With the Yankees and Rays having their upcoming series moved to Citi Field, Terry Collins looked back on 1998 when he was managing the Angels and they and the Yankees had an April 15 relocated to Shea Stadium, the result of a beam fall at Yankee Stadium causing the Bronx ballpark to be temporarily shut down. Interleague play was only in its second season and the Angels had never played the Mets.
“We were very uncomfortable,” Collins said of his ’98 Angels club. “The only thing that made it easier for me was I had been to Shea Stadium, but guys in the American League in Anaheim, the other guys in the club had never been here before. And it plays different.”
The circumstances now are slightly different. Back in 1998 the Yankees lost a home game and were only a couple of weeks into the season. Beginning Monday, they will play a very important series against the Rays as the road team like they were supposed to be in St. Petersburg, though Collins certainly doesn’t expect it to feel like a road series for the Bombers throughout their three-game stay in Flushing.
“I’m still gonna give the edge to the Yankees,” Collins said. “The subways go in a lot of directions around here, so they’re gonna be able to put some people in the seats here.”
Noah Syndergaard (lat) is schedule to throw a simulated game on Sunday and throw approximately 50 pitches. The right-hander tossed 36 pitches in a rehab start on Thursday for the Brooklyn Cyclones. If all goes well on Sunday, Collins said he can see Syndergaard returning to big-league action soon after. Syndergaard hasn’t pitched in the majors since April 30.
“We’ve certainly just got to build up his stamina a little bit,” Collins said. “He talked about that he was surprised how hard it was to warmup and go out there after not pitching for so long. He’s obviously in the beginning of spring training for him.”
Amed Rosario (right index finger) was out of the lineup for Saturday’s contest against the Reds, missing his sixth straight game. However, the rookie shortstop took batting practice on Saturday and could return to the lineup on Sunday if all’s well.
Asdrubal Cabrera (glute) returned to the lineup Saturday after leaving Thursday’s game, starting at third base and hitting third. Collins has liked what he’s seen from Cabrera, who began the season as the team’s shortstop, at third base after he was previously reluctant to change positions when the Mets originally wanted him to play second.
“I think sometimes when you watch players who are playing a position for the first time, you’ll notice that they’re uncomfortable position-wise or they’re uncomfortable with certain plays they have to make, even though they’ve seen other third basemen make them,” Collins said. “Since that’s not their spot, they don’t pay attention. He’s paid attention. He’s got a good feel for what he’s got to do, where he’s got to play, what the situations are.”
The Mets wore NYPD and FDNY hats during batting practice before Saturday’s game and will do so again on Sunday in honor of the first responders from the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. The Mets do not play on Monday, Sept. 11.