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Morning Briefing: Happy T.J. Rivera day!

NEW YORK -- After again failing to win a second straight game, the New York Mets now sit 2 1/2 games behind the Miami Marlins for the second wild-card spot.

They again attempt to get back on track Wednesday when Bartolo Colon (10-6, 3.46 ERA) opposes Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Robbie Ray (5-11, 4.83) at 7:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field.

WEDNESDAY'S NEWS REPORTS:

  • The Mets plan to add T.J. Rivera from Triple-A Las Vegas before Wednesday's game. Brandon Nimmo was demoted to the Pacific Coast League club after Tuesday's game. Rivera, a graduate of Lehman High School in the Bronx, was hitting .349 is 11 homers and 80 RBIs with Las Vegas this season. Read more in the Daily News.

  • Sandy Alderson offered a positive assessment of Terry Collins' performance this season. “We all get assessed: Myself, Terry, the players, the coaching staff. It's an ongoing process,” Alderson told columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post. “Given the talent, given the player injuries that we've had and the roster that we've kind of stitched together, he's done a nice job.”

  • Alderson said he plans to engage Neil Walker's representatives before the season's end about a potential extension. It will be interesting to see what type of deal Walker will command compared with the three-year, $37.5 million contract Daniel Murphy received from the Washington Nationals last winter after the Mets declined to pursue a multi-year deal. The Mets traded second-base heir apparent Dilson Herrera along with 19-year-old left-hander Max Wotell to the Cincinnati Reds for Jay Bruce last week. Alderson previously has mentioned Jose Reyes as a second-base possibility for 2017. The Mets have a team option on Reyes for next season at the MLB minimum salary. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday and at MLB.com.

  • David Wright expects to be in the 2017 Opening Day lineup.

  • The Mets had hoped Reyes (oblique) could begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday, but that will be delayed at least a few days because he is experiencing tenderness while swinging from the right side. On a positive note, Yoenis Cespedes (quadriceps) took batting practice on Tuesday in Port St. Lucie. Alderson expects Cespedes will be activated from the DL when he is eligible on Aug. 19. Asdrubal Cabrera's progress from a patellar tendon strain is going slower than hoped, although he hit off a tee from the left side on Tuesday. Zack Wheeler's second rehab start will come as soon as Thursday for Class A St. Lucie at Bradenton. He is expected to throw 40 pitches. Jim Henderson's revived rehab assignment shifted to Triple-A Las Vegas, where he allowed a run in one inning and suffered the loss in Game 2 of a doubleheader on Tuesday. Henderson's original rehab assignment was derailed by a hamstring strain. Read more in Newsday and at MLB.com.

  • After considering alternatives, the Mets plan to stick with Logan Verrett for Friday's start against the San Diego Padres. Verrett is 0-2 with a 5.61 ERA in six starts since stepping into Matt Harvey's rotation slot. Verrett allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday. Alderson suggested the Mets also considered Jonathon Niese, Gabriel Ynoa and Rafael Montero to take that rotation turn. Collins indicated Verrett matched up best against the Padres. Read more at MLB.com.

  • Neil Walker's 20th homer of the season -- a two-run shot in the sixth inning -- gave the Mets a lead. But Hansel Robles surrendered three runs the following half-inning and the Diamondbacks beat the Mets, 5-3, in Tuesday's series opener. Steven Matz tossed a career-high 120 pitches and struck out a career-high nine batters in six innings. The damage against him in a no-decision came on solo homers by Brandon Drury and Paul Goldschmidt. Arizona stole five bases against Travis d'Arnaud. D'Arnaud also went 0-for-3 at the plate and was lifted for pinch hitter Ty Kelly in the ninth inning. The Mets have not won two games in a row since July 6-7. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Tim Tebow wants to play professional baseball, but Alderson said the Mets are “unlikely” to sign him. “Are you insinuating we need a Hail Mary at this point?” Alderson joked. Read more in the Post, Record and at NJ.com.

  • Rivera had two of Las Vegas' three hits in the opener and the 51s were swept in a doubleheader at Albuquerque. Tyler Herron allowed six runs in five innings and Reading beat Binghamton, 8-2. Josh Prevost tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings in St. Lucie's 1-0 win against Fort Myers. Harol Gonzalez tossed seven scoreless innings as Brooklyn blanked Vermont, 3-0. Read the full minor-league recap here.

  • Andrew Beaton in the Journal simulates a game between the Mets' players who are active and the players on the DL. (Spoiler: The DL team went 53-48 in simulations against the healthy bunch.)

  • From the bloggers … Mets Report believes there is no reason to rush Wright.

BIRTHDAYS: Matt den Dekker turns 29. ... Brandon Lyon is 37. ... Chuck Carr is 49. ... Gerald Williams is 50. ... Johnny Lewis is 77.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

YOU'RE UP: Do you believe Rivera will help the Mets?