3/16 Camp Report & Photos

While the big leaguers were getting rained out in Viera and Aaron Heilman was impressing everyone in a rain shortened game here in St. Lucie, the Mets minor leaguers played two Intrasquad games and Scott Erickson, Mike Stanton, and Rick Botallico got their work in throwing to the kids instead of pitching against the Expos.

Outfielder Jamar Hill drilled a massive 2 run homer to left in the lower minors game, scoring Tyler Davidson who had walked ahead of him, and Bobby Malek had a couple of hits including an RBI triple and a hard single off of Erickson in the higher minors game. Andrew Salvo and mighty mite David Bacani also hit home runs.

Erickson was forced to labor through a driving rain in his last two innings of work as he got three in before the games were ended. Erickson was touched for a couple of hits and had a few pitches end up at the backstop, though it was difficult to tell how much of his struggles were a factor of the rain and throwing to A-ball catcher Stacey Bennett who had never caught Erickson before and had to introduce himself to the veteran for the first time with a handshake in front of the mound. Mike Stanton threw effortlessly and efficiently, and was helped by a diving catch of a linedrive by thirdbaseman Rodney Nye.

In addition to the Major Leaguers throwing, Steve Trachsel, Al Leiter, Tom Glavine and Grant Roberts all got some work practicing bunts in game situations. Trachsel was plunked by Brian Bannister, and Al Leiter drew the short straw and had to stand in against hard throwing but somewhat wild Jose Gomez, who got Leiter to pop up his bunt as he was bailing out of the back corner of the batters box. Roberts' bunt induced a two base throwing error that allowed the runners placed on base to score. Roberts laughed and his claimed it was his speed going to first that induced the error.

The Mets sent 12 a dozen players to minor-league camp including 3B Aarom Baldiris, SS Chris Basak, 1B Craig Brazell, RHP Jose Diaz, 2B Victor Diaz, CF Jeff Duncan, RHP Jeremy Griffiths, RHP Jeremy Hill, C Justin Huber, C Jesse Levis, OF Prentice Redman and 3B David Wright.

Jose Reyes' injury was diagnosed as a Grade 1 sprain, the most minor grade of sprain, and he is expected to miss a minimal amount of time and will return action depending on how he feels. He may miss up to three weeks and even miss Opening Day, though the feeling is that he will be ready to play before the Mets break camp.

PHOTOS: Pagan, Whealy, Slack, Salvo, Glavine, Kelly, McIntyre, Bannister(3), J. Gomez(2), Leiter, Gomez(7), Peterson(2), A. Wilson, Ji. Anderson, A. Rodriguez, D Smith(2), Rios, Whealy, Davidson, Ja. Hill(2), Brinkley, Malek, Slack, Torres(2), Wallace, A. Garcia, Acuna(2), Bladergroen, Erickson(4), Malek, Erickson, McNab

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