Young Mets spend leisure time at the rodeo

Young Mets spend leisure time at the rodeo

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Two months in Florida, spent thousands of miles away from friends and family, can force players to be creative with their free time. So when a group of young Mets -- including Jacob deGrom and Dillon Gee -- discovered a rodeo was taking place at the St. Lucie County Fair on Friday night, they did not need much convincing.

"They had ropin', saddle-riding broncs, bareback broncs, bull riding, barrel racing," said deGrom, who also attended last year. "Just a regular rodeo."

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Tejada brushes off Reyes' criticism

Tejada brushes off Reyes' criticism

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Ruben Tejada brushed aside criticism on Saturday from former teammate and mentor Jose Reyes, who told Newsday he was surprised Tejada has not done more to seize the Mets' shortstop job.

"I don't really pay attention to rumors," Tejada said. "If I tried to pay attention to everybody, it would make me crazy. So I take the good things about everybody and try to do my best here, and come here every day to work hard."

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Mets' Saturday workout forced indoors by rain

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Steady rain washed out much of the Mets' scheduled workout on Saturday, leaving players -- with four days until the Grapefruit League season begins -- scrambling to fit in their scheduled exercises.

Hitters worked in covered cages, while pitchers threw in an enclosed space. Many Mets also took part in workouts at the team's Barwis Methods training facility attached to Tradition Field.

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Harvey draws positive reviews after facing batters

Mets ace throws 43 pitches in first outing on mound vs. hitters since surgery

Harvey draws positive reviews after facing batters

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- As Terry Collins wrapped up his daily news conference following Friday's workout, the Mets manager was asked if Matt Harvey's first appearance on the mound in 18 months was a milestone.

"I'm going to wait until those guys in different-colored uniforms get in that batter's box," Collins said. "That will be a milestone for him."

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

Collins watching lefty bench bat competition closely

Nieuwenhuis, den Dekker competing for spot on Mets' 25-man roster

Collins watching lefty bench bat competition closely

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- There's a position battle that Mets manager Terry Collins is going to be watching closely for the next month -- the one involving left-handed hitters Matt den Dekker and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

"One of those guys has got to be on our bench, so it's up to them to show us this spring what they can do," Collins said following Friday's workout at the Tradition Field Spring Training complex. "If at the end of Spring Training Matt den Dekker outplays [Nieuwenhuis], hey, we got to go with the best 25."

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

Murphy focused on task at hand with Mets

Murphy focused on task at hand with Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Six and a half years ago, Daniel Murphy arrived in Houston as a little-known 13th-round Draft pick trying to help the Mets win a pennant race. He spent much of the next half-decade trying to prove he belonged -- first in the big leagues, then at second base. Consistently, Murphy defied the odds.

Yet while the Mets have always appreciated Murphy's old-school skill set and attitude, they never rewarded him with a long-term contract extension. Instead, Murphy enters this season on an $8 million arbitration settlement, with no guarantees beyond it.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harvey set for first spring start on March 6

Harvey set for first spring start on March 6

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Matt Harvey will take a significant step forward in his rehab from Tommy John surgery on March 6, when he is scheduled to make his first Grapefruit League start against the Tigers. It will be Harvey's first live game action since Aug. 24, 2013, also against Detroit.

Dillon Gee will open Grapefruit League play for the Mets on Wednesday, followed by Bartolo Colon and Harvey on March 5 and 6, respectively. Jacob deGrom and Matt Bowman will start the two halves of New York's split-squad games on March 7, Steven Matz will pitch March 8 against the Red Sox, Jon Niese will start March 9 and Zack Wheeler will go on March 10.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duda to be sidelined from swinging bat for a week

Duda to be sidelined from swinging bat for a week

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- What first appeared to be a minor left intercostal strain for Mets first baseman Lucas Duda is lingering. Duda, whom the Mets originally expected to miss only a few days of full-squad workouts, will instead refrain from swinging a bat for at least another week.

Duda strained the muscle taking swings earlier this month, prior to the official start of camp.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Syndergaard feeling more comfortable at Mets camp

Top prospect admits to being overwhelmed last spring, pressing at Triple-A

Syndergaard feeling more comfortable at Mets camp

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- It was enough that Noah Syndergaard was struggling. It was enough that Syndergaard was sweating out his days in the Las Vegas desert, long past the time he expected to become a member of the Mets.

All of that was enough. It came to a point around the All-Star break when Syndergaard was so sick of reading the critical tweets directed at him, so tired of seeing the unflattering descriptions in print, that he deleted the Twitter application off his phone entirely. He didn't want to know.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Projecting the Mets' Opening Day roster

Projecting the Mets' Opening Day roster

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- If any questions remained as to the makeup of the Mets' Opening Day roster, manager Terry Collins answered them in the early days of spring. With only five players in camp who did not end last season in the organization, Collins never figured to face many difficult decisions. And while upsets do happen, the bulk of New York's roster appears relatively static heading into this week's full-squad workouts:

Catchers (2): Travis d'Arnaud, Anthony Recker

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets instituting limits after latest spring injury

Suffering minor intercostal strain, Duda one of several players to work way in advance of camp

Mets instituting limits after latest spring injury

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- If the Mets were not already committed to scaling back their players' workloads this spring, a minor injury has them reassessing that issue.

First baseman Lucas Duda, one of several players to report nearly two months early to Spring Training, strained his left intercostal muscle while swinging in the batting cage earlier this month. Duda called the injury a "non-issue" and expects to be ready to participate in all activities by the end of this week. But he will not hit for the first few days of full-squad workouts.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Granderson won't let lineup spot affect rebound

After tough first year with Mets, outfielder working with old hitting coach, new Citi dimensions

Granderson won't let lineup spot affect rebound

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Early in Mets camp, manager Terry Collins has floated the idea of batting outfielder Curtis Granderson leadoff this season, in an effort to expose Juan Lagares to lower-pressure situations. If Lagares proves he has developed enough offensively to be a force atop the lineup, only then might Collins be comfortable batting him there.

But perhaps that setup is not ideal, either. Bouncing all around the lineup last season, Granderson hit .181 with seven homers batting first or second, versus .269 with 13 home runs in a comparable number of at-bats elsewhere.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Collins wants Tejada to treat spring like open competition

Mets shortstop has lost starting job to Flores, but manager hopes to see 25-year-old earn time

Collins wants Tejada to treat spring like open competition

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Though Mets officials remain committed to Wilmer Flores as their starting shortstop, manager Terry Collins has gone out of his way this spring to promote Ruben Tejada's candidacy for the job. At the least, Collins knows, Tejada will be a backup middle infielder for the Mets. So the manager hopes to see some newfound fire out of Tejada, who is still just 25 years old.

"I am not in Ruben Tejada's head," Collins said. "I hope I'm in his head, but I'm not. But at the end of the year, I didn't tell Ruben Tejada what he needed to do. I asked him what he thought he needed to do, because that's where it has to start. I'm going to give him an opportunity to show it's still there. Now it's in his corner."

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cuddyer finds fit with Mets, isn't worried about transition

Cuddyer finds fit with Mets, isn't worried about transition

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- As Michael Cuddyer played out a losing string with the Rockies last summer, it became only natural for him to look ahead to his pending free agency. Unsure if the Rockies would extend him a qualifying offer, Cuddyer knew his decision would be difficult. He also knew that at age 35, winning was more of a priority than ever.

It was around that time that the Rockies flew to New York, and over a three-game series, they scored a total of two runs -- one of them on a Cuddyer homer. Jacob deGrom fired eight shutout innings. Rafael Montero added 5 1/3. Wilmer Flores hit a walk-off sacrifice fly.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lagares has chance to earn Mets' leadoff role

Collins says developing patience at plate key for young player

Lagares has chance to earn Mets' leadoff role

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Early last season, Mets manager Terry Collins was hesitant to bat Lucas Duda cleanup, fearing a slump might discourage him and, ultimately, stunt his professional growth. Duda responded with a career-high 30 homers, leaving no question by season's end as to who the cleanup hitter was.

This spring, Collins is straddling the same line with Juan Lagares. While Collins wants Lagares to earn leadoff duties and thinks his lineup works best that way, the manager -- unwilling to undermine his center fielder's confidence -- has already mentioned Curtis Granderson as a possible alternative.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gilmartin hopes stellar changeup helps land bullpen role

Collins 'anxious' to get a look at lefty in action

Gilmartin hopes stellar changeup helps land bullpen role

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- In the early days of camp, some pitches tend to catch more attention than others. Last year, Noah Syndergaard's curveball wowed all onlookers. Matt Harvey's heater always draws crowds.

This year, Sean Gilmartin's changeup is one of those pitches. A Rule 5 Draft selection last December, the left-handed Gilmartin is hoping his signature pitch will help him win a crowded back-end bullpen competition.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Citi Field to host Legends of Wrestling event

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Bill Goldberg, Bret Hart, Ric Flair and Rob Van Dam are among 30 professional wrestlers scheduled to appear at a Legends of Wrestling event on June 7 at Citi Field, the Mets announced Monday.

The event, which will take place when the Mets are on the road, begins with autograph and Q&A sessions from 3-5 p.m. ET. Six wrestling matches will follow in a ring set up around second base.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

SNY tabs Gelbs as Mets' new field reporter

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- So beloved was Kevin Burkhardt as SNY's field reporter that hundreds of fans gathered on Citi Field's Shea Bridge during his final home broadcast last September, crushing around Burkhardt as he signed autographs and posed for pictures. For eight years, Burkhardt built a reputation as one of the game's best local television reporters, parlaying that into a high-profile national job with FOX.

Steve Gelbs, in other words, has quite the challenge ahead of him.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harvey throws first bullpen, feels like he 'never left'

After Tommy John surgery, ace now pitching on regular program

Harvey throws first bullpen, feels like he 'never left'

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- As most of the organization's brass gathered behind him, Matt Harvey climbed atop a mound on Sunday, surrounded by teammates, to throw his first official bullpen session of spring. In zipped a fastball as cameras beeped and clicked. In came a slider. In came a fastball, and so on and so forth.

Then off walked a satisfied Harvey. Though the former All-Star began throwing bullpens shortly before the start of camp, this was his first session since organized workouts began.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wright making adjustments to maintain his health

Wright making adjustments to maintain his health

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- As other, mostly younger players scurried about on Sunday, clutching plastic plates of chicken, rice, beans and plantains, David Wright stepped out of Tradition Field's clubhouse kitchen carrying a metal bowl filled to the brim with greens. "Looks delicious," Wright said as he searched for a place to sit.

The Mets' most important player knows he cannot eat like he did a decade ago, among other things. Wright is also vowing to stop sliding head-first into bases, as well as promising to listen when manager Terry Collins suggests a night on the bench.

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Wheeler expecting big things from Mets' rotation

Wheeler expecting big things from Mets' rotation

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Add Zack Wheeler to the growing list of Mets touting their rotation's potential.

"I think we can be great," Wheeler said on Sunday, returning to camp after a one-day absence due to illness. "We have a lot of young arms, and if we all just put it together, I think we'll be a great staff. I think if everybody stays healthy, we'll be ready to go."

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Harvey happily leaves specialized workout routine behind

Harvey happily leaves specialized workout routine behind

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Even the most discerning eyes could tell no difference between Matt Harvey and the other 30 pitchers in Mets camp. Dressed in standard-issue blue and orange, Harvey trotted from mound to mound with his teammates on Saturday, completing pitchers' fielding practice. He joined in the laughs as Josh Edgin threw a ball into right field. He listened intently as a coach barked instructions.

Pitchers are not supposed to enjoy fielding practice, which tends to be banal at best and mind-numbing at worst. Yet Harvey, for one day at least, relished in it.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets' Collins returns to camp in time for first workout

Mets' Collins returns to camp in time for first workout

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Following a three-day absence to mourn his father's death in Michigan, Mets manager Terry Collins returned to Spring Training Saturday on the first day of mandatory pitcher and catcher workouts.

"I'm doing fine," Collins said. "My dad lived a great life, 95 years old and was doing great until the final week of his life. I'm doing fine. I was glad I got to spend a month with him down here."

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reigning NL Rookie of the Year deGrom gets camp underway

Reigning NL Rookie of the Year deGrom gets camp underway

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Thankfully, Jacob deGrom did not have to tangle with airline change fees. But when Mets PR guru Jay Horwitz asked him to keep his schedule free the week of the National League Rookie of the Year announcement, deGrom put off his honeymoon to honor the request.

Without a flight booked, the switch was easy enough. And it gave deGrom something extra to look forward to following the best week of his life: He got married on Nov. 8 and won Rookie of the Year two days later.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Alderson reprises lofty expectations for 2015 Mets

General manager again sees club approaching 90 wins, with capability of making postseason

Alderson reprises lofty expectations for 2015 Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Last year's proclamation that the Mets expected, hoped or intended to win 90 games caught more traction than general manager Sandy Alderson figured. His goal was simply to alter clubhouse culture.

A year later, that goal has not changed.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets shed light on Harvey plan; 200 innings possible

Pitcher to open with '95 percent' regular schedule in return from Tommy John surgery

Mets shed light on Harvey plan; 200 innings possible

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Slowly, the mystery of how the Mets plan to handle Matt Harvey is unraveling.

Harvey will operate on a "95 percent" regular schedule this spring as he completes his rehab from Tommy John surgery, according to general manager Sandy Alderson, who spoke for more than 30 minutes Friday on a number of topics. The Mets may hold Harvey back a day or two from certain activities, but no longer than that.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mayberry's experience against talented lefties could help Mets

Likely to face Lee, Hamels for first time, former Phillie to treat matchup 'like any other at-bat'

Mayberry's experience against talented lefties could help Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Regardless of what Cliff Lee's Magic 8 Ball says, there is a chance that both Lee and Cole Hamels -- two of the game's best left-handed pitchers in recent memory -- continue to ply their trade in Philadelphia. Which means that John Mayberry Jr., a longtime Phillie and one of the National League East's foremost lefty mashers, may soon face his famous former teammates for the first time.

"You'll treat that just like any other at-bat and take the same approach against them as you would against anyone else," said Mayberry, one of two offseason additions to the Mets' 40-man roster.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Niese is ready to put his injury history in the past

Lefty looks to pitch a full season without landing on the DL for the first time since 2012

Niese is ready to put his injury history in the past

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- For the past half-decade, Jon Niese has been a good starting pitcher for the Mets. What has stopped him from becoming a great one has been his health.

Niese has never made more than 30 starts in a season, thrown more than 190 1/3 innings or won more than 13 games.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.