Meet the Mets
The Mets played a simulated game at Nationals Park yesterday to stay loose for the season opener tomorrow.
Despite the fact that—through no fault of their own—the Mets have had their season delayed and now have to make those games up while the division rival Braves get to face the shorthanded version of the Nationals, they have maintained a positive and reasoned outlook. “It’s easy to sit back and look at that and talk about how maybe it’s not fair. But at the same time, life’s not fair,” catcher James McCann said. “You also have to have an understanding. It’s 2021. We’re amid a pandemic. It is what it is. You deal with the cards that are dealt.”
Everyone did acknowledge, however, that watching everyone else in the league play while they have to wait is “weird.” “It’s like a kid on Christmas morning, looking forward to Opening Day, and having it taken away,” McCann said. “The two words I would use are ‘tough’ and ‘strange.’ “
The Mets still have not decided whether they will use Joey Lucchesi as the starter for the fifth game of the season on Saturday or go back to Jacob deGrom on normal rest. Either way, Luis Rojas said that Lucchesi will be available out of the bullpen for the first couple of games of the year.
Seth Lugo began throwing this week and is currently playing catch from 75 feet. He is slated to return to the Mets in mid-May, slightly ahead of schedule. Carlos Carrasco also continues to progress toward a May return.
Cognizant of Jacob deGrom’s impending opt out after the 2022 season, the Mets have at least attempted to preempt the issue by having preliminary extension talks with deGrom this spring. Those talks have did not progress and are not expected to resume this season, reports Andy Martino of SNY. But they are an indication of the team wanting to keep deGrom a Met for the rest of his career.
Around the National League East
The Nationals reported no new positive COVID-19 cases in their latest round of testing, which means they will be able to host the Braves to open their season tomorrow (without their COVID-19 positive players and their contacts).
Yesterday, a couple of Nationals pitchers worked out at Nats Park—one at a time, with masks.
The Nationals signed Jonathan Lucroy yesterday, presumably to fortify their roster in an area of need due to the COVID-19 outbreak affecting the club.
The Nationals are also considering signing Anibal Sanchez, who impressed in his showcase, but has taken a step back since. He was a key part of the Nationals’ 2019 World Series title, but other teams are talking to him as well.
MLB moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta is awful for Braves fans, but it was the right decision, writes Demetrius Bell of Talking Chop.
The Braves have re-signed reliever Carl Edwards Jr. to a minor league deal after releasing him at the end of spring training. They have also given infielder Yolmer Sanchez—released by the Orioles last week—a minor league deal.
Around Major League Baseball
David Lennon of Newsday wonders what is going through the minds of players who are choosing not to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Twins have placed Josh Donaldson on the injured list and called up Brent Rooker.
The Wall Street Journal did a feature on how Lonnie Murray navigates a male-dominated industry as a Black female baseball agent and who she goes to for advice.
Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue
Christian Romo gave us a breakdown of the Mets’ other extension candidates who may follow Francisco Lindor in signing a long-term contract with the Mets.
This Date in Mets History
The Mets hit six home runs in one game on April 4, 1988, including one from Darryl Strawberry that struck the roof of Olympic Stadium.