Mets spring training update: Luis Severino awesomeness, Ji-Man Choi, free agents

Mar 8, 2024; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) delivers a
Mar 8, 2024; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) delivers a / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Luis Severino got the ball for the New York Mets on Wednesday and didn’t disappoint. Another brilliant performance from him this spring is in the books and fans are riding the hype train with Opening Day now two weeks away.

When the season does open, it won’t be Severino on the mound. Carlos Mendoza has already announced Jose Quintana as the club’s Opening Day starter in an understandable move. Quintana is the longest tenured of the veterans originally projected to make the roster to open the season. Although Tylor Megill has been here longer and has started on Opening Day before, chucking him out there in game one never made much sense out of respect to the other four who already had a roster spot locked up.

Based on how Severino has pitched this spring and to break up the lefty duo of Quintana and Sean Manaea, he does appear to be a lock to start game two of the season.

Ji-Man Choi is making a case to win a Mets Opening Day roster spot

Although hitless on Wednesday, Ji-Man Choi managed to cap off a four-run inning for the Mets against the Houston Astros with a bases loaded walk. The strong spring wouldn’t normally be enough to push him onto the Opening Day roster except for the fact that DJ Stewart has done very little.

Choosing Choi over Stewart would make sense if the Mets are willing to view Jeff McNeil as a regular in the outfield. Choi’s lack of positional versatility made him an early spring training outsider to make the club. The numbers have come down to earth somewhat with a .278 batting average overall. The biggest reason to choose him over Stewart could be the risk of losing him altogether.

Choi, like most veterans, has an opt out he can use days before Opening Day. If he’s not on the MLB roster, he can try his luck signing somewhere else. Stewart can be demoted with his final minor league option and await a recall due to injury or if Choi ends up on the chopping block. Teams with first base and a more wide open opportunity at the DH spot might be a little more inclined to provide Choi a pathway to major league playing time.

Brandon Nimmo welcomes the J.D.s (in theory)

The ongoing talk about the Mets possibly signing one of the free agent J.D.s came up in a conversation with Brandon Nimmo. One of the leaders of the Mets, Nimmo has embraced the idea of the club adding either one to the roster.

The addition of either would clearly push the mere idea of Choi making the major league roster out of our minds. Both J.D. Martinez and J.D. Davis are viewed as DH solutions for a ball club that has come this close to Opening Day pitching Mark Vientos as the main guy. A weak spring for him and possibility of snagging one of the J.D.s for an affordable price tag will have Mets fans refreshing social media a little more regularly.

Of course, with the Nimmo quote, it doesn’t come across as a vote of confidence for Stewart or Vientos and maybe even Brett Baty. But what else is he going to say? Nimmo carefully crafts his messaging. Rolling out a welcome mat without diving too deeply into what it could mean for the employment of others is about all he can offer.

Don’t read too much into it. This is Brandon Nimmo. He’d knowingly welcome a vampire into his house and charm the demon.