Morning Briefing: Mets' injuries mount


FIRST PITCH: Bartolo Colon looks to get back on track Friday at Tradition Field, when the Mets face the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:10 p.m. ET (SNY).

Colon allowed five runs and lasted only two innings Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte.

He opposes Cards right-hander Michael Wacha.

Cory Mazzoni and Buddy Carlyle also are scheduled to pitch for the Mets.

Also Friday, Bobby Parnell is due to pitch on the minor league side. It will mark Parnell’s first game action since undergoing Tommy John surgery last April 8. He is due to open the season on the disabled list, but should be activated within a few weeks of Opening Day.


Injuries are starting to decimate the Mets. Already, Zack Wheeler and Josh Edgin have been diagnosed with elbow injuries, requiring Tommy John surgeries.

Now, Daniel Murphy departed Thursday’s split-squad game against the Cards with what is being labeled right hamstring tightness. After that same game, manager Terry Collins suggested Vic Black could open the season on the disabled list because of a nagging shoulder issue.

Collins said Murphy downplayed Thursday’s issue, but hamstring injuries have a tendency to linger. And Opening Day is now only 17 days away.

As for Black, he underwent an MRI last Friday and officially was diagnosed with shoulder weakness. But he will not be permitted to return to a mound soon, and Collins acknowledged the reliever is getting precariously close to opening the season on the DL.

“It’s getting close,” the manager said. “Yes, yes, it’s getting very, very close that he’s going to run out of days to get himself ready. He’s a power pitcher. And it takes time to build that arm strength up.”

Collins suggested not having Black in the Opening Day bullpen would be a “huge” setback. Already, the Mets have lost Edgin, the primary left-handed reliever, who underwent season-ending surgery Tuesday. Wheeler’s surgery should move Dillon Gee from the bullpen to the rotation. And Parnell, as noted, will open the season on the DL, at least for a few weeks.

“We’ve been sitting here telling everybody we didn’t have to rebuild our bullpen,” Collins said. “Hell, right now we’re in the process of rebuilding it as we speak. And if Vic’s down, we have to take a look at other options.”

The state of the left-handed relief is particularly concerning to Collins. The Mets likely need to go outside the organization for help. When it was noted that southpaws Dario Alvarez and Scott Rice combined to toss 1 2/3 no-hit relief innings Thursday against St. Louis, Collins countered: “3-2 counts aren’t going to work when the season starts.”

Read more on Black’s issue and the state of the bullpen in the Post, Daily News, Newsday and Record.

Read more on Murphy’s hamstring issue in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Newsday, Times and Record.

  • The Mets swept a pair of split-squad games Thursday. They beat the Houston Astros 3-1 in Port St. Lucie and topped the Cardinals 7-2 in Jupiter. Michael Cuddyer and Curtis Granderson homered against ex-Met Collin McHugh in the home game, while Gee tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings in his return to the rotation. Rafael Montero logged 3 2/3 innings, and pitching coach Dan Warthen insisted it is still a competition between Montero and Gee for a rotation spot. General manager Sandy Alderson strongly implied this week that Montero should be in the Opening Day bullpen. In Jupiter, Jonathon Niese allowed one run and struck out six in four innings and Wilmer Flores homered. Read more on Gee and Montero at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Anthony McCarron in the Daily News tagged along with Matt Harvey during some of his rehab spanning the past year.

  • U.S. Virgin Islands native Akeel Morris was shipped to minor league camp Thursday morning. That leaves 46 players in big league camp, including Wheeler and Edgin, both of whom are out for the season.

  • Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post looks at the plethora of young shortstops around baseball. He notes that in the same draft the Mets selected Gavin Cecchini 12th overall, Carlos Correa went first overall to Houston, Addison Russell went 11th to Oakland and Corey Seager 18th to the Dodgers.

  • MLB is about to announce the ability to stream local games on smartphones and tablets -- including Mets games in New York, provided you already subscribe to SNY through a standard cable provider, Josh Kosman writes in the Post.

  • Ruben Tejada's father saw him play in a major league uniform in person for the first time Thursday, Paul Hagen writes at MLB.com.

  • Hitting coach Kevin Long tells columnist John Harper in the Daily News that Cuddyer reminds him of Derek Jeter. “His demeanor, his mentality; he’s a gamer,” Long told Harper. “He brings it every day. And he goes to the plate every time with a total belief in himself.’’

  • From the bloggers ... Mets Report writes that the team will need all of its pitching depth.

BIRTHDAYS: Manny Alexander, who played in 54 games for the Mets in 1997, turns 44.


YOU’RE UP: Are you concerned by the volume of injuries in Mets camp?