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Plawecki keen to take Piazza's advice

Special to MLB.com

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Hall of Fame catcher and Mets icon Mike Piazza was in camp Saturday, briefly speaking to reporters and meeting with hitters. Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki, a career .222 hitter who hit .260 last season, said he is taking Piazza's advice to heart.

"[I'm] just kind of listening to his knowledge on what he thought when he hit and how he handled hitting with catching," said Plawecki, who will likely serve as the team's backup catcher behind Travis d'Arnaud. "Ultimately, just kind of his process back when he played, and [it's] good to hear from a guy like him."

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Hall of Fame catcher and Mets icon Mike Piazza was in camp Saturday, briefly speaking to reporters and meeting with hitters. Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki, a career .222 hitter who hit .260 last season, said he is taking Piazza's advice to heart.

"[I'm] just kind of listening to his knowledge on what he thought when he hit and how he handled hitting with catching," said Plawecki, who will likely serve as the team's backup catcher behind Travis d'Arnaud. "Ultimately, just kind of his process back when he played, and [it's] good to hear from a guy like him."

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The meeting with Piazza was open to all hitters, not just Plawecki and the backstops. Plawecki drove in a run in with a bases-loaded walk and later lined a two-run single before being thrown out at second base in his two plate appearances in the Mets' 10-5 loss to the Cardinals on Saturday.

Tweet from @Mets: Plawecki talks about having @mikepiazza31 in camp and how he can learn from the #Mets legend. pic.twitter.com/a0SoZv3Sso

Bruce thankful to be back
With Mets stars Yoenis Cespedes and David Wright injured last season, Jay Bruce -- who signed a $39 million contract to return to the club last month -- stepped up. He slashed .256/.321/.520 with 29 home runs and 75 RBIs in 103 games for New York before a summer trade to the Indians.

Bruce, 31, finished the season with a career-high 36 home runs and posted his most valuable season in WAR (2.9, per Baseball-Reference) since a 5.3 mark as a 26-year-old in 2013 with the Reds. He also hit .278 with two home runs and four RBIs in a five-game American League Division Series loss to the Yankees.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

He's grateful to be back with the Mets.

"I take a lot of pride in being an impact player in the Major Leagues," Bruce said. "I've been able to stick around. This is gonna be my 11th season, and it's something I'm going to continue to evolve and get better."

Bruce said it was the feeling of unfinished business which drew him back to New York, aside from the opportunity to escape the slow free-agent market.

"My wife and I, we love [New York City], so getting here in 2016 and being a part of the playoff team was a lot of fun," said Bruce, who hit .245 with 37 home runs and 94 RBIs across 153 games with the Mets from 2016-17. "We didn't play as well as a team as we wanted to last year, but I think we have the pieces in place to bounce back and make some noise."

Video: Jay Bruce on returning to the Mets

Worth noting
Seth Lugo was strong in his two innings of work against the Cardinals, striking out one and only allowing one hit against eight hitters. As for reliever Kevin McGowan, who was summoned from Minor League camp after being designated for assignment last month, the results were less than stellar. McGowan allowed four runs in two-thirds of an in inning.

• The Mets did a good job forcing All-Star Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez to throw more pitches than he would've liked, with the 26-year-old throwing 42 pitches and only getting four outs.

• Though Tim Tebow's No. 83 jersey remains up in his locker, there is no news on when the quarterback-turned-outfielder will make his Grapefruit League debut.

• Saturday was Glove Day in Port St. Lucie, with Todd Frazier, Juan Lagares, and Michael Conforto among the players getting new equipment from Wilson Sporting Goods.

Up next: The Mets will host the Marlins on Sunday afternoon at 1:10 ET for the final tilt of their opening three-game homestand. Robert Gsellman will start for the Mets against Tyler Cloyd, with Jeurys Familia, Jerry Blevins, and Rafael Montero among the other pitcher who will see work. Watch the game live on MLB.TV.

Jake Elman is a contributor to MLB.com

New York Mets, Jay Bruce, Kevin Plawecki