Mets starting lineup won’t feature top prospect Francisco Alvarez, again

Mar 3, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (50) during a
Mar 3, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (50) during a / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

On back-to-back days, the New York Mets starting lineup will not feature prized prospect Francisco Alvarez. This is how they’ll attack the Miami Marlins tonight with Kodai Senga on the mound:

The Mets are delivering exactly what they promised us with Alvarez. They’re holding him back from actually becoming the starting catcher. Very likely to start on Sunday in the finale now, maybe we can give them the benefit of preferring to have him behind the plate with the MLB experienced Carlos Carrasco rather than Senga who makes his Citi Field debut.

The NY Mets really won’t use Francisco Alvarez as a DH, will they?

As plenty of Mets fans will point out, couldn’t Alvarez have been the DH in this game against the lefty? Again, there’s an excuse for this. If Tomas Nido was to get hurt, the Mets would be in trouble.

Unlike other spots in the order, the DH is locked in from changing positions. You can’t, for instance, move Alvarez to the catcher spot and summon someone from the bench to become the new designated hitter.

The far bigger issue with the Mets is Alvarez’s absence from the Citi Field opener on Friday. It was the perfect opportunity to get him into a game immediately. At the very least, he should have finished the game. Get the kid’s feet wet for a crowd eager to see him do more than tip his cap during the pregame ceremonies.

The team has been eager to hold him back from too many plate appearances, but may not have a choice if the bottom part of the order remains stagnant. Slumps from Nido, Mark Canha, and Eduardo Escobar should push the Mets toward seeing what they have with Alvarez.

This ball club has cornered itself a bit in terms of how they’ve built the roster. Tim Locastro is essentially a pinch runner and defensive replacement. Daniel Vogelbach is a DH but only when they play a righty. Those two selections made it nearly impossible for the team to carry a third catcher and use Alvarez as a part-time DH out of camp. Alvarez didn’t have a strong enough spring to justify carrying him on the Opening Day roster. Brett Baty, on the other hand, did and the Mets still went forward with a limited roster.

The easy solution is Alvarez to be more than a backup. He’s wasting time sitting on the bench. Play him or call up Michael Perez. It’s that easy.

Next. 3 Mets already on the roster bubble. dark