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Thursday, April 18, 2013
Morning briefing: Homecoming soon

By Adam Rubin

DENVER

FIRST PITCH: The Mets are headed home tonight. Game or no game.

For the third time in four days, the Mets were idle Wednesday. Their game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field was snowed out. It will be made up later in the season at a date to be determined.

The positive byproduct: The Mets can now skip the fifth starter’s turn for more than a week. Jeremy Hefner, who would have started last night, instead faces the Washington Nationals on Saturday. That bumps Aaron Laffey to long relief.

The Mets will not need the fifth starter’s spot again until a week from Saturday. By then, Shaun Marcum -- who is supposed to pitch in Port St. Lucie, Fla., today -- could be ready to return.

See the projected upcoming pitching matchups here.

Thursday’s news reports:

Matt Harvey will enjoy the chance to match up with Stephen Strasburg on Friday night at Citi Field. Read more in the Daily News.

• Sandy Alderson tells ESPNNewYork.com that Zack Wheeler’s promotion will come when the prospect is ready and is not closely tied to the state of the rotation. Read more in the Daily News.

• The Mets promoted Jeurys Familia and optioned dropdown reliever Greg Burke to Triple-A Las Vegas to work on his changeup. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• What’s wrong with Ruben Tejada, who already has six errors? “He’s putting a lot of pressure on himself,” David Wright told Mike Puma in the Post. “You can just tell he’s thinking about a lot of things instead of just playing. The ones that are reactionary plays, he’s fine with. It’s the one’s he’s got to think about. I’ve been there. Everybody has been there.” Read more in the Star-Ledger and Record.

Frank Francisco began a rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie. He tossed a 1-2-3 inning while registering 90-92 mph.

• Jacob deGrom allowed one run in eight innings in his Double-A debut, but Binghamton lost to Portland, 1-0, Wednesday. Travis d'Arnaud left Las Vegas' game, reportedly with an ankle inury after being struck with a pitch. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Read more on Wednesday’s postponement in the Post, Newsday, Times, Star-Ledger.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report suggests Tejada may not be the answer at shortstop. … Shannon from Mets Police left his notes from his interview with Howie Rose lying around. His family found them and thought Shannon was depressed. It was actually Howie's comments about Twitter.

BIRTHDAYS: Rico Brogna turns 43. … Doug Flynn is 62.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

Citi Friday night is gonna have an awesome atmosphere! I hope I can make it! #PitcherDuel #Mets

— Michael Mora (@Mike_Mora1) April 18, 2013
YOU’RE UP: Are you OK with Zack Wheeler developing in Triple-A when the Mets have a need now?