Former Mets (f)utility man Joe McEwing looked pretty sharp at the plate and at 3B in last weekend’s Omaha Royals visit to Round Rock, which if nothing else, shows the great distance between AAA and the major leagues. Joe can celebrate the return to serious meal money now that he’s been called up by the parent Kansas City Royals.

Florida P Al Leiter is so pumped up to be facing Pedro Martinez and his former Mets teammates this weekend, he tells the Miami Herald that he’ll actually show up and pitch.

Marlins pitcher Al Leiter, who grew up a Mets fan and spent seven years pitching for them before the team let him go as a free agent this winter, says he expects this weekend’s return to Shea Stadium to be an emotional one.

”Any time you spend a significant amount of time anywhere and you go back for the first time, it’s somewhat reminiscent,” said Leiter, who is scheduled to start Saturday afternoon’s game against Pedro Martinez. “The time that I spent there and the people that I met and the enjoyment I got out of it was special. And will always be special.”

Leiter is so jittery about facing the Mets, in fact, he begged out of a late spring training appearance against New York in Port St. Lucie. But he can’t avoid this weekend’s start, so he says he’ll do what he can to manage it.

”I recognize that it’s different than just going back anywhere,” he said. “It’s a matter of trying not to get caught up in the whole emotional [thing]. When we do things that we’re supposed to, what types of logos and marks are on the uniform of the [opposing] team . . . doesn’t matter.”