New York Mets Player Evaluations: Infielder Eduardo Nunez

The New York Mets brought Eduardo Nunez back to the state where his career started, but it was not a successful return. Nunez only played in four innings over two games and lost his season to a knee injury.

Nunez looked like a promising addition to the Mets infield depth. Though he has not been a stellar defender in his career, he can play multiple infield and outfield positions. Nunez was also coming off two solid seasons before struggling during the 2019 season with the Boston Red Sox.

Gone Too Soon

Nunez made his Mets debut in the second game of the season as a pinch-runner. He successfully stole a base then remained in the game as a designated hitter. Nunez recorded his first hit with the Mets the following night in their 14-1 loss. Unfortunately, it came with pain as he stumbled after legging out the infield single and fell to the grass. Nunez ended up spraining his left knee, and the pain lingered long enough to land him on the 45-day injured list, ending his season.

As Nunez heads into free agency again, he will likely serve the same role again. As he heads into his age-34, his best years are behind him but still serves his worth as a utility infielder. With Luis Guillorme and Andres Gimenez stepping up in his absence, two games are all Nunez will play with the Mets.

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Hitting: 50 (45)

Power: 30 (25)

Run: 55 (50)

Arm: 45 (40)

Fielding: 45 (45)

Overall: 45 (40)

New York Mets Injury Report (8/6/20)

New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

The New York Mets injuries piled up over the second week of the season and it decimated three-quarters of their infield. Here is a look at all of the injuries the Mets are dealing with.

Amed Rosario has left quad tightness that he suffered during Monday’s game against the Atlanta Braves. The injury kept him out of both games against the Washington Nationals but it was not serious enough to put him on the Injured List. He should return to the lineup during the weekend.

Robinson Cano landed on the 10-day IL after a Grade 2 left adductor strain. He suffered the injury attempting to score from second on an infield single and sliding into home plate. It was clear Cano would suffer some type of injury when he had to run at 100%. Cano is confident he will be ready to play once his stint on the IL finishes.

Jeff McNeil has an intercostal strain that kept him out for the last three games. He also sees the injury as minor and should expect to find time in the lineup over the weekend. J.D. Davis solid defense at third base gives real question to McNeil possibly playing left field when he is healthy.

Depth Injuries

Rene Rivera hyperextended his elbow after only two games in 2020. His timetable for a return is unclear but the Mets likely will not carry a third catcher when the roster shrinks on Thursday.

Jake Marisnick has a left hamstring strain which has plagued him since summer camp began. He is scheduled to come off the IL over the weekend but the Mets trading for Billy Hamilton shows the injury is severe. Hamilton was brought in to replace the defense of Marisnick on the roster.

Eduardo Nunez has a left knee contusion he suffered attempting to beat out a ground ball. There is no timetable for his return and upon it he will be unlikely to make the 28-man roster with the play of Andres Gimenez and Luis Guillorme.

Marcus Stroman threw a four-inning simulated game last Friday and is scheduled to throw another on Thursday in Brooklyn. HIs left calf tear has kept him out through the first two weeks of the season but the Mets rotation needs him back. The biggest challenge for Stroman is to field his position. It clear he can pitch but he cannot move off the mound at 100%.

Robert Gsellman should return within the next few days from right triceps tightness. He still has to throw live batting practice but will join the Mets as soon as healthy. Gsellman will be a good addition to the Mets’ middle relief core.

Brad Brach tested positive for COVID-19, which landed him on the IL. He should return a few days after Gsellman and started throwing bullpen sessions during the week. Much like Gsellman, Brach sures up the middle relief core.

Long Term Injuries

Noah Syndergaard started throwing in his recovery from Tommy John Surgery. He had a catch with 2020 draft pick, J.T. Ginn, about a week ago but will not see the field until the 2021 season.

Jed Lowrie’s season came to an end when he landed on the 45-day IL with PCL laxity in his left knee. It affirmatively ended his Mets career, recording zero hits and going down as one of the worst contracts in Mets history.

New York Mets: Atlanta Braves Ride Offense to Dominating 14-1 Win

New York Mets, Rick Porcello

Edwin Diaz woke up a sleeping giant when he allowed Saturday’s game-tying home run to Marcell Ozuna. The Atlanta Braves carried the momentum from their extra-inning win to steamroll the New York Mets 14-1.

It did not take long for the Braves to spoil Rick Porcello‘s Mets debut. Porcello lived up to his 5.5 ERA from the 2019 season to allow seven runs on seven hits, with three walks and failed to record an out in the third inning before his outing ended. Corey Oswalt replaced him and pitched how you would expect a pitcher with a career ERA over six to pitch.

The Braves jumped all over Oswalt to add three home runs and five more runs to their total. Every player in the Braves starting lineup recorded a hit, and they scored in six of the first seven innings. Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies did the most damage on the day.

Swanson recorded three hits, including a double and home run, while driving in five. Albies also recorded three hits, including two doubles, and drove in three runs.

Quiet Offense

Braves starter Sean Newcomb gave the Mets every opportunity they could ask to push some runs across. Newcomb struggled to find consistency with any of his pitches but got out of trouble when he needed to. The combination of hitters who are not ready and the hangover of Saturday’s loss created a team that had no energy and was as flat as the cardboard cutouts surrounding the field.

The Mets had at least two runners reach base in each of the first four innings but only scored once. It allowed Newcomb to get through 3.1 innings, only allowing the one run when allowing seven baserunners. Jholuys Chacin shut the Mets down with 3.2 shutout innings in relief of Newcomb, quieting any hopes the Mets had of coming back.

Most concerning for the Mets is only recording five runs over the first three games of the season. Pete Alonso has only recorded one hit and timing looks completely off through his first handful of at-bats. With the Mets starting rotation in shambles, they needed plenty more from their offense to be competitive.

Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo are the only two hitters posing a threat right now. Conforto went 4-for-8 and Nimmo 3-for-10 in the series, both putting together long at-bats in the process.

Early Injury

Eduardo Nunez came in during the blowout and injured himself, trying to leg out a groundball in the 14-1 blowout. He dealt with knee issues over the last two seasons and said he hyperextended his knee. The Mets will evaluate him before Monday’s game, but the Mets also have backup infielders Luis Guillorme and Andres Gimenez on the roster.

Speaking of Monday, the Mets begin a four-game home and home series against the Boston Red Sox. It will be their first interleague matchup of the season and the first time playing in Fenway Park since 2018. Michael Wacha makes his Mets debut and hopes his first start is the complete opposite of Porcello’s. The Red Sox will use Josh Osich as the opener for game one at 7:35 p.m.

 

New York Mets: Prospects Who Can Make an Impact

New York Mets, Andres Gimenez

Over the last few hours, the New York Mets added multiple veterans to their 60-man player pool for Spring Training 2.0. Throughout the field of players, the Mets have a small number of prospects who have a chance to make the major league roster. As the roster spots dwindle, it seems unlikely the Mets will use players within their organization to fill those spots.

Andres Gimenez is the first prospect that pops out of the Mets player pool. With the current set up of the Mets infield, he is a backup player. What he does bring is speed and an above-average glove, which is valuable for a weak defensive team. Gimenez also played exceptionally well in the Arizona Fall League, and he should make the 30-man roster. He will like to get cut when it drops to 28, but he seems to be a more reliable option than Eduardo Nunez or Jed Lowrie.

Extra Rotation Options

David Peterson is an intriguing option for the Mets because of their lack of starting pitching depth. As a left-handed pitcher, he could make the bullpen as a second left-handed reliever but projects better as a starter. If the Mets need rotation help for an extended period, it would be a better decision to turn to Peterson over Walker Lockett or Corey Oswalt. Lockett and Oswalt have career ERAs of 8.84 and 6.43, respectively. With the expectations that low, there no reason not to give Peterson the opportunity.

Kevin Smith and Franklyn Kilome are two other pitching prospects who could make an impact. While Kilome projects more as a reliever, Smith’s potential as another lefty is exciting. His 2.75 ERA through his minor league career is impressive and also serves as a better option than Oswalt and Lockett. Though only pitching less than 50 innings in double-A, he is a fringe candidate for the 30-man roster.

New York Mets: Lugo, Lockett Impress in Tie Against Marlins

The New York Mets had a change of pace in their Monday meeting with the Miami Marlins. Walker Lockett made a start for the Mets, and Seth Lugo saw game action for the first time in the Spring. Unfortunately, they may have lost Michael Conforto the same day they regain Lugo.

Conforto did not injure himself in Monday’s game. The injury occurred a couple of days ago while making a diving catch a couple of games ago. Conforto tried to battle through it but is flying to New York to get the injury examined more in-depth.

Pitching Shines

Walker Lockett started the game with three impressive innings. He allowed three hits and struck out two as he tries to prove he can be a valuable member of the Mets starting pitching depth. Also joining him was Corey Oswalt, who only allowed one run over four innings with five strikeouts.

Seth Lugo picked up right where he left off in 2019. He struck out one in a very easy 1-2-3 inning. Lugo will not need too many innings to get himself right for Opening Day. Tyler Bashlor was the other Mets reliever to throw. He bounced back from his poor outing to pitch a scoreless ninth inning.

Quiet Offense

Spring Training’s worst scoring offense showed up once again to only muster five hits and one run on the day. Two of the hits were triples from Jake Marisnick and Amed Rosario, who are slowly working their ways out of slumps. Eduardo Nunez provided the lone run on a ground out after Marisnick’s triple. Nunez also had a hit on the day to move his average to .320 as he tries to earn himself a roster spot.

Rick Porcello makes a start on Tuesday as the Mets face the Houston Astros in West Palm Beach at 1:05 p.m.