A look at the latest news and rumors from Mets’ and Yankees’ Spring Training camps in Florida.
Holliday a positive influence in locker room
Thirteen-year veteran Matt Holliday is quickly developing a rapport with his Yankees teammates. Per NJ.com, Holliday was recently seen, “sitting in a chair in front of his locker holding court with five younger players who were circled around him.”
When asked about how’s he’s getting along with his teammates, Holliday told NJ.com, “I’m excited to get to know these guys…build relationships with them, hang out with them. The best way to be a leader is by getting to know these guys first. And then if you have something to say, they’re much more willing to listen.”
Joe Girardi has noticed the effect Holliday has already had.
“He makes an impact on and off the field,” Girardi told NJ.com, “That’s what you want from players, especially with all the experiences that he’s been through in his career…playing in a city like St. Louis where you’re expected to win every year. I think he can have a huge impact on this club.”
Harvey’s pain in the neck
Matt Harvey was chased after just 1.2 innings in his Grapefruit League unveiling against the Cardinals on Sunday, surrendering four earned runs. Harvey’s fastball topped out at just 94 mph, leaving some scouts in dismay.
“I was surprised his fastball didn’t have a little more life,” one scout told the Daily News’ John Harper.
On Monday, Harvey revealed that he was pitching through a stiff neck.
“I am not going to make any excuses,” Harvey told the Daily News. “It was definitely there and pretty tight.”
Despite the poor optics, Harvey was pleased with his start and is taking a gradual approach toward preparing for the upcoming season.
“It’s still early in spring,” Harvey told reporters after the game. “This year I’m taking things a little slower. Obviously, coming back from Tommy John [two years ago] was a different story. I was pretty pumped up for that one. The biggest thing for me is going out there more and more, getting used to facing other teams. The [velocity] will come.”
Will Mets lure Lawrie?
The rebuilding Chicago White Sox released Brett Lawrie on Friday, and the Mets have been mentioned in numerous reports as one of the front-runners to land the free agent.
Lawrie, 27, is coming off a down year in which he hit just .248 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI in 94 games. Once a blue chip prospect in Toronto’s organization, Lawrie has played over 125 games in a season only once in six years but can play second or third base. Assuming he can stay healthy, he could be a valuable insurance policy for the Mets assuming David Wright can’t get on the field this year.
According to Newsday, Tim Tebow will make his Grapefruit League debut on Wednesday and play in a split-squad game on Friday. The former football star, who will DH in Wednesday’s tilt with the Red Sox, hit .194 in 70 plate appearances in the Arizona Fall League late last year.