My comment wasn’t a shot at the Yankees

PORT ST. LUCIE – Adam Ottavino is once again welcoming the opportunity to pitch in his hometown.

The Brooklyn native got that chance with the Yankees in 2019-20 and came to spring training with the Mets Tuesday after landing a one-year contract worth $4 million.

“This is where I really want to be,” said Ottavino, who lives in New York with his family. “I can sleep in my own bed and see my kids more often and not have to move three times, that’s the greatest thing. I’m looking forward to it and of course to this team. It’s great that there’s a good team in New York.”

The last comment could be construed as a shot at the Yankees. Ottavino, hours later visibly upset that his comment was interpreted in this way, told the Post that it wasn’t his intention.

“Those are my friends over there,” Ottavino said. “I would have gone there again. There’s nothing to it.”

Red Sox relief pitcher Adam Ottavino plays in the sixth inning of a game against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium on June 6, 2021.
Adam Ottavino
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

Ottavino posted a 4.21 ERA and 11 saves in 69 appearances for the Red Sox last season. His penchant for weak contact — according to Baseball Savant, he ranked in the 95th percentile in MLB for hard-hit percentage — was intriguing to the Mets.

“I fought my way down the track,” said Ottavino. “I just missed a few things, things didn’t go a little bit like I wanted towards the end and it messed up my bottom line numbers but overall I thought I did a good job helping us through that help get where we needed to get into the playoffs and beyond. Overall I was satisfied. I thought I had done a good year of work.”

According to manager Buck Showalter, Jeff McNeil will get the majority of the season at second base this spring. Robinson Cano is also considering position on his return from a PED suspension that cost him all of last season.

“I think Robbie knows he’s not going to play second base for us every day, as much as he wants to,” Showalter said. “We hope that he is not a pure DH either. We also think there is some potential to play first base. I don’t think it will be shared [at second base]I think Mac will get the majority there, but I know where Robbie is physically.

Showalter isn’t ready to commit to outfield positions. He noted that Starling Marte, Brandon Nimmo and Mark Canha all have experience in midfield and in the outfield corners. The manager said he has just started discussions with the players to get their feedback. My comment wasn’t a shot at the Yankees


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