Mets News: Max Kranick injury, a free agent signing, Tylor Megill dominant

Pitching was the story for the Mets on Thursday.
Feb 22, 2024; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA;  New York Mets starting pitcher Tylor Megill (38). Mandatory
Feb 22, 2024; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Tylor Megill (38). Mandatory / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Under the Florida skies, the New York Mets lost only their second game of Grapefruit League action on Thursday. The 2-1 loss featured only two extra-base hits by either club. Two early runs against Mets starter Jose Quintana accounted for the two the Houston Astros would plate. The Mets wouldn’t cross the plate until the ninth.

Bigger than the score on the field, the Mets lost one of their contenders for the fifth starter spot earlier in the day. Max Kranick, who looked good in his one appearance this spring, will begin the year on the IL.

Kranick was always a longshot to make the team. The Kodai Senga injury made it possible yet his lack of minor league options and comparable stats to some of the others still had him in the rear of the pack. The Mets have been lingering in the free agent market for some time when it comes to starting pitching depth. In response to this injury, they did actually go out and make a move albeit a far less significant one than we could’ve imagined.

Welcome to the Mets Jon Duplantier

You see a New York sports team signed Jon Duplantier and your first instinct would probably guess the New York Rangers added a third-line center. Not quite.

Duplantier is a 29-year-old righty born in Delaware without knowing a thing about sales tax who went to high school and college in Texas to escape property tax. He last pitched in the majors back in 2021. Combined with the 36.2 innings he had in 2019, Duplantier has a lifetime 4.42 ERA in the majors.

Diving into his minor league statistics, we see where he fits with the Mets. He’s another high walk, high strikeout guy. One of the more unexceptional additions made, his 4.80 ERA in 2022 in Triple-A for the Los Angeles Dodgers plus the beating he took in High-A for the Philadelphia Phillies last year in only 9.2 innings, won’t have anyone feeling too confident.

Nevertheless, we roll out the welcome mat. Not a direct replacement for Kranick by any means, it’s a body and one we, frankly, shouldn’t expect to surpass starts in Syracuse.

Tylor Megill shined on the mound for the Mets

Tylor Megill didn’t get the start for the Mets but he did toss three scoreless innings in relief. He struck out four and allowed only two hits to the Astros. After the game, manager Carlos Mendoza gave him some praise.

Megill always seemed to be the front runner for the fifth starter role post-Senga injury. He has done this two years straight. He’s pulling away early in this competition. Although this successful night didn’t come as a starter, it’s a good look for him.