We’re in the thick of Spring Training now.
The Mets have been showing some encouraging signs, and a few not-so-encouraging ones as well. But overall things are looking promising, at least when we fans up here in New York can actually see our Metsies.
There’s been lots of grumbling about the lack of live TV coverage of most games. It makes sense that fans are extra hungry to watch baseball after a pandemic-shortened season. And while it does suck to not see Jacob deGrom throwing gems, we should remember that in just a few short weeks, which admittedly feels like forever, we’ll get to see every one of his pitches, and all the other Mets action, when the games count.
Hey, how have the Mets been doing?
🟠 Sunday 3/7 vs Marlins - T 4-4
The Mets were all over the place on a windy day in PSL. The pitchers had a mixed performance, the defense was sloppy, and offense was spotty.
Stroman started and stretched out to 3 innings, finishing better than he started. Jeff McNeil made a few errors at 3B, and Pillar made one in RF. It wasn’t all bad in the field though. Guillorme looked great, and Nido threw out an attempted base stealer.
The Mets put out a lineup of mostly bench players, and the offense was quiet until the 4th, when Villar cranked a 3-run bomb. The game ended in a tie 🤷🏻♂️
🟠 Monday 3/8 at Nats - L 9-5
Bad defense hurt the Mets again in this one. Although Guillorme & Nimmo each had provided a web gem. Yamamoto gave up 2 unearned runs in his 3 innings of work thanks to his own fielding error, but otherwise looked decent. Betances & Gsellman followed and weren’t awful. Top pitching prospect, Matt Allen, ran into some tough luck after retiring the first two batters he faced. Tarpley & Kilome each gave up earned runs in their innings.
Lindor legged out an infield hit, his first of the spring, and then added another single later.
Luis Guillorme had himself a day, snagging a grounder on a tough hop, and going 2-3 at the plate.
🟠 Tuesday 3/9 vs Cardinals - W 5-3
Taijaun Walker had an up & down two innings of work in his Spring Training debut, but showed some promise, pumping mid-90s stuff in there. The rest of the Mets pitching staff looked strong.
Sugar Diaz, Miguel Castro, and Drew Smith all looked quite sharp.
May also looked good despite a fluke wind-blown home run. Tommy Hunter looked alright. Even Familia pitched well in this one. The only guy that really struggled was Sam McWilliams, who couldn’t find the plate. But he did manage to close the game out.
The Mets’ bats seemed to be napping until the 7th, when the bench guys & prospects got a rally going on some hits and sloppy play by the Cards.
🟠 Thursday 3/11 at Astros - W 1-0
This game featured the A+ squad with deGrom on the bump, and pretty much the expected Opening Day lineup behind him, with the addition of the DH (Dom Smith), and Almora Jr in CF.
Jake continues to exist in another galaxy, hitting 102 (ONE HUNDRED AND TWO) on the radar gun, and K’ing 2 in a 1-2-3 first. Then he struck out the side in the 2nd 😳, and then 2 more K’s in the 3rd to cap off his outing.
The rest of the pitching staff was also dominant, combining to one-hit the ‘Stros with 10 additional strikeouts.
Almora Jr made a nice play in CF, and Pete mashed an impressive tater.
Can the season just start already?
🟠 Friday 3/12 vs Marlins - L 4-2
Stroman got another start in this televised game, and looked decent over 3 and 1/3 innings. His slider was particularly effective.
Loup came in and got the final 2 outs to end the 4th. Betances got through his inning, but still looks somewhat shaky. May loaded the bases, but escaped giving up only 1 run. Tommy Hunter struggled a bit. Lucchesi looked solid, pitching the final two frames with 3 K’s.
Dom gave the ball a ride to the wall, and Guillorme showed off his defensive genius starting a 5-4-3 double play. Hopeful bench guy, Mallex Smith, showed off his wheels with a bunt single and a stolen base on which he advanced to 3rd on a throwing error. He scored when Pete stroked a double to the opposite field gap, but ultimately the Mets’ lineup, filled with expected bench bats, failed to get things going.
🟠 Saturday 3/13 at Nats - L 4-3
Jordan Yamamoto got the start and pitched well for his 3 and 1/3 innings of work.
Daniel Zamora came in to close out the 4th. Diaz continues to look sharp, K’ing 2 in his inning. Miguel Castro and Drew Smith also looked good. Familia wasn’t great, but was hurt by an error by Villar, allowing an unearned run.
The Mets scored all their runs on some sloppy play by the Nats, and they had the lead going into the 9th, but more errors by the Mets, and a Riley Gilliam wild pitch allowed the Nats to tie and win the game on a walk-off.
CAUGHT IN A RUNDOWN
All the news from this past week, which you’ve probably already seen by now.
🟠 Jose Martinez twisted his left knee during Sunday’s game against the Marlins when he ran into the first base umpire after a ball got by him down the line. On Monday it was reported that Martinez has a torn meniscus and could miss about 4 months. Rumors are swirling that the Mets are interested in free agent (and notorious Met-killer) Maikel Franco to fill in the bench depth.
🟠 Jon Heyman reports that extension talks with Francisco Lindor will begin in earnest this week, hoping to reach a deal by opening day.
Francisco Lindor, Mets extension talks are expected to begin in earnest this week. Opening Day is at least a soft deadline, so figure about 24 days to get it done.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 8, 2021
🟠 After initially saying Cookie Carrasco would make his first Grapefruit League soon, Luis Rojas said on Tuesday that he won’t start any games this spring, and instead will work up to the season with live batting practice sessions only. Fans on social media are speculating whether this is a precursor to bad news, but I’ve got a feeling it’s a combination of him getting to camp late and taking extra precautions due to his past health issues.
🟠 The Mets announced some roster moves Tuesday evening, cutting down the number of players in big league camp to 53. All the young prospects, like Mauricio, Crow-Armstrong, and Allan, as well as several of the expected depth guys like Hildenberger and Reid-Foley, have been reassigned or optioned to the minor league squads. Hildenberger comes as a bit of a surprise since the pen has so many question marks and he’s looked effective on the mound. The younger guys got some great experience these past few weeks, and remarkably contributed on the diamond during most of the fake games, so the future is looking bright for the Mets’ farm system for a change. The full list can be found here.
🟠 The Mets, in true ✨Good Vibes✨ fashion, put some goal visualization out into the universe on their off-day Wednesday, pretending during practice that they made the final catch to win game 7 of the World Series 🏆
🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨— Deesha (@DeeshaThosar) March 10, 2021
Mets are celebrating catching the final out of Game 7 World Series. You’ll want the sound all the way up for this one. pic.twitter.com/0GGYrHLBsU
🟠 Francisco Lindor helped out his old school in Florida, the Montverde Academy, by donating $1 million to the construction of a new middle school building, named Lindor Hall, as well as creating a scholarship for students in need of financial assistance. He and his fiancée, Katia, are very active in trying to make the world a better place, so this generosity comes as no surprise.
🟠 MLB announced some rule experiments in their Minor League Laboratory 🧪🔬⚾️ The most notable rule change is an attempt to ban the shift, which, while admirable, because the shift is dumb, seems like it could have unintended consequences. Another change is resizing the bases from 15” to 18”, in an attempt to reduce collisions and increase stolen bases. Exciting, I guess! 🤷🏻♂️
A variety of experimental playing rules, which have been approved by the Competition Committee and the Playing Rules Committee, will be tested at various levels of the Minor Leagues during the upcoming 2021 season. pic.twitter.com/1aQMbgWHqp— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) March 11, 2021
🟠 It’s not been a good year for J-Rod. First their GoFundMe bid to buy the Mets was easily bested by Steve Cohen, and now it looks like they’re splitting up to once again become J-Lo & A-Rod. O-Well.
TWEET THE METS
🟠 Noah never forgets a good beef with anyone on social media.
🟠 Long live the legend of Robert Incognito 🥸
This cutout looks like someone we know. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/wEATaVPy1t— New York Mets (@Mets) March 9, 2021
🟠 A lot of players go into broadcasting after they retire. Looks like Francisco Lindor might be considering a different route for covering games in his post-playing days 🎥
🟠 The ✨Good Vibes✨ continue for Tai Walker after a decent debut this spring.
Had a blast out there today competing!! 🙌🏾 can’t wait to do it again in 5 days— Taijuan Walker (@tai_walker) March 9, 2021
🟠 The Mets have a new profile pic, and it’s so good 😄
🟠 Noah gets a little jab in at the wannabe Mets owners, and then brings the hammer down on Mets Twitter’s own, Richard Staff 💀
Jose Canseco for the win......in 2021? 😂 https://t.co/fL0XsXGzq6— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) March 12, 2021
Well Dick, look on the bright side.— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) March 12, 2021
You and JLo have something in common.
“Waiting for Tonight” is not happening. https://t.co/4edbQWpBXB
🟠 Chalk Taijuan up for team black throwbacks 🖤
Need the black jerseys this year 🔥🔥🔥🔥— Taijuan Walker (@tai_walker) March 13, 2021
🟠 On Johan’s birthday, Str0 reminisces about being at Citi Field for his no-no.
New merch for every Mets Mood
🟠 We added one for all the ladies this Women’s History Month, and we’re giving a portion of proceeds to the Women’s Sports Foundation on every one of these shirts purchased til the end of March. Founded by tennis great, Billie Jean King, the WSF helps women have access to and success in sports. Get yours here.