07/26/12 10:00 PM ET
Johnson's callup gives Harvey some familiarity
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
Collins says Thole-Byrdak issue is resolved
PHOENIX -- By the time the Mets touched down in the desert late Wednesday night, manager Terry Collins said, the clubhouse discord that surfaced earlier that day at Citi Field had evaporated."It ended yesterday," Collins said prior to Thursday's opener against the D-backs. "We certainly dealt with it. The appropriate things have been said between everybody, and we're going to move on." The incident in question stemmed from an argument between catcher Josh Thole and reliever Tim Byrdak, who jawed at each other in the dugout following an on-field disagreement about pitch selection. Byrdak later apologized to Thole, though Collins did not take issue with the argument itself; the manager was more irked that the two fought publicly, in plain view of television cameras. "You want to come in and throw a tantrum in my office, kick stuff, throw stuff around, fight, whatever you want to do," Collins said. "It's got to be done in here. It can't be done out there."
Mets want Duda to focus on hitting in Minors
PHOENIX -- The primary goal of Lucas Duda's recent Minor League demotion is for Duda to right himself at the plate. With that in mind, the Mets originally said that he would play his natural position of first base at Triple-A Buffalo, in an effort to allow him to concentrate more fully on hitting.But Duda made his Bisons debut Thursday in right field, the same position he had played exclusively with the Mets. That may be temporary. Should Duda at all scuffle in the field going forward, manager Terry Collins has given Buffalo manager Wally Backman free reign to move Duda back to the infield. "He's got to be comfortable, so when he gets in that batter's box, that becomes the primary focus," Collins said, noting that he still sees Duda as a right fielder long-term in the big leagues. "He cannot worry about making a mistake defensively and then come in and say, 'Well, I've got to make up for that error. I've got to hit this ball out of the park.'"
Collins confirmed that Jeremy Hefner will remain in the rotation, making his second start Monday in San Francisco. Hefner struck out seven over six innings Wednesday against the Nationals, allowing three runs (two earned). He should remain a starter until Johan Santana is ready to return from the disabled list, likely early next month. Frank Francisco will make his second rehab appearance on Friday for Double-A Binghamton, but Collins said the Mets will not activate the closer from the DL until he shows some consistency on his Minor League assignment. Francisco gave up two runs over two-thirds of an inning Wednesday in his first rehab appearance.