New York Mets pitcher Kodai Senga during spring training last...

New York Mets pitcher Kodai Senga during spring training last month in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

TAMPA, Fla. — Kodai Senga and David Peterson won’t play on Opening Day — or during the opening month — but they will be there anyway.

Both injured pitchers are headed to New York this week to take part in start-of-season festivities, an extra degree of inclusion that Mets decision-makers felt was valuable, manager Carlos Mendoza said.

That is because, Mendoza continued, Opening Day 2024 is a little more significant than most.

This is the first time since 2018 that the Mets will begin the new baseball year at Citi Field in front of fans. That means that the only current player who has experienced such an occasion is Brandon Nimmo.

Their first game of 2020 was at home, but that was played in an empty ballpark during the pandemic.

“That’s special. It’s a big day,” Mendoza said. “It’s important for them to be there with the team and go through the ceremonies and experience the whole thing. So I’m expecting both of them to be in New York for at least Opening Day.”

Senga has a strained right shoulder and won’t be back until at least early May. He is due to begin throwing this week, the start of a spring training-esque ramp-up period that will take at least six weeks.

 

“Maybe it’ll be really good one day but the next day I’m really sore or don’t feel good and have to take some days off, which could extend things,” Senga said through an interpreter. “Or shorten things if it goes really well. We don’t really know yet. It’s really fluid.”

Peterson is recovering from left hip surgery in November and can’t return from the 60-day injured list until May 27. Mets officials have mentioned June as a reasonable return for the lefthander, but he said he is aiming for the first day he is eligible.

Having recently advanced to bullpen sessions, Peterson is slated to face batters in a couple of weeks.

“It’s starting to feel closer to the end than the beginning, which is good,” he said.

All set

Reliever Sean Reid-Foley is good to go for the season opener — if the Mets want him.

He reported feeling fine after his three-batter, zero-out outing on Sunday, his first in more than two weeks after a bout of right biceps soreness.

“I wasn’t worried about the result, I just wanted to feel healthy, which I was,” Reid-Foley said.

The Mets are considering Reid-Foley, Michael Tonkin and Yohan Ramirez for two bullpen spots.

As the team headed to New York on Monday, Reid-Foley wasn’t sweating the Mets’ decision, which is expected Wednesday.

“Who cares? Honestly,” he said. “You either get put on waivers or make the team. It is what it is. I’m not worried about it. I think I’ve shown enough.”

Extra bases

With a 3-0 loss to the Yankees, the Mets finished their Grapefruit League schedule at 15-14 . . . Jeff McNeil’s final spring training numbers: 0-for-13 in five games .  .  . Sean Manaea (five innings, two runs) struck out seven and walked none. He was unhappy after plate umpire Vic Carapazza called him for a balk because of a tweak to his delivery that he worked on all camp. Umpires later clarified that it shouldn’t be a balk, Mendoza said .  .  . Mendoza’s wife and two sons traveled to New York early, but their younger son forgot his homework for the week. So before facing the Yankees, the Mets’ manager stopped by the Tampa school Monday morning to pick it up.

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