Mets 1B Adrian Gonzalez said the back injury that ended his 2017 season prematurely has not been an issue this offseason, and that he has a "good grasp" on how to take care of it throughout this season.
Gonzalez, who said he switched his workout routine this offseason to focus more on physical therapy and pilates, believes he can be the hitter he was a few seasons ago.
"Absolutely," he said. "Last year, it's kind of like a crossout year for me."
Mets manager Mickey Callaway also thinks Gonzalez can return to form.
"I definitely think he can," Callaway said on Friday. "I don't think we would have gotten him if we wouldn't have thought that. ... He's gonna add a ton to our team. He can definitely pick it over there at first. And this guy is a professional hitter. And he's gonna go out there and give you a tough at-bat."
In January, the Mets signed 35-year-old Gonzalez to a one-year deal that will pay him the league minimum salary. The day the deal was announced, Gonzalez told reporters that he expects to be the team's starting first baseman this season -- and that the Mets had told him to expect a certain amount of playing time.
Gonzalez hit .242/.287/.355 with three HR in 71 games last season for the Dodgers.
He hit .285/.349/.435 with 18 HR in 156 games in 2016.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway said earlier this week that whether to carry Dominic Smith and Gonzalez on the 25-man roster would be a "tough decision." But the expectation if Gonzalez is healthy is that he'll be the starting first baseman, with Smith in Triple-A.
Meanwhile, Smith -- who lost 30 pounds this offseason -- recently said he is still aiming to win the job at first base.