PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Construction workers continued to mill about Clover Park on Tuesday, wrapping up a $57 million renovation that won’t be finished until June. But the majority of the work is done on a complex that will open to the public Wednesday for the first official day
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Construction workers continued to mill about Clover Park on Tuesday, wrapping up a $57 million renovation that won’t be finished until June. But the majority of the work is done on a complex that will open to the public Wednesday for the first official day of pitcher and catcher workouts.
Many players have already spent much of this month in Port St. Lucie, raving about the improvements -- and not just to the stadium.
“We expect to be a contender,” new manager Luis Rojas said. “We know how all the teams are prepared. We’re going to be in a tough division and we’re going to face some tough teams this year in our schedule, and we know that. We feel that we’re built to win.
“We have a great roster. We have great position players with versatility. We have a great starting rotation, pitchers that have a starting history, [a] Cy Young [Award winner], World Series winners. And in the bullpen, we have a lot of guys that have a history of saving games, being closers. It’s a team that’s built to win. Right now, the thing that’s going to keep us moving and keep us moving to the direction where we want to go is this, is Spring Training.”
Here’s a quick FAQ on what to expect from the Mets this month.
Pitchers and catchers report date
Monday, Feb. 10
First pitchers and catchers workout
Wednesday, Feb. 12
Full squad report date
Saturday, Feb. 15
First full-squad workout
Monday, Feb. 17
New faces to know
On the 40-man roster: right-hander Dellin Betances, right-hander Rick Porcello, right-hander Michael Wacha, left-hander Stephen Gonsalves, outfielder Jake Marisnick.
Non-roster invitees of note: right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, left-hander Chasen Shreve, infielder Eduardo Núñez, first baseman/outfielder Matt Adams, outfielder Jarrett Parker.
And, of course, Tim Tebow will be back for his fourth big league camp.
Top prospects to know
Infielder Andrés Giménez (No. 3 on the Mets' Top Prospects 30 list last season per MLB Pipeline), left-hander David Peterson (No. 7), right-hander Franklyn Kilomé (No. 10), left-hander Kevin Smith (No. 11), left-hander Thomas Szapucki (No. 12), right-hander Ryley Gilliam (No. 16), catcher Ali Sanchez (No. 17), right-hander Jordan Humphreys (No. 22), left-hander Stephen Gonsalves (No. 23) and catcher Patrick Mazeika (No. 27) will all be in Major League camp.
Where is the facility?
The Mets play at newly renamed Clover Park, at 31 Piazza Drive in Port St. Lucie.
Can fans attend workouts?
From Wednesday until the first Grapefruit League game, fans can attend workouts at Clover Park that will begin around 10:30 a.m. ET and last until the early afternoon. The complex renovations include upgrades in the stadium bowl, practice fields and fan areas, as well as a striking new clubhouse for big league players. Although the facility will not be complete for several months, the Mets say that will not affect the spring fan experience; major stadium work will be done by Saturday, Feb. 22. After games begin, morning workouts will remain open to the public, but Major League players tend to spend less time on the back fields at that point.
Saturday, Feb. 22, with a pair of split-squad affairs. Half the team will host the Marlins in a 1:10 p.m. ET game in Port St. Lucie, while the other half will travel to Jupiter, Fla., for a 1:05 p.m. ET matchup against the Cardinals.
First TV game
SNY has yet to announce its spring broadcast schedule, but the network usually broadcasts the bulk of the Mets' home games.
One other notable game
All but four of the Mets’ Grapefruit League games will take place in Port St. Lucie, Jupiter or West Palm Beach, Fla., putting almost everything within a one-hour radius of their complex. One of the exceptions is on Friday, March 13, at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Braves at the defending National League East champion's new CoolToday Park in North Port, Fla.
Last game in Florida
Monday, March 23, at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Orioles in Sarasota, Fla.
Any additional exhibitions before the regular season?
Nothing has been scheduled.
Thursday, March 26, at 1:10 p.m. ET against the Nationals at Citi Field.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.