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Friday, September 5, 2014
Morning Briefing: Alderson speaks

By Adam Rubin

NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: After a day off in Cincinnati, the Mets get back to work with the opener of a three-game series against the Reds.

Bartolo Colon (12-11, 4.01 ERA) opposes right-hander Alfredo Simon (13-9, 3.28) at 7:10 p.m. at Great American Ball Park.

Friday’s news reports:

• Sandy Alderson, attending Binghamton’s playoff series, did a Q&A with Lynn Worthy in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin.

On whether the Mets will be in the market for a shortstop and left fielder during the offseason, Alderson said: “Right now, part of what we need to do is assess what we have. If you look at shortstop, [Wilmer] Flores has actually done a very nice job for us at shortstop. [Matt] Reynolds has played well at short, both here and at Triple-A. [Matt] den Dekker had an excellent season at Triple-A. So we've got to assess what we have before we start going out and canvasing the free-agent market. Free agents aren’t always the solution.”

Alderson reiterated that Dilson Herrera needed to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason anyway, so it made sense to promote him when the playing time became available because of Daniel Murphy's calf injury. The GM noted left-hander Dario Alvarez needed to be protected ahead of the Rule 5 draft, too.

Asked if Kevin Plawecki could be a factor on the major league roster next season, Alderson noted the catcher does not need to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason. “I would expect that we'll see them both in spring training next year and see where it takes us, but there is no question right now Travis [d’Arnaud] is the incumbent and Kevin doesn't have to be on the roster either,” Alderson told Worthy. “It's one of those administrative hurdles."

And asked if Brandon Nimmo could open next season with Binghamton, where he is finishing 2014, Alderson said: “Frankly, depending on what our needs are, he has probably done enough to warrant a Triple-A assignment coming out of spring training."

• Critic Phil Mushnick in the Post calls out retiring commissioner Bud Selig for propping up Mets ownership. Writes Mushnick:

What Selig never would have accepted from the assistant general manager of one of his auto dealerships, he allowed from the owners of the New York Mets.

Even in their post-Madoff mode, Wilpon’s Mets chose to rent Citi Field entrance space to one of America’s most dubious enterprises, Amway. In 2010, Amway paid $34 million in cash and provided $22 million in products to settle a long-running class-action lawsuit that accused the company and top-level distributors of fraud and operating a pyramid scheme.

So as the Mets continue to kick the same can down the alley, hoping to find the next Bartolo Colon, Marlon Byrd and perhaps Bernie Madoff -- whoever it takes to at least make it seem better -- Selig’s role in this recycled redundancy should not go unappreciated.

Vic Black threw off a mound Thursday for the first time since landing on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his neck. Black subsequently tweeted that he feels “funky fresh” and expects to be activated on Monday, when he is eligible to return from the DL.

• Mike Puma in the Post caught up with Bobby Parnell in Miami earlier this week. Parnell, throwing on flat ground as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery, aims to be ready to compete for his old closer’s job during spring training.

“It’s just a mental grind,” Parnell told Puma about the rehab process. “It’s tough being away from the competitive side of baseball, but I try to look at the positives -- a physical break and somewhat of a mental break. I feel like the path of a Tommy John rehab is a lot more known than a neck rehab, so I feel like it was laid out very well and we’re going in the right direction.”

Read more on Parnell in the Star-Ledger.

Matt Harvey will be shut down for the winter by the end of the month without having faced batters, Kristie Ackert writes in the Daily News. Alderson recently had quashed any notion Harvey would do anything serious this season.

• Hitting coach Lamar Johnson tells Marc Carig in Newsday that it may behoove Curtis Granderson to make more than subtle changes to his swing this offseason. Read more on Granderson in the Star-Ledger.

Juan Lagares in Newsday picks his favorite defensive plays of the season. Read more on Lagares from Matt Ehalt in the Record.

• Ex-Met Mike Jacobs belted a grand slam in a five-run first inning against Matt Bowman as Reno evened its best-of-five series with Las Vegas at a game apiece with a 6-0 win. Greg Peavey was knocked out in the third inning and Binghamton lost Game 2 of its playoff series, 7-0 against Portland. That series also is tied 1-all. Read the full minor-league recap here.

BIRTHDAYS: Ex-Met Chris Young -- the outfielder, not the pitcher -- turns 31. ... Rod Barajas is 39. ... Matt Watson turns 36.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

Wow. I guess I AM ready for another #mets offseason. just realized they were off and thought "oh good, I can nap" #old

— Poppi Kramer (@PoppiKramer) September 4, 2014
YOU’RE UP: Who should be the Mets’ closer in April 2015?