Mets: Three player takeaways from the Spring Training openers
By Tatiana Snedeker
While the first New York Mets Spring Training game does not determine a team’s regular-season fate, it does give us a closer look at how our players are doing.
Despite many fans not caring much about Spring Training, the New York Mets had their split-squad Spring Training openers. Being the Mets fanatic that I am, naturally, I watched the two games split-screen on my laptop with a big cup of coffee.
The two games were opened by new acquisition Rick Porcello for the home game against the Miami Marlins and Marcus Stroman for the away game opposing the St. Louis Cardinals.
While there is still a month between now and Opening Day, and much can change until then, here are some takeaways by a few of our players from today’s two losses.
1) Rick Porcello
The addition of Rick Porcello to the Met’s starting pitching rotation was something that was relatively polarizing for Mets fans. While many were happy with the choice, it made me rather nervous with his 5.52 ERA and 1.2 WAR in 2019.
In the spring opener, he showed me that he is not a great defensive pitcher and he was lucky to get out of his one inning giving up only one run. Ramos went on to say to SNY’s Steve Gelbs that Porcello’s sinker has improved a great amount and gives him the opportunity to get more grounds into outs.
2) Marcus Stroman
Stroman’s performance in the 2-0 loss to the Cardinals was pretty solid. Stroman retired two batters in the first leaving unscathed. He then went on to struggle slightly in the second with a single HR from Tyler O’Neill and a walk.
For a starting pitcher to only pitch two innings due to the nature of Spring Training it’s hard to really get an idea of how dominant they’ll be in the regular season but I’m pretty hopeful for Stro.
3) Wilson Ramos
Wilson Ramos had a strong opener overall both defensively and offensively. At the plate, Ramos had a ground-rule double that brought in Mcneil and Alonso. While I definitely would have liked to see him at least try to run a little I can understand why he didn’t.
On the defensive side of things, I did see a good improvement from our starting catcher. He got a good out catching JJ Bleday stealing. In an interview with Steve Gelbs Ramos explained that he is now catching lower to the ground resting one leg on the ground trying to get a lower target because many pitchers throw sinkers that are lower to the ground.
The majority of the hits that both “teams” hit, had been groundballs that were taken out of play. Both Pitchers could have done better but weren’t awful. Our bullpen was surprisingly strong on both ends and Nimmo got hit by a pitch which is not significant but it’s nice to see him back to being himself.
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What are your thoughts on the spring opener?