New York Mets Finish Spring Training With a 3-3 Tie Against the Cardinals

Taijuan Walker gave the New York Mets one final hope that he will be a key stabilizer in their rotation with his start against the St. Louis Cardinals. Walker went five strong innings with only two runs allowed in the 3-3 tie. Manager Luis Rojas played most of his regulars but did all he could to ensure their good health going into Opening Day.

The first inning provided half of the scoring in the game. Pete Alonso put the Mets up 2-0 with an RBI double to cap off a spring where he hit .340 to go along with his majestic power. Nolan Arenado responded with a solo home run in the bottom half, which made it a 2-1 game. The Cardinals got to Walker again with a Matt Carpenter RBI single to knot the game at two.

After Walker left the game, Miguel Castro took over and continued to dominate. Castro hurled a 1-2-3 inning on just eight pitches and recorded a strikeout. Robert Gsellman followed and had his best outing after finding out he will make the Opening Day roster. Gsellman pitched a scoreless seventh, and Jerry Blevins did the same in the eighth.

Late Inning Effort

Mallex Smith‘s double gave the Mets a 3-2 lead in the eight, which led to Trevor Hildenberger’s save opportunity. Edmundo Sosa‘s solo home run tied the game and forced it to finish in a tie. The tie left the Mets with an 11-11-2 spring training record, and Francisco Lindor led the way with a .370 average in March. The big question remains whether Lindor will sign his long-term extension before the season begins or test next season’s free-agent market.

Opening Day on Thursday is the next time the Mets play baseball. They will keep themselves ready in Washington D.C. before Jacob deGrom makes his third consecutive Opening Day start. Max Scherzer makes his sixth Opening Day start and four in a row for the Washington Nationals.

New York Mets Sign Trevor Hildenberger to Minor League Deal

The New York Mets added another Trevor on Monday, but it was not Bauer. The sidearming Trevor Hildenberger joins the team on a minor league deal. He rejoins former teammate Trevor May and former coach Jeremy Hefner with whom he spent time within Minnesota.

Hildenberger spent all of 2020 in the Boston Red Sox alternate site, and all three of his big league seasons came in 2017-19 with the Minnesota Twins. His rookie season in 2017 was his best one, where he had a 3.21 ERA in 37 games. He had an impeccable 1.3 BB/9 and 0.9 HR/9, which led to a 7.33 SO/W.

Hildenberger had a 6.35 ERA in the following two seasons and saw his walk and home run rates rise. Hildenberger had his FIP rise from 3.01 in 2017 to 4.81 in 2019. It was clear he was becoming more hittable as the years went on and had to attempt to reinvent himself elsewhere.

On to the Big Apple

Hildenberger relies heavily on his changeup, which is his most reliable pitch. Due to his lack of velocity, his sinker has never been a useful pitch and has an average of over .300 against it. His slider has mixed success but usually has the movement of a curveball. Despite having a sidearm delivery, right-handers still hit 30 points better against him for his career.

The signing is a good low-risk move since Hildenberger has past major league success. Working with Hefner should put him back on the right track as well. His track to the major league roster is a long one but having quality depth for the bullpen is a good move.