Intrasquad notes, a roster cut, Dom Smith's reveals an injury from 2021, and a rocky path in the NL East
Dom Smith revealed he played with a torn labrum in his shoulder last year
What’s Up with the Mets? 🌴
The Mets played an intrasquad game at Clover Park on Friday afternoon - Francisco Lindor, Brett Baty, JD Davis and Khalil Lee all homered and Robinson Canó recorded two hits.
Jordan Yamamoto was optioned to minor league camp, serving as the first cut from major league camp this spring. There are now 59 players in big league camp. Buck Showalter explained to reporters this was in an effort to get him stretched out ahead of opening day.
Dominic Smith played through a variety of injuries last year between his wrist and groin, leading to a torn labrum, and says the shoulder injury is now, “good enough” (SI)
Starling Marte (oblique) will begin swinging a bat in a few days (New York Post)
Carlos Carrasco threw two simulated innings and about 30 pitches on Friday as he ramps up ahead of Opening Day.
Buck Showalter wants the bullpen mounds moved to a new location and off the field at Clover Park.
Next Game 🗓
The Mets open their 15-game Grapefruit League schedule tonight at 6:05 PM against the Nationals in West Palm Beach. LHP Josh Walker will get the start for the Mets against RHP Josiah Gray for the Nationals.
The path to win the National League East just got rockier📝
In the last week or so, the landscape in the National League East has changed and suddenly become much more challenging.
It began with the Braves who shocked pretty much everyone in the industry - including the player himself - when they acquired Matt Olson for a large haul of prospects from the A’s and quickly signed him to a long-term contract, thereby replacing homegrown superstar Freddie Freeman in the process as he then pivoted and signed a long-term deal with the Dodgers.
Then the Braves struck again, reportedly signing former Dodger RHP Kenley Jansen to a one-year contract.
Then the Phillies reportedly inked OF Nick Castellanos to a five-year contract, bolstering their lineup and creating a lot of length in the middle specifically between himself, Bryce Harper, Jean Segura, and Rhys Hoskins.
Of course, there are the Mets who made an impressive move of their own this week in procuring Chris Bassitt for their fifth-ranked prospect JT Ginn, making their already-elite top of the rotation more formidable while taking the pressure off of Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker who each have their own upside potential. They’ve also brought in left-handers Chasen Shreve and Mike Montgomery on minor league deals and RHP Tim Adleman for depth.
The division looks a lot different today than it did even 24 hours ago, let alone a week ago. And don’t forget the Marlins who have quietly had a nice off-season and have fortified their roster as well. They may not be a playoff team on paper, but they’re an up-and-comer and they might play a huge role in who ultimately prevails in the division.
My immediate reaction to the flurry of moves by the Braves and Phillies this week isn’t that the Mets need to counter. Reactionary moves are never good for a roster. “Countering” is the wrong strategy. Besides, the Mets had needs in their lineup and bullpen before the lockout ended anyway - what the Braves and Phillies have done to better themselves run parallel to what the Mets need, and anyone who thought they would sit idle post-lockout was kidding themselves.
Rather, I choose to maintain my holistic view of the Mets roster. Three weeks ahead of opening day, the Mets have not a single left-handed reliever on the 40-man roster, and have passed on most of the opportunities in free agency to address that need (yes, the prices have been high in that market). Regardless of what other teams do in the division, that’s a problem and while the moves for Shreve and Montgomery are nice and can unquestionably provide value, another established tool in the shed would advance the Mets bullpen forward, better preparing them against the Bryce Harper’s, Matt Olson’s, and Juan Soto’s in the division.
That kind of move alone would make their path to the top of the National League East much smoother.
Hot Stove 🔥
The Twins and SS Carlos Correa agreed to a three-year, $105 million contract with opt outs after each year (ESPN)
The Braves announced they signed RHP Kenley Janssen to a one-year, $16 million contract.
The Phillies procured OF Nick Castellanos on a five-year, $100 million contract (ESPN)
Free agent SS Trevor Story is currently deciding between four bidding clubs (Heyman)