Mets morning briefing 7.15.11

The Mets will open the second half of the season with a three-game set at home against the Phillies this weekend, starting on Friday night. They'll begin a crucial stretch of the season as it relates to the future of the team. If the Mets can stay in the race, there's a possibility that the team will stay largely intact after the break. If not, the front office is more likely to deal away more big contracts. The Mets are currently 11 games out of first place in the National League East and 7 1/2 games out of the NL wild card.

Here are Friday's news reports:

Ike Davis is still feeling pain in his injured ankle. He received a cortisone shot earlier this week and will rest for the next three weeks with the hope of avoiding season-ending surgery. If he feels pain though, he will likely undergo a season-ending procedure to fix the ailment. David Wright will play a rehab game in St. Lucie on Friday. Jose Reyes has yet to start running due to an injured hamstring.

Read more about Davis and other injury updates in the Star-Ledger and the Post.

Terry Collins decided against naming one closer to replace Francisco Rodriguez. Instead, he will go with a closer-by-committee of Bobby Parnell, Jason Isringhausen and Pedro Beato. All three said on Thursday that they were excited for the opportunity.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal and Star-Ledger.

• Mets players realize that the beginning of the second half is a crucial time in the season. They hope to show team execs that they have what it takes to compete for a playoff spot and, therefore, should remain intact after the July 31 trade deadline. Also, Post columnist Joel Sherman says the second half of the season is the last chance for Wright and Reyes to show they belong together as a tandem.

Read more about the second half in the Post, the Daily News and the Times.

Sandy Alderson on Thursday confirmed a New York Times report stating that K-Rod's former agent never filed a no-trade list. K-Rod said in Milwaukee that he was confused by the lack of a list and that he thought the Brewers were on his list. But he is happy to be in Milwaukee.

For more on the agent snafu in the Daily News.

• The attorney for the woman involved in a civil suit and countersuit with Johan Santana is demanding that the pitcher's attorneys turn over documents that allegedly indicate Santana made pre-settlement offers to make the case go away.

Read more in the Daily News.

• The Mets announced Thursday that they signed outfielder Joe Tuschak (Northern York High School, Pa.), their sixth-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. Also, Justin Turner reports that his injured thumb is feeling better after the break.

BIRTHDAYS: Big day for birthdays for former Mets: Don Bosch (69), Fernando Nieve (28), Wilson Delgado (38), James Baldwin (39).