Mets spring training update: Edwin Diaz debut, Nate Lavender, starting pitching strength

New York Mets Workout
New York Mets Workout / Rich Storry/GettyImages

Only days before the anniversary of the injury that knocked him out of the entire 2023 season, Edwin Diaz will make his New York Mets spring training debut. The best closer in the game when he last pitched in 2022, Diaz’s debut will get a theatrical presentation with the game airing on SNY.

His last non-exhibition game for the Mets was on October 9 when the Mets were on-hit by the San Diego Padres in their 6-0 loss in the NLCS. Diaz came into the game to replace Mychal Givens after the first two batters reached. Diaz’s future teammate Juan Soto drove in a run charged to Givens on a single.

The long wait is somewhat over. When the games finally count, his entrance will be even more electric.

Nate Lavender should be an early 40-man roster candidate

Nate Lavender continued to dominate over the weekend despite the lefty getting cut from the roster. Spring training cuts are a bit arbitrary as players are still allowed to pitch in games.

There was a bit of an outcry with Lavender not making the club as he’s a better option than some of the others. It may only be temporary. As the Mets make a decision between Phil Bickford, Yohan Ramirez, and Sean Reid-Foley, the two they don’t pick will be DFA’d and removed from the 40-man roster. Lavender, if the Mets don’t make any other additions, should be the first guy they add to the 40-man roster.

This isn’t a case of Lavender needing Brooks Raley or Jake Diekman to get hurt either. Favorable splits last year showing he can get right-handed batters out plenty should have him on speed dial to the majors.

The Mets starting pitching continues to look impress

Those preseason takes about how the Mets starting rotation could end up being one of the worst in team history look certified rotten right now. Of course, it’s only spring training. The pitching staff is routinely going against minor league players each outing. Regardless of the asterisk to put on it, floating around prior to Saturday’s game was how they possessed the top ERA of all teams this spring.

Adrian Houser continued the success of the starting rotation on Sunday with 3.1 hitless innings complete with five strikeouts. It was a positive turn for someone who hasn’t been as sharp in a Mets uniform thus far.

Now viewed as the fourth starter in the rotation, Houser is someone fans shouldn’t sleep on having a very good season. His 2021 campaign was the best of his career. It included a 10-6 record and 3.22 ERA. Although not a pitcher with huge strikeout numbers in his career, one can wonder if a tour through the hyped pitching lab can help Houser reach a new zenith in his career.