Baseball is back! With action looking to take place on Saturday, February 23rd let’s take a look at the news and notes from the Mets Spring Training down at Port St. Lucie.
With the hiring of Brodie Van Wagenen as the new general manager of the New York Mets brought with it a sense of change within the organization itself. I reflected on this last year after Van Wagenen’s signing. With the new GM brings a major change to spring training with the New York Mets as initially reported by Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News.
The change in culture has to do with how the players train during workouts during spring training. While in the past, silence would strike the Mets camp during workouts, according to Thosar, Mickey Callaway took advice from Rich Donnelly (formerly with the Seattle Mariners coaching staff) and played music during workouts. This change to how the workouts take place seems to be just one step towards Van Wagenen’s mission statement of winning now and winning often.
Spring Training to Remain in Port St. Lucie:
Back on Tuesday, St. Lucie County Commissioners voted to keep the New York Mets in town for spring training for the next 25 years. The deal will cost $57 Million between the New York Mets and St. Lucie County to continue the relationship. The Mets reportedly will add two million dollars more to that price tag for renovations which will impact players and fans alike. First Data Field is the site in Port St. Lucie where the New York Mets hold spring training now, and with the recent vote, long into the future.
Tim Tebow Exceeds Expectations:
The signing of Tim Tebow by the New York Mets back in 2016 brought praises and sneers alike on social media for the former NFL quarterback. To date on our site, the most attention to an article or column posted has had to do with Tebow. My opinion at the time (and it’s the same today) is that Tebow should be considered a serious prospect. The 31-year-old minor league outfielder told reporters that “This will be like, sort of the biggest spring training for me”. Last season for the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies Tebow batted .273 with six home runs, 14 doubles, and 36 RBIs in 84 games. Tebow also doubled in the Eastern League All-Star-Game back on July 11th. A broken hamate in his right hand put a big time out on the remainder of Tebow’s development last year. Tebow will see major league pitching in Spring Training and is expected to be assigned to the Triple-A Syracuse Mets.
Injury Troubles Already?:
Back on Thursday Jed Lowrie started dealing with soreness in the back of his left knee. The infielder was signed last month by the Mets on a two-year, $20-million deal. Lowrie’s injury was the first of the camp this year, it occurred beginning this past weekend when he, in his words “started ramping things up”. Last year on the Oakland Athletics, Lowrie batted .267 with 23 Home Runs and 99 RBIs. Lowrie made the trip up to New York to receive an MRI as first reported by Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen told WCBS 880, the new radio home of the New York Mets, that Lowrie’s MRI revealed no structural damage to the knee. The team will be cautious when it comes to Lowrie as he recovers.
Drop The “R”:
Mike Puma of the New York Post reported that one of the top prospects around the major leagues and the Mets First Base Prospect Peter Alonso now wants people to call him “Pete” which he prefers. According to Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen and Manager Mickey Callaway Alonso is in the running for the Mets’ starting first base job during spring training this year. Last year between Double-A and Triple-A, Alonso hit .285 with 36 home runs and 119 RBI. The first base prospect boasted a .579 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .395.
Looking Ahead to Spring Training Games Beginning Saturday:
The Mets look to start opening day on Saturday with an interesting rotation. As Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reported, Walker Lockett will take the mound against the Atlanta Braves. Jacob deGrom will start the following day against the Houston Astros with Noah Syndergaard pitching on Tuesday, February 25th against the Astros. Zach Wheeler gets his first start later that week in a split-squad meeting with either the Atlanta Braves or the Detroit Tigers.
Lockett’s appearance on Saturday will be his first appearance in a Met uniform. The right-hander was traded from the Cleveland Indians to the Mets along with Minor League Infielder Sam Haggerty in exchange for catcher Kevin Plawecki back at the beginning of the year.