ATLANTA -- Todd Frazier’s return from the injured list is imminent -- “any day now,” according to manager Mickey Callaway.
Frazier played nine innings in another rehab game Thursday for Class A St. Lucie. He’s successfully completed multiple full games in the Minors, has appeared in back-to-back games without issue and even went three straight earlier this week. Frazier has also accumulated 26 plate appearances, has received defensive reps at three different positions and, in Callaway’s words, “is pretty much at that threshold” where the Mets would be comfortable activating him.
When exactly that occurs remains to be seen, but it appears likely to happen at some point on the Mets’ 10-game road trip through Atlanta, Philadelphia and St. Louis. Frazier opened the season on the injured list after straining his left oblique in February.
“He needs to get comfortable that he can come up here and be 100 percent,” Callaway said. “We’ve talked about this with all of these guys -- we want to make sure that they’re in the right spot. So we will continue to talk to him. The guys that are watching him feel like he’s very close, but the player and everybody has to be comfortable with it when we activate him.”
Once the Mets do activate Frazier, they will need to find ways to work him into a crowded infield mix. Pete Alonso has thrived as the Mets’ everyday first baseman, while J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil have also performed well in a time-share at third. The Mets hope to offer Frazier reps without burying Davis, in particular, on the depth chart.
Last year, Frazier hit .213 with 18 home runs in 115 games, twice landing on the injured list.
For the first time since Spring Training, Jessica Mendoza had an opportunity to watch the Mets in person Thursday at SunTrust Park. Mendoza, who will be in the broadcast booth for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, plans to spend the first half of the weekend in her other, newer job as a Mets special assistant.
Spending time with the Mets has been a scheduling jigsaw puzzle as Mendoza navigates those duties with her ESPN role. She plans to travel to New York for more time in the front office soon, and will also meet the Mets on the West Coast next month.
A tradition unlike any other
The start of the Masters Tournament on Thursday meant the rekindling of an annual clubhouse tradition: players lounging around on couches, binge-watching golf.
Among the room’s foremost golfers is McNeil, who played the sport competitively in his youth and nearly chose it over baseball as a professional path. McNeil attended the Masters once, during his birthday weekend in 2006, watching Phil Mickelson win the title.
This year, like many others, McNeil is pulling for Tiger Woods.