04/03/12 6:38 PM ET
Torres, Byrdak return to Grapefruit League action
By Anthony Chiang / Special to MLB.com
The return of center fielder Andres Torres and left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak allowed New York to use its roster at full strength Tuesday in the team's 7-6 victory over the Yankees. In order to make room for Torres and Byrdak, the Mets sent catcher Vinny Rottino and pitcher Daniel Herrera to Triple-A Buffalo.
"It's unbelievable [that we had to wait this long to use this lineup]," Collins said. "We like to post the lineup early, and we couldn't even do that until we had all the things in place this morning."
Torres, who has been out with a strained left calf, played in his first Grapefruit League game since March 20 on Tuesday, and he is expected to be ready for Opening Day.
In the leadoff spot, Torres went 1-for-1 and scored two runs, one from second base and the other from first base, as he tested out his calf. He left after the second inning for precautionary reasons.
"When he scored from first, I said that was enough," Collins said. "I just said if there's a time when [he can hurt his calf again], it's going to be due to fatigue. So after he scored from first, I thought that was enough."
Torres is expected to see more at-bats against the Yankees in Tampa on Wednesday, in an effort to get ready for Opening Day on Thursday.
The news was just as good regarding Byrdak, who made his first appearance on the mound in a Grapefruit League game since March 8. The left-hander threw one perfect inning and struck out one batter, and he is also expected to make the Opening Day roster after undergoing left knee surgery in mid-March.
"It was one of those things where they gave me the timeline, and I understood if everything fell into place and there was no setbacks, it was going to be a really tight window for me to get ready for Opening Day," Byrdak said. "But with the amount of work I've been doing down here for the past week to 10 days, we're ready to go."
Francisco feels 'great,' will be ready for opener
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- After undergoing an MRI on his left knee Monday, Frank Francisco was anxious to learn the test results.
"Yesterday when I went to sleep, I just kept thinking the same thing," Francisco said Tuesday.
It turns out that the Mets' closer didn't have much to worry about. Following a bullpen session Tuesday morning, Francisco said he will be ready for Opening Day.
"I threw long toss yesterday and still felt really good," he said. "But throwing off the mound is a little different, so I had a little doubt in my mind in the beginning. But I said, 'I have to let it go.' And everything was great."
Manager Terry Collins said the team would have to "keep watching" Francisco's left knee just in case it acts up.
The MRI revealed nothing structurally different from an earlier MRI, which is good news for the right-hander.
"We're very pleased," Collins said. "Frankie had a good bullpen [session]. He said he's still a little irritated [in the knee], but he said he's fine. He can pitch with it."
Although, he was able to complete a successful bullpen session Tuesday, he could still feel even healthier in the next few days. The 32-year-old is still experiencing some swelling in his left knee, but after receiving a cortisone shot in the knee Sunday, doctors told Francisco it would take around five days for him to feel the medicine's full effect.
However, Tuesday's news doesn't erase Francisco's struggles on the mound this spring. He has posted a 5.54 ERA in 13 innings over 11 Spring Training games.
But Francisco is confident his struggles won't spill into the regular season.
"Every time I go out there, I feel like I'm guessing, because I don't know anybody," he said. "For me, I think the scouting report means a lot. Now, we are going to have a scouting report and everything, and we're going to go out there with a plan. It's a different game."
Pelfrey finishes spring work on high note
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Spring Training didn't start well for Mike Pelfrey, but it sure did end well.
After allowing 20 runs over his first four starts of the spring, New York's right-hander ended Spring Training by giving up just two runs combined in his past two outings. That includes Tuesday's start, when he allowed one run in four innings of work and struck out five batters in the Mets' 7-6 victory over the Yankees.
"I had a pretty good idea of where the ball was going to go, and I think when you get that, I think you're ready to go," Pelfrey said. "I feel good. I'm excited to get out of here and start the season."
The 28-year-old still finished Spring Training with a 7.62 ERA, but he is optimistic that his recent success on the mound will carry over to the regular season.
"[Pelfrey is] happy," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He felt great today, and he threw the ball terrific again today. His ball had really good sink."
Anthony Chiang is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.