On-Base Perception

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Collins: Lineup still a work in progress

Terry Collins sits in the dugout before a

Terry Collins sits in the dugout before a game against the Miami Marlins at Tradition Field. (March 2, 2013) (Credit: Getty)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- What we know: At about this time in eight days, the Mets will should be wrapping up their season opener against the Padres at Citi Field. What we don't know: Which eight position players will start that game. Or, for that matter, the order in which they will bat.

"I really don't have the faintest idea," Collins said, following the Mets' 9-4 split squad loss to the Tigers. "I've got some other positions [where] I don't know who's going to be there yet."

Asked if he was concerned about cutting it pretty close, the manager offered only a smile and a dose of irony.

"It's fine," he said. "I have no problem with it."

Now, for things we do know:

-- Outfielder Matt den Dekker also suffered cuts on his right wrist, which he bruised when he dove for a ball in the seventh inning.  Den Dekker is getting precautionary X-Rays. Den Dekker has been banged up diving for balls this spring though Collins said that fearlessness is a critical part of the outfielder's game.

"You don't ever want him changing," Collins said.

-- David Wright and Daniel Murphy offered encouraging signs with their progress from strained intercostal muscles, though Collins is in no rush to push either player. Murphy has set an ambitious goal to be ready for Opening Day even though he has not faced big league pitching all spring. Collins reiterated that the Mets will exercise caution.

"Worst case scenario is you miss the first six days... we'll take that," Collins told both players.

Indeed, if neither appears in a Grapefruit League game this spring, both could be placed on the disabled list retroactive to March 22, making them eligible to come off on April 6.

-- Righthander Matt Harvey allowed three runs on five hits in five innings. After the game, Harvey admitted to overthrowing, mostly because he sensed that his stuff was good. "The ball felt like it was jumping out of my hand," said Harvey, who will likely throw around 50 pitches in his final spring start.

-- Lefty Aaron Laffey allowed four runs on six hits in three innings during the Mets' 10-7 victory over the Cardinals in Sunday's other split-squad game.

Tags: Terry Collins , Matt Harvey , David Wright , Daniel Murphy , Matt den Dekker

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