With Duda uncertain, Bruce starts 1B drills

Collins on slugger taking infield grounders: "I liked everything I saw today"

With Duda uncertain, Bruce starts 1B drills

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Until Sunday, the Mets' plan to try out Jay Bruce or Michael Conforto at first base had been nothing more than idle chatter. The Mets had hoped to spend this spring making several of their players more versatile. But they did not immediately put those plans into action, preferring to let their outfielders focus on what they do best.

That changed this week, when starting first baseman Lucas Duda hobbled into the Mets' clubhouse with a sore back -- a minor issue, he said, but nonetheless a concerning one considering Duda's lengthy history of similar ailments. A day later, Bruce grabbed the first baseman's mitt he brought to Spring Training for this exact contingency, taking ground balls at the position for the first time before the Mets' 5-2 win over Detroit.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mike zone: Conforto's HR, 2 runs pace Mets

Mike zone: Conforto's HR, 2 runs pace Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Michael Conforto's white-hot start to spring continued with another home run on Sunday, part of a two-hit effort in the Mets' 5-2 win over the Tigers at First Data Field.

Conforto's second homer in three games came off Tigers left-hander Daniel Stumpf, extending the Mets' lead to 3-0 in the sixth. He also singled and scored the Mets' first run on Travis d'Arnaud's single in the fourth inning, giving him five hits -- two of them off lefties -- in seven spring at-bats. This is a critical spring for Conforto, who is attempting to make the team as a backup outfielder.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Tigers on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets' Walker relishing playing pain-free

Surgery on herniated disc corrected longtime issue for second baseman

Mets' Walker relishing playing pain-free

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- It was not until after undergoing back surgery that Neil Walker realized, truly, the pain that had nagged him for much of the past four years. Before surgery to repair a herniated disc, Walker tiptoed out of bed each day concerned about his body's ability to cooperate. Now, he awakens with no such worries.

Buoyed by that freshness, Walker made his first game appearance Sunday since undergoing surgery, playing five innings at second base in the Mets' 5-2 win over the Tigers. Finishing 0-for-2 with a strikeout, Walker called the game activity "a real sense of relief."

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Out on a Tim: Mets embracing Tebowmania

Former University of Florida football star turned outfielder due in camp Monday

Out on a Tim: Mets embracing Tebowmania

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Once Grapefruit League games begin, crowds at the Mets' Spring Training back fields tend to dwindle, as the organization's biggest stars limit their time to the main stadium. Only the most diehard Minor League fans, friends and families of players still congregate near the chain-link fences, watching the Mets' next wave of talent develop.

That will change at least temporarily on Monday, when Tim Tebow rolls into Port St. Lucie for his first official day of Spring Training. Tebow is reporting roughly a week early to participate in the Mets' STEP camp, which the organization reserves for its most intriguing prospects.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wright: Debuting at DH 'a good first step'

Following neck surgery, Mets captain still working on improving throwing

Wright: Debuting at DH 'a good first step'

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Designated hitter isn't exactly the position David Wright has in mind. But to the delight of Mets fans at the Grapefruit League home opener vs. Washington on Saturday, Wright made his first appearance even if it was only at the plate.

He isn't ready to take the field, still working diligently on strengthening his right arm for those accurate dealings across the diamond.

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Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Thor, MLB stars make Oscar predictions

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Thor, MLB stars make Oscar predictions

It's the time of year for projections and predictions to be made. Who'll emerge victorious despite stiff competition, and who will be relegated to looking to the future? 

We're talking, of course, about the Academy Awards.

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Conforto stays hot, but Nats' HRs tag Mets

Conforto stays hot, but Nats' HRs tag Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Bryce Harper began his spring with a bang, as he launched a solo homer to start the second inning as the Nationals defeated the Mets, 8-6, on Saturday afternoon at First Data Field.

Harper's home run, which came off left-hander Sean Gilmartin, was the first of four Nationals homers on the day -- Neftali Soto hit a two-run homer in the fifth before Andrew Stevenson and Matt Skole hit back-to-back homers in the sixth inning.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Mets on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harvey, deGrom and Thor sport gnarly mustaches

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Harvey, deGrom and Thor sport gnarly mustaches

The Mets lost both Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom to season-ending injuries in 2016, leaving Noah Syndergaard as the lone member of their three-headed starting-pitching beast still standing as the team was eliminated from the postseason by Madison Bumgarner and the Giants in the NL Wild Card Game. But it's 2017 now, and the Mets' rotation once again boasts three of baseball's most fearsome starting pitchers.

Also, three of the gnarliest mustaches this side of Tom Selleck.

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Hips, back put Duda on shelf for time being

Plawecki diagnosed with left knee contusion after collision Saturday

Hips, back put Duda on shelf for time being

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Spring Training is supposed to be a time to get ready for the upcoming season, but injuries can cause setbacks, and Mets first baseman Lucas Duda is hurting.

"They're coming in here feeling great, and then less than 10 days later, all of a sudden you lose a pretty big piece for a few days," manager Terry Collins said after the Mets lost, 8-6, to Washingon on Saturday. "I'm glad to do it now rather than in two weeks."

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Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Versatile Gilmartin happy with 2-inning start

Home run allowed to Harper was left-hander's only mistake in spring debut

Versatile Gilmartin happy with 2-inning start

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets left-hander Sean Gilmartin must remain flexible in his role with the pitching staff. In two seasons with the Mets, Gilmartin has appeared in 64 games, starting two. But he must remain mentally prepared to do whatever work he's called upon to do.

The need for left-handed help in the bullpen could work to his advantage, but the Mets are also looking for lefty depth in the starting rotation as well.

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Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cecchini, Conforto HRs back sharp Lugo, Mets

Cecchini, Conforto HRs back sharp Lugo, Mets

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Three Mets pitchers combined to no-hit the Red Sox for six innings before Hanley Ramirez rifled a double into the gap in right-center to open the bottom of the seventh of New York's 3-2 victory over Boston on Friday at JetBlue Park.

Michael Conforto, who is trying to carve out a role in a crowded outfield, roped a solo homer to right in the third inning of the Grapefruit League opener for both teams.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Roster hopeful Conforto announces presence early

Outfielder, squeezed out by Bruce, Granderson, Cespedes, singles and homers in opener

Roster hopeful Conforto announces presence early

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- There are but a handful of roles up for grabs at Mets camp this spring. One rotation job. Two bullpen gigs, at most. And one outfield spot that may or may not be Michael Conforto's to claim.

Capable -- maybe -- of forcing his way onto the Opening Day roster with a strong spring, Conforto began immediately with a home run and an opposite-field single Friday in the Mets' 3-2 win over the Red Sox in their Grapefruit League debut.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Facing tough hitters, Molina looks back on track

Facing tough hitters, Molina looks back on track

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- This may have been just the start of Spring Training, but for prospect Marcos Molina, it seemed like more.

Staring down Andrew Benintendi, Hanley Ramirez and Jackie Bradley Jr. in the fourth inning of the Mets' 3-2 win over the Red Sox on Friday, Molina had a unique opportunity -- not only to prove he could best some of the game's top hitters, but also that he is all the way back from a Tommy John surgery that robbed him of nearly two full developmental seasons.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Name day: Mets dedicate First Data Field

Name day: Mets dedicate First Data Field

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- When Mets players arrived to work on Thursday morning, unfamiliar signs awaited them. Two days before their first Grapefruit League home game, the Mets officially changed the name of their spring stadium, announcing a 10-year deal to rename the ballpark First Data Field.

The park had been named Tradition Field from 2004-10, and from '13 until Thursday.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Conforto taking cues from Bruce, if not at-bats

Young right fielder is learning from similar lefty slugger Mets acquired from Reds

Conforto taking cues from Bruce, if not at-bats

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Welp, this is awkward. Or at least, it would be, if the personalities involved were as unstable as the situation itself.

But in the Mets' clubhouse, the fact that Jay Bruce is blocking Michael Conforto from getting the kind of developmental opportunity Bruce himself got long ago with the Reds hasn't prevented the pair from developing a mentor/mentee relationship.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wheeler stays on track in latest 'pen session

Mets righty mixes breaking pitches into 2nd pain-free bullpen outing

Wheeler stays on track in latest 'pen session

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- For the second time since elbow tenderness created a snag in his throwing program, Zack Wheeler climbed atop a mound Wednesday for a bullpen session, the highlight of a rain-shortened day at Mets camp. Manager Terry Collins called it "a real big step forward for him," noting that Wheeler mixed breaking balls into his repertoire for the first time in over a week.

• Spring Training: Info | Schedule | Tickets | Shop 

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wright working on throws behind the scenes

Mets 3B to start off as DH, will return to third base later in March

Wright working on throws behind the scenes

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Throughout the first week of full-squad workouts at the Mets' Tradition Field complex, David Wright has rarely been visible. At times, he has stepped into a batter's box, tracking pitches on a back field. At times, he has fielded fungoes off a coach's bat. 

But when it comes to throwing, Wright has been nowhere in sight. Three times this week, Wright threw away from the eyes of fans and reporters, playing his first games of catch since June.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Collins in touch with Classic teams on usage

Concern for health of pitchers a priority for Mets manager

Collins in touch with Classic teams on usage

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets manager Terry Collins on Wednesday backed up Noah Syndergaard's decision to decline Team USA's World Baseball Classic invitation, calling it "the right thing" for Syndergaard's health.

"He's coming off a pretty intense year and I know his goal is to get ready for the season," Collins said. "I think down the road, there will be another [World Baseball Classic] that he'll be able to pitch in if he wants. But I think he's got the mindset that, 'Hey, we've got big things here and I've got to make sure I'm ready.' We've been talking since the end of last season about health, health, health, and he was not going to sacrifice anything to get in the way of getting ready for the year."

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@AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matz went fishing and caught a giant shark

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Matz went fishing and caught a giant shark

Imagine, if you will, a relaxing afternoon fishing. Maybe you're sitting on a boat, maybe you're standing in a river in your waders … either way, it's a pretty peaceful afternoon, right? Well, not for Mets Steven Matz and Sean Gilmartin, who appeared on the internet fishing show "BlacktipH" this week.

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Mets' confidence in d'Arnaud speaks volumes

Mets' confidence in d'Arnaud speaks volumes

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- When Matt Wieters agreed to terms Monday on a two-year contract with the Nationals, according to multiple sources, it stamped out any lingering speculation that Wieters could, despite all evidence to the contrary, join the Mets.

Since the dawn of the offseason, Mets officials have said openly and often that they had little interest in Wieters, a free agent who wound up grabbing $21 million from the Nats. A four-time All-Star over eight seasons in Baltimore, Wieters represented an upgrade on paper over Travis d'Arnaud, the Mets' incumbent catcher who has struggled through years' worth of injuries and ineffectiveness.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gorzelanny hoping to find niche in Mets' 'pen

Gorzelanny hoping to find niche in Mets' 'pen

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- It was midway through the 2015 season when Tom Gorzelanny's ERA first spiked over 7.00, scoreboards across the Major Leagues blaring out that truth. Roughly a month shy of his 33rd birthday, Gorzelanny was considering his baseball mortality when then-Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones suggested a change. Rather than continue using a standard delivery, the left-handed Gorzelanny should try throwing sidearm in the middle of the season.

Flash forward one and a half years, and there was Gorzelanny on a Port St. Lucie mound, delivering live batting practice on Tuesday to a group of hitters, including Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Reyes and David Wright. He dropped down to the side on every pitch, now an expert on the effects his delivery can have.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

POTD: Cespedes throws knuckleballs at Spring Training

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POTD: Cespedes throws knuckleballs at Spring Training

The Mets are pretty stocked with pitching this year. Although they lost a legendary pitcher/hitter in the offseason, the return of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler to a staff that already includes Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom should strike fear in hitters around the league.

But just in case it doesn't, Mets fans needn't worry, for Yoenis Cespedes is working on his knuckleball this spring. 

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Grandy reveres young players' 'work ethic'

Veteran outfielder, now oldest Met on roster, mentoring up-and-comers

Grandy reveres young players' 'work ethic'

PORT ST. LUCIE -- Four years in with the Mets, outfielder Curtis Granderson's goal of winning a championship hasn't changed.

What has changed since relocating from the Bronx to Queens in December 2013, however, is where the three-time All-Star ranks on the age chart.

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Jake Elman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Breaking down the Mets' Top 30 Prospects

New wave of talent takes over NY's system, headlined by position players Rosario and Smith

Breaking down the Mets' Top 30 Prospects

It had appeared like the top prospects had all graduated to the big leagues. After all, how could there be more impactful talent after the likes of Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz graduated off of the Mets' Top 30 list? Well, sometimes looks can be deceiving.

While it's true there weren't guys coming up and throwing gas and looking like future National League Cy Young Award candidates, a still-eligible Matz did get an NL Rookie of the Year Award vote to extend the Mets' streak of getting at least one ROY vote to three years, starting with deGrom's win in 2014. But the contributions from the farm system came from more unlikely sources.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

d'Arnaud, Mets raring to begin title chase

Catcher energized by team's clubhouse, on-field camaraderie

d'Arnaud, Mets raring to begin title chase

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Early on Monday morning, Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud was fighting a smirk as he talked to the media.

d'Arnaud wasn't reacting to a funny response to a question, or to a reporter nearly bumping into a table of players doing crossword puzzles, though.

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Jake Elman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.