Kodai Senga makes his spring debut, José Quintana dealing with side tightness, out of WBC
The ghost fork makes its long awaited appearance in an up-and-down outing for Senga
What’s Up with the Mets? 🌴
The Mets took down the Cardinals 7-1 in their last game before players head to the World Baseball Classic (Box)
Kodai Senga gave up one run and two walks in two innings of work while striking out two
Senga had to adjust to the pitch clock but overall it was a successful first outing (MLB.com)
Brett Baty went 2-for-2 at the plate as he continues his impressive spring, although he committed his third error at third base
Both Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor went deep in their last game before heading to represent their countries in the World Baseball Classic (NY Post)
Jose Quintana pitched one inning before exiting with side tightness and will not play in the World Baseball Classic for Team Colombia
After taking a comebacker off his foot on Saturday, David Peterson went for X-rays and is considered day-to-day with a foot contusion
Today’s Game 🦩
The Mets will enjoy the day off before returning to action on March 7.
Injury scares put rotation depth into perspective for the Mets… ✍🏻
The last two days for the Mets have been a bit unsettling after what had been a rather uneventful spring so far.
First, David Peterson was hit with a comebacker on Saturday and then José Quintana had to exit his appearance on Sunday after experiencing side tightness. Hopefully these are both minor injuries that won’t keep the pitchers from the mound when the start of the season comes, but it does once again highlight the need for pitching depth (and this injury is keeping Quintana out of the World Baseball Classic).
The Mets’ starting rotation collectively is on the older side with both Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, arguably their two most important pitchers, heading into their age-40 and age-39 seasons respectively. Carlos Carrasco has been injury prone throughout his career, and even Senga is already 30-years-old. If the Mets want to stay competitive in a tight division, they will need their pitchers to stay healthy, or at the very least have pitchers ready to step in should the need arise.
Trevor Williams filled that role admirably last season, and the Mets have a few options to serve either as a long man or a spot starter. Right now, the spot vacated by Williams is up for grabs.
Aside from Peterson, one option is Tylor Megill. Megill had a lost season in 2022 due to injuries. He was dreadful once he returned and finished the year with a 5.13 ERA in 47.1 innings of work with reduced velocity on all of his pitches. The good news is he was still striking out batters at a good clip so hopefully he is fully recovered from his injuries and can return to form.
The Mets also have some southpaws as options in both Peterson and Joey Lucchesi. Lucchesi is coming back from Tommy John surgery and has not pitched in almost two years. He had a successful spring debut in an intrasquad game giving up just one hit and facing seven batters. Luis Rojas mainly used Lucchesi for only five innings in 2021 so he could be suited for the long man role with his unique churve. His start with the Mets got off to a rocky start but he was looking much stronger before his injury. In his last five starts of the season he had a 1.19 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 22.2 innings of work. He came away feeling good from his first appearance this spring and Buck Showalter already mentioned him as being an important piece to the team.
Another option is Elieser Hernández who is still only 27-years-old. He hasn’t enjoyed much success at the big league level with Miami but is capable of getting strikeouts while also being prone to the long ball.
There are others who could help glue this part of their pitching staff together, like Tommy Hunter and perhaps Denyi Reyes and Jimmy Yacabonis, among others.
While the health and stamina of the top starting five is critical to the Mets’ success this season, all of their depth could play just as key of a role in 2023.
Around the League 🚩
Major League Baseball will not discipline Mike Clevinger after allegations of domestic and child abuse were reported by an ex-girlfriend
Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen exited his game against the Twins early after being hit on the hand with a pitch
Bryce Harper will report to Phillies camp this week as he continues to recover from offseason Tommy John surgery
Dave Wills, the longtime radio voice of the Rays, passed away at the age of 58
The Rockies signed Mike Moustakas to a minor league contract