March 14, 2016

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) New York Mets captain David Wright went 1 for 5 with a single during a simulated minor-league game Monday afternoon.

It was the first game action of the spring for Wright, who says he was itching to get on the field, but also was nervous.

''You don't want to go through the motions,'' he said. ''Sometimes it's easy to kind of go through spring, it's so monotonous, to kind of go through it and instead of try to get something out of it. That's one thing I've really tried to work on this spring.''

Wright faced a trio of Mets farmhands - Tyler Pill, Andrew Barbosa and Chase Huchingson. Wright singled to right field off Pill in his third at-bat. He ran bases, but did not play in the field.

''You don't know what to expect your first time taking at-bats as far as timing and stuff, and that was really secondary to going out there, simulating some at-bats in a game-like situation,'' Wright said. ''Taking some swings, trying to run to first base, run the bases a little bit - I thought it went great.

''Obviously the biggest thing now is try to get some timing, but I feel mechanically, health-wise, I thought it worked out great. Now it's just a matter of doing it over and over again.''

The Mets third baseman was limited to 38 regular-season games last season because of a hamstring injury and spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal. After hurting his right leg April 14, he returned Aug. 24, and he was able to play in all 14 of the Mets postseason games as they reached the World Series for the first time since 2000.

Wright batted .289 with five home runs, seven doubles and 17 RBIs in 2015; in the postseason, he went .185 with a home run, two doubles and seven RBIs.

Wright took a month off after the World Series to rest his back, which set the third baseman back in his offseason routine.

On Monday, Wright said he's on schedule to be ready for the season, which starts April 3 in Kansas City.

The Mets could use Wright as a designated hitter against the Royals, but he's set on playing third base.

''I don't think there's any doubt in my mind what I'd like to do, but I don't write the lineup,'' Wright said. ''I'm preparing to play the field unless (manager) Terry (Collins) says otherwise.''

Wright said he will take live batting practice Tuesday. The Mets are off Wednesday, but he could play in a Grapefruit League game Thursday or Friday.

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