Originally posted on New York Mets Report  |  Last updated 3/20/13
Opening Day is rapidly approaching, and it doesn’t look as if either David Wright and Daniel Murphy will make it to Flushing on time. Wright told reporters he was in the World Baseball Classic where he played at an intense level, which shouldn’t put him at a disadvantage. “I’m in a better position than Murphy, obviously, because I’ve been playing in games and taking plenty of swings,’’ Wright told reporters this morning. Even so, if Wright doesn’t come back before the start of the season, and there aren’t any indications he is going to, it will be two weeks of being idle. Initially, at the time of the injury GM Sandy Alderson said Wright would rest from three to five days. Today is the sixth day. There will be rust, count on it for Wright. Even more for Murphy, who hasn’t seen a pitch this spring. Murphy had a setback when he was shut down after playing five innings on defense last Friday. Terry Collins said if Murphy isn’t playing by the weekend he will open on the disabled list. Both players claimed Opening Day was their goal, but made no promises and said they’ll be cautious as to not be re-injured and miss even more time. Bet on the disabled list to start the season. Injuries have also derailed Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who bruised his left knee in early March sliding into a base. Nieuwenhuis was scheduled to play three innings in the field and bat today in a minor league game. In looking at tonight’s line-up against Houston in Kissimmee, it is possible it could be close to the Opening Day line-up, minus Brian Bixler and probably Mike Baxter. For Opening Day, I’m going with Marlon Byrd in right instead of center. Jordany Valdespin, 2b: He’s gone from being an outsider to likely starting at second base with Murphy out. Collin Cowgill, cf: Looking at him as the starter in center. Could bat second as he is tonight. Ike Davis, 1b: He isn’t a No. 3 hitter, but the best the Mets have with Wright gone. Marlon Byrd, cf: He will be in right for the start of the season. He has been getting a lot of reps at clean up as Terry Collins wants to separate high strikeout batters Davis and Lucas Duda. Lucas Duda, dh: Seriously, designated hitter is a natural for him. He moved from right to left because the latter is supposed to be easier. He still needs time in left, so why isn’t he there tonight? John Buck, c: He’s the catcher until Travis d’Arnaud is ready. Should be June. Mike Baxter, rf: Seems to have been pushed out of starter role by Byrd, who offers greater offensive upside. Ruben Tejada, ss: It was thought he could contend for leadoff spot or No. 2, but not with the way he’s hitting now. He’ll be buried at No. 8, which gives Mets two back-to-back outs most times. Dillon Gee, rhp: Says he needs work on his change-up.
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