Spring Training Game Preview: Nationals vs Mets

The Nationals are coming to the Mets today as the Mets plan on hiding their regular pitchers again. Noah Syndergaard will be pitching in a “B” game while Kyle Dowdy will get a major opportunity to impress coaches this afternoon.

Yesterday Hector Santiago was given the same opportunity with Jacob deGrom pitching in the “B” game and things did not go well for Santiago who allowed 6 runs off 7 hits in 0.2 innings (to that point he allowed 1 run in about 6 innings of work). The bad situation for him turned into a longer opportunity for other players to pitch. Coleman threw 2.1 scoreless innings. O’Rourke through 2.0 scoreless and Bashlor allowed 1 run over 2.0 innings (from 4 hits).

Kyle Dowdy was selected in the Rule V draft from the Indians organization, he is part of a group of pitchers battling for the last roster spot on the team. If the Mets decide that he is not a fit on the 25-man roster, he’ll be returned to the Indians organization.

MMO did a detailed write-up on Dowdy after the winter meetings. The basic goal of carrying a pitcher like Dowdy is he could eat innings. The Mets aren’t looking for him to be lights out but just be a level of redundancy for pitching depth so if an unexpected injury happens, the Mets don’t have to consider moving Lugo/Gsellman. Baseball America reported that Dowdy has seen a velocity increase this spring, going from 88-94 to 95-96, touching 99 a few times. Dowdy credits the change to using a weighted ball.

Spring Training games haven’t been so kind to Dowdy. Over the 4 major league games he has pitched in, totaling 4.1 innings, he has allowed 7 runs, 6 earned off 9 hits and 4 walks. So, today is a big day for him.

Other Things To Watch For:

  1. Yesterday we noted that despite hitting his second homer of the spring, Conforto was having a slow spring in the idea of consistently getting on base. Well he went 1-2 yesterday with a walk and a homer so now he’s batting .244/.292/.400 and my streak of saying something in this section and the opposite occurring in reality stays intact.
  2. Alonso hit his 4th homer of the season leading pretty much the entire world to conclude that he’s one of the best 25 men in camp. So let’s see what the Mets do with that. He’s now hitting .356/.396/.644 over 48 PAs.
  3. Robinson Cano continues to put together an amazing spring. He went 2-2 with a walk yesterday including a double moving his spring line to .457/.486/.686 over 37 PAs.
  4. The Mets have 8 spring training games left before Opening Day. Mesoraco went 1-4 yesterday. Dominic Smith went 0-4 yesterday (but he’s having a tremendous spring). This is probably not, and shouldn’t be, the universe where the Mets carry 3 catchers and 2 first basemen so as much as they are each competing with other people in their positions right now, they may be competing against each other. The injuries to Lowrie and Frazier give the upper hand to Smith right now in my opinion.

Let’s Go Mets!

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