New York Mets: Hitting Coach Chili Davis to Work Remotely

The New York Mets announced their first member to stay away from Citi Field during summer camp. While it is not a player, it is their hitting coach Chili Davis who will not report to Citi Field for full team workouts on Friday.

Davis is a resident of Arizona, a state that has seen their positive COVID-19 cases rise over the last few weeks. While he does not have the virus, Davis is deciding to stay home as a precaution to keep others in the organization safe. Players who reported to Citi Field on Wednesday were also awaiting results of their COVID tests to make sure they were good to go.

Remote Learning

Thankfully technology is at a point where instruction can efficiently work through a phone or computer.  Assistant hitting coach Tom Slater is going to work with the hitters in person during Davis’s absence.

Davis will work much like teachers throughout the country did. He will review hitting footage and conduct Zoom meetings to stay active with the players. It will be as simple as setting up a tripod with an iPad connected directly in the batting cage where Davis can give immediate feedback.

Davis may not be the first one to opt-out as Brodie Van Wagenen still waits for confirmation from the rest of Luis Rojas staff. Rojas will hold a Zoom meeting with his coaches on Thursday to figure out a plan for summer camp.

Spring Training 2.0 Has Arrived and The New York Mets Are Back

New York Mets, Pete Alonso

Throughout all of the back and forth of a difficult negotiation, Major League Baseball can finally open up Spring Training 2.0. The New York Mets and their pool of players embark on their restarted journey towards a World Series championship.

There are not many details based on how camp will operate, but health is their priority. Brodie Van Wagenen said the designed workouts keep players as socially distant as possible. Luckily only one player on the 40-man roster tested positive for the COVID-19 and is recovering fine. Holding their Spring Training at Citi Field allows them to train in a safer area compared to the COVID-19 epicenter that Florida has become.

One Field, For 50-Plus Players

The Mets have to make use out of their limited space at Citi Field. Unlike their Port St. Lucie facility, they only have one field to use. Outside of the main field in the stadium, the Mets have four mounds in the bullpens along with the home/away hitting tunnels. Extra mounds could set up in the outfield and foul territory as well. If the Mets needed additional space for pitchers, they could also use the walkways and parking lost of Citi Field as well.

MCU Park in Brooklyn is another option for the Mets to transport players. Any thought of that is just talk right now and would only happen if things became too hectic at Citi Field. The Mets have stayed quiet on the topic of how things will run, but we will get a good idea of it within the first few days. Simulated games could happen as soon as this week for pitchers who were throwing before July 1.

Exhibition games are a tougher question for the Mets. The only local team is the crosstown Yankees, who they will see during the regular season. To prevent extra travel, the Mets might be better off with intersquads before the season beginning.

The top things Mets fans want to see are a healthy Yoenis Cespedes, Dellin Betances, Michael Conforto, and hopefully Jed Lowrie. On the pitching side, there is Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, along with how Edwin Diaz looks in a potential rebound season. Hopefully, the Mets answer most of the questions regarding the restarted Spring Training during day one and if not during week one.

New York Mets: Offense Finds New Life in 7-4 Against Astros

New York Mets, Rick Porcello

Tuesday’s game between the New York Mets and Houston Astros was not typical of the Mets Spring Training. The pitching did not dominate, pitching in and out of trouble throughout the day. Their offense showed up, but it came from mostly players who are trying to make the team.

Rick Porcello scattered nine hits over 4.2 innings and only allowed two runs. He only struck out one, which shows he was not dominant by any means. Porcello had a baserunner on in every innings he pitched but managed to keep the Astros from mustering anything significant off him.

Offensive Revival

Rene Rivera had a big day going 2-for-4 with an RBI as he tries to steal the backup catcher job from Tomas Nido. Robinson Cano added a two-RBI single on the day and has hits in back to back games. The bench crew was led by Matt Winaker’s solo home run to give the Mets the lead in the eighth inning. Jake Hager also added an RBI single in the Mets three-run eighth.

Pedro Payano picked up the six-out save, despite allowing four base runners. The newly acquired reliever has a 3.52 ERA so far. Chasen Shreve struggled again, allowing a solo homer to Drew Ferguson to give up the Mets lead.

On Wednesday, Jacob deGrom makes his second start of the Spring as he takes on the St. Louis Cardinals. The Mets will face a familiar foe in Carlos Martinez. The game will be at Port St. Lucie at 1:10 p.m. and is on SNY.

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.

New York Mets: Matz Shines, Betances Struggles in 5-0 Loss

New York Mets, New York Yankees, Steven Matz

The theme for the New York Mets throughout Spring Training has been great starting pitching and a dreadful offensive output. The trend remained the same for Steven Matz and the rest of the Mets as they lost to the Washington Nationals, 5-0.

Matz had everything working and pitched three perfect innings with three strikeouts. Out of the trio including Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha, Matz has undoubtedly been the best. The outing dropped his Spring ERA to a sparkling 1.50.

Betances, Familia Struggle

Dellin Betances made his long-awaited Mets debut. Still recovering from his Achilles injury, he only recorded one out in his appearance. He allowed two walks, struck out one and gave up a two-RBI single to Ryan Zimmerman. To go along with the bad outing he also allowed two stolen bases and uncorked a wild pitch. Betances’s velocity was way down but the one bright spot is Betances having no issues with the Achillies.

Jeurys Familia did not fair as bad as Betances. He made it through his one inning of work but allowed four hits including a home run. Familia did strike out two and his ERA only increased to 2.25 for the Spring.

Nimmo Hot, Cano Cold

Brandon Nimmo continues to make a case to be the Mets leadoff hitter. His 2-for-3 outing brought his average to .435 on the Spring. Out of the nine games Nimmo has played he has only gone hitless in two. Robinson Cano is still searching for a fraction of the success Nimmo has. His 0-for-3 dropped him to .091, but only in 11 at-bats so far. An interesting stat for Cano is that in 15 Spring Trainings, he has only hit below .300, three times.

The shutout put the Mets back as the lowest-scoring offense in Spring Training. On Sunday, they face the reigning Cy Young winner Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros. The Mets will counter with Noah Syndergaard on the mound.

New York Mets: Nimmo, Rosario Heat Up in 3-2 Loss to Astros

The New York Mets took on the Houston Astros in West Palm Beach for their 13th game of the Spring. It was a tightly contested pitchers duel throughout as Michael Wacha took the mound in his third Spring outing.

Things started great for the Mets as Brandon Nimmo led off the game with a triple of Lance McCullers. It was one of his two hits on the day, which moved his average to an even .400. Pete Alonso drove him in with a groundout to immediately give the Mets a 1-0 lead.

Amed Rosario provided an encore in the second inning with his first triple of the Spring, which also led off the inning. He now has hits in back to back games after his hitless start. Eduardo Nunez played the role of Alonso to drive in Rosario in the following at-bat. Those would be the only two runs the Mets mustered all game.

Wacha’s Outing

Michael Wacha spent his outing tiptoeing out of trouble throughout. After retiring the first two in the first inning, he back to back singles before escaping the inning. In the second, Wacha worked around a Carlos Correa double to keep the Astros off the board.

The trouble was too much to escape in the third inning. A George Springer single and stolen base followed by a Josh Reddick walk to set up runners on first and second with no one out. Wacha retired the following two hitters and seemed poised to get out of a third straight jam. Unfortunately, Michael Brantley got to him for an RBI single, which would be all Wacha allowed.

Over three innings, he allowed five hits, one run, a walk, and struck out two batters. It was not a dominant outing by any means, but he battled throughout.

Following Wacha, all minor leaguers took the mound. Yelfy Ramirez took the loss by allowing a walk-off home run to Chas McCormick to lead off the bottom of the ninth. The big concern comes from the 2-3-4 combo of Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, and Wilson Ramos. They all went 0-for-11 with four strikeouts and only produced the Alonso RBI ground out.

Steven Matz takes the mound at Port St. Lucie on Saturday when he faces the Washington Nationals. It will be interesting to see how he follows up on the performances from Wacha and Rick Porcello.

New York Mets: Porcello, Fargas the Story in 7-7 Tie

New York Mets, Rick Porcello

The New York Mets offense is starting to come together as the starting pitching continues to dominate. Despite some bullpen struggles, the Mets finished in a 7-7 tie with the St. Louis Cardinals in a back and forth game. Their offensive output over the last two games finally moved them out of the bottom spot in the runs scored category.

Rick Porcello continued his solid start to Spring Training. Over three innings, he allowed two hits, a walk and struck out four. Porcello lowered his ERA to 1.50 and is showing why he deserves to hold a spot in the Mets rotation.

Tyler Bashlor‘s outing was a nightmare at best. He only recorded two outs and allowed seven hits, six runs, and three home runs after Porcello left the game. The home runs were the pitfall for Bashlor in 2019, and he served them up in bunches on Thursday.

Spring Training Cycle

The little known prospect Johneshwy Fargas pulled off quite a feat by hitting for the cycle. He received a non-roster invite to Spring Training after stealing 50 bases in double-A. For a team with very little speed, Fargas gives the Mets a speed threat to throw in their outfield late in the season. Jarrett Parker and Patrick Mazeika also blasted home runs on a day where most of the regulars were on the bench.

Amed Rosario finally recorded his first hit of Spring Training after going 0-for-15 to start camp. Pete Alonso recorded two hits and now has a hit in five of his last six games as his bat is starting to come around. Robinson Cano and Dominic Smith both went hitless to drop their averages to .125 and .130, respectively.

The Mets head to West Palm Beach to face the Houston Astros for a rare night game. Michael Wacha makes his third start of the Spring against Lance McCullers, fresh off Tommy John Surgery.

New York Mets: McNeil Stays Red Hot in Loss to Marlins

Tuesday’s matchup between the New York Mets and Miami Marlins featured Noah Syndergaard‘s second Spring start. It was not as dominant as his first, and the three early runs he allowed were too much for the Mets to make up.

In the first inning, Syndergaard retired the first two with ease before allowing a homer to Garrett Cooper. The second inning also led to some two-out magic for the Marlins. A hit by pitch and fielder’s choice moved Harold Ramirez to second base, and Chad Wallach knocked him for the Marlins second run. An ill-advised throw from Amed Rosario on a fielder’s choice allowed Lewis Brinson to score for the third run.

Syndergaard put together a 1-2-3 third inning to complete his outing on a high note. Overall, he threw three innings, allowed three runs (two earned), two hits while striking out five. One of the positives for Syndergaard is the five strikeouts to zero walks he produced.

McNeil Carries the Offense

The Mets have been dead last in runs through the early part of Spring Training, but none of that is Jeff McNeil‘s fault. The All-Star supplied two hits, including a leadoff home run. He is hitting .533, the highest mark in Spring Training. Andres Gimenez also continued to stay hot by supplying a double off the bench to move his average to .333 with a 1.010 OPS.

Brandon Nimmo is quietly hitting .357 after his 1-for-3 game today, but the rest of the lineup is in the dust. Robinson Cano is hitting .200, Pete Alonso is hitting .143, with a .333 OPS, and Amed Rosario still has not recorded an out yet. Thankfully there are multiple weeks left in Spring Training, so the pressure to right themselves is not high yet.

Bullpen Work

Robert Gsellman threw two innings, allowing one run after Syndergaard left. Jeurys Familia followed up with one strikeout over his inning of work. He still has not allowed a run in the Spring. Brad Brach and Paul Sewald also pitched scoreless innings. Despite allowing two runs, Adonis Uceta, struck out three batters in the ninth.

Marcus Stroman faces the St. Louis Cardinals once again for his third Spring start. He should be the first Met to get to the four-inning plateau in Spring Training.

 

deGrom and Wacha Shine in Split Squad Outings

The New York Mets starting pitching has been nothing short of elite through the first ten games of Spring Training. While the bats are still shaking the rust off, the pitching has exceeded expectations so far. In their split-squad games on Sunday, they beat the Nationals 3-1 and lost to the Marlins, 7-2.

Jacob deGrom picked up where he left off in 2019. The back to back Cy Young winner threw three scoreless innings, only allowing one hit and striking out two batters. He a majority of the Nationals everyday players and made it look easy to cruise through the lineup once.

Michael Wacha also pitched well against the Marlins. Over his three scoreless innings of work, he allowed a walk, two hits and struck out one. Wacha still firmly believes he is a starting pitcher, and his two Spring starts show he should be a starter.

Diaz Settles In

If you did not hear about Edwin Diaz’s outing, there were not any problems. He threw a scoreless fourth inning with the only blemish being a Ryan Zimmerman double. Justin Wilson followed by striking out the side in the fifth inning. He has retired all six batters he has faced, and four of them are on strikeouts.

Jeff McNeil continued to stay hot with two hits in the same amount of at-bats. His average is now .500 for the Spring. Michael Conforto homered for the first time and now has hits in three consecutive games after starting 1-for-8. Robinson Cano also added a two-run double to open up the Mets scoring in the first.

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not

Pete Alonso lined a single to center field for his only hit in three at-bats. The concerns were only small for 2019’s home run champ, and the single took the stress off the Polar Bear. Eduardo Nunez has started the Spring hot, his two hits Sunday moved him to 5-for-15. Nunez was a non-roster invite but could easily steal a spot away from Luis Guillorme.

Amed Rosario continued his struggles at the plate. He went hitless in three at-bats and is hitless in all five of his games so far. Only two of the at-bats ended in strikeouts, which is a good sign for the young shortstop. As he settles in more, the hits should follow.

The Mets get a day off on Monday before welcoming in the Marlins to Port St. Lucie. Noah Syndergaard will make his second start of the Spring.

Matz Strong Outing Helps Give the New York Mets a Win

All of Steven Matz’s Spring Training starts for the New York Mets will be watched with heavy scrutiny. Matz took the mound for his second start against the Houston Astros and pitched very well. The offense was quiet once again but the pitchers delivered in the seven innings following Matz.

For good reason, Matz sees himself as a starter and its proving why so far. Over two innings of work, he allowed one hit and struck out one. Another promising sign for Matz is the other five outs recorded all came on ground balls. Compared to Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello, Matz has the upper advantage as the calendar turns to March.

Polar Bear in Hibernation

Pete Alonso continued his slow start to Spring Training. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and dropped his average to .067 for the Spring. There is still plenty of time to get himself right but as each day passes the struggles grow more and more concerning.

Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto both mixed in hits and stolen bases in their efforts. The third stolen base came from Dominic Smith as the Mets continue to push their initiative of being more aggressive on the bases.

The minor leaguers got the job done to secure a victory. Will Toffey started the ninth-inning rally with a walk and it was followed by a Jake Hager double to tie the game. Max Moroff traded places with Hager to tie the game and steal the lead from the Astros.

The minor league relievers cost the Mets some games early in the Spring but they were dominant on Saturday. The six pitchers combined to pitch seven innings, allowing five hits, two walks, one run and struck out seven batters. Jordan Humphreys and Adonis Uceta combined for 1-2-3 innings in the eighth and ninth to secure the win and save respectively.

Split Squad Sunday

Jacob deGrom makes his Spring debut at Port St. Lucie against the Washington Nationals. Michael Wacha makes his second start of the Spring against the Miami Marlins in Jupiter.