Mets infielder Jeff McNeil swings during a spring training workout...

Mets infielder Jeff McNeil swings during a spring training workout on Feb. 19 in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

JUPITER, Fla. — Jeff McNeil’s new season is starting the same way his previous one ended: left arm trouble.

He has paused all hitting activities because of left biceps soreness, manager Carlos Mendoza said Saturday. The Mets do not believe that to be related to the partial ligament tear in his left elbow discovered last September.

They plan to reevaluate McNeil — and decide whether to send him for further tests — on Tuesday. He hasn’t gotten an MRI yet because “we don’t think, as of right now, it’s necessary,” Mendoza said.

For now, McNeil is participating in fielding drills, including throwing (which he does with his right arm). But he is not swinging a bat, the activity that triggered his discomfort.

McNeil has not played in a Grapefruit League game but has been facing Mets pitchers in practice.

“He felt it a couple of days ago after live BP,” Mendoza said. “He’s been getting a lot of at-bats. It was one of those, after live BP, he went in the cages and took more swings and felt something. That’s when we shut him down.”

At the end of last season, the second baseman suffered a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament — the Tommy John surgery ligament — in the elbow of his left arm. Upon reporting to spring training last month, he said the tear was still there, as expected, but he was “pain-free.”

Utility infielder Joey Wendle encountered right shoulder soreness a week and a half ago, Mendoza said. He added that Wendle probably won’t appear in major-league exhibition action until the end of the week.

“He was shut down from a couple of days of throwing,” Mendoza said. “Everything is progressing well.”  

Debut days

The positive personnel news: Brandon Nimmo is scheduled to play in his first Grapefruit League game Sunday, with Harrison Bader to follow Tuesday.  

Baty at the bat

Brett Baty hit his first home run of spring training, a seventh-inning line drive to rightfield off righthander Roddery Munoz. That was the Mets’ only run in a 4-1 loss to the Marlins.

“Whenever you get one on the barrel like that, it’s hard to explain, but it feels like nothing,” Baty said. “It felt really good.”

Mendoza said: “We know the power, but it was good to see him get one finally . . . You want to see some results early on, especially when you put in so much work.”  


In his first exhibition appearance of camp, righthander Mike Vasil tossed a scoreless seventh inning, working around a leadoff double by Griffin Conine (son of Jeff Conine) and striking out Jose Devers (cousin of Rafael Devers).

Christian Scott, another righthanded pitching prospect making his debut, allowed one run in one inning.

“I don’t think your first true baseball game of the year ever gets old, so the adrenaline was really high,” Vasil said.

Mets starting pitcher Sean Manaea throws during the first inning...

Mets starting pitcher Sean Manaea throws during the first inning of a spring training game against the Marlins on Saturday in Jupiter, Fla. Credit: AP/Jeff Roberson

Settling in

Miami roughed up lefthander Sean Manaea for three runs — all in the opening inning — and seven hits in 2 2⁄3 innings. He struck out three, walked none and got his pitch count up to 56.

Manaea said it was “hard not to” care about the results but was glad to throw all of his pitches and not fall behind in counts.

“Not exactly the results we want,’’ Manaea said, “but from an overall feel standpoint, everything felt really good.”


Krane on field

Ed Kranepool was on the field before the game to watch batting practice. Pete Alonso was the first player to go over for a chat, and Francisco Lindor later gave him a hug.

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