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Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan are the top candidates for the fifth spot in the rotation, Terry Collins said on Sunday.

"[Matsuzaka] and Lannan would probably be the two leading guys right now," Collins said after the Mets lost to the Cardinals in Jupiter (Carig, March 2).

Dice-K allowed one earned run in two innings of work on Sunday, while Lannan threw two shutout innings on Saturday. He struck out three.

Jenrry Mejia, Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom are the other pitchers said to be competing for the final spot in the Mets rotation. Montero and deGrom have each thrown two shutout innings so far this spring, with deGrom striking out four and Montero striking out two. Mejia is yet to appear in a Grapefruit League game.

Matsuzaka, who could earn $1.5 million on the MLB roster, can opt out of his contract with the Mets if he is not on the big league team by May 30 (Sherman, Feb. 16).

Lannan could end up in the bullpen if he’s not a starter, Terry Collins said earlier this spring (MetsBlog, Feb. 19).

Tags: avsny, MetsBlog , Andrew Vazzano
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