NEW YORK -- Collin Cowgill had some advice for any hitters suiting up on Wednesday at frigid Citi Field.
"Don't get jammed," Cowgill said, laughing. "You might not feel your hands again for two innings."
Such was the worry before Game 2 of the season, with icy winds ripping through the ballpark and temperatures expected to dip into the low 30s. Cowgill, who spent much of last year hitting in Oakland, said players sometimes forget how brutal Northeast weather can be following springs in sunny Florida or Arizona.
"It's not just the cold, it's the wind that becomes a major issue," manager Terry Collins said. "Once you're playing you do stay fairly warm, but when you come in and you sit on that warm bench and maybe you start to get a little heated, then go back out and have that wind chill …"
Collins fretted in particular about third baseman David Wright and second baseman Daniel Murphy, who missed long stretches of Spring Training with core muscle strains. Cold weather can not only chill players, but also make it more difficult for achy muscles to stay loose.
It's a concern even for completely healthy players such as starting pitcher Matt Harvey, who claims he is used to the cold after years of high school ball in Eastern Connecticut.
"The biggest worry is the time between innings," Collins said. "We'll do the best we can to make sure he stays warm. But when this baby starts to dip down into the 20s wind chill factor, it becomes an issue."
More than usual, cold weather may vex the Mets this April. Following a six-game homestand in chilly New York, the Mets will head on the road for three games in Philadelphia, three in Minneapolis and four in Denver -- the latter two cities always potential snow traps early in the season.
"It's just part of the game in April, realistically," outfielder Mike Baxter said. "It's the reality of April baseball in the north."