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Why Marcus Stroman changed to No. 0 (and what it has to do with Jose Reyes)

Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman, shown here during a

Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman, shown here during a workout Feb. 18, 2020, in Port St. Lucie, said he didn't feel right wearing Jose Reyes' old number, so he switched to No. 0, and he likes the whole "closed circle' vibe to it. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — When the chaos of changing teams midseason yielded to offseason calm, Marcus Stroman decided to change his jersey number — from No. 7, which he initially picked in honor of Jose Reyes after being traded to the Mets in July, to No. 0.

Stroman decided not wearing No. 7 was more respectful of Reyes, the Mets’ all-time leader in steals (408) and triples (113).

“I got rushed coming over here,” said Stroman, who will start against the Cardinals in Jupiter on Saturday as the Mets begin exhibition play with a split-squad slate. “I knew [Jeff] McNeil had No. 6, which I had [in Toronto]. So I just kind of said No. 7. I wore No. 7 in college. It was easy. Then once it settled in, I realized I was playing for the Mets, I watched Reyes growing up. It just didn’t feel right.”

Of the more than 1,000 players in Mets history, only three before Stroman have worn No. 0: Omar Quintanilla (2014), Rey Ordoñez (1996-97) and Terry McDaniel (1991). Two of Stroman’s favorite basketball players — Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook — also wear it.

Stroman, who talks a lot about mindfulness and being calm, also likes the shape.

“Not even because of the number, just because of the circle,” he said. “The endlessness, the balance — that more than the actual zero.”

Reyes hasn’t signed with a team since playing for the Mets in 2018, but he has not officially retired.  

Extra bases

Because of light rain and temperatures in the 60s — Florida’s version of winter — the Mets canceled most of their workout, including a three-inning scrimmage .  .  . Highlighting the Mets’ road roster Saturday: Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis and Amed Rosario. In Port St. Lucie, McNeil, Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, Wilson Ramos and others will play the Marlins . . . Yoenis Cespedes’ running progression has not advanced to sprinting or side-to-side movement yet, manager Luis Rojas said . . . The team-bonding activity Friday night was a private showing of “Just Mercy,” starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx.

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