4/12/2013 8:30 P.M. ET
Mets meet Twins under snowy conditions
By Nate Sandell / Special to MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- When the Mets arrived in Minneapolis on the eve of their Interleague weekend series with the Minnesota Twins, they were welcomed by sub-30 degree temperatures and an unseasonable mid-April snowstorm.
That's not exactly springtime baseball weather.
The snow subsided early on Friday and the Target Field grounds crew worked for several hours to clear the covering of snow from the field and stands. However, long sleeves and other cold-weather gear will still be a must with the temperature at game time expected be close to freezing and with another smattering of snow in the forecast.
From his office in the visiting clubhouse, Mets manager Terry Collins, who grew up in Michigan, brushed off any concerns about the atmosphere outside.
"It is what it is. It's April. We're in Minnesota. It's cold," Collins said.
Besides the obvious addition of extra layers of clothing, the Mets are planning to take precautions to ensure their players stay healthy and loose during the game, including giving their bullpen extended time to warm up.
The Mets embraced the cold Minnesota spirit in a sense on Thursday night when several players attended a Minnesota Wild hockey game in St. Paul.
The weather isn't expected to get much better for the Mets on their current road trip. The long-term forecast in Denver, where New York faces Colorado in a four-game series starting Monday, calls for temperatures that could reach as low as the mid-20s.
"That's cold. That might be too cold," Collins quipped.
With need for designated hitter, Mets turn to Duda
MINNEAPOLIS -- Interleague Play has come early this season and, as a result, National League teams already have to start worrying about how to manage the designated hitter slot on their lineup card.
"Our team isn't really built for the DH," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Our guys, we play both sides of the ball, so it's a little different for us to have a DH, but we'll be fine."
Collins plans on rotating players at DH during the Mets' three-game series with the Twins, depending on matchups.
Outfielder Lucas Duda, who is coming off a two-home run game in New York's 7-3 loss to Philadelphia Wednesday, filled the opening on Friday against Twins right-handed starter Vance Worley.
Collins hinted at the likelihood of infielder Justin Turner taking on the DH responsibilities Saturday in the second game of the series, with the Twins scheduled to counter with left-hander Scott Diamond.
Catcher John Buck has also been floated as a DH possibility in an effort to give him a break from his spot behind the plate. Buck has been the Mets' key source of power lately, having belted five home runs in the last eight games.
Pelfrey happy to reunite with his former teammates
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Mets' first meeting with the Twins in three years has served as a reunion of sorts for new Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey.
Selected by New York in the first round of the 2005 MLB First-Year Players Draft, Pelfrey spent the better part of the last seven years with the Mets before he signed with the Twins in the offseason as a free agent.
The humble 29-year-old right-hander had an up-and-down stay with the Mets, posting a 4.36 ERA in 149 starts. Season-ending Tommy John surgery early last year spoiled what ended up being Pelfrey's final season with the Mets.
While he credits New York with showing him how to deal with the realities of life in the Major Leagues, the move to Minnesota has given Pelfrey a fresh perspective.
"This is just different," Pelfrey said. "New York is all I've ever known. This is completely different over here. I think it's a good different in the sense that's it's more low-key and you don't have to talk to 30 media guys a day."
Despite the change in allegiances, Pelfrey has remained close with many of his former teammates. Since the Mets arrived in Minnesota on Thursday, he went to lunch with third baseman David Wright and spent time playing cards with Friday's starting pitcher Jon Niese and several others.
Pelfrey won't get the chance to face the Mets as his spot in the Twins' rotation won't come up until Monday, but he is hoping by the end of the weekend to have a reason for some lighthearted gloating with his friends in the opposite dugout.
"It would have been cool [to start], but there is not any hate on my end," Pelfrey said. "It's not like I want to get back and get revenge on those guys. I'm a fan of the Mets. I want them to do well. I hope we kick their butt for the next three days, but for the other 159 games I hope they win."
• After tallying three hits Wednesday against the Phillies, center fielder Jordany Valdespin was slotted into the leadoff position in the Mets' lineup Friday for the second-straight game.
This is only the second time in 2013 that New York has had the same leadoff hitter in consecutive games. Since outfielder Collin Cowgill spent the first three games of the season atop the order, the Mets have alternated between Cowgill, Valdespin, Mike Baxter and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
Nate Sandell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.