Before pitchers and catchers were even required to report to camp, position players made their way to the Mets Spring Training complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida. By Tuesday morning, blogs and newspapers had reported sightings of key players around Tradition Field such as Jose Reyes, David Wright, Daniel Murphy, and John Maine. David Wright reportedly arrived before the Super Bowl earlier this month.
Most of the topics being discussed include the progress of Jose Reyes, who required surgery after failing to make it to the all-star break in 2009. Other hot topics at hand include the questions surrounding the starting job behind the plate as well as the fifth starter job. Barring a disastrous Spring for the following players, the Mets front four of the rotation should include Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, and Oliver Perez. Santana was hampered by injury last season, Pelfrey had his mental issues that required a Sport Psychologist, Maine’s durability has been questioned, and Perez’s ability to put together consecutive strong outings was a big concern. Keep in mind that the Mets will do whatever it takes to keep Perez afloat, considering his 3-year monster contract.
The attitude seems very upbeat in St. Lucie, as expected. Most of the players are very pleased with the fact that they can sweep the remnants of 2009 under the rug and look forward to their new team that includes newcomer Jason Bay. It really is amazing how laid back EVERYONE is at Spring Training. Yes, this includes the manager and coaches, who thought it would be sufficient to sit in a lawn chair when I was bat boy for the team in 2007 and 2009.
Although it seems like a relaxing Spring for most players and coaches, it will be a nail biter for manager Jerry Manuel. Manuel is under a great deal of pressure to perform in 2010, and that includes games prior to the all-star break. If the Mets are slipping out of contention by June or July, you can bet the Mets will be give Manuel the boot. They aren’t afraid of mid-season firings, as they fired former manager Willie Randolph in the middle of the night following a win on the west coast in June of 2008.