Baxter told ESPNNewYork.com that he was heading to the Mets’ Port St. Lucie, Fla., complex later in the day.
Baxter said he has full range of motion in the shoulder and has started hitting off a tee, “so it’s coming along pretty well.”
Before making his memorable no-hitter saving catch, Baxter had provided the Mets with a solid outfield option off the bench. He was batting .323 (21-for-65) in 40 games with a .392 on-base and .523 slugging.
Baxter has yet to run or see live pitching, but that will be the next step after a couple of days of hitting off a tee. Barring any setbacks, he could be back in about two weeks.
Before leaving for Florida, Baxter, a Whitestone native, was honored with a City Council proclamation by Council Member, Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) at a ceremony in the Mets’ clubhouse at CitiField.
Here is part of the press release:
“Mike Baxter is proof that if you work hard, you can achieve your dreams,” said Halloran. “Mike has faced adversity and ridden minor league buses for countless hours. But he persevered, and today he is a valuable part of our home borough’s team.”
Baxter grew up a lifelong Mets fan, just minutes from Shea Stadium. He is only the fifth Queens native to play for the borough’s local team. Baxter attended St. Luke’s Parish school and graduated from Archbishop Molloy High School in 2002.
Baxter has earned a spot on the Mets as a valuable fourth outfielder, left-handed pinch hitter, and pinch runner. On June 1, his remarkable catch against CitiField’s left field wall preserved Johan Santana’s no-hitter, the first in the history of the Mets franchise.
“In just a short time with the Mets, Mike has already made Whitestone proud,” Halloran said. “And his incredible catch to save Santana’s no-hitter was one of the most memorable moments in Mets’ history.”