PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Thanks to a wealth of prospects on the brink of breaking through, help won't be too far away in case a need arises for the Mets.

General manager Sandy Alderson said promising catching prospect Kevin Plawecki will see some time at first base while at Triple-A Las Vegas.

"Ideally we'd like him to get a little more time at Triple-A, but he's close," Alderson said Friday.

Plawecki is blocked by Travis d'Arnaud, the 26-year-old who rebounded from a brutal start to seize the everyday catching duties heading into camp. But if d'Arnaud gets hurt, Alderson said Plawecki would be the first to be called up.

For Plawecki, gaining some experience at first base could also bolster his chances of a call-up.

On the pitching side, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Long Island's Steve Matz have emerged as prospects who could see action in the major leagues this season.

With a crowded starting rotation, the most likely openings would come in the bullpen. However, Alderson said that Montero will be considered for a bullpen role early in the season. Syndergaard and Matz would remain in Triple-A to work as starters.

Syndergaard (11th), Matz (33rd) and Plawecki (63rd) were among seven Mets minor leaguers recently ranked among the game's top 100 prospects, according to Baseball America.

Extra bases

Manager Terry Collins is expected back in camp Saturday. He had left the team's complex on Wednesday following the death of his father, Loren. Pitchers and catchers are set to work out for the first time... Veteran reliever Buddy Carlyle has an out clause in his contract for Opening Day, which he can exercise if he does not make the major league team. Carlyle, 37, had a 1.45 ERA in 27 appearances last season. He signed a minor league deal to return this winter. Carlyle also has an out clause that he can activate in June ... All 57 players expected in camp arrived on time.