Mets Notebook: Heilman keeps rolling

Mets Notebook for March 23: Aaron Heilman makes the team's decisions that much harder ... Lastings Milledge picks up a game-winning RBI ... Pedro Martinez a no-surprise no-go for Opening Day ...

  • Last game – Mets 2, Dodgers 1: If the Mets are leaning toward putting Brian Bannister in the starting rotation, Aaron Heilman isn't making the decision any easier.

    Heilman pitched five strong innings in the Mets' victory over Los Angeles Wednesday at Tradition Field, allowing a run and six hits while walking none and striking out three.

    The Mets pulled it out in the ninth inning when Lastings Milledge, now batting .347 (17-for-49) this spring, doubled in Jose Valentin with the winning run. Carlos Delgado was 2-for-2 and four New York relievers – Darren Oliver, Pedro Feliciano, Chad Bradford and Jorge Julio – turned in scoreless work.

    Heilman can't predict to know what will happen before the Mets head north to New York, and perhaps to his credit, he says he's not worried about it. Heilman projects to have two starts left this spring.

  • Not gonna do it: One thing we can (finally) be certain about – Pedro Martinez won't be on the mound April 3, staring down the Washington Nationals.

    The Opening Day start will instead go to Tom Glavine, or, as Martinez dubbed him, "that old goat." Martinez confirmed Wednesday he won't be ready to pitch in the Mets' first game of the season.

    It wasn't all that long ago that we were wondering whether Martinez, battling his injured right big toe, would be able to pitch in the World Baseball Classic. Before the hazy rules of the competition were revealed, we also wondered if Martinez would be able to join the Dominican Republic squad for the second round of competition.

    Now, the Classic is a memory and Martinez still has not ascended the mound in game competition, although he's made afternoons memorable for a handful of Mets minor leaguers.

    Martinez, by the way, is scheduled to finally pitch in a game on Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles.

  • Minor moves: The Mets re-assigned three pitchers to minor league camp on Wednesday, including veteran right-hander Jeremi Gonzalez, who was tabbed early this spring as a sleeper candidate to step up and make the club.

    Bartolome Fortunato and Mike Pelfrey were the other hurlers sent to the back complex.

  • This and that: Carlos Beltran was sent home Wednesday with flu-like symptoms … Steve Trachsel pitched six innings in a minor league game.

  • Coming up: The Mets have another night game on tap, driving down the coast to face the Florida Marlins in Jupiter at 7:05 p.m. Jose Lima and Yusaku Iriki are set to pitch for New York.

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