The Mets are still being very cautious when it comes to getting both David Wright and Daniel Murphy back on the field in advance of Opening Day. Wright was outside on the field yesterday for the second straight day, as he fielded some grounders, while taking some swings off a tee and some soft toss. It was the first time he swung a bat since he was pulled from the World Baseball Classic. The captain felt no pain, and his goal of playing against the Padres on April 1st is still a realistic one. Terry Collins said they’re aiming to get David some at-bats next week to prep him for the regular season.
Meanwhile, Daniel Murphy will try to once again take a step forward today, as he’s scheduled to appear in a minor league game. Collins maintained the fact that having his second baseman for Opening Day is still in question, especially since this will be the first game action for Murph in over a week after experiencing stiffness from his first appearance. It’s good to see both of them take steps forward to possibly being ready for Game 1 of 162, and even though I’m holding out hope for Murphy to be ready, I think we won’t see him for the first few days of the regular season. As for Wright, I never had a doubt he’d be ready, and as long as he doesn’t suffer any setbacks, it looks like Mr. Met will be ready to roll next week.
When it comes to injury updates on the pitcher’s mound, there looks to be two sure-fire trips to the disabled list in Frank Francisco and Johan Santana. Francisco threw a 25-pitch live batitng practice session, which was the first time he’s faced hitters this spring. However, he expects to be sore because his inflamed right elbow still hurts. Dan Warthen thinks his first game action will come next week in a minor league contest, but the reliever certainly won’t be ready for the start of the season, and will stay behind in PSL once the team breaks camp.
The Mets officially announced Johan Santana will start the season on the disabled list, as he’s continuing to try and build up his shoulder strength to face Major League hitters. Adam Rubin said fans should be prepared for a long absence, as Santana is long tossing from 90 feet off flat ground, a distance he’ll have to double before even stepping back on the mound. In talking about his status, Johan had this to say:
“I’ve just got to stay here and work out and get ready. I’m making progress. It’s just I don’t know when I’m going to be pitching again. That’s the thing: We cannot think ahead. The way we’re approaching everything is every day make sure we have a good day.”
That quote doesn’t sound very encouraging, but thankfully Jeremy Hefner has had a good spring, which gives Collins confidence in his rotation heading into next week. Shaun Marcum is expected to start his last Grapefruit League game on Thursday, and the coaching staff will feel better once they see the veteran righty get on the mound and perform for the first time after getting a cortisone shot in his right shoulder.
The Mets beat the Nationals yesterday at Tradition Field, 3-1. Rafael Montero was impressive in 4.2 innings pitched, while Lucas Duda added two more hits, including his team-leading fourth homer of the spring. It looks like the Duda is starting to Abide as camp comes to a close. We’ll see how it translates to regular season games since there are no reinforcements coming to help the outfield. You can get your Rising Apple recap right here. Rich Sparago also talked about the confident statement coming from Sandy Alderson this week on a podcast for the New York Post.