<
>

Morning Briefing: Bartolo Colon kicks off second half in Philly

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets have set their rotation for the second half.

Bartolo Colon, who went unused in the All-Star Game, will pitch Friday’s second-half opener against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Logan Verrett then gets Saturday’s assignment. Jacob deGrom, who opted for rest rather than being an All-Star, pitches Sunday’s series finale.

When the Mets move to Wrigley Field, Steven Matz will open a series with the Chicago Cubs on Monday. Noah Syndergaard then gets the start on Tuesday to maximize his rest. He departed his final first-half start with what the Mets described as “arm fatigue” and withdrew from pitching in the All-Star Game.

Even with one more day until games resume, there still is must-see Mets TV on Thursday. The 30 for 30 documentary “Doc & Darryl” premieres on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET.

Here’s the official film summary:

“When they were good, they were the biggest stars on a team that captured New York City and the 1986 World Series. But when they were bad, Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry broke the hearts of Mets fans. ‘They were going to be our guys for years,’ laments Jon Stewart in this evocative yet searing 30 for 30 documentary directed by Judd Apatow (‘Trainwreck’) and Michael Bonfiglio (‘You Don't Know Bo’). Reunited at a diner in Queens, the pitcher and the power hitter look back on the glory days of the mid-'80s and the harrowing nights that turned them from surefire Hall of Famers into prisoners of their own addictions. Listening to Doc talk about missing the parade down the Canyon of Heroes, or Darryl counsel others at his ministry, you can only wish that these two very different men had not followed the same destructive path.”

Watch the trailer here.

THURSDAY’S NEWS REPORTS:

  • UConn left-hander Anthony Kay, the 31st overall pick in the draft, officially signed Wednesday. Kay is a product of Ward Melville High School on Long Island, the same alma mater as Matz. Kay reportedly received a $1.1 million signing bonus. That was a discount from the $1.97 million recommended for that slot because of “elbow concerns,” MLB.com’s Jim Callis tweeted. The Mets have now signed all of their top 20 picks. Read more in Newsday, the Daily News and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Jim Henderson's rehab assignment will shift to Triple-A Las Vegas when play resumes Thursday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Betsy Helfand tweeted. Henderson, on the disabled list with right-biceps tendinitis, allowed eight earned runs on eight hits, five walks and a wild pitch in 4⅔ innings with Double-A Binghamton.

  • Mike Puma in the Post reports that the Mets’ focus before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline will be to add a reliever. Writes Puma: “That reliever, according to a club source, doesn’t necessarily have to be a higher-end option in the mold of Tyler Clippard, whom the Mets acquired for the stretch run last year. But names such as San Diego’s Ryan Buchter and Brad Hand could appeal to the Mets, along with Oakland’s John Axford and Atlanta’s Chris Withrow. If the Mets wanted to make a play on another team’s closer, Milwaukee’s Jeremy Jeffress could be a possibility.”

  • The world’s 50 most valuable sports franchises are ranked at Forbes.com, and the list is loaded with New York teams. The Yankees check in at No. 4 with a value of $3.4 billion. The Knicks rank seventh at $3.0 billion. The Giants rank ninth at $2.8 billion. The Jets rank 13th at $2.6 billion. The Nets rank 34th at $1.7 billion. The Mets rank 37th at $1.65 billion.

  • Travis Taijeron produced a two-run homer and was named the Pacific Coast League’s top star, but his squad lost the Triple-A All-Star Game to the International League 4-2. Binghamton’s Matt Oberste went 4-for-5 with a double and four RBIs to earn MVP honors in the Eastern Division’s 10-2 win against the Western Division in the Eastern League All-Star Game. Ricky Knapp allowed one run in eight innings and St. Lucie beat Daytona 6-1. Gaby Almonte allowed nine runs in 2⅓ innings in Columbia’s 9-4 loss to Delmarva. Coastal Carolina product Michael Paez went 2-for-4 with two runs scored in his professional debut and Peter Alonso and Jacob Zanon homered in Brooklyn’s 6-2 win against Aberdeen. Read the full minor league recap here.

  • Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post writes about the Mets’ second-half schedule: “Of their final 74 games, 38 are against the teams with the majors’ 10 worst records, 42 if you want to make it the 11 worst records (which would then include the Yankees).”

  • Sandy Alderson expressed appreciation for Terry Collins, Tim Teufel and Daniel Murphy writing the general manager's name on Stand Up 2 Cancer cards and displaying it during Tuesday’s All-Star Game. “The Stand Up 2 Cancer moment was special to me and thousands of other cancer patients who appreciate the support of their families, friends and colleagues,” Alderson told Marc Carig in Newsday. “Terry, Tim and Murph are friends and colleagues (or former colleague in Murphy’s case), but they all feel like family.”

  • Puma in the Post hands out grades for Mets players.

  • Mike Piazza nearly quit when he was a player with Class A Vero Beach in 1990, Justin Terranova writes in the Post, citing an MLB Network documentary.

  • Matt Ehalt in the Record looks at second-half storylines involving the Mets.

  • Damon Salvadore in the Daily News looks at the best and worst moments of Gooden and Strawberry’s careers.

  • From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear finds meaning in a supposedly meaningless exhibition game. ... Mets Report believes it’s not a coincidence that Colon, who did not originate with the organization, is the team’s healthiest starting pitcher.

BIRTHDAYS: Robin Ventura turns 49. ... Jack Leathersich is 26.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

YOU’RE UP: Did the Mets properly set their rotation order for the second half?