PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — In his first game since Feb. 25, when he jammed his left shoulder while diving for a ground ball, J.D. Davis played four innings in leftfield Sunday, had two plate appearances and finished “feeling 100%,” he said.
He flied out to centerfield against Astros ace Justin Verlander in the first inning and drew a walk off righthander Cy Sneed in the fourth. Then he exited for a pinch runner, as scheduled.
“Felt great. Nothing wrong. I took a few swing-and-misses — no pain, nothing achy in there, no stiffness,” Davis said during the Mets’ 3-1 win over the Astros. “I’ve been playing free the last couple of days, no hesitation, so that’s been pretty fun.”
Davis said he will be in the lineup again when the Mets visit the Astros on Tuesday in West Palm Beach. He is scheduled to be off Monday but plans to go to minor-league camp to get extra at-bats, part of his catch-up effort after missing 11 days.
Aside from being behind with his bat — his timing is “just a little bit off,” he said — Davis doesn’t feel behind in any other area, nor does he have any other physical hurdles to clear, he said.
“Once that [soreness and stiffness] cleared out of there after the second or third day, I was taking ground balls with [Gary DiSarcina], I was taking ground balls with [Tony DeFrancesco] out there in the outfield,” Davis said.
A grip tip
Being 30 pounds lighter isn’t the only change to Jeurys Familia this season. He has been using a new grip to throw his splitter, manager Luis Rojas said, to much apparent success.
“He’s really happy with how his split has been working,” Rojas said. “The depth of it has been the most that he’s had in his career with his split, and it plays really well off his fastball.”
Familia hasn’t thrown his splitter much in years past — fewer than one in every 12 pitches in 2019, according to Brooks Baseball — but Rojas has been encouraged.
“I’m very impressed with his stuff,” he said. “He’s got weapons. It’s been a good spring for him so far.”
Seth Lugo (fractured left pinkie toe) is scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut Monday against the Marlins . . . Robinson Cano and Pete Alonso each went 2-for-3 with an RBI double against the Astros. Rene Rivera homered . . . Marcus Stroman is scheduled for a simulated game at the Clover Park complex on Monday. Walker Lockett will start against the Marlins . . . Drew Smith (Tommy John surgery rehab) said he plans to advance to live batting practice within the next week or two but doesn’t anticipate getting into any major-league exhibition games during camp. Thursday is the one-year anniversary of his operation . . . Special adviser to the chief operating officer and general manager David Wright arrived at Mets camp Sunday.