Mets Notebook for March 27 – Pedro Martinez reports everything feels good after three innings against the Orioles … The Mets are leaning toward inserting Brian Bannister into the starting rotation … Billy Wagner plays catch again and expects to pitch before the Mets head north …
Last game – Mets 8, Orioles 0: Sunday brought just about as close to a perfect afternoon as the Mets could have asked for.
Making his first start of the spring, Pedro Martinez threw 35 pitches over three strong innings, allowing one hit – Brian Roberts' first-inning pop-up, lost in the wind – and struck out two, reporting he and his right big toe felt "pretty good" after the effort.
After Martinez left, the Mets took advantage of four Baltimore errors and all-around sloppy gameplay to put up eight runs, with six different Mets driving in runs. Victor Zambrano made sure it all held up, shutting out Baltimore on four hits over the final six innings of the game, walking two and striking out four.
Being considered: The Mets are heavily considering the idea of using Aaron Heilman as their seventh-inning reliever and letting Brian Bannister, who has posted an exceptional spring to date, test his mettle in the starting rotation.
At MLB.com, Marty Noble details the situation, noting that the Mets would also carry a left-handed setup man to accompany Heilman in the bullpen.
Such an arrangement would provide Willie Randolph with an arrangement of Heilman, Jorge Julio, Duaner Sanchez and one of the Mets' lefties in camp – Royce Ring, Juan Perez, Darren Oliver or Pedro Feliciano – leading up to closer Billy Wagner.
With innings scarce in big-league camp, the Mets' relief hopefuls were sent to pitch in a minor league game on the back fields Sunday. Heath Bell, Oliver, Ring and Perez all pitched scoreless innings.
Progressing along: Billy Wagner (tendon sheath stiffness) is slated to play catch again on Monday and should get into an exhibition game before the Mets break camp. Wagner played long-toss with Steve Trachsel on Sunday.
Knicks and knacks: Lastings Milledge was the latest Met to leave camp with flu-like symptoms on Sunday. Cliff Floyd hasn't played since Wednesday because of the flu.
Coming up: Steve Trachsel is on the hill Monday as the Mets welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to Tradition Field for a 1:10 p.m. ET exhibition. Brett Tomko is slated to pitch for the Dodgers.