The Mets committed three errors and were blanked by the Detroit Tigers, 9-0, on Friday at Digital Domain Park.
Left-handed specialist candidates Garrett Olson and Josh Edgin each tossed scoreless innings -- Edgin’s with two strikeouts. Olson did commit a throwing error on an off-line toss to first base.
Terry Collins reiterated that the Mets will definitely take a left-handed reliever north in Tim Byrdak’s absence. The manager said all three candidates -- Chuck James, Olson and Edgin -- will go on every road trip while they remain in camp. Collins said he will ensure the pitchers enter to face lefty batters so that their abilities can be accurately assessed.
• Johan Santana allowed five runs (four earned) in 2 2/3 innings, and Collins noted the same thing as Santana -- that the southpaw had control issues. Still, the manager found the 65-pitch outing encouraging.
“We’re starting to reach a stage now where I think he’s showing us all that he’s healthy,” Collins said. “Again, we certainly can be brokenhearted in two weeks. I don’t know. But just all indications point that he’s healthy. So now it’s, hey, look, let’s work on the finer points.”
• Bobby Parnell allowed a pair of inherited runners from Santana to score, but it was hardly the reliever’s fault. Working for a second straight day, Parnell took the mound in the third with two out and two runners on base. Parnell’s first batter, Alex Avila, reached on a single that shortstop Ronny Cedeno did not have enough range to corral, which allowed a run to score. Another run scored on an ensuing error by Daniel Murphy.
Parnell’s velocity has been mostly in the 91-93 mph range during spring training, and topping out at 94 mph, according to an NL scout.
Pitching coach Dan Warthen said Parnell’s eye-popping velocity is still there. Warthen said Parnell is concentrating on throwing two-seam fastballs (sinkers) rather than straight, four-seam fastballs. The two-seamers have slightly less velocity. Parnell also may be taking a little off to ensure he can control the pitch.
“We’re trying to throw a ton of two-seamers right now -- and everything down,” Warthen said. “Movement and low.”
• When will Murphy get his double-play partner back? Collins said Ruben Tejada (groin) took groundballs and swung “more aggressive” in a cage Friday. Tejada will repeat that activity tomorrow. Collins does not foresee Tejada in a game before Sunday. Tuesday may be a better bet. After all, the Mets have a two-hour bus drive to Kissimmee to face the Houston Astros on Sunday. Then Monday is a team off-day.
“We’ll certainly be a lot more healthy Tuesday,” Collins said.
• Murphy had only his second double-play-turn chance of the Grapefruit League, by his count. He successfully relayed the throw from Cedeno to first base. As for not having worked much yet with Tejada, Murphy said: “It’s always nice to work with a guy you’re going to be out there with.”
• Collins predicted David Wright (abdominal muscle strain) would start swinging against live pitching by the middle to end of next week.
• The Mets fell to 3-9-1 in Grapefruit League play.
“The Grapefruit League champion starts 0-0 on April 5,” Collins said. “I always go back to ’84. The Tigers were 5-25 and won the World Series. It’s about getting yourself ready to compete. That’s what we’re doing here. We’re getting ourselves ready. There have been some bright spots.
“We have to get our regulars some consistent at-bats. Jason Bay and Ike [Davis] are going to play again tomorrow. That will be three days in a row for them.”