MIAMI — In Port St. Lucie, the minor-league opener will include a couple of major-league guests: corner infielder Todd Frazier and catcher Travis d’Arnaud.
Both players will begin rehab assignments Thursday with advanced Class A St. Lucie, though the Mets haven’t said how long those assignments will last or how close either player is to returning. D’Arnaud (Tommy John surgery) has had more at-bats than Frazier (strained left oblique), but also has the more complicated rehab process.
Frazier and d’Arnaud will both play Thursday and Friday before the Mets chart a course forward.
“I’ve never been hurt this long before a season,” Frazier said. “So for me, when I’m comfortable knowing I can come up here and produce right away, I’ll come up here. That’s basically my answer for it. I can’t really explain anything else. That’s it. When I’m ready to rock and I feel like I can come up here and be the best player I can be, I’ll be ready to go.”
Frazier will split time between third and first as he works his way back. Tuesday at the Mets’ minor-league facility, before he and d’Arnaud drove down to meet the Mets at Marlins Park, he played three innings at third and four innings at first in an extended spring training game.
Manager Mickey Callaway regularly mentions how injury-interrupted spring trainings ruined parts of players’ seasons last year, which suggests the Mets will continue to take it slow with these two. Frazier doesn’t have the luxury of a month-plus of exhibitions, so he isn’t sure how this will go.
“I want to be ready when I feel comfortable,” Frazier said. “The more at-bats the better for me.”
D’Arnaud, who said at the end of spring training that he felt ready to play in the majors, ended up on the injured list as Mets decision-makers played his comeback conservatively.
“As a competitor, I was upset,” d’Arnaud said.
D’Arnaud said he feels good in all defensive aspects — throwing, footwork, timing — but has struggled offensively in recent scrimmages. He doesn’t know when he’ll return.
“Play a couple games and see what happens,” he said.
Wilson Ramos is scheduled to get a day off Wednesday ahead of the Mets’ 1 p.m. home opener Thursday. That means Tomas Nido will catch Jacob deGrom for the first time in a regular-season game in the finale against the Marlins . . . With off days coming up Friday and Monday, Callaway suggested the Mets will rejigger their rotation to break up the lefthanders, Steven Matz and Jason Vargas. The most obvious choices are pushing Vargas back a game or two and starting him after deGrom or Noah Syndergaard . . . Mr. Met will “be making a number of pop-up appearances at New York landmarks and institutions” Wednesday to promote the Mets’ first home game, the team said. You’ve been warned.
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