Beaten Mets could soon be whole


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Mets could have their full starting lineup on the field for the final week of spring training with any luck.

Starling Marte has still not appeared in the Grapefruit League and James McCann has been sidelined since earlier this week, but manager Buck Showalter has presented an optimistic schedule for both Fridays.

McCann, who is recovering from back problems, is likely to return to the lineup Tuesday, according to Showalter.

Veteran outfielder Marte, sidelined by left flank pain, is unavailable for a minor league game on Monday.

Marte has been playing outfield for the past few days, managing bases in a minor league game. The Mets leave on April 5th.

Jacob deGrom felt good during a side session, according to Showalter. The right-hander is on his first game since last July (playing two scoreless innings against the Astros with five strikeouts on Tuesday).

DeGrom and Max Scherzer are scheduled to piggyback against the Cardinals at Clover Park on Sunday. The plan is for deGrom to serve three innings, with Scherzer behind him five or six.

Taijuan Walker’s Grapefruit League debut is scheduled for Saturday against the Nationals in Port St. Lucie. The right-hander, who is behind David Peterson in the pitching order for the game, has been taking things slower than usual this spring after undergoing surgery to remove damaged cartilage from his right knee in January.

Travis Jankowski’s full extension catch in midfield to rob Alex Bregman of a goal on Friday night was just the 30-year-old outfielder’s latest glove work. His chances of breaking camp with the team improved last week with MLB’s decision to expand the roster to 28 players for the first month.

Dominic Smith and Jeff McNeil are options to play outfield corners if needed, but Jankowski would give the Mets another all-outfielder behind Marte, Brandon Nimmo and Mark Canha.

Showalter was still gushing before the game about the 441-foot homer in front of the Clover Park scoreboard that top pick Francisco Alvarez hit the night before. Showalter said he consulted bullpen coach Craig Bjornson just to make sure the ball actually hit the scoreboard.

“He said, ‘Oh, yeah, about three times,'” Showalter said. “It was chattering up there” Beaten Mets could soon be whole


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