Terry Collins doesn't mind hot seat in 2015

SAN DIEGO -- Terry Collins offered his thoughts on the 2015 Mets at the winter meetings on Monday and suggested the team should be competitive, even absent further additions.

"I think we've got the pieces," the manager said. "It's time to step up."

Told that heaped pressure on him as a manager to get results, Collins added: "So what? You put yourself on the hot seat. At my age, there's a lot of numbness down there anyway."

Among the tidbits from Collins:

Juan Lagares is the likely leadoff hitter, with Curtis Granderson the fallback.

Collins acknowledged that Lagares leading off would allow him to alternate righties and lefties throughout the lineup, with Daniel Murphy batting second, David Wright third, Lucas Duda fourth, Michael Cuddyer fifth and Granderson sixth.

"We know he can steal bases. He showed us that last year," Collins said about Lagares.

The manager added that he just needs Lagares to improve his plate discipline.

• Wright is recovering well from his left shoulder injury, but is not yet swinging a bat. Wright should be doing so soon, since he's due to visit new hitting coach Kevin Long in Phoenix later this month.

• Although Sandy Alderson has all but named Wilmer Flores as the starting shortstop and Ruben Tejada as the backup barring an external addition -- and Alderson generally gets his way -- Collins is not prepared to name Flores the starter over Tejada just yet. Collins noted that Tejada has pledged to attend the Mike Barwis-led fitness and nutrition camp in January in Port St. Lucie, Florida. "He's 25," Collins said of Tejada, noting he should not be written off. "It would be one thing if he was 31 or 32."

• Duda, Bobby Parnell, Jonathon Niese and Flores already have been to the Barwis fitness camp this offseason. Collins said 40-plus players, including minor leaguers, are expected to attend in January.

Matt Harvey, who expressed a goal of facing hitters as soon as he arrives in Port St. Lucie in early February, will be on a considerably slower track than that. And as much as Harvey says he's on board with the Mets' plan to shave his innings in-season, Collins noted about the first time the club tries to skip one of his starts: "Oh, there'll be a fight."

• Cuddyer likely will play right field, with Granderson shifting to left field.

• Parnell won't be ready for mound work until late January as he returns from Tommy John surgery and won't be highly active until the middle of spring training. He is likely to open the season on the DL. Still, Collins maintained the closer's job essentially is Parnell's to lose, with Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia and Vic Black in a competition for the role in the interim.

• The Opening Day bullpen should be Mejia, Familia, Black, Josh Edgin, Carlos Torres, an external addition who is a left-hander and a fill-in until Parnell is ready. Collins indicated Rafael Montero is the best young candidate to fill in at the start of the season in a bullpen role. A year ago, Cory Mazzoni would have been included on that list, but he had an injury-plagued 2014, so the Mets probably won't ask him to relieve to open the upcoming season.