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Justin Verlander dazzles, Elieser Hernandez struggles on Friday while Kodai Senga takes his next step on Saturday
Kodai Senga will make his second start of the spring tonight against the Nationals
What’s Up with the Mets? 🌴
Justin Verlander started the day game at Clover Park and allowed only a run over three innings with five strikeouts
Starling Marte made his spring debut - he doubled, homered and drove in two runs
In the night game, Elieser Hernandez started for the Mets allowed four runs over 2.2 IP
Tim Locastro slugged his fifth double of the spring as part of a two-hit night, and Jaylin Davis continued his strong spring with a single and a double
LHP Brooks Raley has dropped out of the World Baseball Classic with an undisclosed injury
Mets in the World Baseball Classic 🌎
Pool play for pools C and D begin today in Phoenix and Miami:
Pool D (loanDepot Park, Miami, FL)
Nicaragua 🇳🇮 vs. Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 - 12 PM ET (FS2)
Colombia 🇨🇴 vs. Mexico 🇲🇽 - 2:30 PM ET (FOX)
Dominican Republic 🇩🇴 vs. Venezuela 🇻🇪 - 7:00 PM ET (FS1)
Pool C (Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ)
Great Britain 🇬🇧 vs. United States 🇺🇸 - 9 PM ET (FOX)
Mets participating in the WBC:
Pete Alonso - Team USA 🇺🇸
Jonathan Arauz - Team Venezuela 🇻🇪
Edwin Díaz - Team Puerto Rico 🇵🇷
Eduardo Escobar - Team Venezuela 🇻🇪
Dominic Hamel - Team Puerto Rico 🇵🇷
Francisco Lindor - Team Puerto Rico 🇵🇷
Jeff McNeil - Team USA 🇺🇸
Humberto Mejia - Team Panama 🇵🇦
Omar Narváez - Team Venezuela 🇻🇪
Camrin Opp - Team Great Britain 🇬🇧
Adam Ottavino - Team USA 🇺🇸
Claudio Scotti - Team Italy 🇮🇹
Today’s Game 🦩
Game 1️⃣3️⃣ of 3️⃣0️⃣
Match-up: Mets vs. Nationals
Where: Ballpark at the Palm Beaches - West Palm Beach, FL
Starters: RHP Kodai Senga vs. RHP Josiah Gray
When: 7:05 PM EDT
Where to Watch: MASN/MLB.tv
Kodai Senga’s next steps in his adjustment process… ✍🏻
Last Sunday, Kodai Senga made his spring debut for the Mets, and it’s fair to say that it was a so-so outing for the new Mets right-hander against the Cardinals in Jupiter.
He began by walking the first two batters but settled down to avoid damage in the first inning. He then allowed a solo home run to Tres Barrera in the second inning before being removed from the game after reaching his pitch limit.
All-told, it was a good first step for Senga as he dipped his feet into the waters of Major League Baseball.
In that first outing, Senga relied heavily on his fastball which was routinely in the upper 90s with good movement. Seven of the ten swings he got on his fastball were missed which was a very encouraging sign for the competitiveness of that pitch. He only threw his signature “ghost fork” three times, one of which was nasty while inducing a non-competitive swing. He did have a tell while throwing his other pitches which gave them away at times. But all signs are pointing up for Senga who was clearly dealing with nerves and butterflies when he initially took the mound last Sunday.
He takes his next step in the adjustment process tonight against the Nationals in West Palm Beach.
It will be interesting to see if Senga incorporates his breaking pitches more and specifically, the ghost fork in what should be a 50-pitch outing for him tonight in West Palm Beach. In addition, delivery repetition will be integral for him to improve upon so to not give away his pitches during his sequences.
I also wonder if the Mets will make an adjustment to have Senga throw on regular rest in his next turn or two. The Mets don’t necessarily need him to do that in the regular season until their west coast trip beginning on April 14, but at some point the Mets will have to test him and his process under what is really going to become a normal condition for Senga as the season - and his big league career - rolls on.
With José Quintana now out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his rib, Senga’s adjustment and development become a little more significant, and while it’s difficult to speed up his adjustment to the big leagues and it’s processes, he may be forced to grow a little bit quicker than originally anticipated.
Around the League 🚩
The Nationals and C Keibert Ruiz agreed to an eight-year, $50 million contract extension on Friday (Wow Deportes)
The Rockies are showing interest in Jurickson Profar (Denver Post)
Injuries keep piling up for the Yankees - Harrison Bader strained his oblique and his status is unclear for opening day. Carlos Rodón, Lou Trevino and Tommy Kahnle are expected to start the season on the injured list and Frankie Montas recently had shoulder surgery, which will keep him out most if not the entire season
Top Phillies pitching prospect Andrew Painter will try to pitch through a UCL injury in his elbow, while Ranger Suárez is experiencing forearm tightness
Former OF Jesus Alou passed away at the age of 80