Quintana's tough debut, and an anti-climactic spring competition?
José Quintana's spring debut with the club doesn't go as planned. Plus, how many spots on the Mets roster are up for grabs?
What’s Up with the Mets? 🌴
The Mets lost to the Astros by a score of 8-4 in Port St. Lucie on Tuesday (box)
LHP José Quintana had a rough spring debut, allowing five earned runs in just 0.2 innings pitched
SS Francisco Lindor went 2-for-2 with a walk, stolen base and his first RBI of Spring Training
3B Brett Baty went 1-for-1 with his 3rd RBI of the spring off the bench
RHPs Justin Verlander and Kodai Senga are set to make their Grapefruit League debuts with the club over the weekend
Today’s Game 🦩
Game 6️⃣ of 3️⃣0️⃣
Match-up: Mets vs. Marlins
Where: Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium — Jupiter, FL
Starters: RHP Tylor Megill vs. RHP Sandy Alcantara
When: 1:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: (not televised)
How many spots on the Mets roster are actually up for grabs? ✍🏻
Most springs, there are a bevy of roster spots up for debate and at the very least a few competitions to dissect and analyze. Every team usually has a veteran or two vying for one last ride in the big leagues or a major prospect giving it their all to crack the Opening Day roster for the very first time. For the Mets, though, the more you look at their situation, the less available those roster spots seem to be.
While a lot of our focus in the first week or so of Spring Training has been on the young guns – Francisco Álvarez, Brett Baty, Ronny Mauricio and Mark Vientos — they all appear to be on the outside looking in when it comes to making the team to start the season.
At the catching position, the Mets already appear to be set with Tomás Nido and Omar Narváez making the team, which already makes it very unlikely for Álvarez to make the team. And while some hoped that he may be able to provide some thump at the DH position, all reports have indicated that the club is not particularly keen on Álvarez acting as the exclusive designated hitter to start the year as they want him to work on his defense in the minor leagues.
Baty, Vientos and Mauricio all appear to be unlikely to make the roster, as well, as the team seems to be willing to give the Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf experience one last shot starting the year. Vogelbach seems likelier to stick throughout the season, and unless Ruf has one of the worst springs you can ever remember or suffers any type of injury, it appears safe to say that he’ll at the very least make the Opening Day roster and they’ll see if he can bounce back before looking to call up any of the young guys. The club also isn’t going to cut bait with Eduardo Escobar, who had a monstrous month of September after an overall down year last season, so he is expected to be the team’s primary third baseman – which effectively eliminates Vientos’ chances.
If you were hoping Baty could still have a shot playing the outfield, I’d have to imagine that the team signed Tommy Pham to act as their fourth outfielder so that appears unlikely, as well. That also leaves Ronny Mauricio out as the only other position he could play is shortstop, which is already manned by Francisco Lindor and, very occasionally, Luis Guillorme.
Effectively, health pending, the position players are already pretty much locked in: Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Francisco Lindor, Eduardo Escobar, Tomás Nido, Mark Canha, Brandon Nimmo, Starling Marte, Daniel Vogelbach, Darin Ruf, Omar Narváez, Tommy Pham and Luis Guillorme.
As things currently stand, there’s no competition happening in the rotation, either, as Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, José Quintana and Carlos Carrasco are expected to be this team’s starting five. So, all that really leaves is the bullpen.
Edwin Díaz, David Robertson, Adam Ottavino, Brooks Raley and Drew Smiths are all locks to make it. Stephen Nogosek is also likely to make the team solely because he is out of minor league options and the club probably wants to give him one last shot before having to place him on waivers. So, after all that, in theory that only leaves us with two out of 26 roster spots that are actually somewhat in flux.
Tommy Hunter is a Buck Showalter favorite, which could potentially give him the edge in one of these spots, and the club selected Zach Greene in this winter’s Rule 5 draft which would mean they could lose him if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster. Those factors alone could potentially take away any realm of competition for a single spot on the Mets 26-man roster. But, in the event that Hunter and Greene are not locks, you will have arms like John Curtiss (who impressed in his spring debut), Jeff Brigham (who the team acquired from the Marlins this winter) and veteran Sam Coonrood who are outside shots to make this team.
Pitchers like David Peterson, Tylor Megill, Elieser Hernandez, Joey Lucchesi, Stephen Ridings and Bryce Montas de Oca will all likely have a role to play at one point or another this season, but all seem destined to start the season in Triple-A to stay fresh and wait for their time to shine.
It’s strange to go into a season essentially knowing every single player that is going to make the roster. It may take a lot of the intrigue and analysis away, but it also means you’ve got a pretty damn good roster in the first place.
Around the League 🚩
Phillies 1B Rhys Hopkins’ future in Philadelphia is uncertain, as the two sides have not begun extension talks (The Athletic)
Dodgers INF Gavin Lux will miss the entire 2023 season due to a torn ACL he suffered in a game earlier this week, manager Dave Roberts announced
Padres RHP Joe Musgrove won’t be cleared to throw for at least two weeks after fracturing his toe during a weight room accident, per manager Bob Melvin
Cubs OF Seiya Suzuki suffered a moderate left oblique strain, the club announced
Rays RHP Tyler Glasnow is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks with a Grade 2 left oblique strain, manager Kevin Cash announced
The Marlins have signed RHP Richard Rodríguez to a minor league contract (El Extrabase)
Effectively eliminating Baty, Mauricio, Alvarez, and even Vientos in favor of Ruf and Vogelbach is nuts, imo.
It's one thing if any of the rooks really need more seasoning in AAA, but they're all better in every dimension than either Ruf or Voggie.