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Spring debuts abound, new pitches, and New York searches for a hero
It was another busy day in camp as games get underway. Plus, the Mets bullpen needs a hero.
What’s Up with the Mets? 🌴
Starling Marte hasn’t taken any swings yet due to his sore oblique but he is hopeful that will change soon (Daily News)
Tylor Megill made his spring debut on Sunday, took the opportunity to work on his new cutter, and turned in three scoreless innings (NY Post)
Trevor May is also working on a new pitch this spring but it will be tough to perfect it with the abbreviated camp (NY Post)
Manager Buck Showalter has high praise for Francisco Lindor’s defense as he has dazzled in the field with his glove (NY Post)
Robinson Canó is looking forward to getting back on the field and contributing to the team (NY Post)
Dominic Smith’s strong start in camp could warrant an everyday role (Daily News)
Pete Alonso thinks the team has undergone a culture change (Newsday)
Keith Hernandez isn’t the only Met who has been on ‘Seinfeld’ (MLB.com)
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets vs. Marlins
Starters: Max Scherzer vs. Elieser Hernandez
When: 1:05 PM ET
Holding out for a Hero 📝
Last season, the Mets’ bullpen overall did a perfectly adequate job late in games. Unfortunately, a big piece of that success was southpaw Aaron Loup who is now in Anaheim along with his Busch Lites. That leaves the team without a lefty in the pen in a division now stocked with left-handed sluggers.
The Mets did sign old friend Chasen Shreve to a minor league deal, so he seems to be a likely addition to the roster ahead of Opening Day. They also have LHP Alex Claudio in camp as a non-roster invitee, so he should factor into the decision as well. Perhaps David Peterson becomes the long man out of the bullpen too.
But the Mets simply don’t have that one reliable lefty that can take the place of Loup. With the three-batter rule, the LOOGY is a thing of the past but having a dependable lefty is still a good weapon to have.
Right now, the Mets’ options in high leverage situations late in games are Trevor May, Seth Lugo, and Miguel Castro. Left-handed batters hit .240/.319/.462 against May, .237/.359/.408 against Lugo, and .198/.313/.270 against Castro last season. All perfectly solid numbers with Castro perhaps a bit surprisingly leading the pack. Castro was also better than the other two at keeping the ball in the yard with a lower HR/9 rate. However, he can be erratic and tends to walk a ton of batters, and none of these relievers should be overexposed to strong left-handed hitting, either no matter how much manager Buck Showalter believes they can do the job (what is he supposed to say, anyway?).
So unless they make another move, it will take a lot of creativity and collective breath holding as the Mets piece together their pitching matchups when Juan Soto or Kyle Schwarber strolls to the plate late in the game.
Hot Stove 🔥
Trevor Story is reportedly headed to Boston after signing a six-year, $140 million deal with the Red Sox (ESPN)
The Rangers signed reliever Garrett Richards to a one-year deal worth $4.5 million (MLB.com)
Matt Carpenter is also heading to Texas but on a minor league deal after spending his entire career in St. Louis (MLB.com)
Old friend Joe Smith signed a one-year deal with the Twins (ESPN)
The Marlins signed outfielder Jorge Soler to a three-year deal (ESPN)