6/30/2013 5:49 P.M. ET
Mets backup catcher Recker pitches in
By Chris Iseman / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Terry Collins remembered something Walter Alston, one of the top managers of all time, told him many years ago.
"Don't ever blow your bullpen in a game you can't win," Collins said, recalling Alston's advice. "Take your beating at the end of the game, but save your 'pen."
So going into the ninth inning with the Mets down 11 runs to the Nationals on Sunday, Collins called on backup catcher Anthony Recker to pitch so he didn't have to use any more relievers in what ended up being a 13-2 loss.
Recker, who said he pitched a little in high school and college, got off to a rough start.
He walked Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth on four pitches, and then served up a long home run to shortstop Ian Desmond on a 2-0 pitch that gave the Nationals a 13-0 lead. Recker then managed to get three straight flyouts to end the inning.
"It was strange. I haven't been on the mound in a while," Recker said. "I had fun with it -- I tried to."
Collins said he didn't want Recker to try and do too much on the mound -- just throw the ball over the plate. Recker did reach 88 mph on the radar gun, and had his arm wrapped in ice after the game as a precaution. But he said his arm felt fine.
Recker said he warmed up in two other games this season, one of them being a 15-inning, 4-3 loss to Miami on April 29. He couldn't remember what the other game was, but he said it wasn't the 20-inning loss to the Marlins earlier this month.
The last position player to pitch for the Mets was catcher Rob Johnson, who threw one inning in New York's 14-5 loss to Toronto on May 18 of last season. Unlike Recker, though, Johnson finished with a strikeout.
The Mets had to use four relievers to get through the final 4 1/3 innings after starter Zack Wheeler left the game. Recker just wanted to make sure they didn't have to use any others.
"That's the whole point -- obviously try to save our bullpen a little bit," Recker said. "I'm glad I was able to do that."
Torres' work in Mets' bullpen hard to ignore
NEW YORK -- Carlos Torres insists he doesn't care, but his manager says it's something the Mets at least need to consider. With the way Torres has been pitching, he might be earning himself a greater role in the later innings.
"We certainly have to take a look at it. Nobody's been more shocked when he walks a guy than I am, because he's a strike-throwing machine," Mets skipper Terry Collins said. "I think we've got to take a look at it."
In New York's 5-1 win over the Nationals on Saturday, Torres allowed one hit in two scoreless innings. He struck out the side in the eighth inning, when he said he threw more cutters than he did in the seventh.
Since the Mets called him up from Triple-A Las Vegas -- where he was 6-3 with a 3.89 ERA in 12 starts -- on June 15, Torres has allowed only one run in nine innings.
That run came when he gave up a walk-off homer to Kevin Frandsen in the Mets' 8-7 loss to the Phillies last week, but Torres has been mostly effective out of the bullpen. Torres has nine strikeouts and two walks since joining the Mets. He's also shown he can get both lefties and righties out. Left-handed hitters are 1-for-13 against him, while right-handers are 3-for-18.
Even though the team might start using him later in the game, Collins warned against using Torres for individual innings. If the Mets need a spot starter, Torres is who they'd turn to.
"I don't want his innings to be one at a time," Collins said. "He needs to be lengthened out, because if we need a guy, he's it."
So far, Torres has been a solid addition to the bullpen. But he said he has no preference as to when he pitches.
"I don't care where they throw me in this game," Torres said. "Just as long as I get some innings."
Fans can cast vote for Futures Finalist Nimmo
NEW YORK -- The Mets might be seeing one of the top players in their organization at the 2013 Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game on July 14 at Citi Field. Sunday is the last day to vote for Brandon Nimmo, the team's No. 4 prospect as ranked by MLB.com, to be playing along with some of the best players in the Minor Leagues.
Playing for Class A Savannah, Nimmo is hitting .269 with one home run and 22 RBIs. He has a .373 on-base percentage.
For the first time, fans will determine the final player on the U.S. and World Team rosters by casting their votes in the All-Star Sunday Futures Finalists ballot. There are five candidates for each team, and voting ends on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. ET. Nimmo is a candidate for the U.S. squad.
In addition to voting for Nimmo online, fans can vote for him using their mobile phones to cast votes via text message. To receive the All-Star Sunday Futures Finalists ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. Vote for Nimmo via text by sending his code (U5) to 89269. All votes are final. Standard rate text messaging fees apply (check with mobile carriers for details).
If Nimmo is voted on to the team, he'd be playing in the game with fellow Mets prospects Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero, who were selected to the U.S. Team and the World Team, respectively.
The 15th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game takes place at 2 p.m. ET on All-Star Sunday in New York and can be seen live on MLB.com, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD and followed live on MLB.com's Gameday. In addition, XM Radio will broadcast play-by-play coverage of the event live on MLB Network Radio XM 89. MLB.com will also provide complete coverage before, during and after the game. Fans can stay updated by following @MLBFutures on Twitter and can send/receive tweets to/from the U.S. and World Team dugouts during the game by tagging tweets with the hashtags #USDugout and #WorldDugout.
Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.