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Mets Morning News: Spring training games are underway!

Your Sunday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at New York Mets Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

Pete Alonso was the big headline from yesterday’s first spring training game, immediately showing off the prodigious power his prospect pedigree portends by smashing a homer to left-center field on the first pitch he saw. “We’re called hitters, we’re not takers,” Alonso said. “If we get a good pitch, might as well take our chance at it.”

Alonso did have a rough defensive inning as well, something else that he’s been known for as a prospect. He faces an uphill battle between a crowded infield and possible service time manipulation to make the roster. But he may hit so well as to force the Mets’ hand.

Alonso’s locker is right next to Robinson Cano’s and watching the pair in action gave us a glimpse of what the revamped Mets lineup could be. “He can hit,” said Cano with a smile about Alonso.

Anthony Kay pitched a scoreless seventh inning in his Grapefruit League debut, working out of a jam. Mickey Callaway liked what he saw out of Kay, from the velocity to his great pickoff move.

Jed Lowrie currently does not have a timetable for returning from the capsule strain in his right knee. His Opening Day status is questionable at this stage.

Lowrie’s knee injury serves as a somewhat stark reminder that the Mets are relying on a lot of older players. “One thing I would say about the guys that we have that are in their 30s, those guys have played a lot of games in their 30s,” Mickey Callaway said.

We won’t see Edwin Diaz in any Grapefruit League games until next Saturday, as the Mets are planning on being careful ramping up their most precious asset in the bullpen.

Mickey Callaway thinks the pitch clock may have a bigger effect on hitters than it will on pitchers.

While the scar he carries on his shoulder is obvious, Michael Conforto also remembers the pain of being sent down to the minor leagues in August of 2016 and lets it motivate him.

Around the National League East

The contract negotiations between Bryce Harper and the Phillies are reportedly nearing a conclusion. The Phillies are confident that they are going to come away having signed Harper, but sources tell Buster Olney that the sides are “nearing a crossroad” in their talks.

Max Scherzer has not been shy about his criticism of the pitch clock, declaring himself “fundamentally against” it. “There’s no clock in baseball, and there’s no clock in baseball for a reason,” Scherzer said.

Despite giving up the bomb to Pete Alonso, Touki Toussaint’s first inning was impressive. He hopes to win a job in the Braves’ rotation.

The Cardinals beat up on the Marlins 11-1 in their spring opener, but Victor Victor Mesa made his debut in center field in the sixth inning.

Around Major League Baseball

Craig Kimbrel’s agent debunked any rumors that Kimbrel was considering sitting out this season if he was not offered what he feels he is worth.

Bill Madden took an informal poll of baseball executives regarding who they felt were the best players in baseball. Manny Machado and Bryce Harper both ranked behind Mookie Betts, Nolan Arenado, Francisco Lindor, and Jose Altuve, which may partially explain why the teams that often spend big were out on both of them.

The outfield market is “picking up” for Denard Span. Initially the Mets were reported to be in on him, but he apparently “isn’t in play” for the Mets right now.

Hanley Ramirez signed a minor league deal with the Indians.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Vasilis Drimalitis recapped yesterday’s win in the Mets’ first spring training game and gave us the latest injury update on Jed Lowrie.

This Date in Mets History

Happy birthday to former Met and Hall of Famer, Eddie Murray!