PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Mets manager Terry Collins caught the first glimpse of the team he wants standing on the field come Opening Day. After minor dings and dents stood in the way for much of camp, the Mets on Wednesday finally played what’s expected to be their starting lineup this season.
“One of the big goals was to get out of this camp healthy,” Collins said, after the Mets’ 12-1 loss to the Nationals. “And we did that.”
For Collins, sending out his full lineup was an indication that despite the spring record (7-16-5), and the winless streak (13 games), the Mets accomplished the only meaningful goal of any team in spring training.
David Wright, who had been eased into game action to take some strain off his back, played the second game in what’s expected to be a stretch of four in a row.
The Mets captain went 1-for-2 and played five innings at third base. He was also thrown out while trying to tag up and score.
Still, rival talent evaluators said that Wright has generally moved well this spring, even as the Mets have ramped his workload in preparation for his first full season after he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis.
“I’m glad he played the last week quite a bit,” Collins said. “I was very excited when he came in this morning and said he felt great after playing nine innings yesterday. That was certainly a big factor, to come back the next day.”
The Mets have touted their lineup depth since the offseason, and it was on full display against the Nationals. Travis d’Arnaud, already regarded as one of the top hitting catchers in baseball, batted eighth.
“Somebody’s got to hit there and hopefully our lineup’s deep enough to put good hitters there,” Collins said.
While the Mets are off to Las Vegas, righthander Jacob deGrom is staying put. Though he was slated to start against the Cubs, he will instead pitch in a minor league game on Thursday.
DeGrom wanted to stay near his wife, who is due to deliver the couple’s first child. Minor-league righty Paul Sewald will start against the Cubs.