8/31/2014 7:30 P.M. ET
Slumping Granderson gets chance to clear mind
By Tim Healey / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Amidst a month-long slump that has seen his strikeout rate (21.9 percent) rise above his batting average (.214), Curtis Granderson got a day off for the first time in 24 games Sunday in the Mets' series finale with the Phillies. Manager Terry Collins made his regular right fielder aware of the chance to "clear his mind a little bit" Sunday morning.
The day off came a game after Granderson struck out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, ending a Mets rally in which he represented the potential tying run in an eventual 7-2 loss. Collins pointed to that at-bat as evidence Granderson is still a threat.
The Phillies had left-hander Antonio Bastardo warming when left-handed hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis -- who started in place of Granderson on Sunday -- batted in the seventh Saturday night. Manager Ryne Sandberg opted to wait until Granderson stepped to the plate two batters later to call on his southpaw for the lefty-on-lefty matchup.
"They're saving him for Curtis Granderson," Collins said. "He's the guy they said, 'We got to get this guy out.' That tells you what those names mean in your lineup, and that's why when they're doing damage, it creates havoc."
Still, Granderson is batting .147 with a .231 on-base percentage and two extra-base hits in August.
Granderson carries that into the last month of his first season in Queens, which can only be described as disappointing. His .214/.317/.361 slash line in 2014 is the worst of his career, and despite an ability to carry a team for a stretch -- like when he hit .362/.472/.609 for most of June -- he hasn't exhibited that talent in some time.
Collins suggested that with a season in the National League and at Citi Field under his belt, Granderson will enter Spring Training in 2015 with a better idea of what it takes to succeed in those situations. His offensive decline, though, isn't limited to this month or this season.
Since posting a career-high .916 OPS during his All-Star 2011 campaign, Granderson saw that mark drop to .811 in '12 and .723 during in injury-riddled '13. This season, it's down to .677.
Mets calling up Satin, Centeno, two others
NEW YORK -- Reinforcements are coming for the injury-riddled Mets.
Following the club's 6-5 win over the Phillies on Sunday, the team announced it is calling up four players for Monday's opener against the Marlins, the first day rosters expand from 25 to as many as 40 players.
Infielder Josh Satin and right-handed pitcher Erik Goeddel will arrive from Triple-A Las Vegas. Catcher Juan Centeno and left-hander Dario Alvarez will join the Mets from Double-A Binghamton. The 40-man roster is up to 39 with the Mets purchasing Alvarez's contract, with the other three already on it.
Satin, 29, is an infielder who has seen time with the Major League team in each of the last four seasons. He's a career .250/.350/.361 hitter in the big leagues, though in 15 games this April and May he hit just .107/.265/.179. With Las Vegas this year, he played mostly third base while batting .289 with nine homers and 49 RBIs.
Centeno is another familiar name for Mets fans. He's gotten into 10 big league games the last two seasons, including six in May when Travis d'Arnaud was out with a concussion. He hit .289/.342/.340 in 74 games with Binghamton and Las Vegas.
Goeddel's next Major League game will be his first. He has steadily climbed the Minor League ladder since the Mets drafted him in 2010, and he struck out 64 batters in 63 2/3 innings for Las Vegas this season. However, he also posted a 5.37 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP.
Alvarez's rise this season is an impressive one. He started out with Class A Savannah but made his way to Binghamton by mid-August. In 29 games (six starts) across three levels, he has a 1.10 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP while striking out 14 batters per nine innings.
Originally a Phillies signee prior to the 2007 season, Alvarez, 25, didn't pitch stateside until joining the Mets' organization last year.
Las Vegas and Binghamton are both about to embark on playoff runs, and the Mets are likely to call up additional players once their affiliates' seasons end.
Edgin, Dice-K staying in NY to have elbows checked
NEW YORK -- The Mets headed to Miami following their 6-5 win over the Phillies on Sunday. Left-hander Josh Edgin and right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka did not.
Both relievers are staying in New York to have their problematic elbows examined by doctors. Edgin has tendinitis and bone spurs in his left elbow, while Matsuzaka's right elbow is sore, again, days after he was activated from a month-long stint on the disabled list for a similar issue. Neither will land on the DL given that the roster expands Monday.
Edgin hasn't pitched since Aug. 23. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection Monday, and an MRI indicated there are no tears. The team hoped it would settle down after a few days of rest, but that has not been the case.
Edgin tried warming up Friday night against the Phillies, but he didn't feel well enough to enter the game.
"It's not where I want it to be," Edgin said. "They told me to rest it. If it starts feeling better, just don't go too quick I guess."
Edgin added that he fully expects to pitch again this season, though there is no timetable for when that might happen.
This leaves Dana Eveland -- plus Dario Alvarez, whom the Mets called up for Monday's game against the Marlins -- as the southpaw options out of the bullpen. He's come a long way from signing a Minor League contract with New York during Spring Training.
"It's definitely been more than I expected ever this year," said Eveland, who tossed a scoreless inning Sunday. "I went from being a guy who had a hard time getting a job period this season -- a Minor League job -- to playing a fairly significant role in the big leagues. So it's been a great year, and I'm very happy and I'm hoping I can finish strong and see where that leads me into next year."
Matsuzaka has allowed four runs in 2 2/3 innings since returning to the Major League team Thursday. He most recently pitched two innings Saturday.
• Daniel Murphy, who is on the disabled list with a strained right calf, has been wearing a walking boot this weekend. The Mets have not said how long he will be out, but it could be well into September.
• Buddy Carlyle's scoreless relief appearance Saturday was his 17th Major League game of the season. The last time he had more than that in one year was when he pitched in 45 games as a regular out of the Atlanta bullpen in 2008. Carlyle, who has a 1.23 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP, has pitched in more big league games this season than in the last four combined.
• It's probably safe to consider left-hander Steven Matz a part of the Mets' stable of young talented pitchers. The 23-year-old Long Island native wrapped up his regular season Friday with five innings of two-run ball for Double-A Binghamton against Richmond (Giants), walking none and striking out 10. In 24 starts between Binghamton and Class A Advanced St. Lucie, Matz posted a 2.24 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP and a 3.74 strikeout-to-walk rate.
Tim Healey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.