Slowly however absolutely, the Mets’ injured checklist is starting to return a few of its firepower to the lively roster.
Pete Alonso is anticipated to be activated off the injured checklist Monday when the Mets start a collection in opposition to the Diamondbacks in Arizona. Reliever Seth Lugo and outfielder Kevin Pillar could also “potentially” join him, supervisor Luis Rojas mentioned, however a wholesome Alonso would ship a huge jolt to a lineup that was down to three regulars with out him.
“Huge presence,” Rojas mentioned Sunday after the Mets and Braves have been postponed at Citi Field. “[James] McCann has done a really good as first baseman for us lately, but to have Pete in there, the impact of his presence, it changes a lot of things.”
Alonso went on the 10-day IL on May 21 with a proper hand sprain that stemmed from getting hit by a pitch on May 5 in St. Louis — at which level he was hitting .287 with 5 dwelling runs and an .892 OPS. He initially tried to play via it, however for the reason that recreation he was hit, he batted simply 5-for-40 (.125) with one dwelling run and a .505 OPS in 12 video games earlier than lastly touchdown on the IL.
The Mets placed on a energy present Saturday night time with an unlikely group — McCann, Jonathan Villar, Brandon Drury, Billy McKinney and Francisco Lindor — crushing 5 dwelling runs in a 13-2 win over the Braves. But having Alonso again within the coronary heart of the lineup offers the Mets a extra reliable menace.
“His presence is definitely something we need,” Rojas mentioned. “If we hit for power, which is something Pete can do, we can score a lot of runs. We had a sample of that [Saturday]. So having Pete here, our most powerful presence in the lineup, it can lead to that. It can lead to some more power numbers to start trending up like we did [Saturday] without him being activated yet.”
In Alonso’s absence, the Mets held down the fort to go 5-3. They additionally shifted McCann to first base to fill in for Alonso, beginning the catcher there in 4 of their final 5 video games. He dealt with himself properly defensively and got here alive Saturday with a four-hit night time, which added to an fascinating determination the Mets will now have to make.
Just earlier than Alonso was sidelined, the Mets had begun to give Tomas Nido extra begins behind the plate. The playing-time determination was barely alleviated by McCann’s potential to play first base whereas Alonso was out, however now Rojas can be tasked with determining how to break up up the begins at catcher.
“[McCann] and Nido, as of now, are going to split the catching time,” Rojas mentioned. “Mac could get his time at first as properly, since he’s proven us he can do it. Having [Patrick] Mazeika on the roster helps us have some shifting components there and have each of the catchers if we want them to be within the recreation. But as of now from the catching place standpoint, these guys are going to break up time.
“Nido’s done a really good job catching and hitting and McCann’s coming up — he’s also caught very well, but he’s coming up with his bat as well.”
The Mets’ IL at one level hit a excessive of 17 gamers, however after Taijuan Walker was activated Saturday and returned to dominant kind on the mound, Alonso, Lugo and Pillar would reduce that quantity down to 13 — nonetheless with vital gamers sidelined, however an vital step in the correct course.
Lugo, who underwent surgical procedure in February to take away a free physique from his proper elbow, threw 4 ¹/₃ innings throughout 4 video games on his rehab task.
Pillar, in the meantime, defied expectations together with his speedy return. He was hit within the face with a 94.5 mph fastball on May 17, struggling nasal fractures that required surgical procedure final Monday. But he rapidly superior to baseball actions and, like Alonso, has appeared good hitting off the high-velocity pitching machine, in accordance to Rojas.