Francisco Lindor hoping newfound Mets comfort helps him build off strong finish

PORT ST. LUCIE — Francisco Lindor completely appreciates the actual fact he’s now not the brand new child.

Some 2 ½ weeks right into a truncated spring coaching — his second camp with the Mets — the star shortstop is aware of many of the nooks and crannies of the staff’s spacious exercise facility and doesn’t need to ask instructions.

He additionally is aware of, past names and faces, many of the personnel that go by way of the clubhouse.

“I know everybody except the coaching staff, but I am familiar with everything around here,” Lindor mentioned. “It’s hard to get to know everybody. You know [the coaches], but you don’t know them. You know what I am saying? I’m still trying to get used to them.”

There has been loads for the Mets to love about Lindor’s spring. On Tuesday night time, he blasted his fourth homer in six video games within the exhibition season, main a 10-0 victory over the Marlins in Jupiter. But aside from the small pattern measurement, there’s the actual fact it’s solely spring coaching.

Mets
Francisco Lindor
Corey Sipkin

Lindor understands this higher than most. Last 12 months he loved a strong Grapefruit League season, solely to begin horrifically in a daily season that didn’t get on observe for him till it was too late.

“I am trying to build from what I did last year, late in the year,” mentioned Lindor, who smashed 9 homers in September. “The last however many games I played after I came back from the injured list.”

Returning Mets gamers have spoken concerning the “chip” on their shoulders after final season’s 77-85 disappointment that led to an overhaul. Lindor, who signed a 10-year extension price $341 million that begins on Opening Day, is perhaps hauling the biggest chip.

Lindor’s remaining numbers included a .230/.322/.412 slash line with 20 homers and 63 RBIs. Defensively, he remained an elite shortstop.

“We have a love and respect for him because we know what type of player he is and what he can do for this organization,” Dominic Smith mentioned. “He didn’t hit what everybody would like him to, but he still improved this organization in so many different areas, even offensively, but especially defensively. But he was definitely a very impactful player and a real good player for us.”

Lindor mentioned he’s taken a quick liking to hitting coach Eric Chavez, who changed Hugh Quattlebaum after final season. The Mets started final season with Chili Davis within the place, however with the offense struggling fired him in May.

“[Chavez] is very laid back and he has a plan and an approach and being a former player that has been very successful,” Lindor mentioned. “Like the other day I was practicing approach with people on base. It’s good to have some input from people I grew up watching. In Oakland he was a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger. I remember he was in video games.”

Ask Lindor which prospects — a lot of whom have since been reassigned to minor league camp — impress him, and names reminiscent of Francisco Alvarez, Mark Vientos, Brett Baty and Jake Mangum are talked about.

“Baty’s professionalism has been outstanding,” Lindor mentioned. “Jake Mangum has been very spot on, detail-oriented guy. Very professional.”

Lindor mentioned he retains in common contact with Steve Cohen and speaks with the Mets proprietor no less than as soon as every week.

“Good guy,” Lindor mentioned. “I am glad I am working for him.”

A number of lockers to Lindor’s left sits Robinson Cano, with whom the shortstop grew to become acquainted final season throughout cellphone conversations. Cano, who was suspended for the season following a second PED infraction, mentioned his relationship with Lindor has blossomed in spring coaching. He additionally expects Lindor to assist carry the Mets lineup this season.

“Last year is just one year,” Cano mentioned. “It doesn’t mean [Lindor] forgot how to play baseball. The guy is going to be here for the next 10 years. You just have to give him a chance and give him time to really show the player that he is.”

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