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Montero to start Mets' Grapefruit League opener

Verrett will get the ball for first spring home game
MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Rafael Montero and Logan Verrett will begin the Mets' Grapefruit League schedule later this week, the club announced, in its continued effort to limit the early workloads of its top starters.

Montero will start the team's game on Thursday against the Nationals at Viera, Fla., and Verrett will pitch the home opener one day later against the Marlins. The Mets do not plan to use any of their regular starters until March 8, aiming to ease them into Grapefruit League action after last year's playoff run.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Rafael Montero and Logan Verrett will begin the Mets' Grapefruit League schedule later this week, the club announced, in its continued effort to limit the early workloads of its top starters.

Montero will start the team's game on Thursday against the Nationals at Viera, Fla., and Verrett will pitch the home opener one day later against the Marlins. The Mets do not plan to use any of their regular starters until March 8, aiming to ease them into Grapefruit League action after last year's playoff run.

That should provide plenty of opportunities for Montero, Verrett and others looking to climb up the organizational depth chart. The Mets' intrasquad game on Tuesday will feature two additional such pitchers: Sean Gilmartin, a reliever last season who will start this spring, and No. 13 prospect Robert Gsellman.

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Gilmartin and Verrett could ultimately end up in the Mets' Opening Day bullpen, though they face plenty of competition for spots there. Montero and Gsellman figure to open the season as Minor League starters.

The Mets' regular-season rotation will consist of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Bartolo Colon, in some order.

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

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New York Mets, Rafael Montero, Logan Verrett