PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- New York Mets genteral manager Sandy Alderson emphasized Wednesday that the team will be cautious with third baseman David Wright. Wright missed four months last season dealing with spinal stenosis in his lower back. He ideally would play roughly 130 games this season.
The Mets plan to be proactive in resting Wright to try to avoid a recurrence of the back woes.
"We’re going to go way beyond just monitoring his health,” Alderson said. “I think we’re going to have to be proactive.”
As for who starts at third base when Wright has a day off, Alderson indicated the Mets would be hesitant to move a starter such as shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera or second baseman Neil Walker to the position. Therefore, it might fall to Wilmer Flores. Regardless, several people with get exposure to the position during spring training.
Anong other topics:
Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki both will get exposure to first base during spring training, although neither is being moved off catcher being his primary position. D’Arnaud may also get some time in the outfield. “We’re not all that anxious to move Travis from behind the plate,” Alderson said. “He can be a ‘plus-plus’ player there. Moving him away from that position creates other issues for us. Kevin is very solid. We brought him up last year, maybe a little bit early from the standpoint of his development. But we’re happy that we have two young, quality guys behind the plate. But I do think we’ll see them playing some different positions during the course of spring training.”
Because the team’s young starting pitchers worked all the way through October thanks to the postseason success, they will be treated more gingerly early in spring training. Alderson does not expect any of his young pitchers to appear in at least the first four or five Grapefruit League games.
Alderson acknowledged that the Mets might be interested in adding another right-handed reliever before Opening Day. But the GM believes the Mets are done handing out major league contracts. And Alderson is currently more inclined to make a trade at the end of spring training if necessary, as he did last March in acquiring left-handed relievers Jerry Blevins and Alex Torres, than signing a free agent now. “My sense is that we might do just as well at the end of spring training as we might do currently -- and preserve the kind of flexibility and opportunity for some of the young guys we have, to show what they can do in the spring,” Alderson said.