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Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Morning briefing: Doubleheader on tap

By Adam Rubin

DENVER

FIRST PITCH: Let’s Play Two! Or not, and go to the Bon Jovi concert instead tonight in Denver.

Snow forced the postponement of Monday’s Mets-Colorado Rockies series opener, although Matt Harvey and fellow pitchers tried to keep their arms in shape with some outdoor work at Coors Field.

The teams will attempt a split doubleheader today, although the forecast is not much better.

Dillon Gee opposes right-hander Juan Nicasio in the 3:10 p.m. ET opener. Terry Collins said he was undecided about whom he will start in the 8:40 p.m. ET nightcap, although Jeremy Hefner seemed a more likely option than Aaron Laffey to face left-hander Jeff Francis.

Collins does not intend to mess with Harvey’s schedule, meaning he remains lined up to face Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals on Friday at Citi Field.

The Mets and Rockies will all wear No. 42 jerseys for the afternoon game today to honor Jackie Robinson. In the nightcap, the teams will wear throwback 1993 jerseys to commemorate Colorado’s first major league game.

Tuesday’s news reports:

• Harvey, who tamed the Philadelphia Phillies, then took a no-hit bid two outs into the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins last week, earned NL Player of the Week honors.

• Collins got "yelled at five times a day" during spring training about the Mets' need to take more pitches, but Sandy Alderson's approach is now in full effect, writes Mike Puma in the Post. Writes Puma:

The Mets have seen an average of 156.91 pitches through 11 games this season, up from 145.82 last year, when hitting coach Dave Hudgens says players shunned the organizational philosophy of showing patience at the plate, particularly in the second half of the season. ... The team goal, according to [hitting coach Dave] Hudgens, is to see 150 pitches per game.

“The pitcher ultimately is the one that allows that to happen,” Hudgens said. “But if you see 150 pitches a game, there is a good chance you are going to win.”


Frank Francisco (elbow) is due to begin a rehab assignment today with Class A St. Lucie. Shaun Marcum now is scheduled to throw three or four innings on a back field in Port St. Lucie, Fla.. on Thursday.

• A fire at Citi Field damaged administrative offices, the team said. Read more in the Daily News.

• Regarding the weather, Jared Diamond writes in the Journal:

Since Stats LLC started tracking weather in 1991, the coldest outdoor game-time temperature on record is 29 degrees -- a mark set on April 8, 1997 at Chicago's Wrigley Field and then again on April 7, 2007, at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium. The coldest average temperature for a three- or four-game series is 33.8 degrees, coming in Pittsburgh from April 17-20, 1997. If the Mets wind up playing any night games this week, they could reach those marks. 

Read more on the weather in the Star-Ledger, Times, Newsday, Daily News, Post, Record and MLB.com.

• Pitching prospect Luis Mateo, who was making a spot start for Double-A Binghamton, departed four pitches into the fourth inning with an elbow/forearm issue. He will get an MRI. Pedro Feliciano made his season debut with a scoreless inning for Class A St. Lucie. Brandon Nimmo homered and had five RBIs in Savannah’s 8-5 win at Greensboro. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Zack Wheeler, who had dealt with a blister issue in his first two starts, was pleased with Sunday’s outing with Triple-A Las Vegas. "Definitely better than the past two times," Wheeler told Adam Candee in Newsday. "I think my nail settled down a little bit, so that was good. Me and [pitching coach] Randy [St. Claire] have been working on a lot of stuff, keeping my front side in. I think I did a lot better job of that today. My breaking ball was a little bit sharper."

Collin Cowgill is ice cold at the plate, writes Mike Kerwick in the Record.

From the bloggers Mets Police fears fans will like tonight's 1993 throwback jerseys. … The Eddie Kranepool Society writes that the encouraging start, and Wheeler looming, is raising fans’ expectations.

BIRTHDAYS: Reliever Ken Takahashi and second baseman Fernando Vina turn 44. … San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who appeared in 17 games for the Mets in 1982, is 58.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

It's not looking too good here, and I don't think they have heaters under the field here twitter.com/redturn2/statu…

— Justin Turner (@redturn2) April 15, 2013
YOU’RE UP: What should the Mets do with Frank Francisco when he is ready to be activated from the disabled list?