Spring Training is underway in Port St. Lucie, and the New York Mets have lofty expectations. With a healthy starting rotation and several roster players returning from injury, the Mets are expected to build on their 87 wins from last season.
“We’ve got starting pitchers coming back,” general manager Sandy Alderson told Steve Serby at The New York Post. “We’ve got position players coming back, we’ve got some young players with room to grow. I just think the potential is there to be very good. “
“Going into this spring, I think there is going to be revitalized energy coming in,” manager Terry Collins told Anthony DiComo at MLB.com. “And certainly the expectations are still high. We’ve got to make sure we manage them and stay positive and stay healthy.
— David Lennon (@DPLennon) February 12, 2017
Of course, there are always questions about durability with so many core players returning from injury. Can the starting rotation stay healthy? What roles will Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler have in 2017? How will Terry Collins manage David Wright’s workload? Who starts in the outfield?
All of these are valid questions, ones which will be answered over the course of the next few months. Pitching ace Noah Syndergaard recently told reporters he wants to increase his velocity this season, despite being one of the hardest-throwing pitchers in 2016.
Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, and Jay Bruce/Juan Lagares are at the top of the outfield depth chart. Michael Conforto might start 2017 in Triple A-Las Vegas. Yet, Newsday’s Marc Carig tweeted on the Mets’ plans for the young outfielder.
For now, Mets plan for Michael Conforto is to stick mostly to corner outfield spots. Will get exposure to centerfield, some first base…
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) February 12, 2017
As for Harvey’s health, Alderson remained prudent. “I always caution and remind myself that we’ll know a lot more in spring training as Harvey and others progress through their throwing programs,” Alderson told Serby. “But right now everything looks very good. I think he’s in a very good frame of mind. We’re very high on him.”
Alderson also echoed Wheeler’s desire to avoid bullpen duties. At the same time, Alderson says the team needs to be “mindful” about any rust on Wheeler’s arm after not pitching for two years.
“I think he wants to be a starter…but we’ll make that decision when we get down to Spring Training,” he said.
Yes, there are plenty of unknowns for the Mets, but that only adds to the excitement of Spring Training.
Jesse Andreozzi is a staff writer at Outside Pitch Sports Network covering the New York Mets. Follow him on Twitter @Jesse_Andreozzi