PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Mets haven’t publicly acknowledged that Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie won’t be ready for the start of the regular season, but it’s probably safe for everybody else to.
Frazier (strained left oblique) swung a bat Wednesday for the first time since getting hurt. Lowrie (strained left knee) is hitting off a tee and playing catch, but hasn’t started running. Neither has played in a game this spring.
“It’s up to [the Mets’ medical and physical therapy staffs] and when they feel and when my body feels right,” Frazier said. “I would love to be out there Opening Day, but I really just don’t have a timetable.”
Said Lowrie: “This is about getting this right, because what we can’t have happen is this to linger all year. I just don’t want a situation where this happens again or I’m on and off the [injured list]. That doesn’t help anybody.”
Their absences create a full-time spot at third base — Jeff McNeil has been working there lately, but the Mets could also go with J.D. Davis or Adeiny Hechavarria — and complicate the bottom-of-the-roster decisions. Mickey Callaway said the Mets carrying two first basemen (Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith) or three catchers (Travis d’Arnaud and Devin Mesoraco in addition to Wilson Ramos) or five outfielders are all possibilities.
“There’s a ton of options right now,” Callaway said. “We’ve been talking through those daily.”
Lefthander Luis Avilan, in camp on a minor-league deal, tossed another scoreless inning Wednesday in a 2-1 win against the Astros. He has a 2.35 ERA (two earned runs in 7 2/3 innings), struck out nine and walked none this spring, putting him in the pole position for one of the Mets’ open bullpen spots.
One reason for his success: The shoulder soreness that plagued him late last season is gone, he said. Also, he has been pitching inside to righthanders, a personal goal that jibes well with pitching coach Dave Eiland’s philosophy.
“The changeup is filthy,” Callaway said. “He throws the ball over the plate, he gets ahead and he sets his pitches up, which is probably the most impressive thing to me.”
Outfielder Carlos Gomez can’t play in major-league exhibition games until he gets a work visa, the Mets said. In the meantime, he is participating in workouts…Noah Syndergaard tossed 5 2/3 innings of two-hit ball against Houston. He walked two and struck out five, his fastball sitting around 95-96 mph, which Callaway liked…Syndergaard on the Odell Beckham Jr. trade: “I don’t know what the Giants are doing.”