Mets Notebook: Terry Collins responds to PED suspensions

Terry Collins moved Marlon Byrd into the cleanup spot. Credit: Getty Images
Terry Collins is tired of talking about steroids in baseball.
Credit: Getty Images

MLB’s campaign to expose and punish drug cheats has an ally in manager Terry Collins.

Collins spent part of his mid-afternoon press conference weighing in on the suspension of Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun for his role in the Biogenesis scandal.

“I think we all support Major League Baseball in cleaning this up so we can move past it all,” Collins said. “I think it’s important. I think it’s time. We’ve got to move on. We need to start talking about baseball, per se. I know [MLB is] working very, very hard and I will tell you what — the players are patient with it because I’m a little sick of walking around a corner and seeing the drug testers in our clubhouse every day. They’re there a lot. They’re there on the road.”

Braun will miss the remainder of the season after accepting MLB’s punishment. It is believed that MLB was prepared to suspend Braun for up to 100 games had he fought the punishment.

“I feel bad for Ryan,” Collins said. “Obviously, he made a bad decision as he said.

“[He is] a great player — a great, great player.”

Mejia on the way up

Much of the Mets’ 2013 campaign has been about laying the groundwork for what the organization fervently believes will be a bright future.

Already, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler have provided glimpses as to what the projected top of the rotation starters could mean
for a franchise historically built around pitching.

Now, the organization has challenged Jenrry Mejia to join Harvey and Wheeler and be the third of a trio of power arms in the rotation.

The initial phase for Mejia will come Friday as he starts the first game of a doubleheader in Washington against the Nationals.

“He is still young,” Collins said. “One of the things we’ve tried to let him know — want him to understand — what he’s hearing today about [Zack] Wheeler, about [Matt] Harvey, was all about Jenrry Mejia three years ago, in the same vein. Sky’s the limit — plus stuff, power arm, all those things and he’s only 23 years old. Don’t write yourself off because you’ve had some arm issues. Get yourself ready, work on your command, work on your secondary pitches and when you get your chance — which is going to be Friday — do something with it. Show us you belong here and that you want to stay here.”

Marcum on the way out

Shaun Marcum was placed on waivers yesterday, the organization announced.

It was the first step in the eventual release of the right-handed starter. Marcum was lost for the season prior to the All-Star break after opting for surgery to repair numbness and coldness in his pitching hand. He was 1-10 in 14 games with a 5.29 ERA.

The Mets signed Marcum to a one-year, $4 million contract on Jan. 30.

Follow Mets beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



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