Mets pitcher David Peterson during a spring training workout on...

Mets pitcher David Peterson during a spring training workout on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — In deciding on a fifth starter, the Mets went with the guy who was better last year and better in spring training: David Peterson. 

Peterson, a lefthander, will start the second game of the season on Friday against the Marlins. The runner-up, righthander Tylor Megill, said he also will pitch Friday — for Triple-A Syracuse in the minor-league season opener. 

“It’s step one,” Peterson said. “So we’ll start the season on Thursday and be on our way.” 

Megill said: “It [stinks], obviously. You want to be up there playing with them. All I can do is just do me right now and just work and just be ready when my name is called.” 

Manager Buck Showalter emphasized that the Mets, who plan to work in a sixth starter frequently to manage the workloads of other starters, will use both pitchers frequently over the course of the season. He said Megill might return to the majors as soon as the Mets’ second road trip, 10 games in 10 days in Oakland, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  

Megill, who had a 5.13 ERA in 15 games (nine starts) last year, had 13 walks (and 12 strikeouts) in 17 innings in Grapefruit League play. 

“I’m obviously a little sporadic everywhere with control,” he said. “Obviously not an issue last year. Still trying to figure that out right now. Get back in tune mechanics-wise and all that.” 

Showalter said: “I know he’s frustrated with some of his command, but I find with a lot of these guys, when they take a deep breath and get away from it, they settle more into who they are. He’s going to pitch for us and be a big contributor.” 

Peterson, who had a 3.83 ERA in 28 games (19 starts) last season, didn’t allow an earned run in 12 innings in exhibition games. He struck out 13 (but walked eight). 

‘Sigh of relief’ 

Kodai Senga said he felt “totally normal” in throwing at least a dozen splitters — for the first time in several weeks because of finger tendinitis — in five innings in a scrimmage against Mets minor-leaguers Monday. 

“A sigh of relief,” he said through an interpreter. 

Asked if he’ll have family at his major-league debut Sunday, the Japan native said, “It’s a little far.” 

Extra bases 

Francisco Lindor had an excused absence from camp Monday. “I gave him the day,” Showalter said. “I told him to meet us in Miami.” . . . Brandon Nimmo turned 30 but was not rattled by the milestone. “I feel like I’m still 21,” he said . . . Reliever Sam Coonrod said he asked to be based out of the Mets’ Clover Park complex while recovering from a strained right lat because there will be less to do away from work than if he were with the big-league team, so it’ll be easier to focus on rehabilitation. He is expected to be out until at least June . . . During a lull in the Mets’ workout, typically reserved third-base coach Joey Cora energetically danced and acted as if he were pumping up a nonexistent crowd while the PA system played “OK Blue Jays,” the seventh-inning-stretch song in Toronto. Showalter said, “We gotta get Joey out of Port St. Lucie.”

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