At the risk of jinxing the otherwise pleasant winter we’ve had in the Tristate area, spring is getting closer. One thing we’re all looking forward to is the return of New York Mets baseball. It starts with Mets spring training.
Every year after the World Series, one of my middle school gym teachers would begin a countdown outside of his office until pitchers and catchers reported. It’s the first true sign of spring. It’s coming sooner than most of us may realize.
When do Mets pitchers and catchers report for spring training?
It’s on February 15 when we’ll get our first glimpse of all the pitchers and catchers down in St. Lucie. Some of the position players will undoubtedly make appearances. It’s not mandatory for them yet. They can get in a final vacation or moments with their families.
Last year’s spring training was delayed due to the MLB lockout. It wasn’t until the latter part of March when things ended and players were allowed into the facilities. There’s nothing getting in the way this year from starting. However, the World Baseball Classic will make the Mets roster feel a little slimmer.
On the USA team alone, the Mets are sending Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Adam Ottavino. Every team will be a little shorthanded while the WBC goes on. For a positive spin, it does mean a chance to see some of the younger players and fringe major leaguers get a shot to prove themselves. You may land at a Mets spring training game this year to find Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf hitting back-to-back and playing the field in the same game.
Wednesday, February 15 is the unofficial start of spring. Mets pitchers and catchers will report to camp. Those of us who forgot about Valentine’s Day will continue to suffer wrath from our partners.
Don’t worry. Mets baseball is coming back to bring us together and divide us at times because we think someone else should have been brought in from the bullpen.