Pitchers and catchers have finally settled down in Port St Lucie, Florida, and Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson took the opportunity to answer questions from the New York media Friday.
The topic at the forefront of most minds was the current state of Matt Harvey, who missed the entire 2014 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Alderson mentioned that Harvey is on track with his recovery, and is unlikely to be held back from facing batters in Spring Training games. There will be a theoretical innings limit on Harvey for now, but the All-Star could possibly pitch around 200 innings if the Mets ultimately end up in the playoffs.
On the David Wright front, Alderson repeated that his third baseman was making great progress after a shoulder injury cut short his 2014 season, and that Wright has not been experiencing any type of discomfort during workouts. It’s certainly good news to hear, as Wright’s production will be instrumental in the journey to those elusive October games.
The Mets have not made any moves concerning the trio of Dillon Gee, Bartolo Colon, or Jon Niese, and all signs point to the trio being in the organization come Opening Day. Gee has been the center of most of the offseason rumors, with names from Elvis Andrus to Rex Brothers to cash considerations being thrown around as possible return packages, but nothing substantial ever materialized. The 28-year-old veteran will most likely be headed to a long relief role, barring any injuries in the rotation .
Bobby Parnell was slated to be the Mets’ closer in 2014 but found himself needing surgery shutting him down for the entire 2014 season. Parnell, now 30, is making great strides towards a return, but he reportedly will spend the first few weeks on the disable list when the season opens on April 6 in Washington. Alderson said that he expects Parnell to regain his late inning role by late April, but that date is dependent on his progress in Spring Training.
Alderson was also not hesitant to discuss his prized farm system. He spoke of pitching prospectRafael Montero, saying that he will be considered for an Opening Day bullpen spot, this after making several starts for the team last season. Top prospects like Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard will not be options for the bullpen and will this starts their seasons in the minors. Catcher Kevin Plawecki is close to being big league ready, but his spot in Queens is currently held by Travis d’Arnuad, another player that the front office is very high on. Rather than sit on the bench and play sparingly backing up d’Arnaud, Plawecki will start the season at Triple-A Las Vegas barring any injuries. Plawecki could possibly get some playing time at first base while at Vegas as well, according to Alderson.