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Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Morning Briefing: Niese 2-for-2 in NY trips

By Adam Rubin


Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos/Getty ImagesWilmer Flores is due to start at shortstop again for the Mets on Tuesday.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.

FIRST PITCH: Terry Collins plans to use a high percentage of his starting lineup in Tuesday’s 1:10 p.m. matchup against the Detroit Tigers (SNY).

That should include David Wright, Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares, who were given Monday off from reporting to the complex. That group had rolled into Port St. Lucie about 2:30 a.m. Monday after spending the weekend playing in Las Vegas against the Chicago Cubs.

Daisuke Matsuzaka opposes left-hander Kyle Lobstein.

Wilmer Flores is scheduled to make his third 2014 Grapefruit League start at shortstop.

The Mets then have a full off-day Wednesday. When the Mets reassemble, Collins said he will ratchet up the concentration level for the final stretch of camp.

“We’ve got Wednesday off and then we’re down to 10 days,” Collins said. “We’re going to tighten things up a little bit.”

Tuesday’s news reports:

Jonathon Niese now twice has been sent to New York for MRIs this spring training … and both times received favorable news. Team doctor David Altchek diagnosed Niese on Monday with elbow inflammation, but not structural damage. The southpaw was given a cortisone shot and cleared to resume throwing as soon as Wednesday.

While it appears Niese will open the season on the disabled list, that should be more of a strategic maneuver than anything. It would allow the Mets to carry an extra bench player for the first five games. The fifth starter will not be needed until April 6 against the Cincinnati Reds, and that is the date Niese would be eligible to return from the disabled list. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and MLB.com.

John Lannan allowed 12 of 20 batters he faced to reach and the Mets lost to the Miami Marlins, 10-7, Monday at Roger Dean Stadium. Read more in the Star-Ledger and MLB.com.

Ike Davis and Lucas Duda continued serving as designated hitters in minor-league games Monday without running the bases. Collins acknowledged “we’re running out of days” to get both ready for the season. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Record and Newsday.

Jose Valverde will have a role in the bullpen, writes Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger. Of course, Collins joked, Valverde will have to remember how many outs there are in an inning. He skipped over the first-base line after recording only the second out of an inning Monday.

• ESPN's Buster Olney tweets: "There is a strong sentiment within PHI organization right now that the team would be better off trading shortstop Jimmy Rollins ASAP. Jimmy Rollins, of course, cannot be traded without his consent, because he has 10-5 rights."

• Marty Noble at MLB.com catches up with ex-Met Tom Glavine, who will be enshrined in Cooperstown this summer.

• Ex-Met Justin Turner is not a fan of anonymous quotes from Mets officials in the New York media, he tells Capital New York. Read more in the Daily News.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing recalls the greatest Opening Day Mets starter of them all and the manager who first gave him the honor. … Rising Apple says acquiring a shortstop before Opening Day is imperative.

BIRTHDAYS: No one to appear in a game for the Mets was born on this date, but Adam Levine, Queen Latifah, Grover Cleveland and Brian Scalabrine celebrate birthdays today.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

Opening day for the Mets is 2 weeks away, and still they have not answered any of the important questions they had entering spring training.

— Kevin Burkhardt (@kevinburkhardt) March 17, 2014
YOU’RE UP: Do you believe Ike Davis and/or Lucas Duda will open the season on the disabled list?