“Several thousand” tickets still available for the Mets home opener

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The Mets have sold out every home opener since 1997, but they are at risk of not doing so this year. From the New York Post:

According to the team’s executive vice president of business operations, Dave Howard, “several thousand” tickets are still available for Opening Day against the Braves … For the Mets to get their sellout, Howard indicated solid sales would be needed over the next two days coupled with a Thursday walkup of anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 fans.

Howard says it’s actually the cheap seats, not the $180+ a pop premium tickets, that are selling the slowest. Seems like articles like this one being run in the Post along with a decent weather reports — it looks to be sunny but a tad cool on Thursday — will spur walkups.

In other ticket news, Buster Olney has a big breakdown of the highest and lowest ticket prices for various team’s Opening Day on the secondary market right now:

Top five teams with the lowest home average ticket price:

Brewers: $48
Pirates: $48
Royals: $48
Dodgers: $49
Reds: $54.43

Top five teams with the highest Opening Day ticket price:

Red Sox: $305.58
Yankees: $256.54
Marlins: $255.28
Cardinals: $248.68
Rangers: $237.22

That’s the top-end and low-end.  The Brewers actually surprise me. I’d figure that would be a tougher ticket, driving prices up on Stubhub or what have you.

Anyway, if you want some cheap Opening Day tickets, head to Queens. Sounds like they can be had.

Stephen Strasburg is the Nationals’ Opening Day starter

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Nationals’ right-hander Stephen Strasburg will take the mound for the club on Opening Day, manager Dusty Baker said on Sunday. The news is hardly surprising given Max Scherzer’s questionable status this spring, though it had yet to be confirmed by the club.

Strasburg is approaching his eighth run with the club in 2017. He went 15-4 in 2016, finishing the year with a 3.60 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 in 147 2/3 innings. This will mark his fourth Opening Day assignment with the Nationals.

Scherzer, the Nationals’ Opening Day starter in both 2015 and 2016, is scheduled to make his season debut sometime during the first week of the season. The right-hander is expected to take things more slowly this spring as he finishes rehabbing a stress fracture in his finger.

The Nationals will open their season against the Marlins on April 3.

Steven Matz to skip next spring training start with elbow issues

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Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.

Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.

Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.