Collins: Players must expect success
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Terry Collins has been looking forward to today's state-of-the-team address for months, and before the first full-squad workout, he plans to use his clubhouse pulpit to deliver a speech that stresses accountability.
"I told the pitchers two, three days ago, if they walked through those doors the first day and didn't have expectations, they'd better find a way to get out fast," Collins said. "They'd better expect something of themselves. They're professional athletes. The only way to go about it is to have some confidence and work at it. There's no substitute."
Collins also wants to use the low expectations for this team as motivation, to place a chip on their shoulder for the year. That's something new for the Mets, who are more used to entering the season as favorites and then falling short, often in spectacular fashion.
"When we leave that room [this] morning, these guys better understand I expect to be successful," Collins said. "I'm sorry. I can't do it alone. They've got to buy into it. We can't worry about the perception from the outside. We can only worry about the perception when we leave that room [Monday], what it's going to be individually."
Tim Byrdak and Ryota Igarashi are listed as the starting pitchers for Friday's intrasquad game, with Jenrry Mejia getting the start for Saturday's Grapefruit League opener against the Braves at Digital Domain Park.
For Sunday's split-squad games, Chris Capuano will start at home against the University of Michigan - Fred Wilpon's alma mater - and Chris Young will start against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista. Mike Pelfrey will face the Nationals next Monday.
Fernando Martinez said he's 100 percent healthy despite playing only one winter league game this offseason because of an arthritic right knee . . . Outfielder Jesus Feliciano, first baseman Chris Shelton and righthander Kent Tsujimoto were signed to minor-league deals.