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Mets Morning News: Matz wants to start

Your Sunday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

New York Mets left handed pitcher Steven Matz warms up in a spring training workout Photo by Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday via Getty Images

Meet the Mets

Steven Matz twirled two scoreless innings in his second spring appearance and isn’t super keen on the idea of an opener. “But for me personally, it’s just my whole career I’ve never done that,” he said about coming in after an opener. “I’m used to starting, warming up for the game, long-tossing.” But although he would prefer starting, of course he said that he would do whatever he can to help the team win.

Luis Rojas spent five seasons managing a premier Dominican Winter League team and did well in the role, which perhaps prepares him better than any other experience to manage in the big leagues.

Mickey Callaway believes he will get another shot at managing in the future. And when he does, he’ll be better at it, having learned lessons from his time with the Mets.

The Mets playing the Astros highlighted just how calm things are at Mets camp in comparison to Houston, writes Ken Davidoff of The New York Post. Hope you’ve found some wood to knock on somewhere.

Davidoff also is looking forward to seeing Jacob deGrom vs. Gerrit Cole matchups when the Mets face off against the Yankees this season.

Dellin Betances is throwing on the back fields, impatiently waiting for his time to get into game action as he continues to strengthen his ankle. He is still on track to be ready for Opening Day.

Around the National League East

Familiar face Zack Wheeler made his debut for the Phillies yesterday against the Blue Jays, pitching well except for one mistake on which he gave up a two-run shot to Danny Jansen. Wheeler is working on using his fastball more, and locating it up in the zone.

ESPN has hired former Braves legend (and target of the ire of Mets fans for many years) Chipper Jones for Wednesday Night Baseball.

The Braves steamrolled the Rays 12-0 in spring training action yesterday.

Starlin Castro is welcoming with open arms the opportunity to play in an environment where expectations of him are much higher.

Patrick Corbin made his Grapefruit League debut for the Nationals yesterday against the Cardinals, giving up two walks, one hit, and one earned run in two innings of work.

The Marlins’ rebuild is all about young pitching, writes Steven Wine of the Associated Press. Although that pitching was hammered by the Orioles yesterday (as Chris Davis continues to mash for the O’s in spring) en route to a 12-6 loss.

Around Major League Baseball

Dusty Baker knows that the Astros will simply have to weather the booing storm this spring and hopes it will subside eventually. “Nobody likes it,” he said to the New York Post. “I’ve been booed big-time. I was booed in LA every day my first year there (1976, while playing with the Dodgers). I was booed in Chicago the last couple of months there (2006, while managing the Cubs). That was tough. But hey, I survived it. I’m still here.”

There is currently no timetable for when Aaron Judge, who has been dealing with a shoulder issue, will play in spring training games for the Yankees.

Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated tells a tale that could be straight out of a political thriller—a heist of Charlie Sheen’s Honus Wagner card, the perpetrator of which was pardoned by President Obama.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Brian Salvatore and Chris McShane brought you an episode of Amazin’ Avenue Audio (The Show) live from Port St. Lucie, featuring very special guests Gary Cohen and Doc Gooden.

This Date in Mets History

On this date in 2012, Johan Santana took the mound for the first time since having anterior capsule surgery.