PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - When the Mets travel to Texas for a pair of exhibition games against the Rangers on Friday and Saturday, second baseman Daniel Murphy will remain in Florida to play in minor league games.
In five innings on Wednesday, Murphy got five at-bats while playing the field and running the bases. "Each day I've been pleasantly surprised at how good I've felt," Murphy said.
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The Mets continue to hold out hope that Murphy's hamstring responds well enough to be ready for Opening Day on Monday against the Nationals.
"We're hoping that the next couple of days he gets extra work in and we look up this weekend and he joins us," said manager Terry Collins, who saw Murphy play in the minor league game.
By holding Murphy out of major league spring games, the Mets could back date his stint on the disabled list, which would allow him to return as soon as April 12.
Taking the fifth
Righthander Dillon Gee will be named the Mets' fifth starter, sources said Wednesday, though the club has yet to make an official announcement. The veteran Gee beat out prospect Rafael Montero, who had made a strong late push for the rotation spot.
In a minor league game, reliever Bobby Parnell allowed a pair of doubles and a homer. He recorded two outs before being pulled, though the righthander reportedly touched 94 mph. Parnell is coming back from Tommy John surgery and hopes to rejoin the Mets in early May . . . Reliever Vic Black pitched an inning in the same minor league game though he'll likely begin the year on the disabled list. Black had been sidelined with shoulder fatigue.