Newsday's Marc Carig looks at five keys for the Mets as they begin spring training for the 2017 MLB season.
1. Rotation health
Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz are all coming off season-ending surgery. Zack Wheeler appears healthy after a two-year road back from Tommy John Surgery. All have shown encouraging signs of being healthy. But for the Mets to reach the playoffs again, it must stay that way.
2. The captain
David Wright has played just 75 games the past two seasons, yet the Mets have reached the postseason. But the Mets could still use his bat in the lineup and his presence in the clubhouse. But neck surgery to correct a herniated disk only makes the challenge more difficult for Wright, who also has a chronic back condition.
3. Behind the plate
Getting more production at catcher appeared to be a major need this offseason. Nevertheless, the Mets stuck with Travis d'Arnaud despite a season in which he hit .247/.307/.323. This is a critical season for d'Arnaud, who needs a bounceback to reestablish himself.
4. Ninth inning
Jeurys Familia's domestic violence arrest will likely mean he begins the season suspended. That means Addison Reed will looked upon to anchor the bullpen. It should help that the setup man has previous experience in the role.
5. Outfield shuffle
The Mets could not trade Jay Bruce and his $13 million salary, thus leaving them with too many left- handed hitting corner out- fielders (Michael Conforto is the odd man out). But an injury in another camp would trigger the Mets to reignite trade talks. Meanwhile, it's possible that Conforto sees time at other positions.