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Monday, March 25, 2013

Mets News and Notes: Mets Bullpen Shaping Up, Wright All Good, Murphy Playing, Marcum Starting Thurs, Byrdak Ahead of Schedule, Mets Opening Rotation

Mets News and Notes:

The Mets have asked reliever Pedro Feliciano to go to Triple-A for a month to build up his arm strength, and informed Feliciano he will not make the team's Opening Day roster.

"They told me I'm going to Triple-A for a month and get my strength back," Feliciano said. "I have to talk to my agent first and then see what we're going to decide."

The Mets' decision came at the deadline to inform Feliciano whether he had made the club. Remaining with the club at the minor league level would obligate the Mets to give him a $100,000 retention bonus because of his veteran status.

"They made that decision," he said of the Mets. "I'm going to think about it and see what I decide. Hopefully somebody picks me up. We'll see what happens."

This is affirming that Robert Carson is in great shape to make the Mets' Opening Day roster, the Mets will carry two left-handers in the bullpen.

Fellow lefty Scott Rice remains in camp, but seemingly would be at an overwhelming disadvantage because, unlike Carson, he is not on the 40-man roster.

Josh Edgin is expected to be Collins' primary lefty in the bullpen.

Carson, 24, had a 4.73 ERA in 17 relief appearances in 2012, during his inaugural major league season. Lefty batters hit .286 (8-for-28) with a homer, three walks and five strikeouts.

At the contractual deadline for him to be notified, the Mets have told LaTroy Hawkins he has made the Opening Day roster.

Hawkins, 40, has not allowed a run in 5 2/3 Grapefruit League innings. Opponents have a .227 batting average against him. Hawkins has surrendered five hits and two walks while striking out four over the six appearances.

He went 2-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 48 relief appearances for the Los Angeles Angels last season.

David Wright said he was "all good" the day after ramping up his activity by taking live batting practice for the first time Sunday.

Wright repeated the activity today as he works back from a strained intercostal muscle on his left side that forced him to withdraw from the World Baseball Classic.

Similarly positive, Daniel Murphy intended to play in another minor league game this afternoon. Murphy went 1-for-2 with a walk and played five innings at second base in a minor league game Sunday. That marked his first game action of spring training. Murphy received a cortisone shot Feb. 19 for a strained intercostal muscle on his right side.

In another sign the Mets expect Shaun Marcum to be ready for the season, the team plans to have him pitch in Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Washington Nationals, not in a minor league game.

Appearing in a major league spring training game would prevent the Mets from backdating any DL stint beyond that date.

Marcum was scratched from his last scheduled Grapefruit League start with shoulder tightness. He received a cortisone injection last Tuesday in New York.

The Mets also signaled their confidence in Marcum being ready for the season by reassigning safety net Aaron Laffey to minor league camp Sunday.

Marcum is expected to start Game 2 of the regular season.

Upon arriving at spring training, left-hander Tim Byrdak indicated he hoped to be throwing off a mound before his teammates broke camp.

That won't happen, but Byrdak said he remains ahead of schedule in his return from surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder. He hopes to return to the Mets in late June.

"The arm strength is still developing," Byrdak said. "It's still developing at an accelerated pace. If I did get off a mound, it would be gravy, but it's not going to happen. We can take the month of April and view it strictly as a strengthening program and take the month of May to introduce the slope, and June 1 be back on the mound."

The San Diego Padres have set up their rotation for their season-opening series against the New York Mets.

April 1: Jonathon Niese vs. Volquez
April 3: Shaun Marcum vs. Richard
April 4: Matt Harvey vs. Marquis

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