NEW YORK -- Once feared lost for the season, Mets first baseman Dominic Smith is making tangible progress toward a return.
Smith ran and hit off a tee on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a stress fracture in his left foot in July. He planned to do more activities on Thursday, increasing intensity over the course of the next two weeks. Smith will undergo a follow-up CT scan on Sept. 25, the day he is eligible to come off the 60-day injured list; if the stress fracture is gone at that time, Smith intends to return for the season’s final five games.
“Hopefully, it comes back clean and I can get back out there,” Smith said.
A key left-handed bench bat for the Mets in the first half, Smith hit .278/.352/.506 with 10 home runs in 196 plate appearances. Although team doctors believed the stress fracture he suffered in July might end his season, Smith has been adamant that he would like to return for a few games if possible -- particularly if the Mets remain in playoff contention in the season’s final week.
Steven Matz on Thursday was named the Mets’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, Major League Baseball’s highest philanthropic honor. Matz, who has often said he would be a firefighter if he were not a Major League pitcher, has spent years supporting New York City servicemen and women through his “Tru32” initiative.
The Roberto Clemente Award “is the annual recognition of a Major League player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field,” according to an MLB release. The Mets have had multiple winners over the years, including Curtis Granderson in 2016.
Each team has one nominee, with the overall league winner to be revealed next month.