (0-1, 5.60) vs. RHP Jarred Cosart (1-1, 3.63), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Rafael Montero (0-1, 4.15) vs. RHP David Phelps (1-0, 3.55), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Bartolo Colon (4-0, 2.77) vs. RHP Mat Latos (0-3, 7.31), 7:10 p.m. ET

MARLINS SHORT HOPS

  • Christian Yelich, who had a miserable series against the Mets at Citi Field (2-for-13, 5 Ks), subsequently landed on the disabled list with what has been diagnosed as a mildly bulging disk in his lower back. Yelich dealt with a similar issue last June, which also resulted in a trip to the DL. With Yelich sidelined, Ichiro Suzuki has taken over in left field. First baseman Justin Bour was promoted from Triple-A New Orleans to take the roster spot. Yelich signed a seven-year, $49.5 million contract during spring training.
  • Suzuki scored his 1,968th run in professional baseball on Saturday. That surpassed legendary Sadaharu Oh for the most by a Japanese player. Ichiro scored 658 runs with the Orix Blue Wave in Japan before arriving in Major League Baseball. All of Oh's production came in Japan.
  • Giancarlo Stanton hit only .200 (6-for-30) with two doubles and seven RBIs in his first nine games of the season. In 10 games since then, Stanton is hitting .333 (13-for-39) with 11 runs scored, three doubles, one triple, five homers and 10 RBIs.
  • After a 3-11 start to the season, Miami has won five straight. That included a three-game weekend sweep of the Washington Nationals. The Marlins produced three triples in Sunday's victory, the most by the club in a game in 15 years.
  • [+] EnlargeJose Fernandez
    AP Photo/J Pat CarterJose Fernandez, who became a U.S. citizen on Friday, is working to return to the Marlins rotation this summer.

    Jose Fernandez continues to take steps toward returning from Tommy John surgery this summer. Fernandez is due to face batters Thursday for the first time since the procedure. The Cuban-born Fernandez became a U.S. citizen on Friday. Fernandez, 22, arrived in Tampa in 2008 and was drafted by the Marlins out of high school with the 14th overall pick three years later. That was one slot after the Mets selected Brandon Nimmo in the 2011 draft.

  • Miami remains without Opening Day starter Henderson Alvarez, who is due to throw a bullpen session Wednesday as he works back from a DL stint for shoulder inflammation. Alvarez is expected to be activated in roughly two weeks.
  • Closer Steve Cishek had to wait a while for his first save of the season. It finally came Friday, in a nine-pitch ninth inning against Washington. Waiting until the 17th game of a season for the team's first save matched the franchise record. It also occurred in 2005 and in 2013. Two years ago, Cishek ultimately finished the season with 34 saves.
  • Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia spent the weekend on paternity leave. Rookie J.T. Realmuto had overtaken Saltalamacchia for the primary catching role anyway. Jhonathan Solano has served as the backup catcher in Saltalamacchia's absence.
  • Dee Gordon has not cooled off since leaving Queens. The leadoff hitter produced four singles on Sunday to lift his average to .390. He has a league-leading 32 hits.
  • Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is hitting .460 (23-for-50) since April 13.
  • Center fielder Marcell Ozuna lost a seven-game hitting streak Sunday, but has lifted his average to .288.

ESPN Daily Fantasy Live

April, 27, 2015
Apr 27
12:22
PM ET

Tristan H. Cockcroft and Derek Carty will get you ready for daily fantasy baseball by offering advice and answering your questions, beginning at 6:15 p.m. ET.

NEW YORK --

FIRST PITCH: During an unbeaten homestand, the New York Mets swept a four-game series against the Miami Marlins.

Now, it is time for the Mets to visit Miami.

The Marlins have turned their season around since a 3-11 start, quelling rumblings about manager Mike Redmond's future. Miami enters the series on a five-game winning streak, which included a weekend sweep of the Washington Nationals.

Dillon Gee (0-1, 5.60 ERA) looks to solidify his rotation spot when he opposes right-hander Jarred Cosart (1-1, 3.63) in Monday’s 7:10 p.m. ET series opener. Gee was scheduled to fly ahead of his teammates to Miami.

Rafael Montero will be promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas to start Tuesday for the Mets. Something will have to give, since the Mets are not sticking with a six-man rotation.

MONDAY’S NEWS REPORTS:

  • Eric Campbell lost track of how many outs there were on the basepaths and the Mets committed four errors and lost Sunday’s rubber game to the New York Yankees, 6-4. The Amazin’s, who arrived in the Bronx on a franchise-record-matching 11-game winning streak, lost only their second series of the season. They still own MLB’s best record at 14-5. Jonathon Niese had a streak of seven straight starts allowing two earned runs or fewer snapped. The southpaw allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk in five innings. He surrendered the 659th homer of Alex Rodriguez's career, which pulled the polarizing Yankee within one of matching Willie Mays for fourth all time. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Journal, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.
  • David Wright (strained right hamstring) has headed to Port St. Lucie to begin baseball activities, including fielding grounders and running. He could be activated from the disabled list as soon as next weekend. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.
  • The Mets plan for Matt Harvey to have between 30 and 32 starts this season, David Lennon writes in Newsday.
  • The Mets signed former major league infielder Brooks Conrad and assigned him to Las Vegas.
  • Darrell Ceciliani had two homers and Matt Bowman did not surrender a hit until the fifth inning as Las Vegas beat Albuquerque, 10-4. John Gant, Dario Alvarez and Jon Velasquez combined on the shutout as Binghamton beat New Hampshire, 3-0. Michael Conforto homered for the sixth time this season, but Kevin McGowan surrendered a walk-off homer in Jupiter’s 4-3 win against St. Lucie. Martires Arias tossed seven scoreless innings and Savannah beat Charleston, 4-2. Read the full minor league recap here.
  • The positives of Daniel Murphy at the plate and the negatives of Daniel Murphy as a fielder and baserunner were on full display Sunday night, Mike Puma writes in the Post and Maria Guardado writes at NJ.com. Laura Albanese in Newsday, Roger Rubin in the Daily News and Mike Vorkunov at NJ.com review the Mets’ error-prone evening overall.
  • Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post suggests Sunday’s stinker tests what kind of Mets fan you are.
  • Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post looks forward to the Sept. 18-20 Subway Series rematch if both teams remain relevant then.
  • Critic Phil Mushnick in the Post suggests “New Yankee Stadium remains a shrine to unmitigated, on-your-screen/in-your-face greed.” Billy Witz in the Times similarly notes the empty seats for the Bronx edition of the Subway Series.
  • Anthony Rieber in Newsday explores why the Mets and Yankees played so early in the season.
  • Ex-Met Carlos Beltran's average has dropped to .161 with the Yankees, writes Fred Kerber in the Post.
  • The Mets’ and Yankees’ Twitter accounts tussled Sunday (see Tweet of the Day). Read more in the Daily News and at NJ.com.
  • From the bloggers … Despite Niese’s struggles against the Yankees, Mets Report suggests the southpaw remains the key to the rotation.

BIRTHDAYS: Frank Catalanotto turns 41. ... Brian Giles is 55. ... Eric Hillman is 49. ... Orber Moreno is 38.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

YOU’RE UP: Will the Islanders beat the Capitals on Monday night in D.C. and advance to face the Rangers?

A-Rod's taste of what might've been

April, 27, 2015
Apr 27
1:23
AM ET
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Alex Rodriguez could feel it building in the Yankee Stadium crowd in his final three at-bats -- the energy, the anticipation of something grand. When he ends up fighting his bosses over the $6 million they owe him for matching Willie Mays' career home run total, Rodriguez can talk about the sights and sounds of this Sunday night in the Bronx, where the people wanted to witness history, tainted or not.

"The buzz was incredible," Rodriguez said.

For good reason. With two outs in the first, his team already down a couple runs after Curtis Granderson homered and Daniel Murphy scorched a double that left Mark Teixeira performing an unscheduled exhibition of non-rhythmic gymnastics, Rodriguez had launched Jon Niese's 2-2 curveball over the right-center wall. Of course, this was more than the first shot fired in a comeback that would secure a 6-4 victory and take the Subway Series from a Mets team that swaggered into it with an 11-game win streak.

This was Home Run No. 659, the one that moved A-Rod inside Mays' on-deck circle. Rodriguez is supposed to collect $6 million for tying Mays at 660 and then the same amount in bonuses if he ever runs down Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds. The Yankees are saying they have no intention of paying up, that Rodriguez forfeited his right to the cash by getting suspended for serial PED use and making such a mockery of his numbers that the team won't be able to market the milestone for its own financial benefit.


(Read full post)


Mets show good teams can play bad games

April, 27, 2015
Apr 27
12:46
AM ET

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NEW YORK -- Good teams can play bad games. The key now for the New York Mets is to prove that Sunday night's 6-4 loss to the New York Yankees was just that -- a bad game that doesn't in any way represent what this team is.

"We got this ugly one out of the way," Michael Cuddyer said. "We're going to go to Miami and play better."

It's hard to imagine they could play worse. It's easy to believe they'll play better, given the way the season has gone for the Mets. Even with two losses in three games at Yankee Stadium, their 14-5 record through 19 games is the second-best in franchise history, behind only the 15-4 start by the 1986 team that won the Mets' last World Series title. For the record, that 1986 team also had a four-error game in April (although the Mets won that game).

This Mets team committed a season-high four errors Sunday, and also had a baserunner (Eric Campbell) get doubled off after forgetting how many outs there were.

"Just a bonehead play," Campbell said.

It happens, even to good teams. The Mets can still be a very good team, and even in an ugly game like this one, there were signs of that. Sunday's game included Curtis Granderson's first home run of the season, and also two hard-hit doubles from Daniel Murphy, who made a pregame adjustment at the plate in an attempt to shake the worst early-season slump of his career.

Murphy moved a little closer to the plate, in hopes of handling outside pitches better. He said afterwards that he felt the best he has in a while -- but he quickly turned the conversation back to the Chris Young double-play grounder he booted in the fifth inning. Murphy's error set up the Yankees' sixth run, just as Cuddyer's second-inning error had allowed the fifth Yankee run to score.

Cuddyer picked up an Alex Rodriguez drive and set himself to throw to second base, realizing too late that the Mets didn't have anyone there because there wasn't going to be a play there. Cuddyer tried to hold up, but the ball squirted out of his hand, anyway, allowing Young to score.

Cuddyer isn't a great defensive player, but his defense in left field isn't really a major concern, either. The same goes for Campbell, who has done well filling in at third base for the injured David Wright, even with his baserunning blunder and an error on defense Sunday.

The bigger concern Sunday, if there was one, was that the Mets had errors from both their middle infielders. One batter after Murphy couldn't handle the double-play grounder from Young, shortstop Wilmer Flores fielded another potential double-play grounder, from Alex Rodriguez. Flores stepped on second base for one out, but then air-mailed the throw to first base. It was Flores' fourth error of the season. Murphy, the second baseman, also has four. Murphy's four errors lead all second basemen. Three shortstops have more errors than Flores' four.

"We had a bad night," manager Terry Collins admitted. "Up until this point, they've played well. [Flores] had two bad games [in the first week]. Until tonight, he hadn't had an error since.

"For the most part, they've played pretty well."

For the most part, the Mets have played better than just pretty well. As Murphy said, they spent the last two weeks in New York and won 11 of the 13 games they played. You don't wipe out all those wins because of one ugly game.

"It's just a bad night," Collins said. "Just a bad night for us."

On Murphy's non-slide: Just before Campbell forgot how many outs there were, Murphy went in standing up at second base on a ground ball to shortstop and was tagged out by Gregorio Petit after a high throw from Stephen Drew. Murphy explained that his original plan was to slide into Petit to break up a double play, but that when he saw the high throw, he realized he couldn't do that.

"I didn't have anyone to slide into," Murphy said.

On Flores' ankle: Flores got a scare in the ninth inning when he was hit on the left ankle by an Andrew Miller pitch. Flores stayed in the game, and said he expects to be in the lineup Monday in Miami.

Rapid Reaction: Yankees 6, Mets 4

April, 26, 2015
Apr 26
10:57
PM ET

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NEW YORK -- If the New York Mets hoped to show this weekend that they've taken over the town, it didn't happen.

The Mets showed off Matt Harvey in their win Saturday, but they got beat up Friday night and beat themselves in Sunday's Subway Series finale against the New York Yankees. The Mets committed a season-high four errors in a sloppy 6-4 loss.

Jonathon Niese wasn't at his best, but all four errors came in the five innings he pitched, leading to a pair of unearned runs and a bunch of extra pitches. Niese took the loss for the first time in four starts.

Curtis Granderson's leadoff home run was the Mets' offensive highlight, although Daniel Murphy's two doubles may be more significant in the long run.

The Mets are 14-5, and no one is going to complain about that record after 19 games. Losing two out of three to the Yankees in one weekend series is hardly a season-killer, but after the Mets' 10-0 homestand, their fans were certainly hoping for more.

Mistake night: The Mets didn't exactly look good for the Sunday night ESPN audience. They'd committed just nine errors in their first 18 games combined, but Sunday's errors were another reminder of their questionable middle infield. Murphy's fifth-inning error, which led to a run, was the fourth of the season for the second baseman (and that doesn't even count his mental mistakes). Shortstop Wilmer Flores also committed his fourth error of the season. Eric Campbell and Michael Cuddyer had the other two errors. Campbell also lost track of how many outs there were when he was running the bases in the sixth inning, and was easily doubled off first base on a routine fly ball.

Murphy getting closer -- at the plate: Murphy was off to the worst start of his career, and manager Terry Collins said Sunday that he thinks Murphy is showing the effects of missing so much of spring training with a hamstring injury. But Murphy also moved closer to the plate Sunday, in an effort to help him handle pitches on the outside part of the plate. Whether that was the answer or not, Murphy was on base three straight times, with two hard-hit doubles and a walk.

A Grand start: Before this year, Granderson had never gone more than eight games into a season without hitting a home run. He'd gone 16 this year, before sending Nathan Eovaldi's ninth pitch of the game into the right-field seats. It was the 29th leadoff home run of Granderson's career, and his fourth in eight games as a visitor at this version of Yankee Stadium. Granderson homered 63 times in 253 games at the stadium as a Yankee.

What's next: The Mets go to Miami to open a three-game series with the Miami Marlins on Monday night at 7:10 p.m. ET. Dillon Gee (0-1, 5.60), whose rotation spot could be in jeopardy, starts the opener against Marlins right-hander Jarred Cosart (1-1, 3.63).

Minors 4.26.15: Michael Conforto goes deep again

April, 26, 2015
Apr 26
9:15
PM ET

LAS VEGAS 10, ALBUQUERQUE 4: Center fielder Darrell Cecilliani hit a pair of two-run home runs to lead the 51s to a win. Second baseman Dilson Herrera had two hits to raise his batting average to .371. He scored three runs. Starter Matt Bowman didn't give up a hit until the fifth inning. Bowman allowed two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings to win for the first time in four decisions. Noah Syndergaard, who missed a start last week because of food poisoning, will now start Monday. Box

BINGHAMTON 3, NEW HAMPSHIRE 0: Starter John Gant allowed four hits in seven scoreless innings for his first win of the season. Dario Alvarez and Jon Velasquez (fifth save) finished off the four-hit shutout. Gant faced one over the minimum for the first five innings, ending up with two walks and five strikeouts. Right fielder Jared King and catcher Xorge Carrillo homered for the B-Mets, who ended a three-game losing streak. Box

JUPITER 4, ST. LUCIE 3: Michael Conforto tied the score with a two-run home run in the sixth, but the Mets lost it when Kevin McGowan gave up a one-out walkoff home run to Jupiter's Brian Anderson. Anderson hit a three-run first-inning home run off Mets starter Michael Fulmer. Conforto, the Mets' first-round draft pick last June, has six home runs, 19 RBIs and a .348 batting average in 18 games. Fulmer allowed four hits, with no walks and nine strikeouts. Box

SAVANNAH 4, CHARLESTON 2: Starter Martires Arias pitched seven scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 2.12. Arias allowed four hits, didn't walk a batter, struck out five and picked a runner off. First baseman Jon Leroux hit his first home run of the season, while third baseman Pedro Perez had two doubles. Shane Bay pitched the ninth inning for his first save. Box

MLB Power Rankings

April, 26, 2015
Apr 26
7:27
PM ET


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The Baseball Tonight crew breaks down the MLB Power Rankings.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
4 2.77 23 26
OTHER LEADERS
BAL. Duda .324
HRW. Flores 3
RBIL. Duda 11
RC. Granderson 13
OPSL. Duda .920
ERAJ. Niese 2.74
SOM. Harvey 31