Mets first baseman Pete Alonso was hit on the wrist by a pitch Wednesday and hasn’t played since. Initial X-rays came back negative and he was diagnosed with a contusion, but the diagnosis seems to be worsening. As the club was in Atlanta yesterday, he left for New York to undergo further testing, including an MRI. This morning, Jon Heyman of The New York Post tweets that there is “real concern” about Alonso hitting the injured list, potentially for weeks. Similarly, Will Sammon of The Athletic tweets that an IL stint seems likely.
An absence from Alonso is the last thing that the club needs at the moment. Having just been swept by their division rivals in Atlanta, they are now in fourth place in the National League East, 8.5 games behind Atlanta for the lead. Despite their 30-33 record, they’re only three games back of a Wild Card spot at the moment, but losing a player like Alonso surely wouldn’t help matters.
The Mets came into this season with their eyes set on competing, to put it mildly, as they ran up the highest payroll in baseball history. Their struggles are due to various players being hurt or falling short of expectations, but Alonso has continued to be remarkably consistent in his fifth major league season. He’s already launched 22 home runs and his .231/.326/.546 batting line translates to a 139 wRC+, indicating he’s been 39% better than league average. His wRC+ has been between 133 and 144 in each full season in which he’s participated.
Subtracting a bat of that caliber would be a blow to any lineup, but it would be especially noteworthy for the scuffling Mets club. With Alonso sitting out yesterday’s game, rookie Mark Vientos took over at first base. He has hit very well in the minors but is slashing .162/.179/.243 in the majors this year amid sporadic playing time. Perhaps a regular gig would help him get into a groove at the plate, but it wouldn’t be fair to expect him to simply jump up to Alonso’s level in short order.
The Mets have some significant games coming up on the schedule, which they may have to navigate without Alonso. They are in Pittsburgh this weekend to play the Pirates, the team currently holding the final playoff spot in the National League. The rest of the month sees them square off against the Yankees, Astros and Phillies, among others.