Blade Rings True

Prior to Wednesday night's Spring game, the members of the 2003 Florida State League champion St. Lucie Mets lined up along the third base line at Tradition Field and received their championship rings from Jeff Wilpon and Jim Duquette. On Thursday, while the hot Florida sun glinted off staff members rings, Ian Bladergroen was even hotter going 4-4, demonstrating why ceremonies like Wednesday's might become a spring norm.

Bladergroen is hot. Beyond hot. Going into yesterday's contest he was hitting .313 with a .542 OBP generated by walking 6 times while only striking out twice. His offensive display yesterday cranked him up to .450. He crushed a line drive off the wall for a double that drove in two runs, but was gunned down trying to stretch it into a triple. The coaching staff got right on him for making the first out a third. The Blade rectified the situation in his next at bat, driving an opposite field homerun deep into the players parking lot beyond the left field fence. Bladergroen continued to show why opposing pitchers had walked him 6 times in his previous 22 plate appearances, lining hard singles each of his next two ABs.

As hot as Bladergroen is, he may not be the hottest Met farmhand in camp. Brett Harper drilled two homeruns yesterday, bringing his total to 6 in 11 games. Harper was hitting .500 on 15-30 coming into yesterday's game.

Who's Hot
Haji Turay in 3 games has hit .750 on 6-8 with 3 home runs. Blake Whealy is hitting .320 with 2 homers and 2 doubles in 25 ABs. Rodney Nye is continuing last season's success, hitting.458 with 3 2Bs and a 3B in 24 trips. Aarom Baldiris has 2 HRs and is hitting.320 through 7 games. Tyler Davidson has 7 walks and a .333 AVG in his first 25 ABs. Chase Lambin is hitting .368 with 3 XBH in 19 ABs. David Wright is hitting .333 with 3 HRs and 2 2Bs.

Ring Bearers
In addition to staff and minor league players, John Franco was awarded a ring for his time spent rehabbing in St. Lucie last season.

Camp Notes
Lastings Milledge reported his hand is improving and that he should be back on the field in a couple of weeks. He looked happy and positive and was looking forward to getting the okay from doctors to start working on one handed drills to stay ready so he can come back as quickly as possible.

Jamar Hill hit a prodigious blast to left that cleared the fence so high it was difficult to tell if it was fair or foul. Blue said foul.

Vincent Cordova threw impressively in the Cap City A ball contest continuing a solid spring that had him unscored upon going into yesterday's contest.

Hard throwing Jose Gomez continued his march back from surgery, hitting 90-93 consistently on the gun and working two innings.

PHOTOS: McGinley, Kazmir, Malek, Peterson, Wright, Kazmir, Peeples, Eckert, Kazmir(2), Lydon, Lambin, Strayhorn/Lambin/Bacani, Wright, J. Wilpon/Duquette, Lambin/Kazmir(3), Lambin/Wright, Peterson, The Ring(2), Whealy, Salvo, Wells, Bladergroen, Wallace, Alfonzo?(2), Portobanco(2), Cordova, Ragsdale, Harper, A. Rodriguez, Paulk/Deaton, Bladergroen, Bowman, Ja. Hill(2), Bowman(2), Acosta, B. Wilson(2), Bladergroen, Bowen, Miramontes(2), Harvey, Parker, Acosta(2), Bladergroen(3), Davidson, Ja. Hill(2), Olson(3), Milledge, Batista, Harper(3), Bladergroen, Kazmir, Ja. Hill, Wallace(3), Dulaney, B. Walker(2), Kazmir, McNab, Davidson(2), Whealy(3), Ragsdale, Brantley, Kazmir, J. Gomez, Davidson

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