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Mets: Six surprise players who could win a roster spot in Spring Training

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 06: The Grapefruit League logo on the third base line before a spring training game between the Houston Astros and New York Mets at First Data Field on March 6, 2018 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 06: The Grapefruit League logo on the third base line before a spring training game between the Houston Astros and New York Mets at First Data Field on March 6, 2018 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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T.J. Rivera

After missing all of the 2018 season recovering from Tommy John Surgery, T.J. Rivera has become somewhat of a forgotten player going into Spring Training.

Rivera first made his Major League debut in August of 2016 and due to a plethora on injuries, he began receiving regular playing time where he batted .333 with a .345 OBP in 33 games for the Mets down the stretch as they competed for a Wild Card spot.

Due to those aforementioned injuries, Rivera was the starting second baseman for the 2016 Wild Card Game against the San Francisco Giants, where he recorded a double off of Madison Bumgarner.

In 2017, Rivera made the opening day roster and continued to produce at the major league level. In 73 games for the Mets, he batted .290 with a .330 OBP, along with 5 home runs and 27 RBI as a part-time player. Additionally, Rivera displayed get versatility as a fielder in 2017, logging inning playing first base, second base, third base and a few games in left field.

His season was unfortunately cut short in July of that same year, when he was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament and underwent Tommy John Surgery, requiring him to miss the rest of the 2017 season, as well as the entirety of 2018, except for a few minor league rehab games.

Rivera is expected to make his return to the Mets in this upcoming Spring Training, and after missing more than a year recovering from his surgery, fans are unsure what to expect for him in his return.

Hopefully, Rivera returns to form and picks up right where he left off with the team prior to his injury. If he returns and hits the way he did over his first two seasons when he initially joined the Mets, his versatility around the infield would be an asset to the team which will begin the year with a lot of older players and would help to solidify New York’s bench quite nicely.

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