Originally posted on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 3/2/12

This afternoon at Digital Domain Park in Port St. Lucie, the New York Mets played a nine inning intra-squad game which featured a Kirk Nieuwenhuis two-run homerun and 3 2/3 combined scoreless frames from Matt Harvey (1 2/3) and Jeurys Familia (2).

Harvey, according to Andy McCullough of the Star Ledger,  struggled with the strike zone during his 1 2/3 innings of work. He allowed three hits, one walk and froze Josh Satin with a changeup for a strikeout.

His outing, however, was cut short after he ripped skin off the lower portion of his thumb delivering a pitch.

My fingernail kind of slips off the ball a little bit and comes off, and [the index finger nail] ends up cutting my thumb a little bit. … It’s happened before. It’s something I can work on, put some glue on. It’s fine.”

Unlike Harvey, Familia breezed through his two innings of work allowing no hits, one walk with two strikeouts. The youngster induced several swinging strikes, while touching 93 MPH with his electric fastball:

Following this afternoons game, manager Terry Collins told reporters he was pleased with what he saw from both Harvey and Familia:

“[Familia] really threw the ball good. So did Matt. Matt threw the ball good. He’s just got to get more balls in the strike zone. But I thought his breaking ball was good. And Familia, boy, he’s got one of those really short strokes that the ball really jumps on you.”

The two pitching prospects were not the only ones to impress on Friday afternoon.  24-year-old prospect Kirk Neiuwenhuis turned some heads with his towering two run jack off left hander, Daniel Herrera which gave the Orange team a 3-2 lead over the Blue team that they would not relinquish. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:

Photo taken by Michael Baron

A scout recently agreed about Nieuwenhuis’ potential to remain in center field.

“He’ll fool you,” the scout said. “He can cover some ground for a big boy.”

Said Collins: “He’s got great skills. And, of course, he plays the game the way you want it played. He plays really hard. He’s one of those guys, boy, it gets close to 7 o’clock and his mood changes. So I think he’s got to go get some Triple-A at-bats, for sure.

“Is he a prototypical center fielder, one of those guys who can really run like mad? Probably not like that. But he’s such a workaholic that he reminds me a little bit, although Jim Edmonds was left-handed [throwing], of Jim Edmonds — a guy who was a little click above average runner, but yet no fear, great angles, can go after any ball. If he gets to be like that, yeah, he can play center field in the big leagues.”

 

Although it was just an intra-squad game, all of the above was very pleasing to read.  Unlike years past, it is a nice change to be receive good news surrounding the club in the early stages of Spring Training.  Let’s just hope it translates into wins when it counts…

*NOTES-

For a complete play-by-play of this afternoons game, check out Adam Rubin of ESPN New York’s twitter timeline by clicking here.

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