Mets’ Cecchini tries out second base


Gavin Cecchini hasn’t seen much time at his natural position this spring.

But he’s making his new position look even more natural.

Cecchini, who played shortstop for the 51s last season, has been primarily at second base in Grapefruit League action, where Mets manager Terry Collins has told reporters in Florida he has liked what he’s seen.

Cecchini has been a shortstop for his whole professional career, last playing second for just half a season in high school.

But last year he had some problems defensively, committing a team-high 33 errors for the 51s. The year before that, he made 28 errors at Double-A Binghamton. Many of those errors were throwing and perhaps a shorter throw could cut down on errors.

Last season, the Mets traded their presumptive second baseman of the future, Dilson Herrera, to the Reds as part of the deal for Jay Bruce.

And with consensus top-10 prospect Amed Rosario, a shortstop, making his way up the ranks with a good chance to start at Triple-A, Cecchini might find himself at second base more and more.

He said he feels comfortable at the position, and he thinks it could help increase his value.

“You don’t want to wish injuries upon anyone, but if someone goes down, instead of just the only position I can play is shortstop, I’m more versatile,” Cecchini said. “It gives me a better chance to get up there and help the team win.”

Cecchini recently returned to the Mets from the World Baseball Classic, where he played shortstop for Italy.

“It was unbelievable to be out there and to have 30,000 people just screaming every single pitch and drums play,” Cecchini said. “It was awesome. Definitely, it was a great experience. It was something that I’ll remember forever, and hopefully with the next WBC in four years, I’ll be out there playing again.”

NIMMO HAS SETBACK

Outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who pulled a hamstring playing for Italy in the World Baseball Classic, suffered a small setback, tweaking his hamstring during drills on Friday, Collins told reporters in Florida.

Nimmo’s injury was not as bad as originally thought; he said before the setback that he thought it would be very feasible that he’d be ready by opening day.

If Nimmo does recover and is able to return Grapefruit League games, he has a good chance at nabbing the Mets’ fifth outfielder spot.

WBC UPDATE

The World Baseball Classic wraps up this week at Dodger Stadium, with the first semifinal game on Monday.

Puerto Rico will take on the Netherlands on Monday while the United States will face Japan on Tuesday.

Three players who appeared for the 51s last season — T.J. Rivera, Seth Lugo and Rene Rivera — play for Puerto Rico.

Contact Betsy Helfand at bhelfand@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BetsyHelfand on Twitter.