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Dilson Herrera hit a solo homer that snapped a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning, to lift Colombia to a 2-1 win over Panama in the WBC Qualifying Tournament Final last night. With the win, Colombia advanced to the 2017 WBC. Herrera finished 2-4 last night and reached base seven times in Colombia’s three WBC games. Herrera spoke to an MLB reporter after the game and had the following to say;
“It was amazing. Amazing,” a choked-up Herrera said while holding back tears. “First of all, I want to say thanks to God for everything. I was just trying to make good contact. I was thinking of my country, I was thinking about my team. I said, ‘The game’s not over until the last inning.’ I was just trying to get on base for the third and fourth batters behind me. Just made good contact. When I saw my team and that situation, I have no word to describe [it]. I’m so happy and so excited for this opportunity.”
You have to feel happy for Dilson to be able to come through late in the game and send his country to it’s first ever WBC. It was only fitting he got the final out as well by fielding a ground ball and throwing the runner out at first. Herrera played a major role in Colombia’s success in the tournament, and we all have gotten a glance of what he is capable of on a much larger scale. Herrera is expected to be the Mets starting second baseman next season, and he will also be leading Colombia next March into the WBC. I provided highlights of last night’s blast below, in case you have not seen Herrera’s heroics yet.
Mets second baseman Dilson Herrera and Colombia will play Panama tonight at 7 pm et, in a WBC qualifying tournament final in Panama City. The winner of this tournament game tonight will advance to the 2017 WBC. Herrera has reached base five times in two WBC tournament games. The game can be seen on MLB.com live, or a delayed start will be shown on MLB Network at 8 pm et.
Also Mets catcher, Xorge Carillo and Mexico will play Nicaragua tonight at 10 pm et in a WBC qualifying tournament final in Mexicali Mexico. The winner of this tournament game tonight will also advance to the 2017 WBC. Carillo is hitless in four at-bats in the tournament thus far. The game can be seen on MLB.com live or on a delayed start following the Colombia-Panama game on MLB Network.
- Matt Harvey was scheduled to start against the Washington Nationals this afternoon, but stayed behind in Port St. Lucie to face St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, due to potential inclement weather this afternoon. Harvey pitched 3.1 innings and allowed six runs, five of them earned. According to multiple people who watched Harvey pitch, Harvey was mainly working on his secondary stuff in the game and he looked good, until he started getting touched up in his last inning of work. Harvey simply wanted to get his start in and work on his off-speed pitches. The final line of the game is meaningless, as Harvey was just focused on sharpening his arsenal against the Cardinals minor leaguers.
- In WBC qualifying action, second baseman Dilson Herrera was 2-5 with an RBI single and a run scored, in Colombia’s win over Panama last night. Shortstop prospect Luis Guillorme was 1-3 with an RBI yesterday in Spain’s win over France.
- Former Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada signed a 1-year $1.5 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals this morning. With Cardinals starting shortstop Jhonny Peralta on the shelf for the first couple of months of the season, Tejada figures to be the Cardinals starting shortstop until Peralta returns. General Manager John Mozeliak was asked by MLB.com on the move and stated,”We do feel like there is an opportunity to add depth, because Tejada was recently released, and for us it made sense to pursue this. I just think it makes our club stronger overall, and ultimately it then gives [manager] Mike [Matheny] the flexibility to utilize the different infield positions until Peralta gets back.”
- ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin is reporting that RHP Erik Goeddel and LHP Josh Edgin will pitch in a minor league game Sunday. It will each be their first appearance in a game this spring as both pitchers are working their way back from injuries.
- Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera talked to reporters this morning in Port St. Lucie and isn’t optimistic about his availability for Opening Night. When asked about his availability, Cabrera said, “I don’t know, I’ve just got to wait and see how my knee feels.” I don’t believe the Mets will rush Cabrera back, as they will want to avoid a setback or a nagging injury situation. The Mets have a lot of depth at shortstop currently, and it would be better for Cabrera’s health, to possibly return the second week of the season if his knee is 100%.
- It is being reported by multiple sources that the Mets are scouring the trade market for a backup catcher. One Mets source has been quoted as wanting to have Kevin Plawecki receive 150-200 at bats in AAA rather than him sit on the bench. Mets team officials reportedly have also not been thrilled with any of the alternative options at catcher in camp including Johnny Monell. This is something to monitor the rest of spring as the Mets believe this is turning into an area of need.
- ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin has reported that the Mets are still comfortable trading SS Ruben Tejada with Asdrubal Cabrera on the shelf. Rubin has stated that the Mets are comfortable with Matt Reynolds and Wilmer Flores at shortstop, and if the return package is ideal, they will trade him. The St. Louis Cardinals have heavily been linked to Tejada since Jhonny Peralta suffered an injury that will cost him half of the season, and both parties could be a potential match.
- Dilson Herrera will indeed travel to Panama City, Panama tomorrow for the WBC Qualifiers. Despite his knee being heavily wrapped in the clubhouse, Herrera’s knee is reportedly just sore and he’ll be good to go for the qualifiers.
- Former Met right handed pitcher Matt Bowman is reportedly a favorite to make the St. Louis Cardinals roster out of Spring Training as a reliever. Bowman was selected by the Cardinals in this past December’s Rule 5 Draft, and would have to be returned to the Mets if he is not on the active roster this season. Bowman is ranked as the Cardinals 21st ranked prospect by MLB.com.
On Monday five Mets players, most notably Dilson Herrera, will be leaving camp to represent their country in the 2017 WBC qualifiers next week taking place March 17th-20th. The qualifiers will be taking place in Panama City, Panama and Mexicali, Mexico. Xorge Carillio will be the only Mets participant not in Panama City, with his team participating in Mexico.
Another notable participant is Luis Guillorme, who has been ranked by MLB.com as the organization’s 23rd best prospect this season. Guillorme had a breakout season in the Minors as he was the South Atlantic League MVP for the Savannah Sand Gnats, and was the Mets Sterling Award winner for the Sand Gnats. He will be an intriguing player to watch including Herrera, during qualifiers.
I provided a list below of which players will be participating, and what country they will be representing…
- 2B Dilson Herrera
- RHP Nabil Crismatt
- C Xorge Carrillo
- LHP Alberto Baldonado
- SS Luis Guillorme