Jordany Valdespin sat by his locker, his eyes glued to a television showing Phillies-Nationals highlights. However, his mind seemed elsewhere, but apparently not on his quest to be the Opening Day leadoff hitter in center.
“They have a decision to make, and the only thing I can do is keep playing hard and give them something to think about,’’ Valdespin said. “I can’t make the decision. I have to play hard and see what happens in spring training.’’
Valdespin rarely made eye contact, instead kept on watching the television.
Jordany Valdespin, 2b
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, cf
Justin Turner, dh
Mike Baxter, rf
Zach Lutz, 1b
Brian Bixler, 3b
Landon Powell, c
Juan Lagares, lf
Omar Quintanilla, ss
Jenrry Mejia, rhp
LINEUP THOUGHTS: Interesting to see Valdespin leading off and playing second. The Mets are looking at him as a potential Plan B if Daniel Murphy is unable to start the season. If he starts, leadoff is a good spot for him because of his speed. … Also, the Mets want to see Nieuwenhuis at second if he doesn’t win the leadoff spot. There he’ll need to work the count and advance runners which require patience and bat control, two things Nieuwenhuis needs to improve. … Zach Lutz, playing first today, has a chance to make the roster as a bench player. … Quintanilla is also competing for a bench spot. … Regarding Mejia, in his first start they want to get an idea of his arm strength and command. He will work on his secondary pitches later. … There’s a rule the travel squad in an exhibition game must have five major leaguers. The Mets are stretching it a bit.
NOTE: I will have another post or two this afternoon.
The Mets’ first injury of spring training is Daniel Murphy, who is back in New York to have an intercostal muscle in his ribs examined and receive a possible cortisone injection.
Murphy complained of feeling a tugging feeling in his ribs and will be examined at the Hospital of Special Surgery.
This is not a new injury for the Mets, as David Wright and Scott Hairston had the same last spring, but both were on the Opening Day roster.
Murphy is thinking he’ll be down from a week to ten days. Murphy said he experienced similar pain last year and attributed it to a minor change in his stance.