Jon Niese surrendered a career-high four homers and matched a career high by allowing eight runs as the Mets were routed by the Toronto Blue Jays, 14-5, Friday at Rogers Centre. Catcher Rob Johnson proved the Mets' most effective pitcher, tossing a 1-2-3 eighth while topping out at 87 mph with his fastball and utilizing three pitches. Left-hander Robert Carson also tossed a scoreless frame in his major league debut. The Mets look to get back on track Saturday with Miguel Batista, coming off seven scoreless innings against the Milwaukee Brewers, opposing Brandon Morrow.
Saturday's news reports:
• Right-hander Jeremy Hefner is expected to be promoted from Triple-A Buffalo and join the Mets on Saturday, baseball sources told ESPNNewYork.com. We should learn the corresponding move this morning. If no one lands on the DL, it would seem possible that Hefner gets Manny Acosta's roster spot. Otherwise, the Mets could send Carson immediately back to the minors. Hefner tossed three scoreless innings for the Mets in his major league debut against San Francisco, then immediately returned to Buffalo.
• Ken Rosenthal reports Roy Oswalt auditioned for the Phillies and Red Sox, and also will do so for two other teams. He will not land with the Mets, ESPNNewYork.com is assured.
• The area surrounding Citi Field, which has been part of eminent domain claims, has more concrete plans for redevelopment. The Associated Press writes:
Under the agreement, the developers, Related Companies and Sterling Equities, would clean up the area and construct retail stores, including a mall in the Queens neighborhood. Then, no later than 2025, they would start construction on a mixed-use component that would include housing and measure anywhere from 1.3 million square feet up to 4.5 million square feet. The founders of Sterling Equities are Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, the owners of the Mets.
• Terry Collins plans to for David Wright to rest on Saturday, which was prearranged before Wright became sick. The Mets are in a 20-games-in-20-days stretch. Wright actually was pulled from Friday's game in the bottom of the sixth with the Mets trailing, 10-1. Before departing, Wright recorded his 1,300th career high, matching Jose Reyes for second on the franchise's all-time list. He can now set his sights on Ed Kranepool's record: 1,418. Wright's average sits at .409. Read more in the Daily News and Star-Ledger.
• Citi Field will be packed Sunday, even though the Mets are away. A group of ultra-orthodox Jews has rented the stadium for a gathering to discuss the evils of the internet. Read more from the AP via USA Today.
• The stadium also will host a Latin-themed concert, on July 14. The scheduled performers: Gloria Estefan, Ricardo Arjona, Juanes, Alejandro Sanz, Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, Paulina Rubio, Prince Royce, Jenny Rivera, Tito El Bambino, Toño Rosario, Plan B, Silvestre Dangond and Secreto among others. Tickets to go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. at Tickets.com, by calling (718) 507-TIXX and at Citi Field.
• Collins said Ike Davis is not platooning, and will start Monday in Pittsburgh against left-hander Erik Bedard. Justin Turner started Friday against former college roommate/southpaw Ricky Romero. Read more in Newsday.
• Johnson said he nearly pitched in a game with the Padres last season against the Reds. He threw one inning in college, but had not been a pitcher since high school. Todd Zeile was the Mets' last position player to pitch, eight years ago. Read more in the Post and Record.
• Jason Bay ran and played catch at Rogers Centre on Friday, and Collins said the left fielder should take batting practice during the next series, in Pittsburgh, as Bay aims to ramp up activity toward a return from a fractured rib. Josh Thole, cleared for physical activity following a concussion suffered nearly two weeks ago, should head to Port St. Lucie after the weekend. Ruben Tejada (quadriceps) is fielding grounders but not running the bases. Chris Young's next minor league start, which would have occurred Sunday had he stayed on an every-five-days schedule, has been delayed, but for a good reason -- his wife is having a baby. Jenrry Mejia's third minor league start since Tommy John surgery is scheduled for today, with Double-A Binghamton.
• Jared Diamond in the Journal discusses Bobby Parnell's role. Writes Diamond:
On the surface, this seems like the perfect antidote to the Mets' most pressing issue: They desperately need help surviving the late innings of games. New closer Frank Francisco owns a ghastly 8.04 ERA, while setup man Jon Rauch lost two games in the last two weeks alone. The Mets' cumulative bullpen ERA of 5.00 ranks 28th in baseball. As virtually every Mets reliever besides Parnell continues to struggle, it raises a reasonable question: Why not start trusting Parnell in more pressure-filled situations? Sounds simple enough, but as the Mets learned last season, it doesn't always work out quite so easily. "With what Bobby went through last fall, I'm going to try to avoid that and let him build up to that closer's role," manager Terry Collins said.
• Tim Bontemps in the Post chats with Binghamton third baseman Jefry Marte.
• Matt Harvey struck out a season-high 11 batters and Valentino Pascucci homered twice as Triple-A Buffalo beat Gwinnett, 5-3, Saturday. A scout who watched Harvey originally expressed disappointment with the prospect not throwing a changeup until his 42nd pitch and 10th batter faced. But, the scout added, Harvey ultimately threw 10 changeups by the end of the night and was "very good after a rough first inning" that included surrendering a pair of solo homers. Read Friday's full minor league recap here.
TRIVIA: Which players were involved in the last Mets-Jays trade?
Friday's answer: John Gibbons managed the Jays in 2006, the last time the Mets visited Rogers Centre.