Your Sunday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.
Meet the Mets
Carlos Carrasco said he felt his hamstring “pop” during sprinting drills. He has since been diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring strain and there is not yet a timetable for his return.
In yesterday’s simulated game, David Peterson threw five innings and Dominic Smith returned to the batter’s box.
Luis Rojas indicated that Peterson “probably has the lead” for the fifth starter slot (which will be the fourth slot while Carrasco is out).
Rojas also said that while Carrasco remains sidelined, the Mets may sometimes utilize an opener. “There’s lineups out there that we can benefit from having an opener and getting one to two innings, and having a guy come in and give us three, and bridge to the late-inning guys that we have,” he said. “There’s some strategy that we can include against certain lineups.”
Today’s Grapefruit League game against the Nationals will be a preview of Opening Day, with Jacob deGrom facing off against Max Scherzer on the mound and the Mets trotting out their starting lineup.
The Mets released minor league catcher Andres Regnault.
In other injury updates, Arodys Vizcaino (sore elbow) should pitch again in about a week, while Seth Lugo has resumed “everything but” throwing.
Around the National League East
Bryce Harper was spotted yesterday pumping gas…in full uniform.
The Phillies bullpen is beginning to take shape. Several of the veteran relievers with the Phillies on minor league contracts can opt out of their deals on Wednesday if they don’t think they will be making the team.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com reviews four remaining questions the Braves have heading into the home stretch of spring training, including the latest on Mike Soroka and the competition for the fifth starter slot.
As Carter Kieboom continues to struggle this spring, filling Anthony Rendon’s shoes looms large for the Nationals’ young third baseman. They have some internal options to utilize of Kieboom’s struggles continue into the regular season.
Sandy Alcantara will start on Opening Day for the Marlins for the second consecutive year.
Around Major League Baseball
Ken Davidoff of the Post calls the recent criticism of the Rays’ approach to team building—slashing payroll in favor of a wholehearted embracing of analytics—“beyond ridiculous.”
Baseball is testing out limits to the infield shift in order to drive up batting average on balls in play, but Rob Arthur of Baseball Prospectus points out that infield shifting is only part of the picture. Outfield defensive positioning has also played a large role in the drop in BABIP.
Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue
This Date in Mets History
A couple of former Mets were born on March 21: Shawon Dunston and Tommy Davis.