It has been eight years since someone other than Terry Collins directed a spring training for the Mets in Port St. Lucie. In 2018, there will be a new sheriff in town intending to make a few changes...

In what will be his first camp as a big-league manager, and first with the Mets, new manager Mickey Callaway told NY Post reporter Kevin Kernan that the team will hold shorter workouts with the goal of getting the same work done in less time.

"We started doing that in Cleveland about five years ago,'' Callaway told Kernan. "Before, guys were sitting around for 15 minutes before their next station. They're sitting there talking and guys were getting hurt. ... I want to get on and off the field. You can't have standing around; that leads to injuries.''

Callaway told Kernan to also expect the following changes...

  • Bench coach Gary DiSarcina will organize this year's camp. Prior to joining the Mets this winter, the former big-league infielder held coaching positions alongside Angels manager Mike Scioscia and Red Sox manager John Farrell.
  • No more than four pitchers will throw at one time when on the six-mound bullpen at the front of camp or the 10-mound bullpen at the back of camp. In previous seasons, pitchers often occupied every mound...
  • Callaway only wants his team on field between 10:00 and 11:15 a.m.

Change is good. In a tactical sense, Callaway will be different than Collins, I'm sure...



I can't speak to whether the above adjustments will help or hurt or have zero impact, because I know nothing about taking part in a big-league spring training. However, I do have eyes and ears, and I know what I've seen during the last two springs, which was essentially a camp run by veteran players.

There was only a loose schedule set by the coaching staff last season, according to players I talked with last February. In some case, this frustrated players. In other cases, it didn't. There was a lot of running from field to field, guys doing one thing one day, but doing something else the next day. It looked like organized chaos, which worked fine in 2015, but not so much in 2017. Frankly, it probably doesn't matter all that much, since most veteran players will say the goal of spring training is to develop a rhythm and camaraderie with teammates. Of course, if how the camp is run can prevent injury, physical adjustments will be a welcomed change.

That said, I expect Callaway's pragmatic and information-based strategy, new voice and smooth communication style to have a bigger impact on his players than any tweak of a spreadsheet or schedule.

During his introductory press conference at Citi Field in October, Callaway repeatedly talked about the importance of creating a new team culture, which he hopes will also spread to the team's fans and traveling media.



I'm sure Callaway will be asked and will talk more specifically about this to reporters when he starts giving official press conferences after each day's workouts. However, based on what he's already said, it's clear that constant communication, "personal responsibility," hard work, and being both physically and mentally prepared, will all be things he is pushing. I also expect we'll hear a lot about "sacrifice," and doing whatever is necessary to win. "Information" will also be part of the equation, especially as it relates to his players understanding the logic and research behind his decisions.

I love hearing all of the above. It's perfect for this roster and the current state of baseball.

Thankfully, Mickey will be able to lean on a terrific group of coaches, including new bench coach Gary DiSarcina, new pitching coach Dave Eiland, hitting coach Pat Roessler (and his assistant, Tom Slater), third base coach Glenn Sherlock, new first base coach Ruben Amaro, Jr., bullpen coach Ricky Bones.

In particular, I hope to see a lot from DiSarcina, who grew up in New England and was a really good shortstop during his prime in the mid-90s. He went on to have noteworthy success as a minor league manager and still wants to land a big-league job one day. In addition to working the bench, he's worked in Boston's player development under Theo Epstein. He understands the reality of working in a major media market, not just as a player and coach, but also in front of the camera as a host for NESN. He's going to be a major asset...

"Gary is terrific with our players. He listens to them," a Red Sox source told me. "He understands all facets, from what it takes to build a team, to what it takes to turn a double play, play through pain, or make a decision about what relief pitcher to use that day in that situation. He'll be a valuable asset to any organization, regardless of his role."



As I said, I like this group. It's a mostly young, diverse staff, with a lot of experience, yet no one personality that should overshadow the new manager. However, to truly create a culture shift, Callaway is going to need a strong group of player lieutenants checking in with teammates, reporting back to coaches and helping to carry out their collective message in words and action.

Technically, David Wright is still the team's Captain. The majority of players -- young and old -- in camp have stood next to him. However, only a few have taken the field by his side. There will be only six players in camp that were with the team the last time Wright played more than 40 games in a season. Wright will be a factor, based on legacy, but his lack of presence on field will reduce his ability to lead in the way Callaway is going to need from his veterans.

Instead, I expect Callaway to lean heavily on Jacob deGrom, Yoenis Cespedes, and Jay Bruce.

Last summer, the Mets traded Bruce to the Indians, where Callaway was pitching coach. Bruce told reporters in January that Callaway being named Mets manager played a major factor in him returning to the Mets.

"Bruce didn't just help hitters, he spent a ton of time with deGrom and Noah Syndergaard in the year he was with them. He spent time with Jeurys Familia and tons of other players," Mets reporter Rich Coutinho said during January's Queens Baseball Convention. "Bruce is as big of a leader in that clubhouse now as anybody that has been with the Mets in the last two or three years and I think you're really going to see that manifest itself this coming season."



According to Kernan, Callaway has already made an effort to spend time with Cespedes, be it walking around First Data Field or going to dinner together in Port St. Lucie.

In deGrom, I've heard Callaway sees a potential leader-by-example for the pitching staff, like Corey Kluber did for him in Cleveland. DeGrom is 29 years old with 45 career wins under his belt. Kluber is 31 with 76 wins.

In case you missed it...

Mets pitchers and catchers are required to report to Spring Training by Feb. 12, with position players reporting by Feb. 17. The first full workout for pitchers and catchers will be Feb. 14, with the first full squad workout taking place on Feb. 19. Callaway's first press conference will be Feb. 13.

The team opens their 2018 Spring Training Grapefruit League schedule on Friday, Feb. 23 against the Braves at 1:10 p.m. at First Data Field in Port St. Lucie, FL...



In the span of five weeks, they'll play the 2017 World Series champion Astros seven times, including four games in Port St. Lucie; they'll play the Marlins and Nationals each six times; the Cardinals four times; and the Orioles, Tigers, and Braves each two times...

The Mets open the regular season on March 29 against the Cardinals at Citi Field.

Nine minor leaguers have been invited to the team's major league spring training. Here are the six players, including Tim Tebow, that I'm looking forward to seeing >> Read more.


Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. He recently left his position as Executive Editor and Dir. of Digital Content for SNY.TV to help sports brands build their own digital content businesses...


MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone and SNY's Andy Martino wrap up the day on Spring Training Live.

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Feb. 17, 2018: General photo from grass of Field 7 at FirstData Field in St. Lucie (Matthew Cerrone, SNY)
Feb. 17, 2018: General photo from grass of Field 7 at FirstData Field in St. Lucie (Matthew Cerrone, SNY)

It was great to see Michael Conforto on the field, throwing, catching, laughing and again looking like a baseball player. In general, he appears to be less strong, but that is to be expected given the intense surgery he had on his shoulder as well as the extensive rehab that followed.

That said, he's moving fine. He did all stretches with teammates before long tossing from the foul line to center field and had no issues catching the baseball. He didn't hit, of course, but that will come...

Tags: David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher AJ Ramos (44) warms up during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher AJ Ramos (44) warms up during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Today's sights and sounds from Port St. Lucie. We'll be updating throughout the day, with the most recent updates at the top...

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

In the wake of the Mets signing LHP Jason Vargas to a two-year deal, RHP Zack Wheeler said his focus remains on being a starting pitcher. He expressed that focus with few words.

But Wheeler regrets being so brief with his answers and understands why that might have been construed as anger, but says that any addition to the team is good.

"I shouldn't have been short about it," Wheeler said. "Anybody who comes and helps out or team is always a plus. ... I barely pitched in two and a half years. I totally understand it."

Tags: Matt Harvey, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway speaks during a news conference ahead of the official start of spring training baseball practice Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (Jeff Roberson/AP)
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway speaks during a news conference ahead of the official start of spring training baseball practice Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Mickey Callaway hasn't been around David Wright all that much yet, but such an impression has been made on the new manager that he wants Wright around the team as much as his rehab will permit. 

Wright has been limited to just 75 games in the last three years due to injuries, missing all of 2017, and is fighting an uphill battle to ever take another MLB at-bat. But Callaway already knows that Wright's value goes far beyond the batter's box as his leadership is invaluable.

"Everybody knows who David Wright is and the leader that he is," Callaway said...

Tags: David Wright
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David Wright injury update 00:02:01
New York Mets captain David Wright meets the media in Port St. Lucie and updates his health status and rehab as he attempts to play again.

Mets 3B David Wright is realistic about the uphill climb ahead of him, but is not giving up on his goal to return.

"When it's all said and done I want me to be able to say I did everything I could," Wright said Saturday morning in Port St. Lucie. "If it works, that's obviously the goal. And if it doesn't work, then I'll rest easy knowing that I gave it my best shot."

Wright said he's still in the rehab process, and that he's been in constant communication with his doctors about determining the progression.

Tags: David Wright, Danny Abriano
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Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Off-the-field news carried the day, and plenty of other stuff happened at Spring Training. Here's what went down, in case you missed it...


The Mets signed LHP Jason Vargas to a two-year deal. He will have a spot in the rotation, meaning there is an open competition for the two remaining spots. >> Read more

In light of Vargas signing, Mets manager Mickey Callaway said a six-man rotation is not likely. >> Read more

Tags: Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Zack Wheeler
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Sights and Sounds: Friday 00:01:02
SNY.tv captures the sights and sounds of Friday's Mets workout in Port St. Lucie, with up-close looks at Amed Rosario and Adrian Gonzalez.

SNY.tv captures the sights and sounds of Friday's Mets workout in Port St. Lucie, with up-close looks at Amed Rosario and Adrian Gonzalez.

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This afternoon on Field 7, Adrian Gonzalez, Dominic Smith, Luis Guillorme, and Amed Rosario took infield together on the same dirt for the first time. And, on Day 1, they already look in sync, smooth, and more sound than any infield I have watched in these uniforms during the last decade...

I love watching sharp, quick and snappy infield practice. Done right, as it was today by the above foursome, there's barely any talking. It's just speed and constant activity swirling in and around itself, similar to a basketball shoot-around, all functioning like clockwork...

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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

With the acquisition of Todd Frazier, the Mets' contingent of position players is largely settled. But some questions remain, including one that has plagued the team for several seasons now: who will lead off?

On Friday, new Mets hitting coach Pat Roessler mentioned Frazier, Brandon Nimmo, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Jose Reyes as potential leadoff candidates. And there should be even more candidates than the above. So, who should it be?

The classic "old school" leadoff man is whoever is fastest -- who will steal the most bases? Of the Mets' projected starters, clearly Amed Rosario fits that mold best. He is projected to steal anywhere from 15-to-25 bases in 2018, and his raw speed is clearly elite...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Asdrubal Cabrera, Brandon Nimmo, Jose Reyes, Michael Conforto, Maggie Wiggin
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MetsBlog's Matt Cerrone and Abbey Mastracco of NJ.com wrap up the day on Spring Training Live.

Click below to watch

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Tim Tebow is shown, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback practiced at the New York Mets' complex during his second workout as part of their instructional league team. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Wilfredo Lee/AP)
Tim Tebow is shown, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback practiced at the New York Mets' complex during his second workout as part of their instructional league team. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

The Mets would "love" to have minor league OF Tim Tebow open the season with Double-A Binghamton if he performs well during Spring Training, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag.

The 30-year-old Tebow received an invite to major league Spring Training earlier this offseason.

He joined the Mets organization in 2016, and played 126 combined games with Low-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie last season, hitting .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs, 52 RBI, and 126 strikeouts...

Tags: Tim Tebow
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New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey, left, talks with pitching coach Dave Eiland during spring training baseball practice Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (Jeff Roberson/AP)
New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey, left, talks with pitching coach Dave Eiland during spring training baseball practice Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Today's sights and sounds from Port St. Lucie. We'll be updating throughout the day, with the most recent updates at the top...

Click below to see

Tags: Amed Rosario
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 (Nathan Denette/AP)
(Nathan Denette/AP)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway couldn't officially comment on Friday on the Mets' two-year deal with LHP Jason Vargas since the deal is pending a physical. But he discussed what Vargas would bring to the table.

"I don't think you can have too much pitching," Callaway said. "In our case, that would be wonderful. ... He can pitch. He's a guy that goes out there, does his job. Tremendous teammate, and he gave us some fits when we were facing him in Cleveland."

Regarding the potential of the Mets using a six-man rotation, Callaway made it sound like that was unlikely...

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BNNY: Mets sign Jason Vargas 00:04:14
Anthony DiComo and Steve Gelbs join BNNY from Port St. Lucie to discuss the Mets giving Jason Vargas a two-year, $16 million deal.

The Mets have signed free agent LHP Jason Vargas to a two-year deal. The deal is worth $16 million over two years, and contains a third-year option, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. It also contains incentives based on innings pitched that can be worth up to $1.5 million each season, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag.

The Mets had maintained "solid interest" in signing Vargas, who pitched under new pitcing coach Dave Eiland last season with the Royals, Mike Puma of the NY Post reported on Thursday.

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | With the uncertainty surrounding Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler -- who all dealt with serious injury issues and ineffectiveness last season -- the Mets badly needed to add some stability to their starting rotation. And with Vargas, they've done it...

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Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez bats against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez bats against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

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."

Tags: Dominic Smith, Danny Abriano
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Todd Frazier poses at Citi Field following his official introduction by the Mets. (AP)
Todd Frazier poses at Citi Field following his official introduction by the Mets. (AP)

Newly-signed Mets third baseman Todd Frazier arrived at New York's spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida, with a message: "It's baseball time."

Frazier, who last week signed a two-year, $17 million deal with the Mets, said he was happy to return close to his New Jersey hometown and enjoyed getting back into the swing of things with a new season.

"Good to be down here in sunny Florida, meeting some new guys and talking shop," Frazier said. "It's baseball time, so it's good. That lingo coming back, meeting the new coaching staff and players, it's good."

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Gelbs sits down with Nimmo 00:04:15
Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo took a break from Spring Training to talk with SNY's Steve Gelbs about his preparation for the 2018 season.

Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo took a break from Spring Training to talk with SNY's Steve Gelbs about his preparation for the 2018 season.


New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports Images)

Technically speaking, Jay Bruce is a new addition to the Mets. But he doesn't feel that way.

Of course, the slugger was with the Mets until August of last season when he was traded to the Indians. He had been with the Mets since August of the prior season when he came to the team a trade from the Reds. Now, having arrived in Port St. Lucie for spring training, Bruce says it feels comfortable to be back-- like he never left.

"It was very, very comfortable," Bruce said. "It was honestly like I never left. Obviously, I went and had a lot of fun and had some great experiences over in Cleveland, but I'm back here now and hopefully here for the long haul..."

Tags: Jay Bruce
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What team will Vargas sign with? 00:05:21
In the wake of the Jaime Garcia and Andrew Cashner signings, the Baseball Night in NY panel talks possible landing spots for Jason Vargas.

The Mets have "solid interest" in signing free agent LHP Jason Vargas, who pitched under new pitcing coach Dave Eiland last season with the Royals, reports Mike Puma of the NY Post, who said the team also had interest in LHP Jaime Garcia.

However, the 31-year-old Garcia signed with the Blue Jays late Thursday afternoon on a one-year deal worth $8 million.

Vargas, 35, remains on the board. He had a 4.16 ERA (4.67 FIP) and 1.33 WHIP with 134 strikeouts in 179.2 innings (32 starts) in 2017.

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Feb., 2018: Mickey Callaway glares back at a bullpen session at FirstData Field (Matthew Cerrone, SNY)
Feb., 2018: Mickey Callaway glares back at a bullpen session at FirstData Field (Matthew Cerrone, SNY)

New manager Mickey Callaway looks like he can still pitch in a big-league game. I say this not because I have seen him throw a baseball, but because he looks the part.

He stands like a player. He's built like a veteran player. He spits like a player. And, he clearly walks and talks like a wise, veteran player -- and that is how his players look at him...

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Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) warms up during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) warms up during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

SNY's Steve Gelbs and Matt Ehalt of The Record wrap up the day on Spring Training Live.

Click below to watch

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Sights and Sounds: Thursday 00:01:00
SNY.tv captures the sights and sounds of Thursday's workout at Mets Spring Training in Port St. Lucie.

SNY.tv captures the sights and sounds of Thursday's workout at Mets Spring Training in Port St. Lucie.

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Callaway and Harvey on 2018 00:06:48
On Baseball Night in New York, Matt Harvey discusses his expectations for himself coming off a disappointing 2017 season.

Mets RHP Matt Harvey, who dealt with serious injury issues in 2016 and 2017, is aiming to again be the dominant pitcher he was in 2013 and 2015. 

"Going in to this year, I strive to be better than I was before," Harvey said on Thursday morning while speaking for the first time since last season. "There's no reason why I can't. I'm still 28, 29 years old. There's a lot left in the tank. I'm ready to go, I'm excited. The ball is coming out better than it has in a long time. I'm just excited."

Harvey returned from Thoracic Outlet surgery last season, and also dealt with an injury to his scapula that kept him out of action from June 15 to Sept. 2. And Harvey said he might have tried to do too much too soon...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Danny Abriano
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Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard reiterated on Thursday that he had a "very different lifting method" this offseason in an effort to be more lean than last season -- when added muscle perhaps contributed to the lat injury that kept him out for most of the year.

"Overall, body feels great," Syndergaard said. "Feels lean, explosive."

Syndergaard also discussed new manager Mickey Callaway, and more...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard
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Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) warms up during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) warms up during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Today's sights and sounds from Port St. Lucie. We'll be updating throughout the day, with the most recent updates at the top...

Click below to see

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jerry Blevins, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard
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Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) warms up during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) warms up during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Thursday morning that RHP Matt Harvey can break the bad mechanical habits that pitching coach Dave Eiland said he got into last season.

"He can definitely fix it," Callaway said. "And a lot of it is confidence, and the ability to go out there and throw the ball where you want to. One of the things that comes along with the issues that he was having physically, is the feel of the baseball. And when you can't feel the baseball the right way, and don't trust that it's gonna go where you want, then you become a more mechanical person, and not be the athlete that you wan't to be. He can definitely fix those bad habits for sure."

Harvey, who returned from Thoracic Outlet surgery last season, couldn't feel his fingers at times in 2016 before the surgery. And was not 100 percent back physically while pitching last season...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Danny Abriano
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Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak (38) warms up during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak (38) warms up during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Mets RH reliever Anthony Swarzak, who was born and raised in Broward County, FL -- where Wednesday's mass shooting took the lives of 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School -- discussed the shooting on Thursday morning. Swarzak's sister and cousins attended the school where the shooting happened, and his cousins still live in the area.

"I just started making phone calls to friends in the area," Swarzak said. "I grew up with some people that are baseball coaches down there. They know a lot of those Stoneman Douglas kids. From what I heard, all the baseball team is accounted for down there. That's not the case for some of the coaches and stuff, but, it's a time to reflect and to hopefully grow as a community. And try to get better at, just loving eachother."

"I played against that school growing up," Swarzak continued. "My sister went to that school, I have two cousins that graduated from that school. My heart -- it aches for those families, for all of Broward county, for all the United States.This is a sad time that we're living in. We all have to find a way to rise above it. Love conquers all. It really does. And it's a really sad thing."

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May 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Matt den Dekker (21) rounds third base against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
May 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Matt den Dekker (21) rounds third base against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

The Mets have signed OF Matt den Dekker to a minor league deal that contains an invite to big league Spring Training, the team announced Thursday.

The 30-year-old den Dekker, who plays all three outfield positions, appeared in four games last season for the Tigers after spending the 2015 and 2016 seasons with the Nationals. He began his career with the Mets, playing for them in 2013 and 2014.

He has hit .234/.316/.354 with seven HR in 158 games during his five-year career.

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Apr 20, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) in the dugout during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 20, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) in the dugout during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Noah Syndergaard took time out of his Spring Training routine to wish a Happy Valentine's Day to a very special person: Mrs. Met.

The Mets' right-hander and Mr. Met have sparred over Twitter for more than a year, including last Valentine's Day when Syndergaard made a veiled reference that he would be spending the day with the team's 56-year-old mascot's better half.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Forecasting Rosario's future 00:02:58
The Baseball Night in NY panel discusses Mickey Callaway's comparison of Amed Rosario to Cleveland's All-Star shortstop, Francisco Lindor.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway said SS Amed Rosario's talent is "right on par" with Francisco Lindor's, who was on the 2015-17 Indians teams while Callaway served as pitching coach.

The 24-year-old Lindor is a career .293/.349/.474 hitter with the Indians, and has been a plus defender at shortstop all three seasons.

"I've gotten to see a lot (of Rosario)," Callaway said Wednesday. "Unbelievable athlete. I think, obviously, right on par with (Francisco) Lindor. Extreme athletes can move around really well -- go left, right, good arm. He has all the tools."

Tags: Amed Rosario
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Sights and Sounds: Wednesday 00:01:00
SNY.tv captures the sights and sounds of Wednesday's Mets workout in Port St. Lucie, with up-close looks at Syndergaard, Matz and more.

SNY.tv captures the sights and sounds of Wednesday's Mets workout in Port St. Lucie, with up close looks at Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and more.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz
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Sep 7, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 7, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Saying he's "never been around a collection of talent" like the pitching talent the Mets have, new pitching coach Dave Eiland was specifically asked on Wednesday about Matt Harvey, who he said got in some bad habits mechanically last season.

"Well, mechanically, I'll be honest with you," Eiland said. "It looks to me like he got in some bad habits, simply because he had some injuries. And he was probably doing something -- it looks to me like he was doing something with his lower half, to help his upper half -- which is his arm. So he got in some bad habits. He's aware of it. We've talked about it. We've looked at film."

The 28-year-old Harvey had a 6.70 ERA and 1.69 WHIP with just 67 strikeouts in 97.2 innings last season as he returned from Thoracic Outlet surgery. He also dealt with an injury to his scapula that kept him out of action from June 15 to Sept. 2. 

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, Danny Abriano
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SNY's Steve Gelbs and James Wagner of the New York Times wrap up the day on Spring Training Live.

Click below to watch

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Click below to watch Mets manager Mickey Callaway's full press conference from Wednesday at Spring Training, where he discussed the new culture, Amed Rosario, the center field competition, and more...

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Mets OF Michael Conforto has resumed baseball activity, and was long-tossing on Wednesday at Spring Training, MLB.Com's Anthony DiComo tweeted.

Conforto reported to camp last week, and there have not yet been reports of him swinging a bat. 

He has not had a setback as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but GM Sandy Alderson said in January that the team does not expect him back until around May 1. 

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto
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Apr 19, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) tosses his bat on his way to first base on a walk in the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 19, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) tosses his bat on his way to first base on a walk in the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes "has promised the team he will not play golf during the season," former WFAN host Mike Francesa said Tuesday night on WOR. 

Cespedes' golfing has been a topic of debate since his Mets tenure began.

He posted a photo of himself golfing during the 2016 season as he was simultaneously missing time on the field with a leg injury that eventually landed him on the disabled list.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray)

Today's sights and sounds from Port St. Lucie. We'll be updating throughout the day, with the most recent updates at the top...


Noah Syndergaard signs autographs...

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Former WFAN host Mike Francesa says the Mets are open to trading OF Juan Lagares to the Giants for 2B Joe Panik.

"I don't know if they'll keep Lagares or not," Francesa said Tuesday on WOR. "I know the Giants want Lagares. The Mets are interested in Panik." When asked what the Mets would do with Asdrubal Cabrera if they traded for Panik, Francesa said they'd "let him play as a utility-man -- that's all. I know they like Panik a lot."

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | If Panik's defensive struggles last season were a one-year blip -- and if the Mets are comfortable using Nimmo in center field every day until Conforto returns -- dealing Lagares for Panik actually makes sense...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Asdrubal Cabrera, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes
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Mets at work in Port St. Lucie 00:02:32
Steve Gelbs recaps new Mets manager Mickey Callaway's first meeting with the media at Spring Training.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway had his first press conference of Spring Training on Tuesday, and some other tidbits came out as well. In case you missed it...


Callaway expressed confidence in Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki, calling them "catchers that can get the job done." >> Read more

Callaway reiterated that the idea of a designated closer seems "silly." >> Read more

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BNNY: Walk-Off 00:01:06
The Baseball Night in New York panel wonders how Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores might perform in the outfield for the Mets this season.

With their outfield depth on the 40-man roster thin, the Mets will be giving Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores reps in the outfield during Spring Training, according to the team's beat reporters.

Reyes learned to play the outfield last season, but was only used there twice -- once in center field (for 1 inning), and another time in left field (for 5.1 innings).

Flores has never played anywhere but the infield.

Tags: Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores
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Sep 25, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) is congratulated by first baseman Kevin Plawecki (26) after hitting the game winning home run against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 25, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) is congratulated by first baseman Kevin Plawecki (26) after hitting the game winning home run against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway expressed optimism on Tuesday that a platoon between catchers Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki can work this season, adding that he knows how hard it is to be a catcher.

"I think what we are going to do with the catching is going to be very important," Callaway said. "And I know how stressful it is to be a catcher. I sat next to catchers the last five years and constantly talked to them about what they need to do on a daily basis. And it is a lot."

And Callaway weighed in on the offensive potential of the two catchers, noting that they each bring something different to the table...

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Travis d'Arnaud, Danny Abriano
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Travis d'Arnaud congratulates Jeurys Familia after Familia earned his 36th save of the season. (AP)
Travis d'Arnaud congratulates Jeurys Familia after Familia earned his 36th save of the season. (AP)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway reiterated Tuesday that he does not plan to have a designated closer this season, instead choosing to deploy his relievers in the situations that put them and the team in the best position to succeed.

"I don't know who's going to come up (for the opposing team) in the ninth inning," Callaway added, explaining that the idea of choosing the closer in advance "seems kind of silly."

However, Callaway knows he has a challenge ahead of him...

Tags: Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia, Danny Abriano
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Callaway talks 1B decision 00:01:16
Mets manager Mickey Callaway discusses the tough decision between Dominic Smith and Adrian Gonzalez for who will start at first base.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Tuesday that, assuming the health of Adrian Gonzalez, it will be a tough decision regarding whether the team carries Dominic Smith or sends him to Triple-A Las Vegas.

"That's something that is going to be a tough decision," Callaway said. "Dom Smith has come into camp looking really good. He's in great shape, he did a great job this offseason of preparing. I had a talk with him, and the expectation for Dom is to go out there and do everything he can to be on the major league team." 

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | Callaway is saying what he has to say at this point. However, if Gonzalez is healthy, there is almost no chance Smith will be on the Opening Day roster. Even if the Mets carry five bench players to start the season, there will be no reason to carry Smith if he isn't the starting first baseman. Like Gonzalez, he can only play first base. And like Gonzalez, he's a left-handed hitter. And the aforementioned is why I was opposed to the Mets bringing Gonzalez aboard...

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Sights and Sounds: Tuesday 00:00:56
SNY.tv captures the sights and sounds of Tuesday's workouts at Mets Spring Training in Port St. Lucie.

SNY.tv captures the sights and sounds of Tuesday's workouts at Mets Spring Training in Port St. Lucie.

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From left, New York Mets pitchers Steven Matz, Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey and catcher Travis d'Arnaud walk off the field at the end of batting practice, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, in New York. The Mets will face the Kansas City Royals in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (Julie Jacobson/AP)
From left, New York Mets pitchers Steven Matz, Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey and catcher Travis d'Arnaud walk off the field at the end of batting practice, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, in New York. The Mets will face the Kansas City Royals in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (Julie Jacobson/AP)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Tuesday that the new plans in place to keep the starting pitchers healthy are already showing dividends, adding that "processes and routines are what is going to truly keep these guys healthy going forward."

Callaway touched on the starting pitching depth the team has, said it's too early to determine the pecking order, and weighed in on Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz -- who all dealt with serious injuries and ineffectiveness last season.

"They all look really good in their pens," Calllaway said. "They're throwing the ball where they want to. If anything, we're having to pull them back a tad and say 'hey, don't overdo it. We know you feel great.' There's smiles on everyone's faces because they're coming in healthy, and what I've seen so far has kind of blown me away."

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SNY's Steve Gelbs and MLB.com's Anthony DiComo wrap up the day on Spring Training Live.

Click below to watch

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Callaway: Mets can contend 00:01:26
Mickey Callaway discusses how the Mets know they can contend in 2018 and that they have the players to do it.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway was asked during his first press conference of Spring Training whether he needed to "sell" the players on being able to contend. And he was not shy about his expectations.

"They look to their left and they look to their right and they know they can contend," Callaway said. "We have the players to do it."

"It's become very evident in my short time here. ... I have now spent some time with our coaching staff. I've spent time with our players. It is very evident that we are prepared in every way to go out there and do something special. If we do not do things, it's gonna be on me. The front office has gotten us the players. The coaching staff is the best coaching staff in the big leagues."

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Mickey Callaway gestures at the podium after he was introduced to the media. (AP)
Mickey Callaway gestures at the podium after he was introduced to the media. (AP)

Click below to watch Mickey Callway's full press conference from Spring Training...

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