PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.
FIRST PITCH: The final week of spring training begins with a pair of games for the Mets.
Jenrry Mejia opposes Washington Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark at 1:10 p.m. in Port St. Lucie (PIX11/WOR 710 AM). Jenn Austin will sing the national anthem at Tradition Field. She is the fiancée of Mets catching prospect and Hicksville, Long Island, native Cam Maron.Isaac Brekken/Associated Press
Jenrry Mejia makes what may be his final case for an Opening Day roster spot Sunday against the Nats.
At ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney,
John Lannan opposes Atlanta Braves right-hander Freddy Garcia at 1:05 p.m. (no Mets TV/radio). UPDATE: Carlos Torres instead will start the road game, with Lannan remaining at home to work in relief.
With Daisuke Matsuzaka looking like he will claim a spot in the rotation and Lannan seemingly penciled into the bullpen, Mejia may find himself the odd-man out and instead in a stacked Triple-A Las Vegas rotation to open the season. The 51s’ rotation should include Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom.
Sunday’s news reports:
• Daniel Murphy had five plate appearances in a minor-league game Saturday, but did not run after making contact. It marked his first game action since injuring his right calf one week ago. Murphy should return to the Grapefruit League lineup Sunday, Terry Collins said. Read more in the Star-Ledger and MLB.com.
• Travis d’Arnaud snapped an 0-for-21 drought with a two-run homer, shortstop Wilmer Flores drove in four runs and Ike Davis went deep as the Mets beat the Marlins, 10-2, Saturday in Jupiter. Bartolo Colon produced an RBI single that drew a loud reaction from the Roger Dean Stadium crowd while also limiting Miami to two runs in 6 2/3 innings.
Read more on Davis in the Daily News.
• Steve Serby in the Post has a Q&A with David Wright. On his December wedding and how marriage can improve his baseball play, Wright tells Serby: “I’ve had problems in the past of kinda taking baseball home with me. And I think that this will help me out in the fact that I’ll be able to separate the two. And I think ultimately that’ll make me a better player because … especially when I’m struggling, when the team’s struggling, I have a tendency to just constantly think about it.”
• Kirk Nieuwenhuis has opened eyes this spring, but the educated speculation is Andrew Brown instead will claim the extra bench spot with Jonathon Niese scheduled to open the season on the disabled list. Niese is due to be activated for a start on April 6 against the Cincinnati Reds, at which point the Mets’ bench would need to return to five position players.
• Ken Belson in the Times reviews the recent history of the pitcher batting eighth, which Collins may employ on occasion this season. “I wouldn’t want to be blamed if it ended up costing the team a game,” analyst Ron Darling told Belson.
• Josh Satin annually has a high batting average on balls in play. His theory why? “My whole philosophy of hitting -- which is kind of similar to what [the Mets] want -- is swing at the best pitch you’re going to get and don’t swing at marginal pitches, which I think creates maybe a few more strikeouts but allows you to square the ball up more,” Satin told Anthony Rieber in Newsday. “You square the ball up more, you’re going to have a higher batting average on balls in play, especially if you strike out a little more. It’s not like it’s a surprise to me.”
• Rep. Peter King (R-NY), the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, attended Saturday’s Mets game wearing a Brooklyn Cyclones jersey with his last name and No. 44 on the back.
• Columnist Bob Raissman in the Daily News applauds Matt Harvey for speaking out. Raissman, incidentally, notes that SNY ratings were 14 percent higher when Harvey pitched last season than the network’s season average.
• The Mets suggest there are not a rash of Tommy John surgeries in the system, and that Harvey’s surgery as well as Jeremy Hefner’s last year skew the impression. "You’re talking like three percent of our guys are having Tommy John," Dickie Scott, who helps oversee the Mets’ minor-league operations, told Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger about the total organization-wide. “When Matt Harvey is one of our guys, it sounds like 90 percent.”
BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets pitcher Mike Remlinger turns 48.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Duda challenged me to a race last year and I declined. If Colon offers the challenge, it's on.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) March 22, 2014
YOU’RE UP: Do you believe all the Mets starting position players will be healthy and available on Opening Day?