Steve Cohen speaks, Mets moving fences and when will Álvarez factor in?
The Mets owner speaks on Howie Rose's podcast. Plus, trying to figure out when (and how) Francisco Álvarez will fit into the team's plans.
What’s Up with the Mets? 🍎
Owner Steve Cohen joined Howie Rose’s podcast and said that the club is moving the right field wall in by eight feet this season (Mets’d Up Podcast)
LHP David Peterson has confidence in himself to be in the team’s rotation this season (Sports Illustrated)
The Marlins have spoken to former Mets manager Terry Collins about a potential consultant role within the organization (NY Post)
4 days until Mets pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie! ⚾️🌴
When (and how) will Francisco Álvarez be a factor? ✍🏻
It’s not a question of if Francisco Álvarez will be a factor for the Mets in 2023, it’s more of a question of when.
The young man who ranks as the club’s top prospect and the third-ranked prospect in all of baseball (per MLB.com) comes into this season with a lot of hope and a lot of hype attached to him. What is less clear, however, is how soon he’ll actually be an impact for this team and what his exact role will be in his rookie year.
Álvarez’s potential is incredibly tantalizing – his strong throwing arm and light-tower power at the catching position is enough to make even the most skeptical fan drool – but he is a player that comes into 2023 with not a lot of professional experience under his belt. The 21-year-old rose through the ranks at incredible speeds over the last few seasons, spending just 112 combined games in Double- and Triple-A in his entire career.
And while he did get a cup of coffee with the club at the end of September, a late-season Hail Mary that ultimately proved to be too much pressure on a young kid at far too late a time, he only has 12 major league at-bats under his belt.
There are believed to be some concerns with Álvarez’s defense, though recent rumblings have suggested that this is an area of his game that is improving, but the bigger thing in his way is the fact that the team already has two catchers ahead of him that will definitely be making the roster this season in Omar Narváez and Tomás Nido.
One would think that Álvarez could spend a decent amount of time as the right-handed DH for this team, which is certainly a glaring area of need on the team who will have to turn to Eduardo Escobar or Darin Ruf to do so at the moment. But earlier this winter, SNY’s Andy Martino reported that the club does not want Álvarez to spend so much time at DH that he loses too many reps at the catcher’s position this season.
This could very well mean that Álvarez starts the year in Triple-A for a little extra seasoning, and it would allow the team to kick-off the season and figure out what area he may fit in the best not long after.
While the catching position does have multiple bodies there, none of them have the potential or ceiling of Álvarez. As far as the lineup is concerned, the only man on this roster with more raw power than this kid is the multiple-time Home Run Derby champ Pete Alonso.
At some point this year, Francisco Álvarez is going to be a big factor for this team. His big-time pop and alluring abilities will provide a spark that this lineup is still in need of after the Carlos Correa saga ultimately didn’t pan out. It’s just a matter of when.
Hot Stove 🔥
Angels owner Arte Moreno reiterated the team’s desire to retain DH/RHP Shohei Ohtani when he becomes a free agent after the 2023 season (Heyman)
LHP Mike Minor will likely host a throwing session for interested teams later this month (MLB Trade Rumors)