Mets Junkies Game Recap: Megill & Castro sharp; Peterson loses to Cards

The game started off with Pete Alonso making a challenging play in foul territory, battling the sun and the turf to make the out. Alonso stated earlier in the spring that he plans to eventually walk away with a gold glove, as the slugger is known to have a hard worker’s ethic.

After the Cardinals put runners on first and third, Dylan Carlson hit a monster of shot over the left field wall. The outfielder, currently in his sophomore season, would give his Cardinals the 3-0 lead.

The bottom half of the second started off with an amazing interview with Mets manager Buck Showalter. It’s evident that the organization now has a leader to call the shots and make that tough call when need be, coming from what seems to be an extremely entertaining personality.

After a lead off walk from Alonso, then a single by Cahna, putting runners on first and third. James McCann would push an RBI single in the hole between second and first, an approach that McCann plans to make his way back to.

Paul Goldschmidt then lead the third inning off, drilling a shot over the left-center field gate. The home run, Goldschmidt’s first of the spring, gave the Card’s a 4-1 lead over the Mets.

Travis Jankowski, a Lancaster, Pennsylvania native and Stony Brook alumni, made a case to be the team’s fifth outfielder, as he made a stellar diving catch in the top of the fourth.

Francisco Lindor started off a phenomenal 6-4-5 double play with a backhanded stop in the hole, McNeil had the wherewithal to go to third for the second out of the play.

Megill also did an in-dugout interview after pitching three scoreless frames. The right-hander told Steve Gelbs that he is working on the command of his slider, his new cutter, as well as his curveball.

Megill spoke about adding a new pitch to his arsenal, “I definitely wanted to add another weapon… I wanted something hard and something that goes into lefties, so they can respect the four-seam.”

Miguel Castro threw a scoreless 7th as the right-hander’s stuff was looking electric. His fastball was getting up to around 98MPH, and a ton of movement on all of his pitches.

Daniel Palka, a 30 year old outfielder/ first baseman acquired from the White Sox, hit a two-run double in the bottom of the seventh, cutting the lead down to 4-3. Palka has approximately two seasons under his belt, and will likely be in Syracuse for most of the year.

Sean Reid-Foley gave up a couple of runs in the 8th, while I really like this right-hander, it looks like he’ll he starting 2022 in Syracuse.

Mets former second round pick and third base prospect Mark Vientos singled in a run in his only at-bat in the 8th inning, shaving the Cardinals lead down to 5-4.

The Mets gave up another run in the top part of the 9th, and would eventually drop the exhibition contest to the Cardinals, their second loss of the Spring.

The 2-0 Miami Marlins will host tomorrow’s exhibition game against the Mets as Max Scherzer is set to take the hill. Unfortunately, the game will not be televised.

Photo Credit: Anthony DiComo

Mets Add Two Players on Minor League Deals

The Mets announced on their transaction page that they have added five players on Minor League deals. Three (Chasen Shreve/Johneswhy Fargas/Travis Jankowski) were already known, the other two weren’t known until now.

Taiwan Native Tzu-Wei Lin was added to add some middle infield depth. The 28 year old has been on a major league roster at some point in every year since 2017. He has played for Boston (101 games) and Minnesota (1 game in 2021). He doesn’t provide much at the plate, hitting just .223/.298/.316 over those 102 games in the bigs.

What Lin does provide is versatility. In his 4 years in Boston he played SS, 2B, 3B, CF, LF and RF. He even pitched one inning and played behind the plate for 0.2 inning. He only needs to play first to get playing time at every spot. That’s quite an accomplishment on its own.

The Mets also Tim Adleman to a minor league contract. The 34 year old right-hander last pitched in the majors in 2017 for the Reds. In those two years he pitched in 43 games, making 33 starts with a 4.97 ERA. He pitched 192 total innings for the Reds between 2016 and 2017.

After a year in the KBO, Aldeman returned to America and pitched in the Tigers and Reds organizations. Last year he pitched to a 3.80 ERA in 45 innings for the AAA Reds.

In 2019, he was solid in the Tigers organization, pitching to a 3.23 ERA between AA and AAA. He pitched to a 1.10 WHIP with 123 strikeouts over 117 innings.

Both won’t likely make it to the majors this year and if all goes well, they will be fill in Players for the minor league roster.

Photo Credit: Riccardo Schiroli on Twitter

Mets Sign Travis Jankowski to Minor League Deal

The Mets added outfield depth with the signing of Travis Jankowski to a minor league deal with a spring training invite.

The 30 year old former Philly played in 76 games with the Phillies, hitting .252/.364/.351 with 1 homerun and 10 RBI’s. The left handed hitter plays Center most of the time but also saw some time in the corner spots. He had a positive 2 OAA in center field last year, showing he can still play that spot.

If needed Jankowski can fill in, be a tough out and play solid defense with speed (88th percentile in sprint speed 2021). He will provide depth behind the starting three and Nick Plummer/Khalil Lee.

Photo credit: MLB Trade Rumors

Shreve Returns on Minor League Deal

The Mets have resigned lefty Chasen Shreve on a minor league deal. He will be the main candidate to make the Mets pen from the left side, after back to back solid seasons.

The 30 year old pitched to a very solid 3.20 ERA over 56.1 innings pitched. This comes after a season where Shreve pitched to a 3.96 ERA over 25 innings for the Mets. Over the last two years combined, Shreve pitched to a 1.23 WHIP and 124 ERA+.

While Shreve doesn’t strikeout a ton of hitters, he doesn’t allow hard contact. His hard hit percentage was in the 94th percentile while a lot of other statecast numbers are solid.

Baseball Savant

Main attraction to Shreve his game is his ability to get lefties out. Last year Shreve held lefties to a .200/.289/.344 slash line.

Shreve will battle Alex Claudio for the lefty relief job in the Mets bullpen.

Photo Credit: MLB Trade Rumors

Mets Bring Back Mike Montgomery on a Minor League Deal

According to Robert Murray, the Mets have signed left hander Mike Montgomery to a minor league deal. It’s not the first time the Mets got Montgomery on a minor league contract as he pitched during the Mets 2021 Spring training.

He was released on the last day of spring after a poor outing as he didn’t make the squad. He ended up signing with the Yankees, who released him in May. After the Yankees released him Montgomery pitched for the Samsung Lions in the KBO. He pitched to a 5.37 ERA in 52 innings. He didn’t make himself popular after tossing the rosin bag to the ump in frustration.

The now 32 year old former first round pick, does have a solid track record in the majors. Overall in 541 innings, Montgomery pitched to a respectable 3.84 ERA. He had his most successful time between 2016 and 2018, pitching to a 3.35 ERA.

Montgomery is most known for one moment as he was the pitcher who got the final out of the 2016 World Series for the Cubs. For the Mets he will provide minor league depth as the depth from the left side is extremely thin.

Photo Credit: MLB Trade Rumors

Alonso gets in wreck, then named the 6th best first baseman in Majors

Mets star first baseman Pete Alonso had a near death experience on Monday morning while heading to the team’s complex. The slugger said in an interview that his car flipped over about three times in an accident, leaving Alonso shook but also grateful.

Every day’s a gift. Man, today’s really special for me,” the 2019 home run champ said. “I just had a blast out there today, doing work, seeing everybody. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier showing up to Spring Training. It’s truly amazing how I’m here. I’m so fortunate that everyone’s ok.” Alonso conceded the incident inflicted “a lot of emotional toll” but noted he’s “here, happy and healthy.”

While he reiterates that he’s fine and should be good going forward in regards to his health, I’m sure Mets management is keeping a close eye on their clean-up hitter.

Also Read: Is Freddie Freeman a Good Fit for the Mets?

Later on that same evening, MLB Network ranked the 27-year old as the 6th best first baseman on MLB Now, landing him in the midst of some pretty impeccable talent.

In 1366 at-bats, Alonso has 63 doubles, 106 home runs and 249 RBI’s. This gives him an average of 28 doubles, 46 home runs, and 109 RBI’s per every 162 games.

However, Baseball-Reference.com projects the former Rookie of Year to slug 24 doubles, 35 home runs, with 87 RBI’s in the upcoming 2022 season. That would be a substantial drop in the power department from his 162 game average.

Photo Credit: Haley Alonso

Mets Add Depth in Signing Ottavino

The Mets have added depth in the pen, signing Adam Ottavino to an one year, 4 million dollar deal. The 36 year old is coming off a difficult season, pitching to a 4.21 ERA.

However, the statecast numbers for Ottavino are pretty solid. He limited hard hit contact and hitters couldn’t barrel him up. His expected ERA, expected Batting Average against and expected slugging were also very solid. Main issue with Ottavino was his walk rate and chase rate.

What is odd to me, looking at his statecast numbers is his chase rate. Ottavino is known for his good slider, so a lack of hitters chasing his pitches is surprising to me. What isn’t surprising with his slider is the success against RHders.

In the end Ottavino is still an arm with a track record and experience in high leverage situations. He will join Diaz, May, Castro, Lugo and Smith as the main righties in the Mets pen. The Mets clearly still need a lefty and will most likely add one.

Photo Credit: New York Post Sports

Familia signs with Phillies

Well, this could end up being an addition by subtraction but I get the feeling the Mets may end up missing the righty. Jeurys Familia has signed a one year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Familia’s contract is worth approximately $6M and can go as high as approximately $7M. The sinker ball pitcher is a career 32-25 pitcher with 3.28 ERA in 498.2 innings pitched.

During the 2021 campaign, Familia went 9-4 with an ERA 3.94 in 59.1 innings.

The deal comes a few hours after the Mets and Athletics struck up a trade for starting pitcher Chris Bassitt.

Mets strike deal with Athletics

The New York Mets and Oakland Athletics have agreed on a deal that would bring starting pitcher Chris Bassitt to Queens. In return, the Mets would send highly regarded prospect J.T. Ginn alongside mid level prospect Adam Oller.

Also Read: #MetsCrushMonday: J.T. Ginn

While Oller is a lot older at 27 years old, Ginn would be the prize prospect in this deal for the Athletics, as he was the Mets fifth best prospect before the deal.

As of today, Bassitt, a sinker-ball pitcher, will slot into the number three spot of the rotation right behind Max Scherzer. The right hander also possesses a fastball, cutter, slider, change up, and curve, in his arsenal on the hill.

Last season, the right hander went 12-4 with a 3.15 ERA in 157.1 innings pitched while earning an appearance at the All-Star Game.

Photo: SNY

Mets in on Jose Iglesias

The Mets are interested in Short Stop Jose Iglesias according to Mike Rodriguez. The Mets are in talks with the 32 year old, with the Guardians, Red Sox, Orioles and Diamondbacks also in the mix.

It’s clear what Iglesias his job will be, if he signs with the Mets. He will be a back up infielder who can man Short if needed. Iglesias is most known for his very solid glove and tremendous plays with the glove.

With the bat Iglesias doesn’t provide much. A career .700 OPS, mostly because of his lack of power and on base skills. In 2021 Iglesias hit .271/.309/.391 with 9 homeruns and 48 driven in. Iglesias doesn’t work the count, so he doesn’t strike out a lot, besides being one of the worst in the league according to chase rate.

His main attraction is the glove. Iglesias is able to make mind boggling plays at short. But in 2021, he also showed some smooth plays at second. Iglesias had a plus 1 OAA at short and second in 2021. Worth noting is that Iglesias his OAA in 2019 and 2020 combined was 17, which is really good.

If the Mets believe he can play the infield like he did in 19/20, that’s a major plus. He won’t give the Mets much with the bat so his value is defense.

After a down year (-0.7 WAR), it’s possible Iglesias accepts a minor league deal? If it’s a MLB deal, I am not in favor of getting Iglesias. His defense took a hit in 2021 and with that being his main asset, I think there are better options in house to be the back up infielder. Guillorme anyone?

PhotoCredit: Major League Baseball Indonesia on twitter