Mets’ star slugger makes a miraculous return from a wrist injury

pete alonso, mets
May 27, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Colorado Rockies in the fourth inning at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Before Sunday’s 8-7 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals dropped the Mets to 33-38, the blue and orange got an unexpected return to their lineup.

Pete Alonso returns ahead of schedule for the Mets

After spending a minimum of 10 days on the injured list, Pete Alonso returned on Sunday, batting fourth and going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Alonso’s return so soon is something that nobody reasonably expected. On June 7th, Alonso got hit by an up-and-in 96 mph fastball from Charlie Morton in the wrist.

Alonso left the game, and after initial negative x-rays had the Mets believing it to be just a bone contusion, the 28-year-old returned to New York for an MRI revealing the true nature of the injury.

The Mets then announced that following some additional imaging, the Polar Bear would be heading to the 10-day injured list with a bone bruise and left wrist sprain. According to the team, the typical recovery time is three to four weeks.

However, Alonso healed quickly and returned way before his initial date. Before Sunday’s game, Alonso talked to reporters about his treatment and recovery.

“Happy that it responded well to treatment,” Alonso said. “I feel excellent, and I’m at 100% everything. If I’m at 100%, why wait?”

Alonso also told reporters that dealing with the bone bruise came down to pain management and that he could swing without extreme discomfort for a few days.

With Alonso returning, the Mets optioned Mark Vientos back to Triple-A. Appearing in 16 games, Vientos hit just .178 with one home run and five RBIs while slugging a measly .244

What Alonso’s return means for the Mets

Getting Alonso back is enormous for the blue and orange. Before his injury, Alonso batted .231 with an MLB-leading 22 home runs and National League-leading 49 RBI. 

Getting the two-time all-star back will immediately lengthen the Mets’ lineup and should provide the power that the blue and orange desperately need.

The more interesting consequence of Alonso returning early is the demotion of Vientos. Many expected the 23-year-old to take over as the everyday first baseman with Alonso injured, but that never quite happened. 

Vientos has struggled to get consistent playing time, so sending him down to Triple-A might be the best move for his development. Still, the Mets’ choice to keep up veterans Luis Guillorme and Daniel Vogelbach over him may reveal how the organization views him internally.