The Mets’ injury list grew by one Tuesday night when Andres Torres strained his left calf. While Torres thinks the injury will cost him only a few days in camp, Terry Collins was already making sure he had center-field contingencies in place.
Mike Baxter is slated to play center Wednesday against the Cardinals and, after Torres was hurt, Jason Bay went to the manager and volunteered to play center as well. Collins said he would look at infielder Jordany Valdespin in center, too.
“I’ve got to figure out options,” Collins said. “I asked Jordany if he could play center and he said yes. This kid is athletic as heck.”
Collins needs choices because backup Scott Hairston is also idle with an oblique injury. Hairston jogged and threw Tuesday, and Collins was hoping Hairston could take batting practice by the weekend. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, perhaps the Mets’ best outfield prospect, also has an oblique injury and was sent to the minor-league camp earlier this spring…
Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy, the new keystone combination that had played just six innings together this spring, turned two double plays in Tejada’s return from a groin injury. Collins called Murphy’s footwork “the best I’ve seen him have this spring.”
Collins believes David Wright’s abdominal tear will be healed enough that the third baseman could return to the lineup by this weekend or early next week.