Wright puts on power show in his first batting practice
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Is David Wright finally right as he heads into spring training? That appeared to be the case during yesterday's first full-squad workout as Wright pummeled pitches to every corner of the Citi Field replica at the Mets' minor-league facility.
It was only batting practice, and Wright was teeing off against a machine. But judging by the power he displayed, it appears that his offseason work with hitting coach Howard Johnson has paid off. Wright hammered line drives to all fields and also launched a couple of deep shots into the jet stream that carried well over the leftfield wall.
"It's trying to use my legs and drive the ball rather than just kind of spraying it around kind of like we were doing last year," Wright said. "So it's kind of the same concept that Jerry [Manuel] brought into camp last year, just modified with some improvements."
Wright does look stronger, and Johnson has worked with him on attacking more at the plate rather than letting pitches travel deeper on him, which prompts more of an opposite-field swing. Manuel, who watched from beside the batting cage, let out a number of whoops during Wright's show.
Reyes runs the bases
What Jose Reyes used to take for granted was the cause for a mini-celebration Thursday when he ran the bases for the first time since the October surgery to clean up scar tissue from a torn hamstring tendon. Reyes pretended to hit a pair of infield singles, then a single to rightfield and a double. He also scored from second and later third on a sacrifice fly to right.
"It felt a little weird because this was the first day," Reyes said. "But it felt very good. Better than expected.''
Johan Santana has signed an endorsement deal to wear New Balance footwear . . . Omar Minaya watched Frank Catalanotto take batting practice, and it appears as if the Smithtown product could be the favorite to win the fifth and final bench spot . . . Francisco Rodriguez, who is suffering from pinkeye, was told to stay away from Tradition Field to prevent the spread of the highly contagious infection.