Here are some assorted thoughts after a few Spring Training games.

Adrian Houser had a nice debut. I’m still not sure he can be counted on to go more than 4-5 innings per start, though.

With none of the three outfielders who are expected to be in the Opening Day lineup to have taken a single AB, we’ve seen a lot of minor league and Quad A guys get a shot. Drew Gilbert is 1-6 with a walk, while Alex Ramirez is 3-6 with a double and a walk. It’s no surprise Gilbert is getting playing time, as he has a shot to make the majors later this year. But Ramirez, who was lousy in A-ball last year, is definitely shocking to have seen so much time in major league camp.

Luisangel Acuna has five ABs, with two hits and three strikeouts. He’s also drawn two walks. He’s made all of the plays in the field, on both sides of the second base bag. But the balls to him at shortstop were a little too close for comfort at first base. The arm doesn’t seem to be the problem, though.

Luke Voit is built like a tank and has a button or two on his jersey undone. He’s also 1-8 with 3 Ks. Ji Man Choi belted a homer on Monday and has seen time at 1B. But hopefully neither of these guys see playing time in the majors with the Mets this year.

Nate Lavender has had two strong outings, facing the minimum of six batters in his two innings of work. He struck out the side in his first appearance and added another whiff his second time out. He may not be a candidate to go north with the club but at this point it would be a surprise if we didn’t see him in Queens at some point this season.

Everyone is bending over backwards to praise Jorge Lopez, talking about how electric his stuff is. Well, he gave up a homer on the first pitch he threw on Tuesday. He also issued a walk. And the only reason he didn’t suffer more damage is because of a nice play by Ramirez on a ball that was smoked, one which he turned into a DP because the runner on first figured it was a sure hit.

Yacksel Rios and Dedniel Nunez both have some giddyup with their fastball. The front office is emphasizing pitchers who can throw heat, so these two bear watching. When they signed Rios, he barely registered a mention. Nunez has been in the farm system for eons with hardly much buzz. But if these guys can throw strikes, they might factor into things.

10 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (2/28/24)

  • David Groveman

    Trayce Thompson is off to an amazing start and has been good in the field as well. I can’t imagine he’s as good as this small sample but this sample has been great.

    Alex Ramirez is off to a nice start and I am hoping his Spring will be enough to keep him from repeating Brooklyn.

    Nate Lavender is on my list to break camp with the big league club.

    Jett Williams also got a hit and an RBI today which makes me pretty happy.

    The players who are not yet showing much signs of life are Brett Baty and Mark Vientos and after their torrid Springs last year I was really hopeful.

    Plenty of time for things to change.

    • Metstabolism

      I learned a lesson a ling time ago about spring training. And its probably more applicable for prospects and quad-A types like Thompson than most: A lot of players get off to great starts the first week or two, then absolutely crater in Week 3 when the regular starting pitchers are ramped up and going 4 innings or more.
      Two factors interfere with fans’ ability to perceive this. One is small sample size. And the other is that the early numbers were SO big, that we expect them to drop. So when they do, we do not see it as the player doing badly. We would never expect a player to post a 1.200 OPS, so when it drops to 1.000, then .875, then .800 we think thats still fine. But think about it: if he goes from 1.000 after two weeks to .800 after four, that means he went only .600 in those last two weeks. And since you mentioned him, a case in point would be Brett Baty last spring. In truth, he did not have a good spring. He had a good two weeks. The last two weeks, he went 1-for-15 with 7 strike-outs. He wasn’t just bad. he was horrible. But everyone was so pumped up about how “great” a spring he was having that they just didn’t notice how bad he had gotten.

    • Metstabolism

      I think Ramirez’ placement on the 40-man was a pretty strong signal that they planned to moving to Bing. They weren’t going to waste an option on more time in A-ball unless he has an absolutely atrocious in ST.

      Agreed that Baty looks pretty much the same at the plate now as he did last season. Vientos is about where he was last August, and weaker than he looked in September. They do both look better in the filed thus far, Vientos’ error notwithstanding.

  • Brian Joura

    Mets moved to 4-1 in ST with a 3-0 win on Wednesday. Alonso and Trayce Thompson homered and Jett Williams drove in the other run with an infield single.

    Another hit for Alex Ramirez, who replaced Starling Marte in RF. It was the first Grapefruit League action for Marte.

    Daniel Murphy was in the broadcast booth Tuesday and Wednesday and gave a fresh take on things. Don’t know if he’s scheduled for any more games this Spring but I wouldn’t mind him getting more air time.

    • Metstabolism

      I think I’d read that Murph was going to be doing six games this spring. I didn’t see Wednesday’s game yet. But I was first amused, then eventually annoyed that the closed captioning typist kept typing his name in as ‘David’ every time he spoke.

  • John From Albany

    Word is that the Mets are still looking to still add pitching depth. They tried to Julio Teheran to a minor league deal but lost our to Baltimore. They plan to watch the waiver wire and who opts out at the end of Spring Training.

  • Metstabolism

    Spring training is not only about setting the opening day roster. According to Ron Darling, rosters aren’t even really set on OD, and most teams are still tinkering with or auditioning two or three roster spots. Most teams figure it out by the second week of May. The good teams get it by the third week of April. Bad teams might take till late May. And some teams never figure it out.

    As such, not shocking at all to see Ramirez getting lots of playing time: He is likely slated to get sent down early, so this is the only time to play him. And giving him ABs now might just be the Mets’ way of better preparing him for the move up to AA, and what he might see from pitchers there.

    • Brian Joura

      Your logic certainly makes sense. My issue is that I can’t recall the Mets having ever done this before – playing a guy who struggled in A-ball this much in MLB camp.

      When Desmond Lindsay had a .630 OPS in Hi-A in 2018, he got 1 AB in Spring Training in 2019.

      When Jaylen Palmer had a .649 OPS in Hi-A in 2021, he got 2 ABs in Spring Training in 2022
      Ronny Mauricio had a .740 in Hi-A in 2021 and got 4 ABs in Spring Training in 2022

      When Stanley Consuegra had a .690 OPS in Hi-A in 2022, he got 4 ABs in Spring Training in ’23

      There are other guys, too, but I tried to limit it to guys who had some prospect buzz.

      • Metstabolism

        All true. There is a distinction. In past springs, the Mets would officially invite only 1 single-A player to camp, and it was always a premium prospect who was certain to open that season in AA. Any other A-level players were only ones who were borrowed from minor league camp. On that note, I also don’t remember borrowing this many players this early.

  • Nym 6986

    Yes, spring training stats should not be something to get exited about. But I’d still rather they win when they play than lose. It’s just that simple.

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