It is time once again for Spring Training, and all the hope and aspiration that come along with it.
The Mets are no different than any other team in that regard. Although their offseason may have seemed relatively quiet on the surface, the Mets will report to Spring Training with 13 new members on their 40-man roster, barring any late additions or changes. Major projection systems have them pegged for a win total in the low- to mid-80s, which should keep them in the Wild Card race all season -- and that’s assuming they don’t outperform such forecasts. If nothing else, new president of baseball operations David Stearns has built a team that should be competitive.
The proof will begin to surface this month in Port St. Lucie, Fla., where players have already begun to filter into camp. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about the next six weeks leading up to Opening Day:
When is the first workout for pitchers and catchers?
Although many pitchers and catchers have already been conducting independent workouts on team grounds, the first official workout for that group is Wednesday.
What is the date of the first full-squad workout?
Similarly, the first official full-squad workout is set for Feb. 19.
Where is the team’s facility?
Clover Park is located in the St. Lucie West neighborhood of Port St. Lucie, just off Exit 121 on I-95.
Can fans attend workouts?
Yes, fans are welcome to attend for free beginning on Wednesday, with gates opening at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Who are some new faces fans should know?
Got a pen?
The Mets acquired a slew of new players for the 2024 season, mostly on the pitching side of things. Three-fifths of the rotation is new, including Luis Severino, Sean Manaea and Adrian Houser. The bullpen, meanwhile, includes newcomers Jorge López, Jake Diekman and Shintaro Fujinami.
Finally, the Mets acquired several offensive pieces, including infielder Joey Wendle and outfielders Harrison Bader and Tyrone Taylor. Bader figures to start most days in center field.
Who are some of the top prospects invited to Major League camp?
Two of the prospects the Mets acquired in the Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer deals at last year’s Trade Deadline will be in camp: infielder Luisangel Acuña (MLB Pipeline's No. 66 overall prospect) and outfielder Drew Gilbert (No. 53). Neither will make the team, but both should receive some excellent exposure to life in the Majors.
The organization’s top overall prospect at No. 45 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 list, 2022 first-rounder Jett Williams, will also be around. So will a slew of pitchers with a chance to reach the Majors this summer: Mike Vasil, Christian Scott, Dominic Hamel, Nate Lavender and Eric Orze. All but Lavender and Orze, who are relievers, rank among the Mets’ Top 30 Prospects.
When is the team’s first Grapefruit League game?
Feb. 24 against a Cardinals split-squad at Clover Park.
What are a few other notable spring games?
The Mets will play the Yankees at Clover Park on March 5, then travel to Tampa, Fla., for games against their interborough rivals on March 22 and 25. The latter is their final game of spring. Of note, the Mets will play significantly more night games this year, with nine of their 31 Grapefruit League games scheduled for 6:05 or 6:10 p.m. starts.
What is Spring Breakout and when is the game?
Spring Breakout is a new MLB initiative set to take place during Spring Training, pitting teams of top prospects against each other. The majority of players on each organization’s Top 30 list -- in the Mets’ case, think Acuña, Gilbert, Williams, Vasil and more -- will participate.
The Mets will host their Spring Breakout game against a team of Nationals prospects on March 15 at 3:10 p.m.
Will the team’s games be televised?
As usual, SNY will broadcast Spring Training home games, with Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling returning to the booth for another season. (Field reporter Steve Gelbs will handle much of the spring play-by-play duties.) Road games can be hit-or-miss, though some will be televised and available on MLB.TV.
When is the club’s last game in Florida?
The Mets will drive to Tampa for a March 25 game against the Yankees, then fly home from there. They’ll have two rest days before Opening Day.
What are the details for Opening Day?
The opener is scheduled for March 28 at 1:10 p.m. against the Brewers at Citi Field.