Like a professional wrestling card, there’s an asterisk on this story with some fine print about the card being “subject to change.” We know in the game of baseball plans can go haywire quickly. Only days away from the New York Mets beginning to play some actual Spring Training games, here’s how they will begin exhibition action from the mound:
Mets announce their probable pitchers for their first 5 Spring Training games
It all opens up on Saturday with split squad games versus the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins. Denyi Reyes, a non-roster invitee, will have the task of facing the defending champions. Jose Butto, a guy we saw only snippets of at the major league level last year, draws a seemingly easier opponent when he takes the ball against the Marlins.
Spring Training games aren’t about the results on the scoreboard or even whether or not a pitcher dominates. It’s a long warm-up session. These practice games will give the Mets a better look at a couple of players on the fringe of the roster. Reyes and Butto are two of those guys. They aren’t wasting any time getting an up-close look.
The next three games will include pitchers we expect to see on the MLB roster. Max Scherzer gets the ball on Sunday against the Washington Nationals. Why not rub it in their face early on that they’re still paying him? David Peterson gets the ball next against the St. Louis Cardinals. Finally, Jose Quintana makes his preseason debut for the Mets against the Astros on Tuesday.
We should expect Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, and Carlos Carrasco to toe the rubber not long after. Those three definite rotation arms will get their shot soon enough.
Spring Training games will feel a little different this year with the World Baseball Classic going on alongside it. Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and others won’t be present once those games kick off. The bonus of this is it means more of the other guys. Players actually fighting for a spot on the 40 or 26-man roster will have an abundance of at-bats and innings to show Buck Showalter and the rest of the decision-makers what they have to offer.