After deGrom, Stroman, Mets figuring out rotation alignment



JUPITER, Fla. — Jacob deGrom will start Thursday’s opener and Marcus Stroman the season’s second game, but beyond that the Mets rotation alignment hasn’t been finalized.

Among manager Luis Rojas’ decisions is whether he should split up the lefties, with David Peterson, Taijuan Walker and Joey Lucchesi pitching in succession, or perhaps even pushing back the initial turn for the fifth starter, a consideration because of Friday’s off day.

If the Mets push back the fifth starter, deGrom would be in position to pitch Tuesday in Philadelphia, potentially putting a right-hander between lefties Peterson and Lucchesi in the same series.

Walker, in the Mets’ Grapefruit League finale on Monday — a 3-3 tie with the Cardinals — allowed two earned runs on three hits over five innings. The right-hander threw 80 pitches and finished the spring with a 3.27 ERA.

“I definitely could have gone two more innings, at least,” Walker said.

Rojas indicated that Peterson and Lucchesi will throw live batting practice in Washington at some point this week to keep sharp. The Mets will hold a workout Tuesday at Nationals Park. It’s possible that Lucchesi will be available from the bullpen for Thursday’s opener, according to Rojas, depending on what decision is finalized regarding the rotation alignment.

taijuan walker throws during a mets spring training session
Taijuan Walker’s season debut is still being scheduled.
Corey Sipkin

Though the Mets didn’t escape spring training unscathed, Rojas was happy with the relatively few injuries that occurred. In camp, Carlos Carrasco (torn hamstring) and Jose Martinez (torn meniscus) were the main casualties, after Seth Lugo underwent elbow surgery just before the official start of spring training to remove a bone spur from his right elbow.

“There’s a couple of injuries that happened here and there and thank God they weren’t major where there is going to be significant time of those pitchers where they are going to be out for a while,” Rojas said. “We expect those guys by May at some point to be back with us, so I think it was mission accomplished other than that with the guys, just getting into the shape we want and getting out of here healthy.”

Carrasco has participated in throwing exercises, according to Rojas, and is considered “week-to-week” in his rehab. The right-hander did not appear in the Grapefruit League.

Pete Alonso was the Mets’ unofficial spring MVP, finishing with a 1.121 OPS. He went 1-for-2 with a two-run double against the Cardinals.


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