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Friday, August 22, 2014
Morning Briefing: Mets eyeing Cuban?

By Adam Rubin

NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Mets get back to work Friday, when they open a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Jonathon Niese (7-8, 3.50 ERA) opposes right-hander Dan Haren (10-10, 4.59) in the 10:10 p.m. ET opener at Dodger Stadium.

Read the Mets-Dodgers series preview here.

Friday’s news reports:

• The Mets had not yet put Bartolo Colon on waivers as of Thursday morning, the Post’s Joel Sherman reports via Twitter. That would be a prerequisite to trading Colon in August.

• The Mets will “in the coming days take a look” at shortstop Roberto Carlos, a 28-year-old Cuban defector, sources tell Mike Puma in the Post.

As for the lack of aggressiveness in pursuing fellow Cuban Rusney Castillo, Sandy Alderson tells Puma: “I think it’s a matter of there might be some scouting differences of opinion, and kind of where we are and what we’re going to do in the immediate future, so there are lots of issues involved.”

Alderson said about the Mets’ pursuit of Cuban players in general: “We scout them now, so it’s not as if we’re not aware of what is going on. It’s not like we’re not aware of who is out there. We are not looking at that market necessarily to solve our problems. But you need to be active in all the player-acquisition markets -- participate and be aware that you have those as options.”

Daniel Murphy has a fan playing in the U.S Final of the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. The favorite player of Drew Laspaluto, who plays for Nevada, is Murphy “because he hits line-drive singles and Drew tries to emulate Murphy in this way.” Nevada plays Illinois on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger looks at Lucas Duda's success. Duda has 23 homers, tied for fourth-most in the National League.

• The Mets have been out-homered 118-94 this season. “We need to hit more than the opposition,” Alderson told Marc Carig in Newsday. “Right now, that's not happening. That's in part because we're not hitting enough, and in part because we're giving up too many.”

Daisuke Matsuzaka tossed five scoreless innings for the Brooklyn Cyclones in his third minor-league start while on the disabled list.

• Las Vegas clinched a playoff berth with a 14-5 win against New Orleans. Idle Binghamton clinched an Eastern League playoff berth for the second straight season on Thursday. The B-Mets will face Portland in the opening round, although which team is the division winner remains unresolved. Michael Bernal and Tyler Moore drove in runs as Brooklyn beat Staten Island, 2-0. Read the full minor-league recap here.

BIRTHDAYS: Right-hander Ray Burris was born on this date in 1950.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

@AdamRubinESPN I thought Chris rock was a mets fan he's a yank stadium w yanks hat

— Omar Per (@BOsaysEHTM) August 21, 2014
YOU’RE UP: Why don’t the Mets aggressively pursue Cuban players?