Wilmer Flores' tryout begins Friday night

NEW YORK -- Wilmer Flores believes he can handle playing shortstop in the major leagues.

The New York Mets plan to find out if he can.

"He's going to play," Mets manager Terry Collins said, after writing Flores' name into the lineup for Friday night's game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Flores is getting a chance because the Mets aren't scoring runs (a 23-inning scoreless streak heading into Friday), and because shortstop has been one of the least productive spots. With Ruben Tejada getting most of the playing time, Mets shortstops entered play Friday with a .517 OPS, 29th among the 30 teams in the majors.

Flores hasn't done much so far in the big leagues (a .521 OPS in 105 plate appearances), but he's still just 22 years old and was producing at Triple-A Las Vegas (an .860 OPS and a .307 batting average, with five home runs and 25 RBIs in 29 games).

"I talked to Wally [Backman, the Las Vegas manager]," Collins said. "He said if you're going to call him, this is the time, because he's red-hot."

Flores signed with the Mets as a 16-year-old shortstop out of Venezuela, but because of his big build and his defensive problems, the Mets moved him away from short and had him play the other three infield spots the past two years.

They moved Flores back to shortstop this spring, in large part because they realized it was becoming a problem position.

"We said, 'What do we have to lose?'" Collins said.

Flores committed seven errors in 25 games at Las Vegas, most of them throwing errors. He knows that many have questioned his defense.

"I know I can handle it," he said. "I'm going to prove it."

Harvey eyes the mound: Matt Harvey threw from 120 feet for the first time Friday, but the bigger step in his comeback from Tommy John surgery will be when he is first able to step on a mound. Harvey told reporters he's hoping that will happen sometime around June 10.

Mejia limit: Jenrry Mejia, starting Friday night against the Phillies, still needs to prove he can be consistent enough to keep his spot in the rotation. Even if he does, though, Mejia may not be starting all season. While Collins didn't speak of a specific innings limit for Mejia, he did say the Mets don't plan on letting him get to 150 innings. Mejia was at 32 2/3 innings in six starts before Friday.