PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.
FIRST PITCH: The countdown has reached zero!
Mets pitchers and catchers officially report to Port St. Lucie on Saturday, although that is mostly an anticlimactic event.
In reality, “reporting” merely means informing the team you have arrived in the city limits.
The team’s complex mostly will be closed this weekend, even for voluntary workouts, with the exception of pitchers and catchers getting physicals Sunday morning and some pitchers throwing that afternoon at the complex.
The first official workout is Monday.
Saturday’s news reports:
• Terry Collins gave his “state-of-the-Mets” address Friday morning. The summary: Jonathon Niese is likely to start Opening Day. Eric Young Jr. is the manager’s preference for leadoff hitter. Lucas Duda will see some outfield time. Wilmer Flores will get work at shortstop. Bobby Parnell is the closer, even with the additions of Jose Valverde and Farnsworth on minor-league deals. And the Mets will be cautious with Matt Harvey, who wants to toss a baseball for a first time next weekend.
After listening to an optimistic Collins, columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post writes:
If the Mets signed [Stephen] Drew and traded [Ike] Davis before Opening Day, they’d put themselves in the running for “Best NL offseason” with Washington and San Diego. As is, they’re intriguing, but the idea of meaningful games in September still requires some heavy optimism.
• Roughly five months after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck, Parnell threw off a mound Friday for the first time since the Sept. 10 procedure. Parnell attempted only 10 pitches and had no issue. He had been expected to wait more than another week before attempting to throw off a mound. Read more in the Post, Daily News and MLB.com.
• Jared Diamond in the Journal suggests the Mets’ offseason “spending spree” wasn’t all that impressive after all. The added payroll merely replaced shed contracts.
• Harvey’s social life made Page 6. Read more in the Post.
BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets reliever Barry Jones was born on this date in 1963.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Can't wait to rock this bad boy around Florida in a few weeks! #Mets pic.twitter.com/d19WrU67Q2
— John Mincone (@thejohnmincone) January 21, 2014
YOU’RE UP: Is Terry Collins making the right call saying he prefers Eric Young Jr. as his leadoff hitter?