PORT ST. LUCIE — Jed Lowrie and Todd Frazier are being cautious with their recoveries from early spring injuries.
Lowrie was officially diagnosed with a left knee capsule sprain on February 23 and Frazier sustained a left oblique strain three days later. In just the first few days of camp, the Mets were forced to scramble for Opening Day depth coverage upon losing their starting infielders.
Almost three weeks later, Lowrie and Frazier are moderately expanding their baseball activities.
“(I’m) feeling good, making progress every day,” Lowrie said. “And I think that’s the goal. Not having any setbacks and continuing to build the strength and progress every day.”
The 34-year-old third baseman is throwing and hitting off the tee amid various workouts. He has not begun to run yet, instead focusing on building strength and endurance throughout the recovery process.
Frazier is managing his oblique sprain through phases. The 33-year-old said he completed phase 2 of his process after taking ten swings off the tee and 15 dry swings. Frazier is taking grounders as well, but is not sure what the next phase entails.
“Today was supposed to be a slow day but felt pretty good coming in,” Frazier said.
Neither Lowrie nor Frazier provided straight answers as to whether the infielders will be healthy enough to be ready by Opening Day. But the opportunities to receive at-bats and infield starts are quickly diminishing.
The Mets noted earlier in spring that Lowrie needs about 40 at-bats before feeling prepared for a full regular season game. Frazier added on Wednesday that he needs about 30 at-bats, or five to six games. With less than two weeks until Opening Day, the likelihood both infielders are prepared sooner than April or May is minuscule.
“This is about getting this right,” Lowrie said. “What we can’t have happen is for this to linger all year. I just don’t want a situation where this happens again … That doesn’t help anybody. We have to get this right. When we get this right, it’ll be because I’ll be able to play every day.”
Lowrie said the hardest aspect of lacking spring training reps is missing the opportunity to get familiar with his new teammates during live-game action. In the meantime, he’s doing what he can from the bench.
“You build a lot of trust and bonds with these guys when you’re out on the field,” Lowrie said. “But I’m making a conscious effort to be in the dugout during the games here and trying to build some relationships and get to know these guys a little bit more. Because once I’m back out there, we’ll be in the trenches together.”
AVILAN THROWING FILTHY ARSENAL
Luis Avilan, a left-handed reliever the Mets signed as a free agent in January, continues to impress the team at camp.
In seven Grapefruit League games, Avilan holds a steady 2.35 ERA with nine strikeouts over 7.2 innings. Manager Mickey Callaway said the 29-year-old is producing effective swings and misses since his first outing of spring.
Avilan, along with right-hander Tim Peterson, is a good candidate to break camp for the Mets bullpen in the upcoming season.