Morning Briefing: TC to give state-of-Mets

Howard Smith/USA TODAY Sports

Terry Collins is scheduled to address the media on Friday in Port St. Lucie.


FIRST PITCH: Terry Collins, now MLB's oldest manager at 64, gives his beginning of spring training state-of-the-Mets address at 11:30 a.m. Friday. So stay tuned for updates via Twitter and the blog around then.

Collins is sure to discuss his plan to get Ike Davis 90 or so at-bats during spring training, roughly double last Grapefruit League season’s total. He also will be asked to explain if Eric Young Jr. continues to be his favorite for the leadoff spot, and if that means Juan Lagares’ playing time will be diminished to get EY Jr. in the lineup.

Will Lucas Duda play the outfield? Will Wilmer Flores see time at first base?

The fifth-starter’s race should come up, too. As will how strongly the Mets will consider a prospect such as Jeff Walters, Jack Leathersich or even Rafael Montero for the bullpen.

Oh, and will Matt Harvey toss a baseball on Feb. 22, the four-month anniversary of his Tommy John surgery?

Friday’s news reports:

• Sandy Alderson clearly does not want to publicly rule out Harvey pitching this season and agitate the ace, but it seems pretty likely Harvey -- who underwent Tommy John surgery -- will not appear in the majors in 2014. Alderson, trying to shape the dialogue and discourage reporters from dwelling on Harvey, insisted the ace ought not be a storyline. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Alderson weighed in on other topics Thursday, too. That included labeling the signing of Stephen Drew or any other significant player the rest of the offseason “unlikely.” The GM also suggested three viable options exist for a resolution with Davis and Duda: Both could end up on the team. Both could end up gone. Or one could end up in the minors. Alderson went on to say that the payroll, which is roughly $87 million, is unrestrained by banks and where he thought it would end up when the offseason began. Read more in the Journal, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and MLB.com.

David Wright is clearly a loyal guy. He took a glass-half-full approach Thursday to the Mets having an un-New York-worthy payroll and suggested the team is “100 percent” better than last year. Wright did say Thursday that he is “envious” of Derek Jeter’s winning accomplishments. Wright, now age 31, is starting to feel his own mortality -- feeling like he has blinked and 10 years of his career have gone by. Read more in the Times, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and MLB.com.

• WOR 710 AM confirmed ESPNNewYork.com’s previous report that Howie Rose and Josh Lewin will remain the radio team with the switch on the dial from WFAN. Read more in Newsday, the Times, Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger and MLB.com.

The station will air 15 exhibition games: Feb. 28 and March 2, 3, 5, 9, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 and 26 as well as March 28 and 29 in Montreal against the Toronto Blue Jays.

• Ex-Met Jim Fregosi, a longtime MLB manager, has been taken off life support at a Miami hospital after suffering a massive stroke while on a cruise. He then passed away early Friday morning, according to Tracy Ringolsby. Fregosi, 71, infamously was traded by the Angels to the Mets for a package including Nolan Ryan on Dec. 10, 1971. Read more in the Post and Daily News.

• Matt Koch, the organization’s third-round pick in 2012 out of Louisville, who was struck in the head with a liner last August while pitching for low-Savannah, has been cleared for 2014 pitching after being examined by team doctors in New York. Koch had been hospitalized for three days after the incident. He went 6-4 with a 4.70 ERA in 18 appearances (15 starts) for the Gnats last season.

• Fred Kerber in the Post profiles 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo as well as former Purdue catcher Kevin Plawecki, a supplemental first-round pick the following year. Both will be in big-league camp. “I told my dad, ‘If it feels this good to get called to big league spring training, I can’t wait to get the call up to the big leagues,’” Nimmo said. “I’m going there to learn. I’ll keep my ears open, my mouth shut.”

From the bloggers … The Eddie Kranepool Society asks: How does a Mets fan react to Jeter’s retirement announcement? … John Delcos at Mets Report writes that each Mets starter has a significant question. … Rising Apple suggests any GM’s public comments need to be taken with a grain of salt. … Blogging Mets picks Travis d’Arnaud as its key player.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets catcher Kelly Stinnett turns 44.


YOU’RE UP: What’s the truth with the Mets having an $87 million payroll? The owners don’t provide the flexibility? Alderson doesn’t want to spend? Or banks or some other external constraint is being applied?