Mets concerned about Zack Wheeler, whose spot is in jeopardy

PORT ST. LUCIE — Zack Wheeler is the logical choice to start the season in the Mets rotation if Jason Vargas isn’t ready, but he is not a slam dunk.Privately, Mets officials were concerned about Wheeler’s last exhibition start against the Nationals, and it has been suggested if the right-hander

Amed Rosario’s biggest flaw is still a problem

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — For several years after the Mets signed him as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic, Amed Rosario was viewed as the next big thing for the organization. Here was a can’t-miss guy.“It’s a blessing to be that person, somebody the organization has faith in,

Mets’ beloved 1969 champion Ed Charles dead at 84

PORT ST. LUCIE — Ed Charles, a contributor to the Mets’ first World Series-winning team in 1969, died Thursday, according to the team. He was 84.Nicknamed “The Glider,” Charles played three seasons at third base for the Mets, and in retirement from baseball settled into the New York area. In

Tim Tebow’s only regret as Mets cut short Tebow-mania

PORT ST. LUCIE — Tim Tebow had no illusions about breaking camp with the Mets, but his only regret was he couldn’t put his best foot forward.Almost literally.The former Heisman Trophy winner, who has been bothered by a sprained left ankle for much of spring training, was among the players

Syndergaard was so ‘nasty’ he threw off Mets’ plan for him

SARASOTA, Fla. — Here was Noah Syndergaard on the mound in the seventh inning of a spring training game. The pitch count was low — 72 through six innings. But there was one other factor that caused manager Mickey Callaway to stay with his horse.“I see him pitching. He’s not

Wilmer Flores can add another position to his résumé

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Two years ago, Yoenis Cespedes gave Wilmer Flores, career infielder, an outfielder’s glove “just in case.”Well, “in case” came Saturday. And with the way Flores mashes the ball, it could come again relatively soon.“I felt weird obviously,” said Flores who started and played left field

Michael Conforto gives real glimpse into Mets’ best hope

PORT ST. LUCIE — Michael Conforto’s abnormal spring took a turn toward the normal Friday as he stepped into the batter’s box in a competitive situation for the first time.The setting was a back field at the Mets spring training complex and the opponent was a minor league team, but

Neil Walker’s focus is on future with Yanks, not past Mets drama

TAMPA — He played two positions and batted from two sides of the plate while playing for three teams on two different fields.Welcome to Neil Walker’s rush-job spring training. Welcome to life after escaping free-agency hell.The second baseman’s long, strange trip isn’t quite over yet, even after the Yankees threw

A new Kevin Plawecki is making serious run at d’Arnaud’s job

PORT ST. LUCIE — Kevin Plawecki slid toward the Mets dugout, tumbled and in one motion flipped the ball to home plate, where his awaiting pitcher tagged out the runner attempting to score from third on Thursday.It was a play Matt Harvey said he had practiced with Plawecki on the

Mets make this Yoenis Cespedes change a top priority of spring

PORT ST. LUCIE — There is a big change going on with the Mets that is not getting much attention. Slugger Yoenis Cespedes, who has spent most of his career batting third, fourth or fifth, is hitting second this spring in Mickey Callaway’s lineup.Trying to get the right lineup mix

A Juan Lagares trade is looking more and more possible

PORT ST. LUCIE — The planets are aligning as such that Juan Lagares could begin the season with another team.According to industry sources, the Mets have received recent phone calls about the former Gold Glove winner and haven’t ruled out the idea of trading him. The trade buzz comes as

‘Badass’ is bringing nasty streak back to Mets’ pitching staff

PORT ST. LUCIE — Batters beware.Mets pitchers are taking back the inner half of the plate under new pitching coach Dave Eiland with the blessing of new manager Mickey Callaway. They are going to pitch inside with a purpose, and sometimes they will miss in and hit batters.That’s life in

David Wright gets another devastating health update

PORT ST. LUCIE — David Wright’s already slim chances of resuming his baseball career have been sliced even thinner.The Mets captain won’t begin baseball activities for at least eight weeks, the team announced Tuesday in an injury report. Wright, who is recovering from multiple surgeries, was re-examined by Dr. Robert

Yankees agree to deal with Neil Walker

TAMPA — The Yankees took advantage of the historically slow free-agent market and landed Neil Walker on a one-year deal on Monday pending a physical, The Post’s Joel Sherman confirmed.The arrival of Walker gives the Yankees a quality veteran infielder and at $5 million, allows them to keep to their

How new-look Mets are laying groundwork for better culture

PORT ST. LUCIE — As one contingent of Mets conducted official work Saturday across the state, taking on the Yankees in Tampa, another subset accomplished something else — unofficial, yet not insignificant — at First Data Field.Todd Frazier made like Joe Pesci in “Goodfellas,” setting up a chair alongside Jay

Yankees’ big bats show Matt Harvey there is more work left

TAMPA — Matt Harvey’s resurgent spring took a detour Saturday, with the Yankees’ two marquee players providing much of the angst.Aaron Judge reached base three times against the Mets righthander, and Giancarlo Stanton crushed a 94 mph fastball, planting it behind the right-center fence at Steinbrenner Field, completing Harvey’s third

Mets are banking on their Yankees-like breakthrough

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — When Michael Conforto made the NL All-Star team a year ago, he became the first homegrown Mets position player to do so since Daniel Murphy in 2014. And prior to that, David Wright and Jose Reyes were just about the team’s only representatives.And though the

Breaking down how Mets should deploy rotation to start season

PORT ST. LUCIE — It is the equivalent of theorizing what you’ll do if your patent for an edible steering wheel ever gets approved.You don’t bet on it happening. Yet you want to be prepared just in case.Less than three weeks remain before Opening Day, and the Mets have six

Mets need Noah Syndergaard in a way other teams don’t know

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Would it surprise you if Noah Syndergaard won National League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young honors this year?It wouldn’t have surprised The Post even before watching Thor strike out seven straight Nationals batters Thursday at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches — which challenges

Steven Matz finally shows up in battle for rotation spot

LAKELAND, Fla.— Steven Matz’s outing on Friday got off to a familiar start: a leadoff double by Detroit’s Leonys Martin.But just when it appeared the lefty was headed to a third straight ugly outing after the rocket to the right field corner, Matz recovered to get Jose Iglesias on a

Are Yoenis Cespedes’ camp antics a Mets problem?

PORT ST. LUCIE — Spring training 1992. Back field at Fort Lauderdale Stadium. New Yankees manager Buck Showalter and I are standing side by side staring out at an outfield drill that Mel Hall is purposely tarnishing.Showalter never moves his eyes from the drill, never looks at me, but says:

Jeurys Familia already looks like a whole new pitcher

PORT ST. LUCIE — It didn’t take long for new pitching coach Dave Eiland to notice something was off about Jeurys Familia in 2017.“He wasn’t real balanced over the rubber and his arm wasn’t catching up consistently,’’ Eiland said. “His timing on the rubber wasn’t real good. … He was

David Wright’s body cost him a lot more than games

PORT ST. LUCIE — So here is the game. Identify these three:Player A — .316/.370/.503, 141 OPS-plus, 150 homers/797 RBIs.Player B — .301/.382/.506, 137 OPS-plus, 222 homers/876 RBIs.Player C — .284/.375/.515, 129 OPS-plus, 231 homers/859 RBIs.Your clues? Over the past two days I had learned Scott Rolen is Jay Bruce’s

Why the Mets’ 2nd-string rotation could make or break year

“We are looking for eighth and ninth starters. Most teams are looking for fourth and fifth guys. We are a little ahead of the game.” — Sandy Alderson, March 6, 2017PORT ST. LUCIE — Those words arrived in the heady early days of last year’s spring training, or what Mets

The case for a Matt Harvey renaissance saving Mets season

The bullpen will be a lot better if the Mets get 2015 Jeurys Familia, not 2017. Still – barring the dramatic and traumatic – the Mets will have by far the second-best bullpen in New York and not one of the best in the sport.Of course, the Mets need strong

Momentum builds for a different, but solid, Matt Harvey

PORT ST. LUCIE — This was not the Matt Harvey of years ago, blowing opposing hitters away with fastballs in the high 90s.But it also was a long way from where the right-hander was last spring, when he struggled with velocity and command on his way to the worst season

Steven Matz is frustrated, and red flags have begun popping up

PORT ST. LUCIE — For a second time in as many spring training starts, Steven Matz allowed five runs. And on Sunday, he did it while recording just one out.Afterward, manager Mickey Callaway called Matz’s performance “a bump in the road.”At some point — and soon — that bump will

Adrian Gonzalez has one more shot to avoid becoming extinct

JUPITER, Fla. — Adrian Gonzalez exists in a narrow strip between distinction and extinction these days.A former star who now belongs to a genus disappearing from the landscape: the veteran slugger. Essentially, if you played last year at 35 or older, endured slippage or injury and were a free agent

Syndergaard’s spring encore is different — and more impressive

JUPITER, Fla. — Noah Syndergaard walked the Marlins’ Broxton Lee on four pitches to begin the bottom of the first Saturday and Lee eventually scored on a Justin Bour lined single that Syndergaard fortunately got a glove on to prevent potential bodily damage.Yet from this inaccurate and nearly injurious opening,

Pitcher batting 8th? Mets manager reveals his in-game strategies

PORT ST. LUCIE — Strategically speaking, Mickey Callaway will lean firmly on the side of analytics in managing the Mets, but he also plans to bring a human touch. It’s an approach Callaway developed in five seasons sitting alongside a future Hall of Fame manager, Terry Francona, while serving as pitching