Mets pitcher Kodai Senga during a spring training workout on Thursday in...

Mets pitcher Kodai Senga during a spring training workout on Thursday in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — For all he accomplished as one of the best pitchers in Japan, Kodai Senga arrived at his first stateside spring training as the relative baby of this Mets rotation in terms of both age (30) and major-league experience (none).

Ahead of him on the unofficial depth chart are two Hall of Fame-caliber greats in Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. Behind him are two sturdy veterans in Jose Quintana and Carlos Carrasco.

Senga’s goal going into the season, then, is simple: Don’t mess it up.

“Obviously, those two are legends in the baseball world,” Senga said Thursday through an interpreter. “And even the other two are very distinguished. They have long careers. They have a much longer career than I do. So I just need to make sure to be able to go into the season and not be the odd one out.”

Asked about his baseball idols, Senga mentioned Daisuke Matsuzaka, a Japanese pitching icon who made the jump to the United States in 2007 — when Senga was 14 years old — and rounded out his major-league career with the Mets in 2014. Senga said he also looked up to Hall of Famer Randy Johnson.

Head start

Among the Mets who have been in camp the longest: catcher Kevin Parada, who said he has been here for about a month, having come in January for a minor-league minicamp and stayed.

After joining the Mets as the 11th overall draft pick last year, Parada, a Los Angeles native, actually spent most of the offseason in Florida. At the recommendation of former Mets catcher Brian Schneider, who worked for the club in the minors last year, Parada found a training home base at Cressey Sports Performance in nearby Palm Beach Gardens.

New Mets pitcher Kodai Senga, from Japan, spoke on Thursday about adjusting to life in a new country and on a new team. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

“We were lucky to add him. We feel good about where we are catching-wise,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s got everything on the resume that you think he could be a really good player.”

Showalter made the natural comparison to Matt Wieters, another bat-first backstop from Georgia Tech. Wieters was a four-time All-Star for Showalter’s Orioles.

“I’d take it,” Showalter said. “I hope [Parada] ends up being Wieters.”

Extra bases

Francisco Alvarez spent a portion of his morning working on pitch framing. Standing by and offering tips: major-league catching duo Omar Narvaez and Tomas Nido, plus catching coach Glenn Sherlock . . . After missing the first official workout with what Showalter called a “full excused” absence to tend to a family matter, reliever Tommy Hunter returned Thursday. He is back on a minor-league contract, trying to win a bullpen job . . . Francisco Lindor was impressed by the improvement of Brett Baty’s defense. “I knew he looked much better,” Lindor said. “He said that he’s moving his feet a lot more, which makes him feel better, and he’s lower to the ground, which helps him calm his eyesight . . . I can tell he put in a lot of work.”


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