Mets spring training: Five story lines to watch

Ike Davis had a huge hit in the first inning to chase David Phelps. Credit: Getty Images
This season could be make or break for Ike Davis.
Credit: Getty Images

Always-cautious prognostications for the Mets dropped off a cliff last fall when Matt Harvey went under the knife for Tommy John surgery.

But the Mets didn’t retreat into a shell with their best player on the shelf for all of 2014. They went out and signed a legitimate outfielder in Curtis Granderson and added a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, if aging, in Bartolo Colon.

Now they’ll just have to convince fans to come to the ballpark and see them. The task begins in spring training where plenty of youth should be on display from a ripe farm system.

1. Will the real Ike Davis please stand up?

Ike Davis’ make or break season comes in 2014. So he better start proving he can be an everyday player in March.

The good news is he started the spring with a home run in his first game. The bad news is he’s already dealing with some calf tightness, and was scratched Monday.

The Mets seem preoccupied with playing Lucas Duda at first so Davis better impress this spring or it may be his last in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

2. Wheel’s up

Zack Wheeler said on the first day of spring training he wanted to start on Opening Day.

And while Jon Niese is probably the favorite, Wheeler has a chance this spring to prove his rookie season in 2013 was just a forebearer of something truly special. He will get his start Tuesday.

3. Pen-t up

Neither guy would win any nice-guy awards, but both Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde are in camp and have a legitimate shot at making the club out of the bullpen. The volatile former closers could be nice additions if they recapture former glory.

4. Coming up short

Few people, manager Terry Collins included, were thrilled with Ruben Tejada last season.

But he starts this spring as the man at shortstop largely because they have no other options.

Stephen Drew is out there to be signed, but the Mets are likely waiting for his price to drop.

5. Waiting on Syndergaard

Like Harvey and Wheeler before him, the wait for top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard will be a painful one for Mets fans.

The 6-foot-6 righty blew away the Braves — including stars Jason Heyward and Justin Upton — with high-90s heat on Monday and carries a plus curveball. Enjoy him in March, because he starts 2014 in Triple-A.

Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…