PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - While camp roared to life off the field, spring training progressed quite smoothly on the field Tuesday.

During a scoreless intrasquad contest, David Wright returned to his first game action since he was shut down near the end of last season because of his banged-up left shoulder.

"It felt like every other spring training, which was the goal coming into this," Wright said.

Wright made a challenging backhand play and went 0-for-2 a day before the Mets' Grapefruit League opener Wednesday against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista.

Jonathon Niese tossed two scoreless innings. He raved about his conditioning following a season that was plagued by arm injuries. Even before appearing in an intrasquad game last season, Niese said he sensed his velocity dipped. That wasn't the case this time around.

Said Niese: "The shoulder and elbow felt great."

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While Niese cruised, Zack Wheeler struggled with his mechanics, allowing two hits and two walks in 12/3 innings. Afterward, Wheeler said his delivery required only a "simple" fix to get on track.

 

Staying put

General manager Sandy Alderson debunked rumors of a trade involving righthander Dillon Gee, who figures to be the odd man out of the starting rotation.

Alderson also indicated that Wilmer Flores will get the first crack at securing the starting job at shortstop.

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Mets play host

The Mets this weekend will host the families of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, the NYPD officers who were slain last December. Wright extended the invitation on behalf of the club.

Wright's father, Rhon, recently retired after more than three decades in the Norfolk, Va., police department.