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Mets will showcase the 'A' team in Sunday's spring game against Nats

The Mets' Jacob deGrom throws in the first

The Mets' Jacob deGrom throws in the first inning of a spring training game against the Astros at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla., on March 11. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — For the Mets, Sunday will be an Opening Day sneak peek of sorts.

They will play the Nationals. Jacob deGrom will pitch — and hit, the first time a Mets pitcher will do so in a game in more than a year. And the lineup will feature most if not all of the regulars, including Dominic Smith in leftfield.

"It’s a good feel for what we’re going to be seeing for the most part of the season," manager Luis Rojas said.

Rojas in recent weeks has used deGrom’s start days to put the Mets’ first-stringers behind him on defense, giving the team an idea of how their 2021 squad will look. This time, that will include Smith, who has been sidelined by a sore right wrist since Wednesday.

 

Smith faced live pitching, including lefthander David Peterson, during a simulated game on Saturday, a significant step in his return.

"He looked really good today," Rojas said. "He also went to leftfield, had a few chances. And I like his reads there. He looked good. So we’re getting his innings defensively because he missed the last couple of games."

Vizcaino out

A sore right elbow has kept righthanded reliever Arodys Vizcaino out of recent games, Rojas said. The Mets expect he will pitch again in about a week.

That is an unfortunate development for Vizcaino, who has a long history of arm problems but has impressed early in camp, including with mid-90s fastball velocity. He has pitched in only one Grapefruit League game, a scoreless inning against the Cardinals last Sunday.

Vizcaino, a former closer for the Braves, joined the Mets on a minor-league contract in November. Aside from the lone exhibition, he hasn’t appeared in a game since shoulder surgery in April 2019.

No-throw Lugo

Seth Lugo sometimes walks around the Mets’ facility with his glove, but he hasn’t started throwing yet.

"Everything but," he said.

Last month, at the time of his surgery to remove a bone chip from his right elbow, the Mets estimated that Lugo would begin throwing toward the end of the month.

Congrats, sort of

Rojas said Friday that Peterson was penciled into the Mets’ season-opening rotation. Peterson said that was news to him.

"I haven’t had a conversation with him about that yet," Peterson said after tossing five innings in a simulated game Saturday. "The narrative for me has been, since Day 1, we had a meeting and he said to go out there and compete, show us what you got. That’s been my goal all of spring training: coming in, showing I put in the work in the offseason and getting built up in spring to be ready to contribute however I can."

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