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Mets Morning News: Baseball is back!

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

New York Mets Summer Workouts Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Meet the Mets

The Mets released their Opening Day roster for the 2020 season. There were a few surprise additions, including the team’s second-best prospect Andres Gimenez, who spent all of the 2019 season with Double-A Binghamton.

Corey Oswalt is likely to be announced as the team’s fifth starter, at least for the first turn through the rotation.

Pete Alonso discussed the league’s safety protocols with Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan.

Alonso also shared his philosophy for the upcoming season, saying he is going to play with his “hair on fire.”

Brodie Van Wagenen was a little less brash than he was last season about where the team stands in the NL East this season.

Jed Lowrie’s knee injury continues to be an enigma, even to Dr. David Altcheck. Dr. Altcheck could not provide a conclusive answer regarding the cause of the infielder’s knee pain after Lowrie’s examination on Thursday. His injured knee continues to defy all attempts from science and logic to get to the root of it.

Former Met Matt Harvey is reportedly close to signing with the Royals.

Anthony DiComo previewed the Mets’ opening series against the Braves for MLB.com.

Around the National League East

Juan Soto missed Opening Day for the Nationals after testing positive for COVID-19. He took back-to-back tests administered by the Nationals, which both came back negative, but still needs to pass back-to-back tests administered by MLB at least 24 hours apart before returning to action.

The first games of the 2020 season were played on Thursday. The Yankees defeated the Nationals 4-1 in a game that was cut short by rain. Dr. Anthony Fauci threw out the first pitch, and Gerrit Cole made his Yankees debut against Max Scherzer.

Both the Nationals and the Yankees knelt before the national anthem last night in what was called a “moment of unity.” Morgan Freeman provided a voice over for the moment.

Around Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball has officially expanded the playoff format for the 2020 season, after the MLBPA approved the agreement. The playoffs were expanded to 16 total teams, including the two best teams from each division. The final two spots in each league will go to the two remaining teams with the best record.

The Blue Jays have been granted approval from the Orioles to use Camden Yards as their home ballpark in 2020. They still need to get approval from the state of Maryland in order to play their home games in Baltimore.

Eno Sarris and Marc Carig wrote about which teams would be helped the most and which would be hurt the most by the shortened season for The Athletic.

FOX announced that it will use virtual fans for its MLB broadcasts this season.

Clayton Kershaw landed on the injured list with back stiffness to start the season. He will be replaced as the Opening Day starter by Dustin May.

Johan Maya, a scout in the Diamondbacks organization, passed away yesterday of COVID-19.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Brian Salvatore discussed Jarrett Parker’s prospects of making the opening day roster.

Chris McShane covered the expanded playoff format for the 2020 season and argued that MLB.tv should be free for the 2020 season.

Allison McCague taught us all how to Brach and Roll.

Vasilis Drimalitis profiled Luis Guillorme’s role as a depth piece on the Mets for 2020.

We listed some of the Mets’ options for the fifth spot in the team’s starting rotation.

Lukas Vlahos previewed Erasmo Ramirez’s upcoming season and declining velocity.

David Capobianco wrote up the Mets’ Opening Day roster and previewed Jeff McNeil’s McMVP prospects for the upcoming season.

Michael Drago discussed Michael Wacha’s ascent into the Mets’ rotation.

This Date in Mets History

On this date in 1988, the Mets retired Tom Seaver’s number 41.