PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets manager Terry Collins is not pleased with shortstop Ruben Tejada's decision to wait until the reporting deadline to show up to camp. Tejada plans to obtain his travel papers Thursday in his native Panama, before arriving at Mets camp Saturday -- the deadline for position players to report.
"I am a little surprised," Collins said. "A lot of it's just selfishness on my part. I take great pride in the game itself and respecting the game itself. I wish everybody had the same respect and wanted to get started as soon as possible."
Collins says he "pretty much suggested" during the offseason that Tejada should arrive early to camp, but "probably should have spelled it out." In particular, Collins wants to see his new starting shortstop begin working defensively alongside second baseman Daniel Murphy, who arrived at camp more than two weeks early.
Though he is the Mets' undisputed starting shortstop now that Jose Reyes is playing in Miami, Tejada does not have a hammerlock on the job. The Mets are eager to see how Tejada hits over a full season in the big leagues, and whether his body can withstand the rigors of playing every day.
"I know Ruben will come in in great shape," Collins said. "I know he'll be ready to go. I just wish he was here."
Davis flew to New York to wrap up physical
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- First baseman Ike Davis flew to New York on Tuesday for what the Mets called "a double-check" on some aspects of his physical. The extra examination is unrelated to Davis' left ankle, which kept him sidelined for the final four months of last season.
Davis flew back to Florida on Wednesday and is due back at the team's Spring Training complex by Thursday morning. He will not be limited in his activities going forward.
"It was a continuation of his physical," manager Terry Collins said. "When we get the final reports from the doctors, we'll know what it is."
In a text message, Davis described the examination as "just more yearly physical things," though he did not reveal the exact nature of the issue.
Davis, who has been working out in Port St. Lucie for over a week, batted .302 with seven home runs prior to suffering a bone bruise in his ankle last May.
Santana will be allowed to skip fielding drills
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Another round of fielding practice awaits most -- but not all -- Mets pitchers on Thursday. There will be one notable absence when the club's pitchers buzz through their second day of defensive drills: Johan Santana.
Because the Mets want Santana to throw his third bullpen session of the spring alongside his teammates, the club will hold him back from defensive drills so that he can spend extra time warming up his left arm. Despite being 17 months removed from left shoulder surgery, Santana still requires more than two hours to fully loosen his arm before pitching.
"This is a team thing, but the ultimate goal is to make sure every single guy gets ready," Collins said. "Individually, that might mean they've got to do something different."
Santana has thrown two bullpen sessions and a total of 55 pitches off a mound since arriving in Port St. Lucie last week. In addition to his bullpen sessions, he plans to throw at least one live batting-practice session before starting the Mets' Grapefruit League opener on March 5.
Bench coach Geren wearing Reyes' old number
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Those still bitter at Jose Reyes' departure might prefer to look away from new Mets bench coach Bob Geren, who trotted out to the practice fields Wednesday wearing Reyes' old uniform No. 7. Reyes had worn the number for his entire nine-year stint with the Mets.
Though 19 other players have worn No. 7 since the team's inception in 1962, it is common practice for a team to delay re-issuing a number after the departure of a prominent player. When Ed Kranepool retired in 1979 after wearing No. 7 for 15 seasons, for example, the Mets waited a full year before re-issuing the threads.
Recently, however, that has not been the case. The Mets re-issued Carlos Beltran's No. 15 to Val Pascucci last September, just six weeks after trading the longtime Met to the Giants.
Geren, for his part, did not request No. 7; the Mets simply gave it to him.
"Whatever's in my locker," Geren said, "I put it on."
Torres reports to camp feeling 'great'
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- A fit and eager Andres Torres reported to Florida on Wednesday for his first Spring Training with the Mets.
"I'm a little bit lost, my first time here," said Torres, who was born in New Jersey and grew up in Puerto Rico. "I had to ask where the training room was. But I started meeting players and everybody, and I feel pretty good."
The undisputed starting center fielder heading into camp, Torres -- known primarily as a defensive standout -- is also the overwhelming favorite to bat leadoff for the Mets. Torres has made only six errors in seven seasons and has a .993 career fielding percentage. But he first must confirm his health, along with his ability to improve his .312 on-base percentage from a year ago.
"I'm ready," Torres said. "I've been working hard and I'm healthy. Last year I battled injuries, but this year is a new year and I feel great."