3 overreactions from the first Mets spring training game that could become a reality

These spring training overreactions after one game could become a reality.

The New York Mets play against the St. Louis Cardinals during the opening day for 2014 spring
The New York Mets play against the St. Louis Cardinals during the opening day for 2014 spring / ERIC HASERT/TCPALM / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Big friggin’ deal. The New York Mets lost their first game of 2024. It’s a good thing we won’t even remember the score by tomorrow. It was 10-5 in case you have a photographic memory and want to keep tabs on the run differential.

As unimportant as the results of the game were, it was great to have baseball back. And you know what, the Mets get to do it all over again on Sunday and then a bunch more times until the season opens.

What’s worth overreacting from the first game of spring training? Well, there’s these three points. And the more we think about it, they might actually come true.

1) Nate Lavender is one of the best relievers the Mets have

Nate Lavender has more than a catch name. He’s one of the relievers the Mets are likely to have in Syracuse to begin the year. As a lefty, he’ll be a consideration if the team was to lose Brooks Raley or Jake Diekman for any period of time. His spring debut was impressive, mowing down three St. Louis Cardinals batters.

None of the hitters he faced were established major leagues so striking out three of his peers vying for a major league roster spot doesn’t make this a huge story. What’s more, Lavender has continually done nothing but impress as a professional.

Now the owner of a 10-6 record, 2.32 ERA, and 13.7 strikeouts per 9 rate through 108.2 minor league innings since debuting in 2021, this left-handed hurler looks bound to contribute sooner rather than later. He wrapped up last season with Syracuse for 44 frames with the one obvious issue being his control. Issuing walks at a rate of 4.7 per 9, it’s the obvious improvement Lavender will need to make.

Lavender is someone to watch closely this spring. The Mets will have several roster cuts to make. He’s a great candidate to get added to the 40-man roster. A strong first impression by striking out the side should have us pumped up to see if he truly can become one of their best relievers.