Mets ready for a fresh start entering Spring Training

Amid high expectations for 2017, camp opens in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Mets ready for a fresh start entering Spring Training

With Spring Training fast approaching, will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Mets squad each day this week. Today's topic: Spring Training is here.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- It was Noah Syndergaard who put things most poetically in the darkest hours of morning after the Mets' Wild Card Game loss to the Giants last October.

"Baseball has a way of ripping your heart out," Syndergaard wrote on Twitter, "stabbing it, putting it back in your chest, then healing itself just in time for Spring Training."

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For Syndergaard and so many other Mets who spent the past four months stewing at home, the moment of healing has finally arrived. Those pitchers and catchers who did not report early to Port St. Lucie are due in by Sunday night. They'll take their physicals on Monday and hit the field one day later. Soon, their position-player counterparts will join them and all will be whole again.

That's the beauty of Spring Training: An annual rebirth. Like 29 other teams, the Mets feel invincible, fully capable of winning the World Series they have long craved.

Their journey starts here, and now, at their longtime outpost on Florida's Treasure Coast.

Pitchers and catchers report date: Sunday.

Full-squad report date: Friday

First Spring Training game: Feb. 24 vs. Boston in Fort Myers

New faces: None. All the Mets did this winter was re-sign their own free agents and ink a pair of Minor League deals with pitchers Ben Rowen and Adam Wilk. Outside of some prospects, those two will be the only new faces in big league camp.

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Interesting non-roster invitees: Rowen and Wilk should both make runs at the Opening Day roster, as will pitchers Chasen Bradford, Kevin McGowan and Paul Sewald. Don't expect any position players to do likewise, though Spring Training should provide plenty of chances for top prospects Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith to impress. And, yes, Tim Tebow will make an appearance or three -- though most of the former college football star's time will be spent in Minor League camp.

Prospects to watch: Rosario should receive a fair bit of playing time in his first big league camp. He's the Mets' highest-rated prospect since Syndergaard and, as such, will have all eyes glued on him every time he takes the field. Also intriguing is Smith, who would become the heir apparent at first base with a strong Minor League campaign. Starter Lucas Duda's contract is up after this season.

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Others of note include: Marcos Molina, a hard-throwing right-hander who is returning from Tommy John surgery; Tomas Nido, a catcher coming off a breakout 2016 season; and Wuilmer Becerra, the final piece the Mets received in their '12 trade of R.A. Dickey.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for 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.