This is a fun time of Spring Training, when top prospects get to throw in big league games before teams tighten up their rosters to more closely reflect their regular season 25-man personnel.
Rafael Montero: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
He threw a solid changeup at 88 on a 0-1 count to Danny Espinosa and then tied him up with a 92 mph fastball to induce a weak groundout. He missed with the changeup on 0-1 to Ryan Zimmerman and the came back with a slider at 81 that Zimmerman fouled off before ringing him up with a 91 fastball on the black at the knees. On 1-0, he got a swing and a miss from Adam Laroche at a changeup at, froze him with a second changeup to get to 1-2 and then finished him with a fastball looking at about 91. Ian Desmond fouled off a first-pitch changeup at 88 mph.
Montero threw a first pitch slider to Wilson Ramos. He did not throw many sliders but it looked like it had better depth than ht one he was using early in 2013.
Jacob deGrom: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Fastball, fastball and fastball. deGrom sat at 92-93 mph and thew one changeup down at 88 mph. He blew away Matt Moore on a fastball up at 93. After fastballs early in the count, he induced a swing and a miss from Scott Hairston on a slider down at 85mph.
deGrom admitted that facing a big league lineup gave him butterflies, “I was nervous. I had some butterflies, but I feel like everybody does when they get out there to pitch.” (DiComo, MLB.com)
Travis d’Arnaud on deGrom: “He threw his fastball really well…He fell behind to one guy 3-0 and came right back at him. He’s so tall and long, his release point is so much closer it’s hard for hitters to pick up.” (Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News)
Erik Goeddel: 1 IP, 2 H , 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Adam Kolarek: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Jeff Walters: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
From Andy Martino in the Daily News, “The Mets like righty relief prospect Jeff Walters, but were a bit confused and disappointed when he did not throw one of his best pitches, the slider, in his Grapefruit League debut Friday.”
Cory Mazzoni: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Mazzoni, who walked the first two guys he faced, was throwing 92-94. He missed up with what I think was his first split/changeup and then later in his inning found the bottom half of the zone with the pitch. He also threw a few sliders at 85-87.
Vic Black: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
94-96 mph? Yes, please.
He worked heavily off his fastball, but missed down with a good-looking curve at 83 mph. Juan Diaz punched a curve at 79 back up the middle for an RBI single on the first pitch of his atbat.
Danny Muno bobbled a ball at second base that extended the inning and helped lead to a run.
Steven Matz: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Matz fell behind Yadier Molina, his first batter 3-0, before recovering to strike him out with high heat. Matz was throwing 95-97 mph, or 94-95 depending on the gun, threw a few nice curveballs and a changeup. At the end of the 2013 season, his changeup was ahead of his curve among his non-fastball offerings. His goals this year include tightening up his fastball location and curveball development. The curve will be important, not so much for getting outs in the Florida State League, where he should start 2014, but for levels above and beyond.
Pitching Coach Dan Warthen on Matz: “I love the kid’s arm…He’s getting the ball down better each and every time. He threw a couple of great curveballs and a nice changeup today. It’s a very positive outing for Steven.” (Marc Carig, Newsday)
Adam Rubin at ESPNNY quotes a scout in attendance, “He has a good arm to work with. He needs to command the strike zone with the fastball down better. I do like him once he does command better.”
Logan Verrett: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Verrett was up in the zone, and gave up multiple pieces of solid contact.
Jack Leathersich: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 K