Meet the Mets
If Brodie Van Wagenen is going to talk the talk of being a player-first general manger, he has to walk the walk too. That means extending Jacob deGrom and putting Pete Alonso on the Opening Day roster, writes Joel Sherman.
Alonso has done everything right this spring and isn’t leaving the Mets any choice but to put him on the roster, writes Mike Puma.
The Mets have to decide what they’re going to do about their backup catching situation, as Devin Mesoraco can now opt-out of his contract today if he so chooses.
The Mets’ starting catcher, Wilson Ramos, can often be found in the clubhouse checking his phone for the latest news from his family in Venezuela, affected by the political and economic crisis there. “It’s hard [to focus on baseball]. I know we have to leave all the problems at home when we come into the field, but sometimes it’s too hard,” Ramos said. “It’s family you know. That’s the people you love. That’s why I’m playing. For my family.”
Omar Minaya has been intimately involved in the Mets’ plans this offseason. He brings an experience to the front office that is vital to rookie general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, writes Nathalie Alonso in a profile of Minaya for MLB.com.
The Mets’ rotation will still get their work in, despite yesterday’s rainout. Zack Wheeler, who was scheduled to pitch yesterday, will stretch out to 90 or so pitches in a minor league intrasquad game today.
Tim Healey breaks down the six man race for the Mets’ final bullpen spot.
For $39 a month, Mets fans can now download standing room only mobile tickets for any Mets home game this season, with the opportunity to upgrade to seated tickets on week days. Amazin’ Mets Pass is a new Netflix-style, app-based program targeted at the younger demographics.
Robinson Cano wanted to test his limits and get accustomed to National League baseball. So he asked Mickey Callaway to let him play six games in a row this spring and the results have been good.
Around the National League East
Outfielder Roman Quinn and reliever Tommy Hunter will likely begin the season on the injured list for the Phillies. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia previews the rest of the Phillies likely Opening Day roster.
The Nationals announced yesterday that Mike DeBartolo and Sam Mondry-Cohen are both being promoted to the title of assistant general manager.
Kevin Gausman was slowed by right shoulder discomfort at the start of camp. He stretched out to 58 pitches yesterday in an intrasquad game and would need to get up to 90 pitches to be ready to start the season. Whether he will be ready for Opening Day is still up in the air, the Braves say.
Meanwhile, the Marlins are still trying to settle on what their starting rotation will be. Jose Urena has been named the Opening Day starter, but there are six starters in competition for the other four spots.
Around Major League Baseball
“I love that dude, man,” David Ortiz said of Ichiro. Ortiz and others discuss Ichiro’s quirky sense of humor and the other great things about the Japanese star.
Extensions, extensions, extensions! They’re all the rage. Of course, the big one is Mike Trout’s 12-year, $430 million extension with the Angels. But many others happened yesterday too. Alex Bregman and the Astros have come to a $100 million agreement. The Astros extended reliever Ryan Pressly as well, to the tune of two years, $17.5 million. Brandon Lowe and the Rays agreed to a six-year, $24 million contract with two club options.
With Bryce Harper hailing from Las Vegas and projecting the star power in his personality befitting of Los Angeles and Mike Trout hailing from the Philadelphia suburbs, it seemed like fate that Harper would be in LA and Trout would be in Philly. But it turned out to be the other way around in the end.
The Arizona Fall League season will now begin on September 17th and end on October 27th, picking up right after the minor league season ends. Teams can now also nominate any player under contract to play in the AFL. This effectively makes the AFL more like a traditional instructional league.
Michael Fulmer has been recommended for Tommy John surgery. His velocity has been down all spring. He is seeking a third opinion.
Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue
Maggie Wiggin made the argument that Pete Alonso should be the Mets Opening Day first baseman.
This Date in Mets History
The Yankees officially announced on March 20, 1961 that the new franchise in New York—the Mets—could not use Yankee Stadium for their home games. So the Mets had to refurbish the old Polo Grounds instead until Shea Stadium was built.