Morning Briefing: den Dekker day

August, 9, 2014
8/09/14
5:40
AM ET
PHILADELPHIA

FIRST PITCH: With a pledge to play younger, homegrown players to determine their readiness to contribute in 2015 now in effect, the Mets continue a series at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.73 ERA) opposes left-hander Cole Hamels (6-6, 2.42).

Terry Collins, who sat Lucas Duda in New York against Hamels, said Duda will start against the southpaw this time. Part of the Mets’ gauging players for next season is determining Duda’s aptitude against left-handed pitching.

Duda is 1-for-13 with seven strikeouts and five walks in his career against Hamels.

This will be Duda’s second straight start against a southpaw. He went 0-for-3 against Gio Gonzalez in D.C.

Saturday’s news reports:

Chris Young was designated for assignment after Friday’s game, as the Mets prepare to eat what remains of his one-year, $7.25 million contract. Matt den Dekker, who leads the Pacific Coast League with a .334 average, planned to take a redeye and join the Mets on Saturday in Philly. Collins said den Dekker will regularly start in left field, with Kirk Nieuwenhuis seeing action at all three outfield positions and serving as a lefty pinch hitter. Eric Young Jr. primarily will start against southpaws.

The den Dekker promotion is consistent with the Mets’ commitment to now give Wilmer Flores a serious look as a shortstop, to gauge his ability to handle the role in 2015.

Read more on the dumping of Young and the change of focus in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Journal, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

Bartolo Colon watched from the clubhouse as a four-run ninth-inning lead nearly slipped away, but he ultimately notched win No. 200 as the Mets beat the Phillies, 5-4, Friday. Colon became the third Dominican-born pitcher to reach that plateau, joining Juan Marichal and Pedro Martinez. Jenrry Mejia kept a promise to Colon by stranding the tying run at third base. Meija’s calf remained tight, but he pitched through the issue.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

Jeremy Hefner will be sent to New York to be examined by team doctors after experiencing a forearm issue during Wednesday’s minor-league start with Class A St. Lucie. Hefner is unsure if the injury is linked to the Tommy John surgery he underwent last August.

• Collins has no intention of dropping David Wright from the No. 3 hole.

• Danny Muno had a two-run double in a five-run eighth as Las Vegas rallied to beat Albuquerque, 9-6. Ivan Wilson had a grand slam in Kingport’s 16-10 win against Bristol. Jeff Diehl had a go-ahead two-run double in Brooklyn’s 4-2 win against Mahoning Valley. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Matt Harvey is scheduled for his third mound session on Saturday.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (elbow) should pitch in a rehab game early next week.

• Lloyd Carroll in the Queens Chronicle weighs in on the Mets.

BIRTHDAYS: The late Tommie Agee was born on this date in 1942. ... Pat Mahomes turns 44. ... Minor-league left-hander T.J. Chism turns 26. ... Savannah first baseman/DH Matt Oberste is 23.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will Matt den Dekker demonstrate he can excel at the major league level?
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187