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Mets announce pitching plans for first batch of spring training games

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Grapefruit League action begins on Friday!

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Friday marks another winter milestone as the Mets will play a televised baseball game for the first time since last September. The Grapefruit League opener against Atlanta in the first of three spring training games for New York this weekend, and the club has announced probable pitchers for all of them.

The opener on Friday afternoon will start with Zack Wheeler on the mound, and he’ll be followed by some combination of Hansel Robles, Chris Flexen, Paul Sewald, Corey Oswalt, Jacob Rhame, Tyler Bashlor, Jamie Callahan, and non-roster invitee Drew Smith.

On Saturday against St. Louis, Seth Lugo will get the party started with Kevin McGowan, Marcos Molina, and Gerson Bautista coming out of the pen along with non-roster invitees P.J. Conlon and Corey Taylor.

The weekend slate will close out on Sunday against the new-look Marlins. Robert Gsellman will start the afternoon on the bump with Jeurys Familia, Jerry Blevins, AJ Ramos, Anthony Swarzak, and Rafael Montero in relief.

After the Mets signed Jason Vargas to a two-year deal, the competition for the starting rotation should be more intense that anticipated with three spots presumably going to Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Vargas. It will be fun to see if one of the weekend’s three starting candidates can do anything to separate themselves from the pack.

Fans who are more excited about the bullpen can check out New York’s four top relief options in action on Sunday afternoon, while some of the fringe major league options should pitch on Friday.

The best part of these first three Grapefruit League games is that they’re all at Port St. Lucie, which means they’ll all be televised locally on SNY and everywhere on MLB.TV!