David Wright's quest to return from an injury in time to play Opening Day took him to the minor leagues Tuesday.
In two games at Port St. Lucie, Fla., the New York Mets third baseman competed against Triple-A and Double-A farmhands from the St. Louis Cardinals, going 1-for-5 as a designated hitter.
Wright left Team USA in the World Baseball Classic earlier this month due to a left side muscle strain, and Tuesday marked his return to game action.
"I've been optimistic about Opening Day since I came back to St. Lucie and talked to the doctors and the trainers about the diagnosis," Wright told reporters. "As I said yesterday, it's kind of the same thing today, just another step closer. I'm still very optimistic."
Mets manager Terry Collins added, "I would not be surprised if David Wright is there on Opening Day."
The Mets begin play Monday against the San Diego Padres. If Wright isn't ready to play then, the Mets could put him on the disabled list retroactively, meaning he'd be eligible to return as soon as April 6.