The Mets weren’t able to accomplish a whole lot offensively against the Rangers in Saturday’s spring finale against the Rangers at Globe Life Park. They had been held scoreless through eight innings and entered the top of the ninth down 4-0.
Rangers pitcher Andrew Faulkner got two quick, easy outs. But the Mets weren’t quite ready to face the regular season. Johnny Monell walked, John Mayberry singled, and Matt Reynolds walked to load the bases. Jesus Pirela came out of the bullpen to replace Faulkner. With a 1-1 count on back-up catcher Anthony Recker, Pirela threw a 96 MPH fastball about letters-high, which Recker promptly deposited over the fence in left-center for a game-tying grand slam.
The threat wasn’t over after the salami, as Pirela walked Danny Muno, uncorked a wild pitch, and walked Darrell Ceciliani before getting Alex Castellanos to fly out to left field to end the inning mercifully. Mets pitcher Zach Thornton worked around a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth for a scoreless inning and the two teams settled on a 4-4 tie.
Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy, dealing with a pulled right hamstring, will most likely begin the 2015 regular season on the disabled list, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin reports. GM Sandy Alderson admitted there was a possibility Murphy wouldn’t need a DL stint as the strain is classified as “mild”, but said that a hamstring injury is “typically a minimum of a couple of weeks.”
Murphy, who turns 30 on April 1, is entering what could be his final season with the Mets. He avoided arbitration in January, agreeing to an $8 million salary for the 2015 season. Last year, he made his first All-Star team, finishing with a .289/.332/.403 triple-slash line along with nine home runs, 57 RBI, and 13 stolen bases.
Matt Reynolds and Daniel Muno are the leading candidates to replace Murphy at second base. Ruben Tejada, who lost the starting shortstop job to Wilmer Flores, is a candidate as well.
Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy is suddenly at risk for beginning the season on the disabled list, as Marc Carig of Newsday reports that he has been shut down for the next week due to a right hamstring injury.
Murphy left Thursday’s Grapefruit League game after singling and scoring on a sacrifice fly in the first inning. An MRI confirmed the injury. The start of the season is a little over two weeks away, so he could be cutting it close.
Dilson Herrera was already optioned to the minors earlier this week, so he’s not a consideration for fill in for Murphy at this time. Instead, the Mets are giving Matt Reynolds and Daniel Muno looks at second base.
Murphy, who turns 30 in April, batted .289/.332/.403 with nine home runs, 57 RBI, and 13 stolen bases across 143 games last season.