Mets Notebook: Trachsel's start bumpy

Mets Notebook for March 28 – Steve Trachsel is battered around by the Dodgers, but feels fine … The pressure intensifies on Aaron Heilman and Brian Bannister, sorting out the Mets' fifth mix … Mitch Wylie elects for free agency …

  • Last game – Dodgers 12, Mets 3: With one projected Grapefruit League start left before the Mets break camp, Steve Trachsel will need to forget what happened Monday at Tradition Field.

    Trachsel – tentatively slated to start the Mets' second game of the season on April 5 against the Washington Nationals – was tagged by the Dodgers for eight earned runs and nine hits in four innings, including home runs to pitcher Brett Tomko and infielder Olmedo Saenz.

    Actually, perhaps Trachsel has already tossed aside whatever happened out on the field Monday. "It was the best I've felt all spring," he said.

    David Wright homered off Tomko, his third of the spring, in the defeat. Juan Perez, a long-shot hopeful to make the club as a situational left-hander, allowed two runs in the sixth inning, while Jorge Julio and Duaner Sanchez were also scored upon in the late innings.

  • Still hopeful: Jose Lima, who gets another opportunity to impress team brass on Tuesday, remains convinced that things will work out with the Mets and he'll be headed to New York when the calendar turns.

    "If it was something negative, I'd probably know," Lima said. "I don't think they're going to make me wait until the last minute."

    While Lima hasn't heard one way or the other, that may be because the Mets have not come to an ultimate decision yet.

    Though Brian Bannister, owning a 0.95 ERA over 19 innings, remains confident he has shown enough to warrant a trip north, the team still appears in between on how best to use Aaron Heilman.

    Even though Heilman's 1.29 ERA over 14 spring innings hardly eases the decision, the popular opinion seems to be that he can best help the team as a seventh-inning bridge to closer Billy Wagner. Heilman said that he would "certainly be disappointed" if it were to come to that.

    Bannister admits to the Bergen (N.J.) Record's Steve Popper that he is feeling a greater amount of pressure now, as compared to when camp began: "It's not that you're nervous," Bannister said, "but one good hit out there and it can all end."

    Regardless, most seem to agree that even if Bannister isn't with the Mets on Opening Day, he'll join the team at some point this season.

    The same may not be able to be said for Lima, who appears a long-shot to break camp even under the best conditions: the veteran right-hander has allowed 12 hits and eight earned runs in 10-2/3 innings.

  • Down on the farm: Minor leaguer Carlos Gomez – who impressed scouts and onlookers so much that he challenged Lastings Milledge to overtake Inside Pitch's Top Prospects list over the winter – went 4-for-5 with a stolen base for Double-A Binghamton Monday against Jacksonville.

    Gomez is expected to begin the season with Class-A St. Lucie of the Florida State League, but the Mets are exceptionally high on the toolsy outfielder. With outstanding raw speed and developing plate discipline, Gomez could move quickly and find his way to Binghamton by season's end.

  • No thanks: Right-hander Mitch Wylie, taken by the Mets in last December's Rule V Draft, turned down an assignment to the minor leagues and became a free agent.

    Wylie, 29, was offered back to his previous team, the Giants, for $25,000, but was not taken. He was 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in six relief appearances this spring.

  • Knicks and knacks: Manager Willie Randolph confirmed Monday that 2B Kaz Matsui (knee) will open the season on the disabled list.

  • Coming up: The Mets are down the coast in Jupiter on Tuesday, taking another look at the Florida Marlins at 1:05 p.m. ET. Aaron Heilman will take his final spring start for the Mets, with Yusaku Iriki and Jose Lima also scheduled to work.

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