PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Scott Hairston should be ready for Opening Day and Andres Torres may be as well, clearing a previously murky center-field situation for the Mets.
Hairston is scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut on Wednesday, putting him on track for Opening Day availability. The backup outfielder reached base three times in four appearances during a Minor League intrasquad game Tuesday, his first game action since straining a left oblique muscle early in camp.
"That's a bright spot," manager Terry Collins said.
Torres, the starting center fielder, played catch and swung in the batting cage Tuesday, lining him up also for an impending return. Sidelined the past eight days with a strained left calf, Torres appeared in nine Grapefruit League games earlier this spring, meaning he should not need quite as many at-bats as Hairston to be ready.
Even if Torres cannot go on Opening Day, Hairston boasts more than enough center-field experience to hold down the position until his return. The Mets had previously contemplated carrying Minor Leaguer Matt den Dekker on their Opening Day roster, had both Torres and Hairston still been hurt.
Wright plays in second straight game for Mets
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The plan had been for David Wright to rest, one day after making his Grapefruit League debut. Instead, Wright felt so strong on Tuesday that he asked manager Terry Collins to let him play a second straight game. Collins relented.
"I felt good considering I've had five at-bats," Wright said after finishing 0-for-2 against the Braves with a sacrifice fly. "I didn't know what to expect with the type of injury that I had. I've never had it before."
Though Wright remains cautious in his return from a strained left abdominal muscle, he is forcing himself to do things "that used to hurt when I tried to do them a couple weeks ago."
"I need to realize that I don't need to have that apprehension that I had before," Wright said. "I feel like I'm getting there, so that's a good thing."
The immediate plan is for Wright to rest Wednesday, before playing Thursday's night game and Friday's day game in succession. If he feels the need, Wright will head to Minor League camp after that for extra at-bats. If not, he will stay with the big club for the rest of Spring Training.
Either way, the third baseman is on pace to be ready well before Opening Day.
"He looks good swinging," manager Terry Collins said. "It's a really good sign."
Lefty Edgin unlikely to make Mets' roster
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- No matter how well he performs in Spring Training, it appears unlikely that reliever Josh Edgin will make the Mets' Opening Day roster.
Edgin, who earned a promotion to big league camp after fellow left-hander Tim Byrdak underwent knee surgery, retired three batters while extending his scoreless streak to 7 2/3 innings on Tuesday. But given the solid performance of Garrett Olson and the quick recovery of Byrdak, it makes little sense for the Mets to carry Edgin come April 5.
Manager Terry Collins acknowledged that Tuesday, saying it is probably not worth starting Edgin's arbitration clock for a few days of service -- especially considering that Byrdak could return as soon as the second series of the season. Not to mention the 25-year-old Edgin has never pitched above Class A ball.
"There's a lot of dynamics that go into making the right decision," Collins said. "Not just for us as a team, but as an organization also."
Mets to display fan's ticket from first game
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The faded orange ticket was good for Section 19, Box 2, Seat 4. The date was April 13, 1962, Mets vs. Pirates.
Fifty years later, Bob Kolb clutched the ticket in its clear plastic casing as he recounted how he attended the first game in Mets history -- and managed to save the evidence, which the Mets will display this summer at their Hall of Fame Museum.
Kolb was 16 at the time. Growing up a quick bike ride away from the Polo Grounds, he made the trek on the morning of the game to take in the atmosphere. In what he called "a scene from a '30s or '40s movie," a police officer flagged Kolb and offered him and two friends tickets to the game.
"I think the true miracle of the Mets was that I was able to keep it for 50 years," Kolb said of his ticket, laughing.
"Knowing him like I know him, that's a real miracle," his wife chimed in.
The Mets plan to display Kolb's ticket for a year, at which point they will return it. Kolb, who recently sold his homecare agency on Long Island and moved to Florida, hopes to sell the ticket at some point in the future.