Coming into this season, one of the strengths for the New York Mets is anticipated to be the infield. With Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, and David Wright all returning after playing together last year, the unit is expected to make up for the lack of proven players in the outfield. As we’re about two weeks away from Opening Day, there is chatter that both Wright and Murphy may not be on Terry Collins‘ lineup card when New York welcomes the San Diego Padres to Citi Field on April 1st.
Wright returned to Port St. Lucie after having his oblique examined by doctors in New York, and while he told reporters he was unsure about his status for Opening Day, he told Collins he’d be ready to play. David is in the middle of the 3-5 day window of rest he’s been prescribed before re-evaluating his injury, so I can understand why he’s not totally sure about his status for Opening Day, as it would make sense to wait and see how he’s feeling in a couple days. The third baseman has no regrets playing in the World Baseball Classic, and he shouldn’t. I’d rather have this kind of injury happen now instead of some time next month.
With regard to Murphy, he was still stiff yesterday, two days after he made an appearance in a minor league game. He had a more severe intercostal strain than Wright, and has been on the mend since his cortisone shot on February 19th. New York is going to let him continue to rest until Wednesday, and Collins said if his second baseman is not playing games by this weekend, he may also be out of the lineup for Opening Day. This has been frustrating to watch as a fan, as I was hoping to watch Murphy enjoy his first camp entrenched on the roster with a specific position. I can only imagine how frustrating it’s been for him.
After injuring his ankle Saturday against the Miami Marlins, X-rays on Justin Turner‘s ankle came back negative, and the infielder said it didn’t feel stiff at all yesterday morning, and feels he has virtually all of his range of motion. If Wright and Murphy can’t start the season in two weeks, Collins said he would look to insert Turner at third base, and Jordany Valdespin at second. With another leadoff home run against the Braves yesterday, Valdy is now hitting .378/.425/.703 with 4 homers and 8 RBI in 37 ABs.
The Mets welcomed the Atlanta Braves to Tradition Field yesterday, as their division rivals squeaked out a 2-1 victory. Jonathon Niese threw five effective innings, only allowing two hits and one run (a solo homer to Chris Johnson), and relievers Brandon Lyon, Pedro Feliciano, Robert Carson, and Bobby Parnell all had solid outings. You can get the Rising Apple recap right here.
There was plenty of quality content on Rising Apple this weekend while we were out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. If you weren’t able to keep up…don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Michael Lecolant talked about the situation involving Sandy Alderson, Johan Santana, and Jeremy Hefner, while Danny Abriano discussed the much-talked about subject of Travis d’Arnaud going north with the Mets for Opening Day. Sam Maxwell broke down the NL East in his division preview, and with all the talk focused around Valdy’s bat and his roster spot for this season, Rich Sparago asks whether or not Lucas Duda has earned the starting job in left field.
New York heads to Jupiter to face the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05p before enjoying an off day tomorrow. Matt Harvey is expected to take the hill.