Boyer's clause muddles bullpen picture
Reliever can sign elsewhere if he doesn't make the Mets
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The one true competition left in Mets camp has become even more convoluted than once thought.
Right-hander Blaine Boyer has a clause in his contract allowing him to sign elsewhere if he does not make the team, a source confirmed Thursday. Not generally known about before this week, that clause puts Boyer on equal footing with Pedro Beato, Jason Isringhausen, Manny Acosta and Pat Misch, all of whom are still in contention for two open spots in the bullpen.
Several Mets officials have spoken favorably of Beato, a Rule 5 Draft pick who appears to be close to a lock for the roster. That would leave Isringhausen, Acosta, Misch and Boyer to compete for just one spot.
2010 Spring Training - New York Mets
News & Features
- Mets give Bixler Minors deal with spring invite
- Mets certain Johan will be at full strength come spring
- Mets feeling good about developing talent
- Ike slugs fourth homer in Mets' finale
- Mets reach five-year extension with Niese
Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
Though manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen have both been impressed with Isringhausen, one of baseball's feel-good stories of the spring, the veteran's health risks are apparent. That could prompt the Mets to turn instead to Boyer, who induced a key double play Thursday in yet another scoreless inning, lowering his Grapefruit League ERA to 1.00 in eight appearances.
Given the clause in his contract, Boyer finds himself in a similar position to Acosta and Misch, who are out of options and must be exposed to other clubs if they do not make the team. Isringhausen has likewise said that he will not accept a Minor League assignment if he does not make the team, opting instead either to retire or try to hook onto another club.
Buchholz in good shape with scoreless spring
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Here's one way to endear yourself to management: open Spring Training with 13 scoreless innings.
That's what Taylor Buchholz has managed to do, tacking another perfect inning onto his total in Thursday's game against the Cardinals. Unscored upon this spring, Buchholz has struck out eight batters and walked merely two, allowing nine hits.
He's a lock for the Opening Day roster -- even if he's nervous to admit it.
"I really did need to make an impression from the beginning," Buchholz said. "I really wanted to come in here as strong as possible."
Now 21 months removed from the elbow operation that forced him to miss the entire 2009 season, Buchholz is one of several former Tommy John patients who inked low-cost deals with the Mets this winter. Spending the offseason playing long toss and working his arm into shape, Buchholz is not far removed from being one of the game's top setup men, posting a 2.17 ERA with the Rockies in 2008.
"Last year was a struggle," Buchholz said of his attempts to return to form. "I got frustrated the whole time because I wanted that velocity to come back. I started putting too much stock in just velocity, and frustration came over me. But this offseason was nice to get back to my normal routine."
Mets could skip Capuano's first start
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- After Thursday's outing, Chris Capuano has one more spring start in his future.
It may be his final start for some time.
The Mets are discussing a plan to skip Capuano's first turn through the rotation, using a scheduled April 4 off-day to keep their other pitchers on turn and thus allow R.A. Dickey to start the team's home opener April 8. If the Mets do opt for that scenario, Capuano would be available out of the bullpen during the opening weekend against the Marlins.
In his penultimate Grapefruit League start, Capuano allowed three runs to the Cardinals in five innings, striking out four and walking none.
"I'm glad I have one more to try to sharpen up a little," Capuano said, "and tighten up the command."
Rather than expose Chris Young to the division-rival Marlins for the third time this spring, the Mets will hold Young back from his scheduled start Friday, instead using him in a Minor League game at their Spring Training complex. Either Pat Misch or D.J. Carrasco will pitch in Young's stead. ... Jason Isringhausen (inflammation, right elbow) is also scheduled to pitch in Friday's Minor League game. ... The Mets announced five winners of their Anthem Search competition who will sing the national anthem prior to a 2011 home game: Enrique Acevedo of Briarwood, N.Y.; Nicole D'Agosta of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Maggie Doherty of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; Kelly Miller of Dover, N.J.; and Ernie Wooden of Brooklyn, N.Y. ... The entire Mets team joined sergeant Joel Tavera in front of the mound for Thursday's ceremonial first pitch. Tavera, who celebrated his 24th birthday Thursday, suffered burns to 60 percent of his body when his Humvee was hit by five rockets in Iraq in March 2008. He received a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his actions and is continuing his rehab in the Tampa, Fla., area.