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Morning Briefing: Matt Harvey Day ... and the Yankees!

3/22/2015

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. --

FIRST PITCH: It should be quite a day at Tradition Field on Sunday -- Matt Harvey Day and the New York Yankees paying a visit.

The Mets are targeting 75 pitches for Harvey’s start in the 1:10 p.m. ET game (SNY/WOR).

Harvey opposes CC Sabathia, who is not particularly excited about facing Harvey.

“Not really,” Sabathia said. “I saw he started the All-Star Game and stuff, but no, sorry.”

Harvey tossed 53 pitches spanning four scoreless innings against the Boston Red Sox on Monday, in his third Grapefruit League start. He has a 2.08 Grapefruit League ERA.

SUNDAY’S NEWS REPORTS:

  • The San Francisco Giants were interested in reacquiring Zack Wheeler during the winter, but the Mets mostly portrayed him as off limits because they did not think his elbow would pass a physical, columnist Joel Sherman reports in the Post. Sherman also suggests that if the Mets were to acquire lefty reliever Brian Matusz from the Baltimore Orioles, one piece in the trade could be right-hander Logan Verrett, who already is in Orioles camp as a Rule 5 pick from the Mets. Verrett would have to clear waivers in such a scenario.

  • Long Island native Steven Matz allowed a solo homer but no other damage in 2 2/3 innings on Saturday against the Detroit Tigers, then was demoted to minor league camp. Matz will join Noah Syndergaard in Triple-A Las Vegas’ rotation to open the season. First baseman Brandon Allen was demoted earlier in the day. Forty players remain in major league camp, although that includes Wheeler and Josh Edgin, both of whom are out for the season. Read more in the Times, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Jeurys Familia and Dario Alvarez each uncorked a run-scoring wild pitch in the eighth inning and the Tigers beat the Mets, 6-4, in Lakeland. Danny Muno went 2-for-4 with an RBI in a start at second base. Alex Castellanos rolled his right ankle during a collision while playing first base. The Mets announced he had a bruised foot. Zack Thornton had two scoreless relief innings, albeit with two walks.

  • Read a feature on Muno, a switch-hitting Fresno State product, here. Matt Reynolds and Muno would be the primary considerations for Opening Day second baseman if Daniel Murphy opens the season on the DL with a pulled right hamstring. Reynolds, perhaps the favorite, is due to start at second base Sunday against the Yanks. Read more in the Post and Daily News.

  • Wheeler’s Tommy John surgery will be performed Wednesday by team doctor David Altchek, according to Newsday’s Marc Carig.

  • On Saturday, Bobby Parnell pitched in his first game since undergoing Tommy John surgery, although it was only a minor league intrasquad game. He threw 20 pitches. Parnell underwent the elbow procedure last April 8. He will open the season on the disabled list for a few weeks. Read more in Newsday.

  • Read more on Sabathia’s lack of enthusiasm to face the Mets and Harvey in the Post.

  • Read more on Harvey’s start in Newsday.

  • Columnist John Harper in the Daily News suggests it is time for the Mets to make the proper decisions for winning now -- not simply the conservative financial decisions. Harper wants Matz or Syndergaard promoted before the Super 2 deadline if warranted, Dilson Herrera over Muno or Reynolds if Murphy opens the year on the DL, and Matusz and his $3.2 million price tag over a waiver claim for left-handed relief.

  • Matt Ehalt in the Record chats with lefty relief candidate Scott Rice. Rice underwent elbow surgery to remove a bone spur and move a nerve last July 23.

  • Ex-Met Jordany Valdespin's mother told him to grow up, Clark Spencer writes in the Miami Herald.

  • From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear says "Jerry's Kids" -- the seven players who made the majors on Jerry Manuel’s his watch -- form the true core of the 2015 Mets. ... Mets Report suggests the club should release Ruben Tejada now if he is not in the plans.

BIRTHDAYS: Ike Davis, now with Oakland, turns 28. ... Sidearm reliever Joe Smith is 31. ... Former reliever Jeremy Griffiths is 37. ... Luis Mateo, who briefly pitched for Brooklyn last season, is 25.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

YOU’RE UP: Do you want the Mets to trade for Matusz?