PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- T.J. Rivera will start at third base Wednesday, when the Mets travel to Jupiter, Fla., for the second day in a row to face the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Mets continue to try out third basemen to back up Jose Reyes in David Wright's absence, and Rivera bolstered his case for that role with a home run in Tuesday's game against the Marlins. Reyes will get Wednesday off then start at third on Thursday and Friday.
Wright has not rejoined the team yet, as he was expected to. Although his car was at the First Data Field facility Wednesday, the Mets had no update on Wright's status or a date when he will return to Port St. Lucie.
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Lucas Duda is getting closer to returning to game action. He's been cleared to start swinging a bat and took ground balls at first base Tuesday. There's still no timetable for his return, but he's confident he'll be back within the week.
"I'll get back out today and see how it goes," Duda said Wednesday morning. "I'll take it day-by-day and see what happens. It's nice to come to the field and be able to play baseball."
Despite going hitless Tuesday, Michael Conforto still had a good day with a great catch and play at the plate. Conforto 5-for-10 with three runs, three RBIs and two homers this spring.
Right-hander Marcos Molina will make his second Grapefruit League appearance and his first start. He'll oppose St. Louis right-hander Carlos Martinez, who recently signed a massive five-year contract with $51 million, the largest deal ever for a first-time arbitration-eligible pitcher.
Here is the lineup for Wednesday against the Cardinals:
Curtis Granderson, DH
Juan Lagares, CF
Michael Conforto, RF
Wilmer Flores, 1B
Brandon Nimmo, LF
Gavin Cecchini, 2B
Amed Rosario, SS
T.J. Rivera, 3B
Rene Rivera, C
Abbey Mastracco may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @abbeymastracco. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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