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Morning Briefing: Asdrubal Cabrera set to return to lineup

Asdrubal Cabrera is ready to return to the field in Grapefruit League play for the first time since injuring his left knee on March 10. Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The New York Mets are nearing the completion of spring training.

The Mets play the final road game of their Grapefruit League schedule on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET at Jupiter (WOR). Bartolo Colon opposes St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez.

Asdrubal Cabrera, who logged four innings in a minor league game on Sunday, is due to be in the starting lineup against the Cardinals. It will mark his first Grapefruit League game since suffering a strained patellar tendon in his left knee on March 10.

The Mets play in Port St. Lucie on Tuesday and Wednesday, then face the Chicago Cubs in Las Vegas on Thursday and Friday. Then it’s off to Kansas City for Sunday’s Opening Day, which pits Matt Harvey against Edinson Volquez.

MONDAY’S NEWS REPORTS:

  • Steven Matz allowed one run on one hit and four walks in 5 2/3 innings and David Wright and Michael Conforto homered and had two RBIs apiece, but the Mets and Washington Nationals played to a 4-4 tie on Sunday at Tradition Field. Jim Henderson and Jerry Blevins combined to surrender two runs in the eighth, prompting Terry Collins to express concern about his relievers’ sagging velocities. Conforto (back) as well as Yoenis Cespedes (shoulder) and Lucas Duda (neck) returned to the lineup after short absences. The Mets’ winless streak swelled to 10 straight games. Read more on Matz’s outing in the Post, Daily News, Record, Newsday and at NJ.com and MLB.com, and read about concerns about the bullpen in the Post, Daily News, Record and Newsday.

  • New York City mayor Bill de Blasio told ESPN’s Outside the Lines that he plans to sign into effect in the next week or two the bill passed by the city council that will outlaw smokeless tobacco at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. After an education initiative, fines may be levied against violators. “Young people look up to baseball players, and they look up to all athletes. And we want to protect everyone’s health,” de Blasio told OTL. “This is something we believe in. Tobacco products of all kinds are fundamentally dangerous.” Watch the OTL segment here. Read more in the Post.

  • Wright demonstrated Sunday that he is ready for the season, columnist Kevin Kernan writes in the Post.

  • Tim Rohan in the Times looks at a svelte Juan Lagares' push for more playing time.

  • Ken Belson in the Times examines the boon to spring training on the Atlantic side of Florida with the move next year of the Nationals and Houston Astros to a new facility in Palm Beach Gardens.

  • From the bloggers ... Mets Report examines the team’s issues as the season rapidly approaches.

BIRTHDAYS: Brad Emaus turns 30. ... Paul Wilson is 43.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

YOU’RE UP: How will the bullpen fare once the games count?