Mets Morning Report: Mets Open Grapefruit League Season With Victory

terry collins

Good Morning everyone. The New York Mets opened up Grapefruit league play with a crisp 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Michael Conforto and Travis d’Arnaud, two of the Mets who are both being looked at under a fine microscope in spring training got it going early for the boys from Queens.

Conforto was 2-for-3 on Friday with a home run and was excited to get off to a fast start. “It’s game one and I definitely want to get off on the right foot, it felt good to get a couple of hits and put some runs on the board,” Conforto said. “I am feeling like I am sinking into my legs a little bit as I load. That felt good, the timing felt great and so we’ll see, that’s going to be something I am working on all of spring.”

The Mets catcher, d’Arnaud had himself a nice day at the plate as well, going 2-for-2 on Friday. Manager, Terry Collins was pleased with what he saw from both d’Arnaud and Conforto right off the bat in game one. “Those guys are working on some things,” Collins said. “They came into camp bound and determined to get better. It’s the first game, but I like what I saw.”

LATEST METS NEWS

Seth Lugo opened up the battle for the fifth spot in the rotation on Friday as he pitched two scoreless innings and allowed no hits while striking out three and walking two. Lugo struggled at times with locating his best pitch, when it’s right, his curveball. “I tried to throw a few and I tried throwing a couple early,” Lugo said. “I just wanted to mix it in there and see if I could get it where I wanted, but I still need a little more work on it. I was just trying to work on pitching. Trying to go in there with no expectations. That’s the best way to keep it simple. Just trying to feel everything out.” Read more from columnist Abbey Mastracco on NJ.com.

Somewhat seeming to be a forgotten man, Kevin Plawecki wants it known that he has yet to give up on being a starting catcher in this league and fully believes he is capable of being one. With both Travis d’Arnaud and Rene Rivera likely to be on the big league club come opening day, Plawecki is likely to start his season in Las Vegas once more. “I believe I’m a starting catcher in this league and whether it’s here, I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Plawecki said Thursday. “I have got to continue to work hard and bust my [butt], and I am going to continue doing that.” Read more from columnist Mike Puma in the NY Post.

Manager, Terry Collins spoke on what an important time of year this is for the younger guys in camp who are looking to make a name for themselves. Spring training brings a rare time for more unknown players to show the major league level staff what they are capable of doing, if given the opportunity. “Early in camp this is your chance to show us what you can do. You’re going to get the majority of at-bats early in spring training, they are going to be for the backup guys and minor league kids,” Collins said. “Here is your opportunity to show the major league staff and the front office what your talents are against other quality major league guys. We’ll see what they can do.” Read more from columnist Matt Ehalt on NorthJersey.com.

NL EAST RUMBLINGS

Washington Nationals manager, Dusty Baker reflected on the struggle teams from the D.C. area have had with getting out of the first round of the playoffs. Baker believes the 2017 Nationals are more than capable of not just making it out of the first round of playoffs, but also bringing home a World Series championship to the city and beginning to build a city of champions. “You know once it gets contagious in a city and you get a positive attitude throughout the city, then it transfers to the sports teams. So we want to be known as a city of champions, before the end of the year hopefully.” Read more over on CSN Mid-Atlantic.

Atlanta Braves left fielder, Matt Kemp has been leading by example in camp this season, impressing all of those around him. Manager, Brian Snitker spoke on how Kemp has shown such a strong work ethic in spring training thus far. “He’s the first one in the (batting) cage every morning, he’s the last one to leave,” Snitker said. “He’s working his tail off. It’s been really kind of cool to watch. Like I say, he’s early in the weight room, first one in the cage. The other day he stayed after and hit off the curveball machine. He’s really getting after it.” Read more from columnist David O’Brien on the AJC.com.

Philadelphia Phillies prospect, Cameron Perkins is trying to get his name into conversations of making the opening day roster. Perkins showed some power in the Grapefruit league opener for the Phillies, going 2-for-2 with a home run in a losing effort as they fell to the Yankees by a score of 9-4. “All I can do is do exactly what I did today,” Perkins said. “When I get my opportunity, make the best of it. Whether I’m wearing a major-league jersey, minor-league jersey, IronPigs, Reading, it doesn’t matter. I’m just going to go out there and help whatever team I’m playing for win. Because that’s the competitor I am. It doesn’t matter if I’m playing chess or I’m playing whatever, I want to win.” Read more from Matt Green on Philly.com.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Former New York Met, Michael Cuddyer is making an impact as an instructor for the Minnesota Twins. Cuddyer, along with former major leaguer, Torii Hunter have taken on the task of providing a young Minnesota team with veteran knowledge as they try to solidify themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the American League. Twins outfielder, Robbie Grossman spoke on just how valuable it is having these two former players as resources. “When they speak, everyone shuts up,” Grossman said. “There’s been a lot of listening, but also questions asked. We’re very lucky, very blessed to have these guys spend their time with us. Honestly, they could be doing whatever they wanted right now.” Read more from columnist Mike Berardino in the Pioneer Press.

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About Brian Greenzang 567 Articles
A Senior Writer for MMO, Brian was born the year that ball got by Buckner and the Mets went on to win the World Series. He is still waiting to watch the Mets win a World Series of his own. You can follow Brian on Twitter @briangreenzang