Spring Training Game Preview: Nationals vs Mets

Recapping Wednesday:
The Mets had an off day yesterday and the day before that they lost to the Cardinals 3-0 on the road. For the most part, the Mets pitching was fine. Oswalt allowed 1 run off 2 hits in 4.0 innings while striking out 3, which was a great improvement from his time out before that where he allowed 5 runs in 2.2 innings. Familia and Betances came in after him allowing a walk each and striking out a player each. Familia’s ERA has dropped 1.50 (also has a lot of walks). Continuing his great spring, Castro allowed a hit and nothing else. Blevins hit a few bumps with 2 runs, 1 earned in his inning of work.

There wasn’t much going for the Mets at the plate as they scattered 4 hits. Lindor got on base twice, his spring OPS sitting at 1.059. McNeil got a double and McCann racked up another hit keeping his batting average above .300. Nimmo and Alonso had their first rough day in a while going a combined 0-7 with no walks.

What We Are Watching For Tonight:
David Peterson.

That’s what we’re watching tonight! This is David Peterson’s game as he continues to fight for a spot in the rotation. Time is running down with spring training games left. In two games Peterson has allowed 3 runs from 6 hits over 6.0 innings with two walks and a strikeout. With Yamamoto already announced to be in minors to start the season, Peterson’s spot looks safe for now. But the Mets may play around with the idea of an opener – maybe having Peterson and Montgomery/Gsellman combine for a start. And ultimately Peterson is really pitching right now to stick around once Carrasco and Syndgergaard come back.

So we are focusing on Peterson tonight!

Let’s Go Mets!

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Spring Training Game Preview: Mets @ Cardinals

Recapping Yesterday:
The Mets got back in the win column yesterday with 5-3 win over the Miami Marlins. Francisco Lindor right now is playing for a massive contract extension – he smashed his 4th homer of the spring and added a single and a double at the plate for 7 total bases on the day – raising his OPS to 1.074. Also having a sneaky good spring at the plate has been Kevin Pillar who added two more hits, raising his batting average to .324 and OPS to .895.

Marcus Stoman was tagged for 3 runs off 9 hits in 5.0 innings (There was also a three run homer that was called back in the first inning). It was a weird day for umpiring. Anyway, he still looked good as he continues to get ready for the season. The bullpen behind him was fantastic. Barnes had another scoreless outing. His worst start in spring was his first one, he’s been great since then. Aaron Loup struck out the side. Trevor May allowed one walk and nothing else and Tommy Hunter finally put together a perfect inning of work. (The Mets need to decide if they are going to add Hunter to the active roster by Sunday).

What We Are Watching Today:
Originally Taijuan Walker was going to get the big start today with a tremendous starting lineup but instead he’ll be pitching in the B game at home. Corey Oswalt will get the start instead. In his first A game outing, Oswalt struck out 5 over 2.0 innings. In his second A game outing, he allowed 5 runs over 2.2 innings. So, a bit of a mixed back.

But today’s lineup. Amazing. With J.D. Davis in as the DH, this lineup looks a DH style Mets lineup with Nimmo and Lindor at top and McCann and Guillorme rounding things out at the end. Here are some spring OBP’s in today’s lineup:

  • Nimmo- .452
  • Lindor – .390
  • Conforto – .361
  • Alonso – .477

Outstanding! Let’s Go Mets!

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Spring Training Game Preview: Marlins vs Mets

Recapping Yesterday:
The fell behind in the 3rd inning yesterday and could never catch up. Joey Lucchesi held the Astros scoreless through the first two innings and then allowed 3 runs in the third, making it his worst outing of the spring. The Mets would claw back throughout the game but ultimately fell short.

The biggest offensive moment for the Mets came from Almora who hit a three run homer in the top of the 8th inning putting the Mets within in one run. Outside of that, Tovar was the only other player to have a tremendously positive day, picking of 2 hits. Jon Villar went 1-4 and got a walk, a .400 OBP that moved his OPS up just slightly to .435 (rough spring). Jose Peraza got an extended look with 4 trips to the plate but didn’t do anything with it, dropping his OPS to .374.

Eickhoff and Montgomery were also auditioning yesterday for an outside chance to make the rotation. Eickhoff allowed 2 runs, 1 earned over 2.0 innings, lowering his ERA to 11.25. Honestly, it should have been worse as he got someone to hit into a triple play. Montgomery continued to pitch well. He scattered 2 hits and 2 strikeouts in 2.0 innings, keeping his spring ERA at 0.

What We’re Watching For Today:
Were only a week and a half away from Opening Day! The big outing of the day belongs to Marcus Stroman. In 4 games and 13.1 innings this year, Stroman has allowed 4 runs from 9 hits while striking out 14. That translates into a 2.70 ERA and a 0.825 WHIP. We’re looking forward to another afternoon of watching Stroman pitch!

Lefty Aaron Loup is also scheduled to pitch today. In 5 games and 4.2 innings he has allowed 3 runs, 2 earned from 5 hits and no walks while striking out 6. Leading to an ERA of 3.86 and a WHIP of 1.071. The lefty situation for the Mets was a question mark most of the off-season as the Mets missed out on several lefties. As a nice surprise in camp, homegrown player Daniel Zamora has been terrific over 5 games and 4.2 innings allowing no runs from 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 3.

Let’s Go Mets!

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Spring Training Game Preview: Astros vs Mets

Recapping Yesterday:
Yesterday was another great day for the Mets as they beat the Nationals 9-7. Jacob deGrom allowed 3 hits and walked 2 batters in 4.2 innings of work while striking out 5. For a third time this spring, he didn’t allow any runs and he lowered his Spring ERA to 0.66. He’s just having a tremendous spring.

He was followed by more good news. Miguel Castro finished off his 5th inning and struck out his only batter, keeping his 0.00 ERA. Diaz had another perfect spring training inning, keeping his 0.00 ERA. Betances finally had a perfect inning! Lowering his ERA to 10.80.

The action at the plate ended up stealing the show from deGrom. Dominic Smith hit a double in his return to the lineup. Conforto went 1-5, but his one hit was a homer. Lindor went 1-5, but his one hit was a homer – he’s just been scorching the ball as of late.

What We’re Watching For Today:
The Mets are continuing to look at back end rotation candidates and today’s starter has an easier path to the rotation right now. Joey Lucchesi will make his 3rd appearance this spring. In 5.0 innings this year he has allowed no runs, no hits an has struck out 7 – pretty great.

A couple of long shots for the rotation are scheduled to pitch too: Jared Eickhoff, Mike Montgomery and Tommy Hunter. Eickhoff’s spring line hasn’t been tremendously pretty – in his one outing he allowed 4 runs from 4 hits (including a homer) over 2.0 innings. This will be Mike’s third outing and so far he has allowed 1 unearned run over 2.2 innings from 2 hits and a walk while striking out 5. He’s had the best spring out of the three pitchers in this paragraph. Tommy Hunter has seen the most action in Spring, but only for one inning each time. In 4 games and 4.0 innings he has allowed 2 runs from 3 hits and 4 walks while striking out 3.

Let’s Go Mets!

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Spring Training Game Preview: Mets @ Nationals

Recapping Friday’s Game:
The Mets had the rare Saturday day off – a Spring Training exclusive – after a terrific game on Friday that saw Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam for his second homer of the season. Lindor got off to a slow start this spring but this past week he’s been killing it, his batting average has gone up to .310 and his OPS has gone up to .892. Tomas Nido also showed off a bit a of power hitting his first spring homer on a day where he went 3-3 at the plate. Alonso continued his terrific spring with his 5th double of spring, raising his OPS to 1.367.

But the big story of the day was the pitching. Friday Morning we were talking about Carrasco’s injury and how the Mets would need Walker to step up. He pitched 4.0 innings allowing one hit and a walk while striking out 3 with no runs. Blevins came in after pitched a perfect inning. Oswalt – who was in competition for the fifth starting spot, but very far down the depth chart – pitched his way out of the competition allowing 5 runs over 2.2 innings. Finally, Zamora continued his very good spring with another scoreless inning of work, keeping his ERA at 0.

What We Are Watching Today:
It’s another Jacob deGrom start on a weekend, on the road. You know that means? No television coverage! After facing Grienke twice on the road, deGrom faces Scherzer today. You would think the MLB would want to do everything they could to promote a start like this today, especially with the basketball tournaments happening at the same time. But no. No cameras.

Anyway, today will be deGrom’s first start against an NL East team this spring. In his first three starts (two against the Astros, one against the Cardinals) he has allowed 1 run on a solo homer, 3 hits total in 9.0 innings while striking out an absurd 16 batters.

In another important turn of events, Dominic Smith returns to the line up today after being sidelined for the better part of a week with a wrist injury. Anyway today’s lineup is pretty close to an Opening Day lineup, including no DH and deGrom getting some AB’s too.

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Get To Know A 2021 Non-Roster Invitee: Mallex Smith

Each year at 213 we look through the Non-Roster Invitees to spring training and get to know them a bit. Are they in camp to get a look at big league hitting/pitching to aid their development? Are the Mets just trying to get a better look at a future rookie? Are they a veteran trying to get back to the major league level? What can we expect from them this season?

It’s finally the end of this series! Today we look at Mallex Smith who signed a minor league contract with the Mets way back on November 4th, part of an early wave of depth signings for the Mets. Smith was drafted in 2011 by the Brewers but didn’t sign. He was then drafted the following year by the Padres in the 5th round. In December 2014 he was traded with Max Fried and others to the Braves for Justin Upton (he’s the second player the Mets have in camp who was involved in a Justin Upton trade) and he made his major league debut with the Braves. In January 2017 he was traded to the Mariners and then that same day he was traded to the Rays. At the end of 2018 he was traded back to the Mariners (because who hasn’t been involved in multiple Seattle trades) and signed as a free agent with the Mets.

Statistically, Mallex Smith is an interesting player because he’s not too far removed from a good amount of success at the plate. He’s a career .255/.325/.361 hitter and is coming off a 2020 campaign where he got only 47 PA’s and hit .133/.170/.178 but in 2018 and 2019 he was different.

For the 2018 Rays he led the league in triples with 10 (and caught stealings with 12, but he did swipe 40 bags that year) which lead to a .296/.367/.406/.773 line over 141 Games and 544 PA’s. The following year in 566 PA’s his slash line dropped a lot, .227/.300/.335/.635 but he did lead the league in steals at 46. Except for 2020, he has always had at least a .635 OPS.

So he’s an interesting player. The outfield picture for the Mets is crowded, assisted by no true centerfielder and several infielders that can also play in the outfield. I’m interested to see the speed that Smith brings to camp. If anything, Syracuse could be very interesting with Fargas/Smith/Ferguson all playing in the outfield.

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Spring Training Game Preview: Cardinals vs Mets

Recapping Yesterday:
The Mets dropped yesterday’s game 3-1 against the Nationals, moving both teams to a .500 record this spring. The game was pretty much the same story for the Mets – which is a good thing – that the star of the game was the starting pitching. Marcus Stroman pitched 5.0 innings allowing 2 hits and no walks leading to a run while striking out 6, dropping his ERA to 2.70. Edwin Diaz had another good inning, he allowed 2 hits this time, but no hits and kept his spring ERA at 0. He was followed by Trevor May who had a perfect inning of work and even messed with his timing with a leg pause (like Marcus Stroman).

There wasn’t much to mention at the plate. Kevin Pillar continue his great spring (at the plate), picking up two hits and bumping his OPS to .966. McCann in the cleanup spot hit a double. Villar continue to to struggle, going 0-3 and dropping his OPS to .394.

What to Watch For Today:
The Mets got some bad news with Carlos Carrasco yesterday – he has a hamstring tear and will be sidelined for an undetermined amount of time, but right now it looks like we are talking about months instead of weeks. So now the Mets depth is even more important.

The last big free agent signing for the Mets, Taijuan Walker, was signed to stretch out the rotation. His second spring start today is now even more important as he is effectively the Mets third starter in the rotation. In his first start he allowed 2 runs from 2 hits in 2.0 innings, where he was great in the first inning and ran into some trouble in the second. He also said he would wear the shark tooth necklace in his next spring start, so we are looking to see if that happens too.

Corey Oswalt is also scheduled to pitch. In a normal Mets season, he would now be slotted to be the Mets 5th starter (or an equivalent pitcher). There are still a few people ahead of him on the depth chart this year. That being said, in 2.0 innings of work this spring he has allowed no hits, no walks and struck out 5.

Let’s Go Mets!

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Spring Training Game Preview: Nationals vs Mets

Recapping Yesterday:
The Mets lost 3-2 to the Marlins yesterday thanks to a Marlins rally in the bottom of the 9th. The Marlins have now improved to 8-2 this spring, but of course, none of this matters (this year more than any other year since teams can end an inning after a certain amount of pitches, etc).

For the Mets, the story of the day belongs to Joey Lucchesi who pitched 3.0 innings, allowing 2 walks and struck out 4 as he continues to make a strong case to break camp as the team’s 5th starter. Tarpley also continued his strong spring yesterday, he allowed a hit and a walk but struck out 2 and lowered his ERA to 1.50. The Mets didn’t have a tremendous day at the plate but Almore hit a big 2 run double and improved his OPS to .786 and Francisco Lindor continued his hot streak and 2-3 at the plate.

What We’re Watching For Today:
Marcus Stroman will go out for his 4th start this spring as he continues to build his arm strength for the beginning of the season. He was above 50 pitches last time and is seeing slight increases with his velocity as his starts go on. He has allowed 3 runs from 7 hits and 2 walks over 8.1 innings which is a 3.24 ERA with a 1.080 WHIP.

For the second day in a row the Mets not exactly going with the Opening Day Starting lineup. Brandon Nimmo is back from his day off at the top of the order and he’ll be followed by Pillar who continues to get an extended look. McCann is actually in the cleanup sot and we’ll get more of Villar, Guillorme and Almora after him. The Mets are also making sure Nido gets more cuts putting him as the DH today. It is worth noting, this is the second day in a row Dominic Smith is not in the lineup after being scratched with general wrist soreness yesterday.

Let’s Go Mets!

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Spring Training Game Preview: Mets @ Marlins

Recapping Yesterday:
Yesterday was a great day for the Mets. Jacob deGrom pitched 4.0 innings allowing 2 hits and striking out 6. He allowed his first run of the spring on a solo homer that the wind got a hold of and just landed right on top of the wall. He looked fantastic. Trevor May struck out the side in his one inning of work and Miguel Castro continued his tremendous spring with 2 K’s in a perfect inning. The Mets bats though stole the show yesterday. Dominic Smith, Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor all homered. It was Smith’s second three run bomb of spring, Alonso’s third homer (on a three hit day) and Lindor’s first shot of the season. Mallex Smith, who hasn’t made a ton of noise with his bat, stole his third base of spring.

On the not great side, Familia came in behind him and allowed a hit and 2 walks in a messing inning and Betances allowed 2 hits and 2 runs over an inning.

What We Looking For Today:
Joey Lucchesi will make his second start this year. In his first outing he walked on batter and that was it in 2.0 innings with 3 strikeouts. We’ll also see McNeil in the leadoff spot today with Nimmo getting the day off. McNeil has two hits this spring after going 1-4 yesterday in 25 trips to the plate. There are few starters after McNeil in the lineup (Lindor, Conforto, Alonso and Smith) and then we get to the bench players.

Luis Guillorme gets a start up the middle today, his first start since his 22 pitch AB on Sunday (he did get some playing time yesterday too). Villar and Almora get the start too. Villar is hitting .158/.200/.316 with his big hit being a homer.

Let’s Go Mets!

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Spring Training Game Preview: Astros vs Mets

Recapping Sunday:
The most important thing you need to know about the last game the Mets played is Luis Guillorme continues to be a Spring Training legend. He had an epic 22 pitch at bat where he started 0-2 and worked out a walk with a cheering Mets dugout behind him. Truly amazing to watch. The next thing to know is David Peterson had a rougher start, 3 runs over 4.0 innings but still had 2 clean innings of work. Corey Oswalt also reminded us all he was on the Mets roster with 2 perfect innings of work with 5 strikeouts.

What To Watch For Today:
Jacob deGrom. That’s what you can watch for today. Finally the Mets ace pitcher will make his spring television debut as the Mets are finally home on one of his starts. Interestingly, this will be his third start this spring against the Astros which is fine because he’s not playing them in the regular season like the Marlins or the Nationals. In his first two starts this spring he has pitched 5.0 innings allowing a hit and a walk and nothing else. He’s also recorded 10 strikeouts – which is just tremendous in spring training in that time frame. (The Mets as a whole recorded 17 Astro strikeouts during deGrom’s last spring start).

Behind deGrom the Mets will send a fairly standard DH lineup with Conforto at DH and Pillar in Right Field. Dominic Smith will continue to get outfield reps as he bats third in the lineup. He’s still looking to fully get it going this spring with 3 hits in 19 trips to the plate, but one of the hits was a big homer. McNeil is also looking to get it going this spring with one hit in 21 trips to the plate. But in the good news department – Brandon Nimmo still has a 1.242 OPS over 24 trips and Pete Alonso has a 1.223 OPS over 26 trips.

Let’s Go Mets!

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