PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Though the Mets did not find out until Wednesday that Jeurys Familia will be suspended until April 20, they operated all spring under the assumption that Addison Reed would open the year at closer. So when Major League Baseball finally issued Familia's suspension, Reed was
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Though the Mets did not find out until Wednesday that Jeurys Familia will be suspended until April 20, they operated all spring under the assumption that Addison Reed would open the year at closer. So when Major League Baseball finally issued Familia's suspension, Reed was unfazed.
"I'm preparing the same way I always have," Reed said. "My last five or six outings, everything just kind of clicked. I feel ready."
The Mets' primary setup man last summer, Reed actually enjoyed a better statistical season than Familia, a National League All-Star. Posting a 1.97 ERA over a career-high 80 appearances, Reed struck out 91 batters and walked just 13 in 77 2/3 innings.
His closing experience includes full-time work with the White Sox and D-backs from 2012-14.
With Reed assuming ninth-inning duties, Noel Salas, Hansel Robles and Josh Smoker will all take on more significant roles in the Mets' Opening Day bullpen. Jerry Blevins is also back as the Mets' left-handed specialist.
"I just think it's a good group," Reed said. "We meshed together really well last year. Everybody was comfortable. Everybody worked well with each other and fed off each other's success."
Oh captain! My … wait a second
Confusion rippled through the stands during the opening innings of the Mets' intrasquad game Thursday, when Wilmer Flores walked out to first base wearing David Wright's No. 5 jersey.
"I told him, 'Man, can I wear your jersey?' And he just threw it at me," Flores said.
This obsession is nothing new. Earlier this month, Flores signed a photograph of himself and posted it to Wright's locker, where it remained for much of the spring. Wearing Wright's jersey, Flores homered and singled, finishing 2-for-3.
The Mets beat a team composed mostly of Triple-A Las Vegas players, 5-4.
Save that ball
Flores did not provide the only light moment in the Mets' intrasquad game. The Mets orchestrated another, allowing bullpen catchers Dave Racaniello and Eric Langill to suit up and bat as designated hitters.
So amused by the situation that he struggled to maintain composure on the mound, starting pitcher Jacob deGrom laughed throughout his matchup with Racaniello, who is entering his 17th season on staff. After first-base umpire Chris Scott ruled that he "checked" his swing on a pitch far outside, much to the delight of the Mets' dugout, Racaniello poked deGrom's third consecutive fastball -- at 95 mph -- into right field for a bloop single.
Afterward, a half-dozen Mets crowded around the team's computer system, looking up the advanced details -- exit velocity and the like -- of Racaniello's hit.
"Oh, that was frustrating," deGrom said, laughing. "It must be that easy."
First baseman Lucas Duda sat out the Mets' final exhibition due to tightness in his left hamstring, but classified it as nothing more than a precaution. Duda expects to be in the Mets' Opening Day lineup Monday against the Braves.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.