The Mets’ search for roster flexibility once Todd Frazier returns includes a new potential role for the veteran third baseman: backup shortstop.
On Tuesday, Frazier played five innings at third base and four at shortstop in a rehab game for Single-A St. Lucie. The 33-year-old Frazier’s previous action at shortstop came in 2011, when he appeared in two games at the position for the Reds.
Luis Guillorme is the Mets’ backup at shortstop, but he could be optioned to Triple-A Syracuse once Frazier returns. J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith are the other backup infielders with minor league options, but the Mets may prefer to keep both in the major leagues.
However, manager Mickey Callaway also mentioned the possibility of adding an eighth reliever.
“We have to have another guy that might be able to play short at some point, so we want to get [Frazier] as many reps as possible,” Callaway said before the Mets lost 14-8 to the Twins at Citi Field. “We are still getting him prepared to come up and be a third baseman like he traditionally is.”
Frazier, who is returning from a strained left oblique, could rejoin the Mets on their road trip which begins Thursday in Atlanta.
“He is getting close to where you should start getting comfortable to come up and compete, as far as number at-bats in a rehab assignment,” Callaway said. “But we have to make sure that we communicate with him and make sure he’s ready to go 100 percent. That is the one thing we want to do this year is make sure that these guys when they come up here, they are 100 percent ready.”
Brandon Nimmo rewarded Callaway’s faith in keeping him in the leadoff spot by going 2-for-4 with a homer, double and a walk. Callaway admitted he considered removing Nimmo — who entered play with 17 strikeouts in 29 at-bats — from the top of the order, but stuck with him based on his final innings Sunday against the Nationals.
“We thought a lot about it,” Callaway said. “If we didn’t see what we saw in the last few at-bats the other night, we could have made a switch, but we felt those last couple of at-bats, really putting a good swing on [Max] Scherzer, helped us to keep him there for the meantime.”
Jed Lowrie took batting practice for the second time in his rehab with the club, but said he still does not have a timetable on beginning a minor league rehab assignment. Lowrie has been sidelined since early in spring training with a sprained capsule in his left knee.
Published at Wed, 10 Apr 2019 08:49:41 +0000