The New York Mets defeated the Boston Red Sox in their first spring training yesterday, and the beginning of baseball games is upon us. The Mets have some very interesting camp stories to follow this spring training including:
If you have been listening or following the Mets over the last year you know that health is one of the Mets key issues this year. Only Noah Syndergaard was able to finish the season with the Mets last year, while Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz , Zach Wheeler, Neil Walker, and David Wright all are coming off of season ending surgeries. So far they have shown encouraging signs of being healthy but for the Mets compete with the Nationals for the NL East, the Mets need to stay healthy.
2) Travis d’Arnaud
Heading into the 2016 the Mets had big hopes for Travis d’Arnaud after slashing .268/.340/.485 in his 2015 season, including some big postseason home runs. But his 2016 season his slash dropped across the board, to .247/.307/.323. This offseason d’Arnaud looked to make a change to his swing that removed his long overhead wrap of the bat above his head. If this swing change can bring d’Arnuad closer to his 2015 self rather than his 2016 self that would be an improvement to one of the Mets struggling positions. Another important thing to watch with d’Arnaud is his defensive improvement. He has been sub-par throwing out runners at a 22 percent clip or 17/78. It will be important to see if d’Arnaud has improved some of these aspects of his game over the winter.
3) The Outfield Carousel
The Mets have quite the mess in the outfield. Yoenis Cespedes is penciled in to be the everyday left fielder, but outside of that the Mets have 4 players for the other two spots. Jay Bruce and his 13 million dollar salary were rumored to be moved in the off-season but nothing came to fruition. It will be interesting to see how the Mets decide to split up playing time this spring. It has been rumored that Conforto would take some reps at first base this spring to give him some positional flexibility. Overall, the Mets will most likely give Granderson and Lagares reps at center field while Bruce and Conforto get reps in right field. It will be interesting to see who performs well this spring training and who struggles