While Carlos Torres has unexpectedly made his way into the Mets' starting rotation, the team is excited to see just what the right-hander can do in Saturday's game against the Pirates at PNC Park.
Replacing the injured Shaun Marcum in the rotation, Torres is making his first start of the season after Matt Harvey was scratched with a blister.
"He throws all of his pitches for strikes," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "His stuff all across the board is better. His velocity is up, his slider is better than what we saw. His command is better."
Last starting a big league game in 2010 with the White Sox, Torres has allowed just one earned run in 17 2/3 innings this season out of the bullpen.
The right-hander paid close attention to the Pirates' lineup during Friday's game to figure out the tendencies of each hitter.
"I'm kind of split on it," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of not facing Harvey. "I like to see good talent, and have our guys match up against it. It makes you stronger and sharper as you go on. But that's not an option now, so we'll put our focus on Torres. He's very capable. We saw him once and I thought we matched up pretty well with him."
He'll be up against Pirates right-hander A.J. Burnett, who hopes the restraints will come off in his second start since returning from a torn calf muscle.
Burnett (4-6, 3.05 ERA) was limited to just 66 pitched in his return from the disabled list on Sunday against the Cubs, allowing one earned run on three hits in five innings of work for the no-decision.
The right-hander got into a groove as the game went on and was happy with the movement on his pitches during the start.
"There was nothing not to like," Hurdle said after the game. "The ball came out of his hand very crisply, efficiently. He was throwing a big curve from a couple of different angles. It was a very good outing."
Mets: Team funds new Teen Center
Major League Baseball and the Mets commemorated a new 3,000-square-foot Teen Center and Cafe at the Boys & Girls Club with a ceremony on Friday.
Scheduled to open in December, the Teen Center will provide area high school students with a technology lab, a college lab, classroom space, a lounge and a viewing area overlooking the new gymnasium.
"Imagine how many teens this new 3,000-square-foot room can fit," said Nadira Beepat, the club's Youth of the Year. "Imagine the amount of young individuals like myself who will be able to have the life-changing experience I did."
The Teen Center is part of an $11 million capital improvement program for the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens, made possible in part by Major League Baseball and the Mets.
Pirates: Doing yard work at home
• The Pirates have outhomered their opponents, 23-10, in the last 30 games played in Pittsburgh and 38-23 overall at home this season.
Meanwhile, Bucs pitchers have given up just three home runs in the last 129 innings pitched at PNC Park.
• Center fielder Andrew McCutchen is hitting .375 (24-for-64) with 13 RBIs in his last 17 home games.
• In 19 career starts against the Mets, Burnett is 5-6 with a 3.40 ERA.
• The Empire State Building glowed in Mets blue and orange on Friday night to mark the start of Major League Baseball's All-Star Week in New York City.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.