Wilmer Flores says back issue, strep throat behind him


LOS ANGELES -- Ruben Tejada is scheduled to start Game 1 of the division series at shortstop for the New York Mets, according to manager Terry Collins. But Wilmer Flores feels healthy and is available to contribute off the bench against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Flores departed a Sept. 30 game with a back issue and did not appear in a game the remainder of the regular season. The bigger issue, though, turned out to be strep throat. Flores said he lost 10 pounds as a result of the illness.

Flores hit .200 (5-for-25) in his final 10 games.

"I feel good," he said Thursday, before the Mets worked out at Dodger Stadium. "There's no excuse. I'm ready to go."

Tejada provides superior fielding to Flores at shortstop, which is one major reason he gets the starting nod in the opener. Tejada also is 5-for-14 with three walks in his career against Clayton Kershaw, the Game 1 starter for the Dodgers. Flores is 3-for-6 against Kershaw.