New York Mets: Lindor Hits Fourth Homer in Five Games During 5-3 Win

The New York Mets are getting exactly what they traded for with Francisco Lindor‘s production this spring. Lindor has his best game of spring training by recording three hits, including his fourth home run. His strong game helped propel the Mets to a 5-3 victory over the Miami Marlins.

Marcus Stroman got the start and scattered nine hits over five innings. He was tagged for two home runs, but the umpires bailed Stroman out both times. Starling Marte‘s double hit the chain-link fence behind the right field wall and bounced back in play. Brian Anderson hit a towering shot over the left field foul pole that was called a foul ball. Instead of a three-run homer, Anderson struck out to end the inning instead.

In the third inning, Adam Duvall‘s sacrifice fly gave the Marlins their first run. Miguel Rojas recorded the final two runs with his two-run homer in the fifth inning as Stroman limped to the finish line. The quartet of Jacob Barnes, Aaron Loup, Trevor May, and Tommy Hunter finished the game with four hitless innings.

After Marlins starter Daniel Castano retired the first six batters he faced, the Mets came out swinging in the third inning. Triples from Kevin Pillar and Brandon Nimmo led to the first run of the inning. Francisco Lindor’s double drove in Nimmo, and a sharp single from Pete Alonso capped off the three-run third. Lindor’s fifth inning homer put the Mets in the lead, and another homer from J.D. Davis in the sixth gave their fifth run.

On Wednesday, Taijuan Walker (1-0, 3.00) takes the mound against the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter. The offense gets another opportunity to afflict more damage on Carlos Martinez (0-2, 10.03) and his ERA as he starts for the Cards.

Walker Superb, Lindor Hits Grand Slam in Mets 8-5 Win Over Cards

Taijuan Walker became a bigger part of the New York Mets rotation after Carlos Carrasco‘s hamstring injury. He took the mound against the St. Louis Cardinals and was tremendous in the Mets 8-5 victory.

Walker made it look easy in his second start of the spring. He only allowed one hit over four innings and struck out three Cardinals. Walker needed just 50 pitches to get through his outing, and his slider was his best pitch.

The offense tormented Carlos Martinez once again as they tagged him for five runs in three innings. Pete Alonso continued to scorch the ball with a first inning RBI double to drive in Brandon Nimmo. The double was Alonso’s fifth of the spring and moved his average to .400.

In the second, Tomas Nido flicked a home run over the right field fence with the help of the Florida wind. The bulk of the scoring came in a five-run fifth when J.D. Davis beat the throw home on a fielder’s choice for the first run. Francisco Lindor capped off the inning with a grand-slam which made it a 7-0 game. Jerry Blevins put up a scoreless top half of the inning to relieve Walker.

In the eighth, Johneshy Fargas recorded a hustle triple, then scored on an error from third baseman Evan Mendoza to drive in a run. Jeff McNeil had some tough luck as he was hit by a pitch three times in three different spots. Luckily, none resulted in any injuries.

Oswalt Struggles

Corey Oswalt took over for the sixth and allowed plenty of hard contact. Oswalt allowed a two-run homer to Max Moroff and an RBI double before Trevor Hildenberger cleaned up the mess. He got an opportunity to redeem himself in the seventh inning thanks to the spring training rules. Oswalt pitched a 1-2-3 inning but lost it again in the eighth. He allowed another two-run homer to push his line to five runs in just 2.2 innings pitched. Daniel Zamora closed out the win with a scoreless ninth inning.

Saturday is a day off before Jacob deGrom takes the mound against the Washington Nationals in West Palm Beach on Sunday. For the first time, pitchers will bat, allowing deGrom ready for his first plate appearances since 2019. Hopefully, the Mets wrap deGrom in bubble wrap to prevent any other injuries to their rotation.

 

 

New York Mets Club Three Home Runs in 8-3 Win Over Astros

The New York Mets put all of their valuable assets on display against the Houston Astros. Jacob deGrom had another dominant outing, and the offense pushed across eight runs in an 8-3 victory.

deGrom pitched four innings, allowed one run, and struck out six. His fastball did not quite reach 102 again, but he sat in the 100-101 range. deGrom also showed his best slider of the spring, which resulted in plenty of swings and misses. The one run allowed came on a high home run from Jeremy Pena, which bounced off the top of the left-field fence.

Jeurys Familia struggled with his control again but worked out of a bases-loaded jam to complete a scoreless outing. Dellin Betances was the victim of an unlucky bloop double with two outs that resulted in two runs. It should have resulted in an out, but Brandon Nimmo played Taylor Jones like Hank Aaron. The weak double ballooned Betances spring ERA to 13.50.

Trevor May bounced back from a couple of rough outings to strike out three in his one inning of work. Miguel Castro and Sam McWilliams finished off the eighth and ninth to give the Mets a win.

Hit Parade

It was all hands on deck for the Mets offense as five different hitters. Dominic Smith‘s three-run home run put the Mets on the board in the third inning. The homer was another example of his unique ability to wait back on the breaking ball. In the fifth, Pete Alonso took a high fastball and drove it into the left-field picnic area.

The third Mets homer came from Francisco Lindor. His no-doubter was his first homer as a Met and second hit of the day. Brandon Nimmo’s single and Jeff McNeil‘s double drove in the other two Mets runs.

On Wednesday, Joey Lucchesi (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his first start of the spring against Sandy Alcantara (0-0, 0.00 ERA) and the Miami Marlins. The road game for the Mets begins at 1:05 p.m. ET from Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

 

Stroman Pitches Well Again in Mets 4-2 Loss Against Marlins

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

The New York Mets were back on television on Friday after only a couple thousand fans watched Jacob deGrom‘s dominance on Thursday. While not as dominant, Marcus Stroman put together a strong start against the Miami Marlins. Stroman became the first Mets starter to pitch into the fourth innings this spring in the 4-2 loss.

Stroman needed 58 pitches to get through 3.1 innings. He allowed a run in the first inning on a Jesus Aguilar single but settled in after that. Stroman recorded four strikeouts and lowered his spring training ERA to 3.24. Dellin Betances also pitched a scoreless inning with his fastball in the 89-93 mph range. The jury is still out on if Betances will sit at that speed all season, but he will need the best control of his career if he does.

Trevor May and Tommy Hunter struggled in their outings. May allowed three straight singles to load the bases, but a double play helped him escape with only one run allowed. Hunter’s inning was littered with hard contact. Monte Harrison broke the 2-2- tie with his RBI double, and Joe Dunand blooped a single to make it 4-2.

It is hard to find a hotter hitter than Brandon Nimmo this spring. His second double of the spring kept his average at a tremendous .444. Pete Alonso also remained hot with a line-drive RBI double to right-center field. Brandon Drury drove in the first Mets run with an RBI single in the fourth.

Jordan Yamamoto (0-1, 0.00) takes the mound against the Washington Nationals on Saturday. The first pitch is at 6:05 p.m. ET from West Palm Beach.

deGrom Lights Up Radar Gun, Alonso Homers Mets 1-0 Victory

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets played an untelevised game against the Houston Astros as Jacob deGrom faced Zack Greinke for the second straight outing. deGrom was as good as advertised and hit 102 mph on the radar gun as he continues to dazzle baseball.

deGrom faced nine batters and struck out seven of them in three innings pitched. He faced a lineup filled with backups and minor leaguers while the Mets put out a close to Opening Day lineup. Even with the lack of competition, deGrom did exactly what should be done when facing weaker competition. There may be a concern with deGrom throwing hard early on, but there is no reason not to trust the two-time Cy Young winner.

Pete Alonso provided the only run with his solo homer in the sixth inning. Despite also striking out twice, Alonso is hitting .313 this spring and has no issues hitting for power. Brandon Nimmo continued his hot spring with two more hits and pushed his average to .467.

Mets pitchers allowed just one hit and struck out 17 Astros. Mike Montgomery followed with two scoreless innings and four strikeouts. Jacob Barnes (1), Stephen Tarpley (2), and Daniel Zamora (1) combined for the final four innings.

The Mets are back on television for Friday’s matchup against the Miami Marlins. Marcus Stroman (1-0, 3.60 ERA) makes his third start of the spring against Pablo Lopez (0-0, 0.00). The first pitch from Clover Park is at 1:10 p.m ET.

New York Mets: deGrom Dominant in Rain-Shortened 6-1 Win

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets only played six innings on Saturday, but there were plenty of positives in their 6-1 over the Houston Astros. Jacob deGrom and Edwin Diaz made their spring debuts while Pete Alonso remained hot at the plate.

Before the game, deGrom was unsurprisingly named the Opening Day starter for the third consecutive season by Manager Luis Rojas. The only surprise from deGrom’s start was the two hitters who found their way on base. deGrom struck out three batters over two innings and needed just 29 pitches to get through his outing. As usual, he lit up the radar gun with a couple of 99 mph fastballs.

Diaz was even better in his one inning of relief. He needed seven pitches to record one strikeout and had help from Francisco Lindor behind him. Miguel Castro worked around a walk in one scoreless inning after Diaz left the game.

Coming Out Swinging

It was an all-around effort for the Mets offense that featured a different look without Brandon Nimmo. Jeff McNeil took over as the leadoff man, with Lindor batting second. Another line drive to the opposite field from Alonso resulted in an RBI double to get the Mets started in the first. Michael Conforto showed off his underrated speed by scoring all the way from first on the play.

Albert Almora and Kevin Pillar both received starts and made the most of their chances. Both recorded RBI singles as the eighth and ninth place hitters. Dominic Smith recorded his first home run of the spring with a majestic shot to right field.

The young blood of Ronny Mauricio and Pete Crow-Armstrong took over in the sixth. Crow-Armstrong led off the inning with a triple, his first hit in professional baseball. Mauricio drove him in with a single, giving Mets fans a sneak peek of a potential combination in the future.

The Mets are back on SNY on Sunday when they face the Miami Marlins. Marcus Stroman (1-0, 0.00) makes his second start of the season against Pablo Lopez (0-0, 0.00). The first pitch is at 1:10 p.m. from Clover Park.

Alonso’s Grand Slam Propels New York Mets to an 8-4 Victory

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

For the second straight game, the New York Mets came out swinging and had the pitching to back it up. They used three home runs and seven two-out RBIs to defeat the Washington Nationals 8-4.

Brandon Nimmo got the Mets started early with a leadoff home run to give them a quick 1-0 lead against Jackson Rutledge. After three quiet innings, the fifth was loaded with action. Dellin Betances made his Spring debut and became the only reliever to allow runs.

After getting the first two outs of the inning, Betances issued two walks, and an RBI double on a fly ball that left fielder Drew Ferguson misplayed. Ryan Zimmerman capped off the inning with a three-run homer, giving the Nats a 4-1 lead. The only positive of his outing is his velocity in the 92-93 range, which is far better than last year’s spring training.

In the bottom half of the fifth, Pete Alonso‘s grand slam put the Mets back and forth 5-4. It was a classic Alonso homer as he drove it onto the right-center field hill. Alonso did not homer in 13 spring training games in 2020 and already looks more relaxed at the plate. Jake Hager supplied the third homer on the day with a solo shot in the seventh.

Pitching Success

David Peterson was solid in his first start of the spring as he tries to earn a spot in the starting rotation. In two innings, he allowed just one hit, a hit batter and worked out of a second and third jam in the first inning. Peterson finished off his start with a 1-2-3 inning in the second.

After Peterson left the game, the Mets used many relievers who are expected to make the Opening Day roster. Jeurys Familia struggled with his command and needed 31 pitches to get through his scoreless inning. Aaron Loup was the complete opposite, needing just 11 pitches to work through a scoreless fourth inning.

Trevor May, Robert Gsellman, Stephen Tarpley, and Sean Reid-Foley all put up goose eggs in their respective innings. Mets pitchers collectively only recorded two strikeouts on the day. The Mets have a day off on Friday and send Jacob deGrom to the mound on Saturday night against the Houston Astros. Due to MLB’s incompetence, the game will not be televised.

Mets’ slugger Pete Alonso is taking some grounders at third base

The New York Mets’ position players reported to the team spring training camp this week, as they continue to prepare for what will be an exciting 2021 season. The organization invested a lot of money and resources to put the best possible roster on the field, and it now looks like one of the favorites to make some noise deep in October.

The Mets brought several starting pitching reinforcements, most notably Carlos Carrasco (in the same trade that netted the club star shortstop Francisco Lindor) Taijuan Walker, Marcus Stroman, Jordan Yamamoto, Joey Lucchesi and Jerad Eickhoff.

They also welcomed two impact relievers in Trevor May and Aaron Loup; plus Lindor, outfielders Albert Almora and Kevin Pillar, and infielder Jonathan Villar. Catcher James McCann was also brought to be the starter at the position.

However, the Mets didn’t bring any third basemen, or haven’t to this point. JD Davis is a liability out there in field, but carries monster offensive upside and that’s why acting general manager Zack Scott said this week that they are comfortable with him at the top of the depth chart.

The Mets are very flexible

However, that doesn’t mean the Mets aren’t willing to get creative. Davis will play some, but Jeff McNeil can also defend the hot corner and could potentially do it some nights when Villar plays second.

And, additionally, the Mets are trying slugging first baseman Pete Alonso at third base. Yes! You read that right.

According to New York Daily News’ writer Deesha Thosar, Alonso was seen taking some grounders in the hot corner.

It’s not uncommon for teams to try different things in the early stages of spring training, so the fact that Alonso is taking some reps there should be taken with a grain of salt and could mean nothing later down the road.

However, it’s still a noteworthy development. If Alonso can be a passable third baseman, that could open up more playing time avenues for the Mets’ fellow slugging first baseman, Dom Smith, who broke out last year with a .316/.377/.616 line and 10 home runs in 50 games.

Only time will tell if this is going to be more than just a spring training experiment.

New York Mets: It’s A New Year, But We Have No Clue About The DH

New Yor k Mets, Dominic Smith

We are just over a month from the beginning of spring training, but Major League Baseball still has not decided on a universal designated hitter. This decision affects the New York Mets more than any other team in the National League due to their abundance of below-average defenders.

Returning the DH to the NL betters the Mets defense by default. It benefits the Mets to avoid playing Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso in the field together. With the DH, one can play first base (preferably Smith) while the other is the DH. Brandon Nimmo or Jeff McNeil play left field instead of Smith, and it leaves J.D. Davis as a DH option against lefties.

The lack of information on the DH affects the free-agent market too. If the Mets sign George Springer, Nimmo becomes the odd-man-out without the DH. Michael Conforto would remain in right field, and either Smith/Davis plays in left. With a DH, the Mets have a set outfield and only worry about who plays third base daily.

Unfortunately, Rob Manfred and the owners think the universal DH is a bargaining chip against the players union. The longer MLB waits on it, the longer players like Nelson Cruz and Marcell Ozuna only have 15 teams to play for in 2021.

New York Mets Player Evaluations: First Base/Left Field Dominic Smith

New Yor k Mets, Dominic Smith

There once was a time where the New York Mets opted to keep Dominic Smith on the bench during the early part of the 2020 season. With Pete Alonso and Yoenis Cespedes clogging potential lineup spots, they could not find playing time for him. Thankfully, Cespedes decided to abandon the team, and Smith became the Mets’ most productive offensive player.

The 2019 season was a sneak preview of what Smith was truly capable of at the big league level. In 2020, he put it all together, hitting .316/.377/.616 with 10 home runs, 42 RBIs, and 21 doubles. Smith’s ability to drive in runs made him a staple in the fourth spot of the order. He hit .333 w/RISP and put the same batting average up with two outs and RISP.

Much like his teammate, Michael Conforto, Smith benefitted from a decrease in launch angle to produce more line drives. Smith’s average launch angle dropped from 15.1 degrees last year to 10.8. This allowed Smith to have a 46.7% hard-hit rate, 13.3% barrel rate, and have 39.3% of his batted balls result in line drives.

Complete Hitter

All of those factors equal a hitter who will put himself in a position to hit for average and for power. Smith also became a hitter who forced pitchers to get him out with the fastball. He batted .388 and .351 on breaking balls and offspeed pitches, respectively. Smith had his lowest average and slugging percentage against the fastball, but it was not enough for pitchers to survive by only throwing the hard stuff.

What made Smith such a successful hitter against the secondary pitches is his ability to let it travel in the zone. Smith’s ability to keep his weight back allowed his barrel to remain in the zone to make solid contact no matter how early or late he was. When a hitter does that, he gives himself the best chance to succeed because he can hit the ball in multiple different locations with that one swing.

Defensive Questions

With the two power-hitting first basemen, Smith and Alonso, it is tough to fit them in the lineup. Smith saw some time in left field and was an expected liability there. He had a -5 fielding runs above average and a negative ultimate zone rating. The numbers are much better at first base, and Smith played his natural position more often during the season’s final month. This was when Alonso had issues with his fielding, and the Mets wanted better outfield defense.

It is impossible to mention Smith’s year without mentioning his leadership on and off the field. He helped lead a walk-off between the Mets and Marlins following the protest going on throughout sports. Smith also spilled his emotions, telling his stories and opinions on what was going on in the country. He is one of the most colorful and genuine personalities on the Mets and one of the best teammates they could ask for.

Smith had a fringe-MVP caliber year, would have been an All-Star, and was named a finalist for the Hank Aaron award. Among NL leaders, he finished second in doubles (21), fourth in slugging percentage (.616), fourth in OPS (.993), tied for fifth in RBIs (42), and eighth in batting average (.316). The toughest part for the Mets comes in finding a position for him to settle into for the 2021 season.

 

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Hitting: 80 (70), Cannot get much better than what he produced.

Power: 70 (70), Legitimate power to all fields, and it comes with 40+ double capability.

Run: 30 (30), Not fast but certainly quicker than you would expect.

Arm: 45 (45), Great for first base, but the accuracy surpassed the arm strength in the outfield.

Field: 50 (55), Fields what he gets to in the outfield but has gold glove capability at first base.

Overall: 80 (75), It was an unbelievable season, but doing it for a full year is the final test in his growth.