PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Captain is coming.
David Wright highlighted the Buck Showalter-provided list of former Mets players who will visit spring training as guest instructors in the next month-plus, a positionally diverse collection of stars of yesteryear ready to dispense wisdom and make jokes about being old.
Wright is due in camp next Wednesday and Thursday. Then will come Edgardo Alfonzo and Darryl Strawberry from March 2-6, Mookie Wilson and Howard Johnson on about March 5-10, and Al Leiter and John Franco from March 20-26 or so.
“It’s going to be fun. Those guys are good. They always got something to add, something to give,” Showalter said.
Wright’s presence will be an opportunity for third basemen Brett Baty and Mark Vientos — a pair of prospects whose hitting is considered far ahead of their defensive abilities — to learn from a two-time Gold Glover.
And Showalter mentioned that outfield coach Wayne Kirby “is looking forward to using” Wilson.
“We’ll take as much as they are willing to give,” Showalter said.
Mike Piazza, who usually makes an appearance, is not scheduled to this year. He is managing Italy in the World Baseball Classic.
Fan of Bananas
Last week, Adam Ottavino watched the Savannah Bananas — a Harlem Globetrotters-like touring exhibition baseball team that has blown up in popularity the past couple of years — as a spectator in West Palm Beach and came away wildly impressed.
The ballpark was packed (unlike for most spring training games there), the action was fast-paced, and the game had a two-hour time limit, no matter how many innings they had played.
“I’m glad it exists,” he said.
A scene from the daily workout: General manager Billy Eppler and one of his top lieutenants, vice president of baseball operations Jonathan Strangio, repositioned themselves behind the plate for a better view of Rule 5 pick Zach Greene’s live batting practice session. Greene faced six batters and allowed one well-struck batted ball . . . Prior to their Grapefruit League opener on Saturday, the Mets will play a four-inning scrimmage Friday afternoon at Clover Park. Joey Lucchesi and Dominic Hamel, a prospect who is not in major-league camp, will start . . . Showalter on Kodai Senga: “He’s learned the English word ‘hot.’ What’s the biggest [difference]? ‘Hot, hot, hot.’ Because their spring training [in Japan] is like 60 degrees."