Victor Zambrano made his first spring start for the Mets after pitching 2-2/3 innings in the World Baseball Classic, and he was sharp, allowing one earned run (a home run to Melvin Mora in the third inning) and six hits over five innings, walking none.
Former Met Kris Benson started for Baltimore and allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits over four innings. Carlos Beltran doubled twice in three at-bats and Endy Chavez contributed a two-run double in the sixth inning.
"You can never stop learning in this game," Franco said.
Henderson's presence during the final 11 days of camp will, the team hopes, largely help Jose Reyes become a better all-around leadoff hitter. Henderson said Reyes is already halfway there.
"He can steal as many as he wants to steal," Henderson said.
But it's enough to keep Wagner out of Spring Training action for a few days, perhaps as long as a week. The official diagnosis is tendon sheath stiffness, although Wagner is still thought to be on track for Opening Day.
Soriano moved into dangerous waters this week when he refused to go to left field in an exhibition game, disobeying manager Frank Robinson's orders.
He could face Major League Baseball's disqualified list, which would strip him of his uniform and pay for the rest of 2006 – the length of his contract with Washington - or the Nationals could just wind up trading him to a team like the Mets.
The Mets have been linked to Soriano in the past, but insist they're fine with Kaz Matsui and Anderson Hernandez as their second base candidates – even with Matsui scheduled to miss Opening Day with a right knee injury.
Meanwhile, Mets people like Omar Minaya and Willie Randolph sound rather defensive in their Soriano comments, as quoted by the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.
In Newsday, Jon Heyman notes that the Mets would listen to a Soriano offer only if the Nationals practically gave him away.
16-year-old phenom Jesus Montero, who impressed last week at Yankees camp, had a painful experience with the Mets. The Venezuelan top prospect was clobbered by Jamar Hill's swing and writhed on the ground in pain, but concerns that he had suffered a broken arm turned out to be false.