McNeil (illness) will start at third base and bat leadoff in Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Astros, Tim Healey of Newsday reports. McNeil missed the past couple days of action while battling flu-like symptoms, but the Mets were apparently satisfied with his health when he reported to the ballpark Sunday. The 27-year-old saw action at several different spots in 2019, but he's expected to find a permanent home at third base this season for the Mets.
McNeil was sent back to his Port St. Lucie lodgings Friday after reporting flu-like symptoms, per Anthony Rieber of Newsday Sports. McNeil did not play in Friday's game against Houston, and given that he had to be sent home from the team's facility, it seems possible that he could be out of the lineup for a few days. That said, at yet there's no reason to think the illness will put him at risk of missing Opening Day.
McNeil said Saturday that he expects to man third base on a full-time basis in 2020, Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News reports. "I think I'll be playing a lot of third. I've gone through my normal offseason routine," McNeil said, referencing the wrist surgery he required in early October. "It was a good two-month rehab, then back to a normal offseason." The 27-year-old headed into spring training in 2019 as a utility man, but injuries soon opened up an everyday role that McNeil wouldn't relinquish. McNeil put together a .318/.384/.531 slash line across 567 plate appearances and picked up his first All-Star nod along the way, with his poor defense in either corner outfield spot seemingly representing the only blemish on his season. He was far more capable at third base, so he shouldn't lose out on any at-bats for defensive-related reasons while Jed Lowrie fills McNeil's old utility role. In addition to third base, McNeil should have eligibility at second base and in the outfield in the majority of fantasy leagues to begin 2020.
McNeil (wrist) said Saturday that his injury is fully healed, Justin Toscano of The Bergen Record reports. McNeil underwent surgery at the beginning of October, and his rehab went according to plan. The 27-year-old figures to spend a good portion of his time at third base this season, but his defensive versatility props up his fantasy value and should give him more chances to play heading into 2020.
McNeil (wrist) underwent surgery to repair a fractured bone in his right wrist on Wednesday, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports. The surgery was largely expected and usually carries a six-week recovery timeline, meaning McNeil should be ready for spring training. The 27-year-old finished fourth in the National League with a .318 batting average in 2019 and also recorded 23 home runs and 75 RBI over 133 games.