4/9/2014 7:07 P.M. ET
Farnsworth steps up into primary setup man
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- If Kyle Farnsworth had been throwing in the mid-90s throughout Spring Training, there's a good chance the Mets would have taken him north when camp broke. As it was, the Mets cut Farnsworth at the end of March, putting him back on their active roster only after Bobby Parnell went on the disabled list.
Somehow in that time, Farnsworth went from throwing his fastball in the mid-80s to the mid-90s, approaching the velocity he showed throughout the first 15 years of his career. As a result, the Mets have installed him as their primary setup man.
"His location's always been pretty good," manager Terry Collins said. "But now the velocity's coming back, that makes him that much better."
Farnsworth said he tries not to pay attention to velocity "as long as I get people out." But it seems obvious that the increased radar guns have helped Farnsworth transition from the ineffective pitcher he was in Spring Training -- six earned runs in 10 innings -- to a setup man with a 2.08 ERA.
Because Farnsworth is 37 years old, Collins will be careful how often he uses the veteran -- anything beyond back-to-back appearances may be a bit much at this early juncture of the season. But the Mets are simply happy to have someone other than closer Jose Valverde pitching effectively at the back end of their bullpen.
"The fact that we lost a closer kind of changed the scenario in here," Collins said. "We didn't think those young guys were ready, so we brought up a guy who we knew could handle the situation, and he's done a good job."
Slow-starting Wright takes extra batting practice
ATLANTA -- David Wright, who abhors even the mildest of excuses, refuses to place too much stock in it. He's not even sure if it's the flu or something else. But Wright has been sick for at least the past few days, which Mets manager Terry Collins believes is at least partially to blame for his third baseman's slow start.
"I feel fine," Wright said. "It's more so about just missing some pitches that I should be hitting. There are quite a few guys that are feeling a little under the weather. It's more about just going out there and producing."
Over his first seven games, Wright did not come close to doing so with any consistency, batting .192 with a .574 OPS.
"You always want to see results," Wright said. "I'm off to a bit of a slow start, but we've been fortunate where we've had some guys step up and get some big hits, and help us out offensively while I get it going. It would be one thing if I wasn't seeing the ball well and having poor at-bats. I'm getting myself in positive counts. I'm getting myself in favorable counts. I'm just missing some pitches I should be hitting harder. I need a few of those to fall, then hopefully things start rolling from there."
To that end, Wright took extra batting practice before Wednesday's game, hoping to rediscover his timing at the plate. To guard against further wearing himself down, he has been gulping down as many fluids as possible.
"He's such a professional, he's out there every day, but it's tough to battle that when you just don't have that energy level up where you normally have it," Collins said. "He's doing what he's got to do to get himself back."
"It's like everybody," Wright said. "When you feel not so good, it stinks. But you've got to get past it, and hopefully I'm on the other side of it."
• When 40-year-old Bartolo Colon, 37-year-old Kyle Farnsworth and 36-year-old Jose Valverde combined on a shutout Tuesday night against the Braves, it marked the third time in Major League history that three or more pitchers aged 36 or older accomplished the feat, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Mets were also involved in one of the other two instances, when Al Leiter, Graeme Lloyd and John Franco combined to shut out the Rangers in 2003.