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Daniel Murphy out of lineup for Justin Turner
It's Dinosaur Education Day here on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field. Naturally, there's a 15-foot T-Rex along with a 17-foot animatronic hadrosaurus roaming the field right now. I suspect there's a joke to be made about the Yankees roster. But I'll pass. Anyway, back to the Mets...
-- Second baseman Daniel Murphy is out of the starting lineup as the Mets go for the three-game sweep of the Padres. Manager Terry Collins will start Justin Turner instead.
"We've got a whole weekend of righthanded pitching coming up so I thought today would be a good day to get Justin in there," said Collins, who insists that Murphy's absence is "not because of any injury issues or anything else."
-- As you recall, Murphy and third baseman David Wright suffered from strained intercostal muscles in spring training. But Collins said he'll lean on both players to speak up if they need physically need a day off.
-- Collins said he will also use the weekend to get starts for outfielders Mike Baxter and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. He also wants to do the same for Jordany Valdespin, who enjoyed a strong spring training, but has yet to start a game. It's unclear where Valdespin would start defensively.
-- Accuweather.com is forecasting a sunny 47-degree afternoon by first pitch at 1:10 p.m. Of course, weather might to be such an issue if the Mets were instead playing in San Diego, where it will be 64 degrees.
"That's not a question for me," Collins said. "I can't answer that. I didn't write the schedule. I wouldn't be playing in Minnesota [next week] if I wrote the schedule... I know there were players asking me yesterday 'how come we're not playing in San Diego?' I said the same thing: you're asking the wrong guy."
The starting lineups:
Everth Cabrera SS
Will Venable RF
Mark Kotsay LF
Yonder Alonso 1B
Jedd Gyorko 3B
Alexi Amarista 2B
Cameron Maybin CF
John Baker C
Eric Stults LHP
Collin Cowgill CF
Justin Turner 2B
David Wright 3B
Ike Davis 1B
Marlon Byrd RF
Lucas Duda LF
John Buck C
Ruben Tejada SS
Dillon Gee RHP