New Mets 1B Adrian Gonzalez said on Thursday during a conference call that from what the team has told him, he expects to be the starting first baseman this season.
"There is somewhat of a defined role as far as starting a certain amount of games," Gonzalez said, adding that he'll serve as a mentor of sorts for Dominic Smith during Spring Training.
Gonzalez said Smith has a "beautiful swing" that "can generate a lot of power."
"I'll work with Dominic on defense, tell him all my experiences," Gonzalez said. "I've always made a point to work with the young kids. ... In spring training, we're going to work a lot and talk a lot."
Regarding how his back is feeling, Gonzalez said he's been focusing on more stretching, water aerobics, and his conditioning instead of heavy weights, and that his back is "responding really well."
Gonzalez also weighed in on recent comments from his former manager, Bobby Valentine, who was with him in Boston in 2012. Valentine suggested that Gonzalez rubbed some players the wrong way, which Gonzalez said was a case of him trying to be a "vocal leader" when that's not in his nature.
About the Mets, Gonzalez said he believes the team has "a real legit chance to compete" and cited their "passionate" fans.
"The Mets fans have always been incredile," Gonzalez said, adding that he's "so happy to be able to play behind them."
Listen to Gonzalez's full conference call with reporters below