Film session on agenda for Thole, Pelfrey
Catcher, pitcher to work on communication, pitch selection
PHILADELPHIA -- Shortly after he arrives at Citi Field on Friday, Josh Thole plans to pull Mike Pelfrey into the video room and begin scouring Wednesday's game tape, searching for ways the two can improve. Both men admitted to a lack of communication on Wednesday, following Pelfrey's shortest and least effective outing since last July.
"We'll just go back and look at the video together and figure it out," Thole said.
Mets manager Terry Collins has already spoken to Thole, urging him to keep discussions of pitch selection private. But he is not concerned that Wednesday's lack of communication will become a lingering issue.
"They talked between every inning," Collins said. "When you're not making the pitch you want to make and you're not locating it where you want to locate it, sometimes there's doubt of which pitch you want to throw. And we've seen that."
After allowing seven runs in two-plus innings Wednesday, Pelfrey criticized his pitch selection, berating himself for not shaking off Thole's persistent calls for breaking balls. The problem, Pelfrey said, was his unwillingness to stick with his best pitch, the sinker.
But Collins disagreed, saying that Pelfrey's primary issue was actually something different.
"It's location," Collins said. "It came down to Mike just didn't make the pitches he wanted to make. He was angry because he didn't make the pitches, and it's human nature to say, 'I wish I had done something else.'"
Murphy makes return to outfield play
PHILADELPHIA -- For the first time in nearly two years Thursday, Daniel Murphy manned the outfield in a Major League game.
Some of the rust showed.
Murphy nearly collided with center fielder Angel Pagan on a fly ball in the fifth, not hearing Pagan calling for the ball. But he otherwise played three innings in the field without incident.
"Dan went at it like you always expect, 100 percent," manager Terry Collins said. "He's just got to realize that the center fielder's going to be looking to come over and get that ball."
Murphy played regularly in left field in 2008 and the first part of '09, but struggled on defense throughout his tenure there. He spent most of this spring working out at second base, but remains capable of playing first and third base.
Mets golfers keeping keen eye on Masters
PHILADELPHIA -- If baseball is America's national pastime, then golf is the pastime of baseball players. To that end, the return of the Masters on Thursday morning piqued the interest of quite a few Mets, who lingered in the clubhouse watching the tournament.
With Jeff Francoeur no longer on the team, the title for best Mets golfer is again up for grabs. An informal clubhouse poll revealed that backup catcher Mike Nickeas and starter Chris Capuano are the club's two best, with Nickeas earning the slight edge.
"I think it would be a pretty good match," Nickeas said.
But he may not even be the best golfer in his own family. Nickeas' father, Mark, played in last year's U.S. Senior Open after qualifying as an amateur.
Other Mets players are fans of the game. Second baseman Brad Emaus once drove from his childhood home in Georgia to take a tour of Augusta National, site of the Masters, and now spends his winters living on a golf course in Clearwater, Fla.
"That," Emaus said, "is a great offseason."
Right-handed reliever Manny Acosta cleared waivers Thursday and was outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo. ... Outfielder Jason Bay (strained left intercostal muscle) hit off a tee on Thursday with no discomfort, according to a Mets spokesman. ... The Mets re-examined backup catcher Ronny Paulino (blood disorder) on Thursday and cleared him to work out. The team must make a decision this weekend whether or not to place Paulino on the 15-day disabled list.