PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Ruben Tejada has yet to review the specifics of a new rule that he helped bring about. But the Mets shortstop praised baseball’s efforts to ban the type of takeout slides that left him with a broken leg, the aftermath of Chase Utley’s infamous takeout slide last October.
“I think they’re trying to keep the middle infielders safe and healthy,” Tejada said. “I think that’s the most important thing they tried to do with that rule.”
Under the new rule, runners must make a “bona fide” attempt to reach and remain on the base when trying to break up double plays. The long-used “neighborhood play” for middle infielders now is eligible for video review, forcing them to actually touch second base while turning double plays.
“We have to figure out now what we have to do when we go in there to try to make a double play,” said Tejada, who was knocked out of the postseason after Utley’s slide in Game 2 of the NLDS.
Terry Collins addressed the Mets before Friday’s first full-squad workout of spring training.
“I think the main thing was there’s a lot of expectations and the only way to come through with those is to perform and go about our business and get ready,” Matt Harvey said. “That’s what spring training’s about. That was his emphasis.”
General manager Sandy Alderson also addressed the group, though Collins did most of the talking. Collins insisted that the Mets brought back a better team than the one that fell to the Royals in five games in the World Series.
Closer Jeurys Familia summarized some of the message: “We can win the whole thing.”
Righthander Zack Wheeler is scheduled to throw a bullpen session of 10 to 15 pitches Saturday, his first since Tommy John surgery nearly a year ago.
Wheeler will work from the front of the slope of the mound. He is expected to return sometime in July.