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Intrasquad to provide chance for hopefuls

Mets to start many bench, Minor League players; Walker plunked, but appears OK
MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The weeks-long monotony of fielding practice and hitting drills will come to an end on Tuesday, when the Mets usher in the second phase of Spring Training with an intrasquad game at Tradition Field. Tickets for the 12 p.m. ET event are $6, with proceeds going to the Mets Foundation.

"Pitchers' BP, I've seen enough," manager Terry Collins quipped, when asked about his excitement to oversee a real game.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The weeks-long monotony of fielding practice and hitting drills will come to an end on Tuesday, when the Mets usher in the second phase of Spring Training with an intrasquad game at Tradition Field. Tickets for the 12 p.m. ET event are $6, with proceeds going to the Mets Foundation.

"Pitchers' BP, I've seen enough," manager Terry Collins quipped, when asked about his excitement to oversee a real game.

Spring Training: Tickets | Schedule | Complete info

That does not, however, mean the playground-style teams that fill each dugout will at all resemble the Mets' regular-season roster. Third baseman David Wright, for example, will not participate, as the Mets look to ease him into Grapefruit League action later next month. Other regulars will play sparingly, if at all.

Instead, the Mets will start many of their bench players in the intrasquad game, backing them up with imports from Minor League camp. Sean Gilmartin, Logan Verrett, Zach Thornton, Chasen Bradford and Akeel Morris will pitch for one team, opposite Robert Gsellman, Duane Below, Seth Lugo and Josh Smoker. There's a chance none of those players will make the Mets' season-opening roster.

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Meanwhile, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and the Mets' other top starting pitchers will offer encouragement from the bench. The Mets do not plan to use anyone from that group until March 8, easing them -- like Wright -- into full-speed action. With that in mind, Collins noted that lining his starters up for Opening Night may be more a matter of convenience than merit; the Mets also must work around deGrom, whose wife is due with the couple's first child around Opening Night.

Said Collins: "We're lined up pretty good no matter what."

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Ouch! Second baseman Neil Walker received a rude awakening when Jeurys Familia plunked him on the right knee Monday during live batting practice. Walker sported a wrap on his knee afterward in the clubhouse, but he was walking without a pronounced limp.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

New York Mets