Facing their opening weekend opponent, the Mets will not take a starting pitcher to Disney to meet the Braves. Instead, Bobby Parnell officially gets the start as the Mets get their relievers work. Tim Hudson starts for Atlanta has he works back from November surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back. Hudson will open the season on the DL.
Monday's news reports:
• Terry Collins officially named Johan Santana his Opening Day starter, a day after Santana completed an intense bullpen session. It will be Santana's fourth opening game as a Met. The all-time leader is Tom Seaver, with 11 Opening Days for the franchise, followed by Dwight Gooden with eight and then Tom Glavine and now Santana at four apiece, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Santana will face Atlanta's Tommy Hanson on Thursday. R.A. Dickey opposes Jair Jurrjens in Game 2 on Saturday, followed by left-handers Jon Niese and Mike Minor in the series finale. Collins said Santana likely will be capped between 80 and 95 pitches in his April outings. The southpaw threw no more than 88 pitches in a Grapefruit League game. Santana recently received a shot of Toradol for general aches, Andy Martino reports in the Daily News. (Dickey received the anti-inflammatory medication Toradol before all of his second-half starts last season, and Mike Pelfrey has acknowledged significant use as well, so the Mets do not appear conservative in dispensing it.) Read more on Santana and the rotation in the Times, Star-Ledger, Post, Journal, Record and Newsday.
• Niese and the Mets are working out the details of a contract extension that should be comparable to the five-year, $28.5 million deal fellow left-hander Derek Holland signed with the Texas Rangers, a major league source told ESPNNewYork.com. Holland, like Niese, would not have been eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season. Holland's deal includes team options, at $11 million and $11.5 million -- potentially sacrificing three years of free agency as part of the contract, if fully exercised by the club. Read more in the Journal, Newsday, Times, Post and Star-Ledger.
• Closer Frank Francisco has been bothered by a sore knee during camp and will not pitch today, Collins said. He's expected to instead pitch in Tuesday's exhibition game, the manager added. The Post's Mike Puma said Francisco limped in the players' parking lot Sunday and said he had a toe problem, although Collins said it's really the knee. Columnist John Harper in the Daily News wonders about the revamped-but thus-far uninspiring Mets bullpen.
• Collins expressed confidence center fielder Andres Torres would be with the Mets on Opening Day. That's because the manager indicated Torres likely would be in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game against the Yankees in Port St. Lucie. Using Torres in that game would eliminate the Mets' ability to backdate any DL stint into spring training -- meaning the organization expects Torres to be ready for Thursday's season opener. Torres being ready would push Vinny Rottino to Triple-A Buffalo.
Also Sunday, left-hander Josh Edgin's solid Grapefruit League showing, which included 10 1/3 scoreless innings, ended with the prospect being informed he is headed to Double-A Binghamton to serve as the closer. Tim Byrdak may be ready for Opening Day as he returns from March 13 surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Otherwise, Daniel Herrera temporary will be with the team, and Byrdak would be expected to be activated for Game 5.
• R.A. Dickey required two stitches to his right heel after getting spiked, but the knuckleballer completed his outing and limited Detroit to one run on three hits, including a monstrous homer by Prince Fielder, in four innings. Herrera and Jon Rauch combined to be charged for eight runs in 2 1/3 innings, though, as the Mets lost to the Detroit Tigers, 9-2, on Sunday. Ike Davis' two-run homer provided one of the Mets' two hits.
• Here are 13 Mets farmhands who might appear at Citi Field in 2012.
• Versatile ex-Cub Bobby Scales signed a minor league deal with the Mets and will join Buffalo.
• Jason Bay may end up being in a platoon after April if he underperforms, according to the Post. Bay is hitting .195 with no RBIs in 41 Grapefruit League at-bats. He has 13 strikeouts and 10 walks. One major issue would be with whom the righty-hitting Bay would platoon. Mike Baxter is the lefty-hitting outfielder the Mets plan to carry, and it's hard to foresee him chipping away significantly at Bay's at-bats. Perhaps if it's that dire lefty-hitting Kirk Nieuwenhuis will be promoted. Bay's playing time will be significant to watch since a $17 million vesting option for 2014 will kick in -- raising the total value of his contract to five years and $80 million -- if Bay has 500 plate appearances apiece this season and next. If Bay does not reach that threshold, he also can trigger the vesting option with 600 plate appearances in 2013. If he falls short of both, he is entitled to a $3 million buyout on top of his $16 million salary for '13.
TRIVIA: Who started on Opening Day for the Mets in 2000?
Sunday's answer: Carlos Beltran, despite being traded with more than two months remaining in the season, led the Mets in RBI with 66.