7/22/2014 2:07 A.M. ET
HoJo among host of former Mets in Seattle dugout
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- Hugs and handshakes were prevalent during batting practice Monday, given the extraordinary number of Mariners players and coaches with Mets ties. Seattle players Chris Young (the pitcher) and Endy Chavez both spent time in the Mets organization, along with hitting coach Howard Johnson, bullpen catcher Jason Phillips, infield coach Chris Woodward and third-base coach Rich Donnelly.
Johnson in particular will always be associated with the Mets, spending nine years in Flushing and winning a World Series title with them in 1986. But Johnson has had little contact with his old team since the Mets did not renew his contract as hitting coach following the 2010 season, replacing him with Dave Hudgens. Though the Mets left the door open for Johnson to remain with the organization in another capacity, Johnson declined and eventually hooked on with the Mariners.
"There's not a lot of contact," Johnson said. "I talk to those guys every now and then by text or something, but other than that … I really don't see them. It's a little bit distant, but it's still part of my history."
Johnson is particularly close with third baseman David Wright, whom he mentored for years in the Minors. The two planned to spend time with each other later this week.
d'Arnauds on opposite ends of highlight catches
SEATTLE -- The d'Arnaud brothers are growing accustomed to finding themselves on baseball highlight reels, for completely opposite reasons.
Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud fell victim to one of the most impressive catches of the summer on Monday, when Seattle's Dustin Ackley skied over the left-field wall in the sixth inning to rob him of a homer. That play came a day after d'Arnaud's brother, Chase, made a spectacular -- and somewhat similar -- catch for Pittsburgh's Triple-A Indianapolis affiliate against Columbus.
"I was thinking about that, that my brother made a catch just like that yesterday and it happened to me today," d'Arnaud said. "It's pretty funny."
Formerly of the Pirates, Chase d'Arnaud hooked on with Indianapolis after the Bucs designated him for assignment this spring. Travis d'Arnaud, meanwhile, has spent the past month on a tear at the plate, collecting two more hits Monday -- and it could have been three.
"That's a real good catch," said manager Terry Collins, whose Mets lost, 5-2. "That's a tough play for a lot of guys, then you get a guy who's -- I think he's a [converted] second baseman, isn't he? If that ball goes out of the ballpark, that may change a lot. That may change the momentum completely. It was a great catch."
Wright's decade in Flushing is a rare feat
SEATTLE -- Shortly after the Mets landed in Washington late Sunday night, David Wright left for dinner with what he believed would be a few select teammates. As that group departed the hotel, a few more Mets latched onto it. Then a few more. Then a few more.
By the time Wright arrived at the restaurant, he realized nearly the entire roster had come to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his big league debut.
"I tried to help [with the check], but I think most of these guys split it," Wright said, laughing. "It was nice. Usually it's the other way around, with me paying."
Considering Wright is the only current Mets player who was on the team even six years ago, his decade in Flushing stands as a rather remarkable accomplishment. With more than six years remaining on his current contract, he is also one of a select few Major League stars harboring real potential to spend his entire career with one team.
But more than anything, Wright was simply surprised at all the attention his 10-year anniversary received. He readily acknowledges that the past decade was not as successful as he once hoped, considering all the untapped potential of the 2006-08 Mets. But he still clings to the belief that his future will be better.
"When it's all said and done, I want to be able to say I got the most out of my potential," Wright said. "With the God-given ability that I have, I want to get the most out of it. I don't want to look back however many years from now and say, 'I wonder if I would have worked a little harder, I wonder if I would have done this or done that, how things would have worked out.'"
At Safeco Field on Monday, those who know Wright best lavished praise upon him. Mets manager Terry Collins cited his third baseman's "different approach to the game," lauding Wright's work ethic between games. Former Mets hitting coach Howard Johnson, now with the Marines, called him a fit for "any team in baseball."
"But he's really good with the Mets," Johnson said.
Ten years ago, Wright was a much-hyped former first-round Draft pick simply trying to find his niche. He did not know what the future might hold; in that sense, at least, he has not changed at all.
"I've had some great memories here, and hopefully there's a lot more to come," Wright said. "Hopefully one day I'll be able to sit back and reminisce and go through pictures or video or whatever, and be able to pay myself on the back and have some fond memories."
Collins welcomes DH rule in Seattle
SEATTLE -- Some National League managers loathe traveling to American League parks, knowing their rosters are constructed without the use of a designated hitter in mind. Not Terry Collins, who has worked futilely for weeks to find consistent at-bats for Mets outfielders Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Eric Young, Chris Young and Bobby Abreu.
The DH rule at Safeco Field finally allowed Collins to begin doing so in Monday's series opener. Chris Young and Eric Campbell started in left field and at first base, respectively, vs. left-hander Roenis Elias, with regular first baseman Lucas Duda shifting to DH. Abreu, meanwhile, is scheduled to DH both Tuesday and Wednesday, with Eric Young and Nieuwenhuis both likely to see outfield action.
"We've been looking for at-bats for some guys, and these three games will allow us that," Collins said. "We've been looking forward to these three games for a while."
• Outfielder Chris Young is day to day after leaving Monday night's game with cramps in his left calf, which tightened up as he ran toward first base on an eighth-inning groundout.
"I felt it a few steps out of the box and I tried to push through it," said Young, who is batting .202 with eight home runs in 75 games. "It seemed like it went away, then a few steps before the bag it seemed like it came back. But I feel like it was just a cramp."