MINNEAPOLIS -- Snow flurries blanketed Target Field Friday night as the Mets took batting practice. All around the field, players wore ski caps and hand-warmers, their attempt to shield themselves from temperatures in the mid-30s.
"It's what it is,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said. "It's April in Minnesota. It's cold.''
But Collins seemed more concerned about the weather that might be waiting for the Mets next week in Denver. According to the manager, forecasts are calling for temperatures in the low 20s during a four-game series against the Rockies.
Collins said he's less worried about injuries stemming from the cold. His concern is that harsh conditions will make it difficult for pitchers to get a grip on the baseball, thus compromising the integrity of games.
To the manager, such conditions might be harsh enough to consider postponement. Said Collins, "That might be too cold.''
Get it down
The Mets are one of two clubs that have yet to execute a successful sacrifice bunt, a distinction that Collins has pinned on his pitchers, who he said excelled at handling the bat a year ago.
"Our pitchers have got to do a better job of that, I can tell you that,'' Collins said. "We've missed three of them. Three times we've had opportunities to move runners along. We've got to get the ball down.''
Mets pitchers won't get that chance this weekend in Minnesota. The designated hitter will be used.
The Mets intend to spread around the use of the DH. Lucas Duda was the DH Friday night against the Twins and Collins said Justin Turner might get those duties Saturday against lefty Scott Diamond.
Collins said the coaching staff also is debating whether to use the DH spot to give catcher John Buck a breather. Buck hit a grand slam in the second inning Friday night as the Mets put together their second consecutive five-run inning and took a 10-2 lead. It gave him six homers and 19 RBIs.