Morning Briefing: Last practice game!


FIRST PITCH: And then there was one.

The New York Mets play their final practice game on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. ET, again against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park.

Dillon Gee -- still not named the fifth starter, although he is ticketed for that role -- will start opposite Rangers left-hander Ross Detwiler.

Jonathon Niese also had been scheduled to appear in the game, but pitching coach Dan Warthen said Niese preferred not to enter a game in relief of Gee. The southpaw instead will throw two bullpen sessions before Friday’s turn against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.

The Mets are expected to reveal their 25-man Opening Day roster after Saturday's game.

A team official said the Mets are planning to go with an eight-man bullpen. That seemingly would benefit Buddy Carlyle at the expense of Eric Campbell.

Manager Terry Collins, while not acknowledging the configuration on Friday, said Jacob deGrom could be available to pinch-hit to offset any bench shortage. With Daniel Murphy potentially needing days off as he returns from a pulled right hamstring, carrying four bench players could be a little extra dicey.

Carlyle can exercise a contract out if he is not on the Opening Day roster.

Also on Saturday, the full-hour E:60 profile, “Matt Harvey, The Dark Knight Rises,” premieres on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET.

Other show times: Monday at 10 p.m. on ESPN, Tuesday at 11 p.m. on ESPN2, Thursday at 11 p.m. on ESPN2, April 18 at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN2 and May 6 at 10 p.m. on ESPN.


  • DeGrom retired the first 11 batters he faced and threw four scoreless innings as the Mets beat the Texas Rangers 5-0 Friday night in Arlington. Curtis Granderson went 2-for-4 with an RBI as he returned to the lineup the day after getting struck with a pitch on the outside of the right knee. Logan Verrett, a Rule 5 pick from the Mets in December, started against his former organization. Rangers GM Jon Daniels expects Verrett will make Texas’ Opening Day roster. DeGrom faces Jordan Zimmermann and the Washington Nationals on Wednesday in D.C. Read more on Friday’s game in the Daily News.

  • Murphy remains poised to open the season active. He went 3-for-4 with a double and a walk in a minor league intrasquad game Friday in Port St. Lucie.

  • Read more on the roster configuration in the Post, Daily News, Newsday and at NJ.com.

  • Outfielder Cesar Puello cleared waivers and was outrighted to Las Vegas. He is no longer a member of the 40-man roster.

  • Check out the Opening Day roster of the St. Lucie Mets here and the Savannah Sand Gnats here. Highly touted Michael Conforto, Amed Rosario, Marcos Molina and Dominic Smith all with play with the Florida State League club in St. Lucie.

  • Mike Puma in the Post revisits questions posed at the start of camp.

  • Kevin J. Ryan at Inc. profiles the rise of Darren Meenan and The 7 Line apparel business.

  • Michael Cuddyer is among the players reciting “People Will Come” from Field of Dreams. Watch the MLB-produced video here.

  • Matt Ehalt in the Record discusses Cuddyer’s potential impact with the Mets.

  • Mike Piazza will be among the former players ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.

  • From the bloggers … Faith and Fear gives the E:60 Harvey film “33” thumbs up. … Rising Apple contributors predict the Mets’ record. … Mets Report suggests the Mets are unwise to rush Murphy back.

BIRTHDAYS: Former cyclist Eric Valent turns 38. ... Tom Herr is 59. ... The late Jim Fregosi was born on this date in 1942.


YOU’RE UP: Are the Mets smart to carry an extra pitcher?