Morning Briefing: Nats to send out their A-team vs. Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- New York Mets rookie left-hander Steven Matz returns to the mound on three days’ rest to face the Washington Nationals on Friday at 1:05 p.m. ET in Viera (no Mets TV/radio).

Matz is expected to throw three innings for the second straight start. He opposes Stephen Strasburg.

See the Mets’ full travel roster here.

Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper are among a bevy of regulars in Friday’s lineup of the Nats.

Meanwhile, in Long Island City, banned reliever Jenrry Mejia will hold a 1 p.m. ET news conference at his attorney’s office. The law firm suggested it would be making an announcement at that time. Mejia disputed his second and third positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs and suggested he was being railroaded by Major League Baseball in an interview published in The New York Times last week.


  • Asdrubal Cabrera suffered a left-knee injury when he was indecisive about sliding into second base while tagging up in the first inning. Cabrera did not believe the injury, which forced him from the game, was serious. Still, the Mets dispatched Cabrera for an MRI on Thursday night. No result was available that evening. Ruben Tejada entered the game and launched a two-run homer. Any sort of notable injury to Cabrera likely would cement Tejada being part of the Opening Day roster. Read more in Newsday, the Daily News, Post, Daily News and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Noah Syndergaard retired nine of the 10 batters he faced and Travis Taijeron launched a three-run homer as the Mets beat the Cardinals, 7-2, Thursday at Tradition Field. Afterward, manager Terry Collins said about Syndergaard and the rest of his star-studded rotation: "There's always a debate about who's going to be the best. This kid's got a chance to be the guy." Read more from columnist John Harper in the Daily News and news stories in Newsday, the Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Yankees great Goose Gossage spouted off to Andrew Marchand at ESPN.com about things such as bat flipping and “nerds” running front offices. Yoenis Cespedes, cited by Gossage along with Jose Bautista for pimping home runs, responded through an interpreter: "Whenever a pitcher strikes someone out, they get to celebrate too and have their moment and revel in it. Why can't the batters get a chance to enjoy their success too?” Read more in the Post, Record and at NJ.com.

  • Infield prospect Matt Reynolds is day-to-day with a tight right hamstring. He has been out of Grapefruit League action for three days and is not listed for Friday’s trip to face the Nats.

  • Josh Edgin threw batting practice Thursday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery last March, Matt Ehalt tweets.

  • Curtis Granderson is not disclosing which candidate he supports for President, but the outfielder asserted that professional ballplayers should have the right to touch on political subjects if they choose. “I think there needs to be a little leeway,” Granderson tells Anthony Rieber in Newsday. “I mean, everyone else discusses it at the workplace. This is still a job. I even had, at a school visit, kids asking me, ‘What would you do if you were President?’ It’s a topic of conversation for everyone. So why can’t an athlete say something?” For the record, the Mets instructed their players during a media training session not to comment on politics, Peter Botte writes in the Daily News.

  • The Double-A Binghamton Mets announced that they will change their nickname for the 2017 season. A name-the-team contest will begin on the Eastern League club’s Opening Day next month.

  • The Mets have moved their July 4 game against the Miami Marlins from 1:10 p.m. to 4:10 p.m. That will allow for postgame fireworks.

  • With the Mets’ outfield now an asset, columnist Joel Sherman in the Post fondly recalls when Sandy Alderson quipped at the 2012 GM Meetings: “Outfield? What outfield?”

  • Mike Puma in the Post discusses what Dilson Herrera needs to polish at Triple-A Las Vegas before becoming the Mets' second baseman.

  • Contrasting the current Mets rotation to the great Atlanta Braves rotation that included Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, guest instructor John Franco tells Randy Miller at NJ.com: "The Braves didn't throw as hard as these guys. They were pretty damn good, but these guys are special. They all throw 95-96. And they're young."

  • Want to help the Nationals select a player to be recognized with a bobblehead this season? Vote here. Ex-Met Oliver Perez is a candidate. Hint, hint.

  • From the bloggers ... Mets Report wonders if Syndergaard's ceiling could be highest of them all.

BIRTHDAYS: Bobby Abreu turns 42. ... Steve Reed is 51.


YOU’RE UP: What should the new nickname of the Binghamton Mets be?