Mets News: Mark Vientos’ role, Nate Lavender injury, Tylor Megill rehab results

Mar 22, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA;  New York Mets designated hitter Mark Vientos (27) runs the bases
Mar 22, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Mets designated hitter Mark Vientos (27) runs the bases / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

A flurry of New York Mets roster moves took place on Saturday ahead of their game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Drew Smith went to the IL and was replaced by Dedniel Nunez. Starling Marte went to the bereavement list and his roster spot will be occupied by Mark Vientos.

Fans weren’t shy to point out the irony of Vientos finally getting called up just a day after J.D. Martinez made his Mets debut. Truly a graduate of Triple-A, Vientos hasn’t had enough of a chance to consistently play at the major league level. Weak defensively and blocked at first base with the presence of Pete Alonso, we can’t fault the Mets too much other than waiting too long to ever try to figure out if he could indeed play somewhere else.

The Mets roster is now clogged with Martinez, Vientos, and DJ Stewart who are all virtually stuck as the DHs with the latter two able to grab a glove when absolutely needed. Vientos could look to get a spot start at third base against a left-handed pitcher. He’d also be a pinch hitter for Brett Baty at times, just as he was on Saturday in his first MLB appearance of 2024. We’ve seen Vientos struggle in a limited role in the past. Will it be any different now and can he maybe steal a roster spot from Stewart whose own limitations could have him pushed back to the minors?

Mets pitching prospect Nate Lavender is likely to receive Tommy John surgery

The similarities between Nate Lavender and Bryce Montes de Oca aren’t plentiful other than each gained some fans in spring training. Unfortunately, they’ll have something else in common. The Mets lefty is likely headed to the operating table to receive Tommy John surgery.

It’s a horrific turn for Lavender who looked like a lock to eventually find his way to the 40-man roster. The Mets and their inability to develop quality relief pitchers in recent years may continue a little longer now with Lavender joining the walking wounded. 

Lavender wasn’t off to a huge start for Syracuse, posting a 3.86 ERA in 7 innings with 7 walks. More of a morale blow than one that might’ve actually affected the outcome of the season, add him both to the list of recently injured Mets pitchers like Drew Smith and prospects who won’t be able to help out quite as quickly. Drew Gilbert remains sidelined.

Tylor Megill struck out every batter he faced in his rehab assignment

It’s not all doom and gloom. Representing the Brooklyn Cyclones, Tylor Megill made his first rehab assignment and took care of business. 

Striking out six Single-A hitters shouldn’t be enough to schedule a parade for a big league pitcher. Nevertheless, it was the efficiency at which Megill did it that should have us thinking positively.

The question for Megill will be whether he replaces Jose Butto or Adrian Houser in the rotation. The Mets will probably like to go with as close to a six-man rotation as they can with the scheduled off-days playing into the decisions. Butto can be optioned to the minors while Houser cannot. Nevertheless, if Houser continues to struggle so mightily, he should find himself in the bullpen. At the very least, the Mets should start thinking about ways to skip him in the rotation.