The Mets could potentially carry Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith on the active roster to open the regular season, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com tweets. Skipper Mickey Callaway says the two first baseman won’t function in a platoon if that does indeed come to pass, but he didn’t divulge how playing time between the two would be divided. Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News weighs in further on the matter, suggesting that it’s possible that one first baseman could start a game, go five or six innings, and then be lifted in the event that a more favorable matchup for the other comes along later in the game. It’s perhaps worth noting that Smith has some limited experience in the outfield, although the Mets’ outfield already is already crowded with Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Keon Broxton and Juan Lagares on board. Both Alonso and Smith have tattooed opposing pitchers this spring, with Alonso raking at a .360/.396/.680 clip and Smith impressing as well at .349/.404/.465.
More on the Mets…
- Several non-roster veterans who are trying to win a job with the Mets have upward mobility clauses in their contracts that have gone into effect, Newsday’s Tim Healey writes. Each of Devin Mesoraco, Adeiny Hechavarria and Rajai Davis had that clause kick into effect Wednesday. In essence, the Mets had until today to either add that trio to the 40-man roster or inform other clubs that each is available. Should another club express a willingness to put any of those players on the big league roster between now and Friday, the Mets would have the opportunity to add him to their own 40-man roster or or allow him to leave for the big league opportunity. Per Healey, left-hander Luis Avilan has the same clause in his contract, but it won’t go into effect for another few days.
- In an effort to counteract increasingly popular defensive shifts, the Mets are placing an organization-wide emphasis on improving bunting skills and hitting to the opposite field, writes DiComo. Offseason acquisitions Robinson Cano and Jed Lowrie are adept at hitting to the opposite field, DiComo notes, and new hitting coach Chili Davis has been working with frequently shifted lefties like Conforto and Smith to improve their ability to take the ball the other way. “I have a philosophy that the way to beat analytics is to go against analytics,” said manager Mickey Callaway. Of course, some opponents may consider it a victory if they can wipe out the possibility of an extra-base hit from one of the Mets’ more dangerous hitters (e.g. Conforto) by coaxing a bunt attempt. The Mets, as DiComo outlines, have worked extensively on bunting drills throughout camp in preparation to challenge some shifts during the upcoming season.