Mar 14, 2014; Mesa, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers Josh Beckett (61) throws during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Cubs Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Phil Up - 3/16/2014 - National League Roundup

A few links from around the National League. Topics include Las Vegas, Brett Butler, Josh Beckett, and Jordan Lyles.

MLB.comPlaying in Vegas has pros, cons for Mets

Having their Triple A affiliate being located in Las Vegas might not have been the Mets’ first choice, as the stadium has been notorious as an extreme hitters’ park over the years. Some pitchers struggle in the harsh environment and it might hurt their long-term development, making them afraid to attack the strike zone. On the other hand, the Mets know that if a pitcher can succeed here, there is a good chance he can succeed in the big leagues.

Miami HeraldBrett Butler to help Marlins manufacture runs

Brett Butler was a prolific base stealer during his playing career. Now serving as the Marlins’ third base coach, he’s trying to teach the Marlins players how to do the same. Unfortunately, the Marlins’ lineup does not possess too many speedy players. Still, Butler is trying to force the baserunners to be more aggressive, and the team is even ordering steals in situations. Hopefully, the increased aggressiveness will result in a few more runs being scored in 2014.

Lasorda’s LairTwo thumbs down for Dodgers as Beckett leaves early and loses to the Cubs

While he was in Saturday’s game, Josh Beckett pitched well. The problem was, he didn’t remain in the game as long as the team had hoped. Beckett is battling a thumb contusion that makes it difficult for him to grip the ball properly or throw his curveball. Luckily for the Dodgers, they likely won’t need him to join their rotation until mid-April, so he will have some time to recover.

Colorado Rockies Team SiteAgainst the odds, Lyles a rotation candidate

Thanks to a strong spring, righthanded pitcher Jordan Lyles has gone from a longhsot to a prime candidate to make the Colorado Rockies’ starting rotation. Thus far, Lyles has not had a successful career. Pitching for the Houston Astros, he has a lifetime record of 14-29. But Lyles is still young (23 years old) and the Rockies have hope that as he matures, more success will follow.

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