2 Mets outfielders outshining Tommy Pham early on and where they fit in this year

Mar 2, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets outfielder Tim Locastro (83) watches from
Mar 2, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets outfielder Tim Locastro (83) watches from / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Pham has started his spring 1 for 16 with 5 strikeouts. It’s not exactly what the New York Mets were hoping for from their outfield addition. On the plus side, these games matter about as much as the opinions of those teenagers outside of the convenience store who mocked your jacket for being a little too festive.

Meanwhile, a pair of Mets outfielders they brought in for minor league depth are pushing themselves up the hierarchy. Tim Locastro is slashing .353/.476/.588 while Abraham Almonte is even better at .538/.667/.692. It’s an unexpected hot streak for two outfielders brought in solely for depth.

And as expected, fans are trying to find ways to add one of them to the Opening Day roster.

Why the Mets Opening Day roster is unlikely to include Tim Locastro or Abraham Almonte

Locastro is a superb weapon for the Mets to have but not on Opening Day. This out of options veteran outfielder with defensive skills is better utilized later in the season. Add him to the roster in late August, if there’s room, and keep him there through September and into the postseason. Even if we simply swapped Darin Ruf for Locastro, he’s going to be on the roster bubble from the start of the season. The moment the Mets want to promote one of their hot hitting prospects, they can’t, at least not without designated Locastro for assignment.

The same is true for Almonte with one difference. He’s not so much a late-season weapon. Almonte fits into the equation as a long-term outfield option to have on the bench and maybe start regularly in case of an injury. He is insurance for any of the outfielders, including Pham who fans are already questioning.

Almonte also lacks minor league options and while his ability to pass through waivers might not be much different than Locastro, there could come a point in the year when it’s okay to move on. The Mets added Almonte to the organization at the first sign of an outfielder missing significant time. That could happen before Opening Day. Almonte is a player who, even if he does get selected off waivers, could end up back there again when his new team does the same.

The Mets have been and should remain cautious about timing certain roster moves. You don’t risk losing Locastro early on no matter how well he hits in exhibition games. The same could be said for Almonte as well. You don’t call this insurance policy for a small crack in your windshield. Wait until your catalytic converter has caught on fire.

Next. 3 Mets players with the biggest cleats to fill. dark