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Alonso focused on winning Mets' first-base job

No. 2 prospect eager to show what he can do in Spring Training
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- An offseason spent shopping brought the Mets a clubhouse full of new faces this spring. But for all the excitement sure to surround each Robinson Cano swing and Edwin Diaz fastball in Port St. Lucie, Fla., at least as many eyes are bound to be on top prospect Peter Alonso, who may even supplant Tim Tebow as the most-watched player at Mets camp. (Maybe.)

By now, Alonso's story is familiar to Mets fans. A second-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, Alonso, ranked as the club's No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline, broke out for 36 home runs over two levels last season, then he hit six more in 27 Arizona Fall League games. The Mets declined a chance to call up Alonso late last season, prompting him to express his disappointment publicly. In retrospect, all it did was increase Alonso's hunger to make a Major League impact -- and soon.

NEW YORK -- An offseason spent shopping brought the Mets a clubhouse full of new faces this spring. But for all the excitement sure to surround each Robinson Cano swing and Edwin Diaz fastball in Port St. Lucie, Fla., at least as many eyes are bound to be on top prospect Peter Alonso, who may even supplant Tim Tebow as the most-watched player at Mets camp. (Maybe.)

By now, Alonso's story is familiar to Mets fans. A second-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, Alonso, ranked as the club's No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline, broke out for 36 home runs over two levels last season, then he hit six more in 27 Arizona Fall League games. The Mets declined a chance to call up Alonso late last season, prompting him to express his disappointment publicly. In retrospect, all it did was increase Alonso's hunger to make a Major League impact -- and soon.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"I have to just trust the process," Alonso said late last season. "I'm just going to use that as motivation to get better for next year. Have a good winter, getting faster, stronger, and show up for camp ready to go."

If only things were that simple. Two factors are working against Alonso at the dawn of camp. One is his defense -- a publicly stated reason why the Mets didn't call him up last season, and something Alonso has worked on tirelessly over the last year. Scouts consider him somewhat improved at first base, though this spring will be telling. Every success and every error will be magnified.

The other is a service-time consideration. Much as the Cubs did with Kris Bryant and the Braves with Ronald Acuna Jr., the Mets can control Alonso for an extra year if they wait until mid-April to call him up. Most front offices would consider that decision automatic, but general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has insisted multiple times that if Alonso proves he's the best option at first base, the Mets will carry him on the Opening Day roster. It would be difficult, and potentially damaging to Van Wagenen's relationship with Alonso, to renege on that promise now.

Video: Alonso joins Hot Stove to discuss the RCDP

So the onus falls on Alonso to produce, something he has had little trouble doing throughout parts of three years in the Minors. Only in 2017, when a hand injury limited him to 97 games, has Alonso faced on-field adversity since turning pro. And that was more a temporary blip; he returned to post a .975 OPS last summer, establishing himself as the best first-base prospect in baseball and a behind perhaps only Vladimir Guerrero Jr. among the best offensive prospects in baseball. Questions linger regarding Alonso's defense, and also his ability to hit for average in the Majors. But few doubt Alonso's ability to rake. Fewer still question his desire.

"He wants to get better. He wants to be an item," Brad Weitzel, Alonso's assistant coach at Florida, said last year. "Every day he goes to the field, sweat is just pouring off him. ... You can just see he's not going to be a backup player."

It seems clear that as long as Alonso continues down this path, he will be the Mets' first baseman of the future. The present day is what's unclear, with a crowded infield pushing Todd Frazier to first base. The club also has no logical spot for former first-round pick Dominic Smith, who may wind up at Triple-A Syracuse, further clouding Alonso's future.

But Major League Baseball is largely a meritocracy. If Alonso hits, he will play.

So far in his young career, he has done little else.

"He's a professional and has handled himself well on and off the field," Van Wagenen said. "My philosophy is to try to put the best 25 guys on the field. That may be a cliche, but I think he has a chance to be an impact player, and our goal is to have as many impact guys on the field as we can."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Peter Alonso

Around the Horn: Infield well-stocked for 2019

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- With pitchers and catchers scheduled to report to Port St. Lucie, Fla., in two weeks, it's time to continue our position-by-position look at the 2019 Mets. Next up: infield.

The starters: Robinson Cano, Amed Rosario, Jed Lowrie, Todd Frazier
General manager Brodie Van Wagenen's first, and splashiest, offseason move was his trade for Cano and closer Edwin Diaz. Cano immediately becomes the Mets' everyday second baseman and the double play partner of Rosario, who is entering his second full season as the starting shortstop.

NEW YORK -- With pitchers and catchers scheduled to report to Port St. Lucie, Fla., in two weeks, it's time to continue our position-by-position look at the 2019 Mets. Next up: infield.

The starters: Robinson Cano, Amed Rosario, Jed Lowrie, Todd Frazier
General manager Brodie Van Wagenen's first, and splashiest, offseason move was his trade for Cano and closer Edwin Diaz. Cano immediately becomes the Mets' everyday second baseman and the double play partner of Rosario, who is entering his second full season as the starting shortstop.

Around the Horn: Bullpen | Rotation

Video: Van Wagenen on Mets' plethora of infield options

After that, it becomes tricky. The Mets have promised Lowrie everyday reps, but they can't play him at his natural position of second base. Most likely, Lowrie will become the de facto starter at third, pushing Frazier -- who's coming off a down year -- to first. On days when Cano rests, Lowrie can start at second base, allowing Frazier to move back to his natural spot at third. If Rosario needs a day off, Lowrie can start at short.

Video: Lowrie, Van Wagenen on infielder signing with Mets

Got all that? It's assuming, of course, all four of those players perform well enough to earn continued time. They'll be pushed by others on the roster.

The competition: Jeff McNeil, Peter Alonso, Dominic Smith, J.D. Davis
This is where things really get complicated. Based on his .329 average and .852 OPS as a rookie last season, McNeil deserves a starting job in the infield. But the Mets boxed him out with the signing of Lowrie, and they now appear committed to trying him in the outfield -- perhaps even as their starting right fielder. Still, McNeil will almost certainly receive infield reps at some point.

One of the most ubiquitous spring storylines will be Alonso, who also deserves a crack at the starting first base job. Van Wagenen has been consistent in saying he'll take the best 25 players north with him, but the Mets can guarantee an extra year of team control if they wait until mid-April to call up Alonso. In the end, it seems likely they'll go that route.

Video: Top Prospects: Peter Alonso, 1B, Mets

Smith probably won't get much of a crack at the starting first base job, with too many others vying for that role. It's possible he earns a bench gig in Spring Training, though he'll have to prove himself after batting just .224 with a .675 OPS in 56 games last season.

New to the scene is Davis, who can play first, third and both corner outfield spots. The Mets are enamored with Davis' right-handed power, but they figure to be stacked with right-handed hitters on their bench. Davis will have to show he's worthy of one of those spots.

Video: J.D. Davis describes the way he plays the game

In the team photo: Luis Guillorme, T.J. Rivera, Dilson Herrera
Of this group, Guillorme probably has the strongest chance to crack the Mets' Opening Day roster as the best defensive infielder in camp. But the Mets have indicated that Lowrie will be their primary shortstop backup for now, marginalizing Guillorme.

Video: MIA@NYM: Guillorme leaves his feet to nab Realmuto

Rivera hasn't played since undergoing Tommy John surgery in September 2017. Now healthy, Rivera will almost certainly start out at Triple-A Syracuse.

The Mets reacquired Herrera this winter after trading him for Jay Bruce in 2016, but he hasn't developed as a prospect the way they once hoped. Now 24, Herrera profiles as Triple-A depth.

Prospects to watch: Andres Gimenez, Ronny Mauricio, Mark Vientos
There's plenty of intrigue surrounding Gimenez, MLB Pipeline's 58th-ranked prospect who made it to Double-A Binghamton last summer at age 19. Gimenez probably won't debut this year, but he could be knocking on the door by Spring Training 2020 -- provided the Mets, who are committed to Rosario for years to come at shortstop, don't trade him.

Video: Top Prospects: Andres Gimenez, SS, Mets

Mauricio and Vientos won't impact the big leagues until at least 2021, but they're two of the highest-upside prospects in the organization. They're both probably one good season away from cracking MLB Pipeline's Top 100 list.

The bottom line
The Mets are undoubtedly well-stocked in the infield -- so well-stocked, in fact, that manager Mickey Callaway is going to struggle to find playing time for everyone. It's a situation that is sure to evolve over the course of the season.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Peter Alonso, Robinson Cano, J.D. Davis, Todd Frazier, Andres Gimenez, Luis Guillorme, Dilson Herrera, Jed Lowrie, Ronny Mauricio, Jeff McNeil, T.J. Rivera, Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Mark Vientos

Inbox: What will the Mets' starting OF look like?

Beat reporter Anthony DiComo answers questions from fans
MLB.com

With the signing of Jed Lowrie, the Mets appear mostly done making offseason acquisitions. While general manager Brodie Van Wagenen freely acknowledges there is room to supplement a few spots on the roster, and while Van Wagenen may still make another transaction or two, the big stuff appears finished.

Still, the questions keep on coming. With less than a month to go until the start of Spring Training, let's take another batch of Mets questions and answers:

With the signing of Jed Lowrie, the Mets appear mostly done making offseason acquisitions. While general manager Brodie Van Wagenen freely acknowledges there is room to supplement a few spots on the roster, and while Van Wagenen may still make another transaction or two, the big stuff appears finished.

Still, the questions keep on coming. With less than a month to go until the start of Spring Training, let's take another batch of Mets questions and answers:

Submit a question to Mets Inbox

If the Mets do nothing else to address the outfield this offseason, who is the starting center fielder? What does the entire outfield look like?
-- @strngebedfellow via Twitter

That depends on how committed the Mets are to using Jeff McNeil in the outfield, which itself depends at least partly on McNeil's Spring Training performance. I totally understand folks consider it unfair that the Mets have buried McNeil on the depth chart, offering him little chance to receive regular playing time at second or third base. But this is reality. For McNeil to play, he's going to need to play outfield.

That means it's entirely possible the Mets enter the season with, say, McNeil in left, Michael Conforto in center and Brandon Nimmo in right (or vice versa on the latter two). Certainly, that would be their best offensive lineup.

On days when the Mets prefer defense, and on days when they're facing a left-handed pitcher, Juan Lagares or Keon Broxton can start. Those two can also earn additional work with strong springs. I'd consider outfield very much a Spring Training competition for the Mets at this point, with only Conforto and Nimmo guaranteed starting jobs.

What are the chances of trading Todd Frazier for either another reliever or outfield option? Is anyone out there interested in him?
-- @erikrlucas via Twitter

Call it slim. Asked this question on Wednesday, Van Wagenen said he fully expects Frazier to be a starter at third or first, even after adding Lowrie to the fold.

While some part of that may be posturing, the reality is that Frazier is more valuable to the Mets than he would be in a trade. Dealing a 32-year-old coming off a career-worst season, in which he twice landed on the disabled list, wouldn't net the Mets much of a return. But hanging onto Frazier and hoping he can rediscover the 40-homer talent he displayed in 2016 could potentially be lucrative. There's little risk in keeping him, considering his contract is guaranteed and his trade market is nonexistent.

How much money can we assume is left in play for Van Wagenen to use?
-- @zissers14 via Twitter

When asked that exact question this week, Van Wagenen declined to answer. But reading between the lines, it appears the Mets are at least close to their budget ceiling heading into Spring Training. After signing Lowrie, they're a few million north of the $151 million payroll they had on the books last Opening Day. I suspect a few million more may be hiding under couch cushions somewhere, but it's not enough wiggle room for another major move.

When is a Jacob deGrom extension most likely to happen: before, during or after the season?
-- @KonSeanneryy via Twitter

Neither the Mets nor deGrom has publicly set any parameters regarding an extension, but I imagine both parties would want to get something done before the regular season. If they can't agree to a deal in the coming months, it's hard to imagine they'll be able to do so a year from now, with deGrom just one season shy of free agency at that point.

Is Daniel Zamora the favorite to be the lefty out of the 'pen?
-- @GiraffeNeckMarc via Twitter

Yes and no. I'd give Zamora a strong chance to make the Opening Day roster after impressing Mets officials down the stretch last season. But Van Wagenen has made it clear he considers veteran Luis Avilan a favorite to make the club as well. As such, I'd expect Avilan to be the Mets' primary lefty specialist, with Zamora serving as a second option.

That leaves Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and one or two other young right-handers to round out the bullpen.

Van Wagenen talks about Peter Alonso breaking camp with the team. Do you think that is just standard GM talk around a touchy subject, or do you think he can earn a spot with a strong spring?
-- @Dickbobby3307 via Twitter

Do I believe Alonso deserves a chance on the Mets' Opening Day roster? Yes, absolutely. Do I believe he'll make it? No, I don't. The reality is, it's probably not worth it for the Mets to sacrifice an extra year of team control just to have Alonso on the roster two weeks earlier than they otherwise would. So no, I don't ultimately expect him to be there.

Who do we have left in the Minors that can have an impact on 2019 besides Alonso?
-- @KhudNY via Twitter

Does Tim Tebow count? (I'm half-kidding.)

Before the Mets traded away Justin Dunn, I would have led this list with him. Instead, you have to dig deeper for impact prospects. Most of the Mets' most intriguing pitchers are at least a year away. It wouldn't surprise me to see Will Toffey, the third baseman they acquired for Familia last July, or David Thompson make an impact this summer. Relievers Stephen Nogosek, Eric Hanhold and Ryder Ryan could do the same.

Mets' Top 30 Prospects

Also keep an eye on Walker Lockett, one of the pitchers the Mets acquired for Kevin Plawecki. Lockett stands a good chance of starting games in the Majors quite soon.

How about signing Big Sexy Bartolo Colon to do a few fill-in starts? He can chew up some innings. And he is fun and entertaining. #bringbackbigsexy
-- @Cdog92704 via Twitter

I wouldn't rule it out. Colon reportedly wants to keep pitching at age 45, though he wasn't particularly effective last summer. If Colon is willing to accept little to nothing in the way of guarantees, I'm sure the Mets would consider extending him a Spring Training invite.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Peter Alonso, Jacob deGrom, Todd Frazier, Jeff McNeil, Daniel Zamora

Mets select pitcher Dowdy in Rule 5 Draft

MLB.com

LAS VEGAS -- Seeking both starting-pitching depth and another high-octane arm to compete for a bullpen spot, the Mets took a chance Thursday on Rule 5 Draft pick Kyle Dowdy, a right-handed pitcher from the Indians organization. If Dowdy is healthy and does not stay on the Mets' active roster all season, they must offer him back to Cleveland for half of their $100,000 selection fee.

A hard thrower capable of reaching the upper 90s with his fastball, Dowdy struck out 120 batters in 124 innings last season, working exclusively as a starter after the Tigers traded him to the Indians in July. With Detroit, Dowdy had advanced as high as Triple-A, but he spent the remainder of the season at Double-A Akron.

LAS VEGAS -- Seeking both starting-pitching depth and another high-octane arm to compete for a bullpen spot, the Mets took a chance Thursday on Rule 5 Draft pick Kyle Dowdy, a right-handed pitcher from the Indians organization. If Dowdy is healthy and does not stay on the Mets' active roster all season, they must offer him back to Cleveland for half of their $100,000 selection fee.

A hard thrower capable of reaching the upper 90s with his fastball, Dowdy struck out 120 batters in 124 innings last season, working exclusively as a starter after the Tigers traded him to the Indians in July. With Detroit, Dowdy had advanced as high as Triple-A, but he spent the remainder of the season at Double-A Akron.

Now, he will attempt to jump to the Major Leagues, becoming the Mets' first Rule 5 Draft pick that they did not immediately trade since Sean Gilmartin in 2014.

"This was a fun one for me," Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said. "We brought a big group of professional scouts down here this week. We were locked in the room for hours and hours. To get consensus on a guy that we believe has tremendous upside -- and not only helping us now, but also going forward ... this is a kid that made huge strides, both from an analytics standpoint as well as the eyeball test."

In particular, Van Wagenen referenced Dowdy's increased spin rates and cleaned-up mechanics as reason for the Mets' bullishness on him.

At the outset of Spring Training, Dowdy figures to work as a starter, giving the Mets a depth option alongside Corey Oswalt, Drew Gagnon and Chris Flexen. Eventually, he is likely to enter a bullpen competition that will also include Bobby Wahl, Eric Hanhold, Drew Smith, Tyler Bashlor and several others.

"We're looking for depth in our starting rotation," Van Wagenen said. "We believe he can give us that depth. And he gives us some protection as we go into the season that if we need him to start, he has the talent ability to do that. So we're looking forward to seeing what he has. And if our rotation stays healthy and intact, then we certainly believe he can be a force for us in the bullpen as well. So we're excited to get him to Spring Training."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Kyle Dowdy

Alonso homers, first in AFL in '18 with 6-RBI game

MLB.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After tying for the Minor League lead with 36 homers this season, Peter Alonso now has the Arizona Fall League crown in his sights as well. The Mets' No. 2 prospect blasted his sixth homer of the fall Wednesday night as his Scottsdale Scorpions routed the Peoria Javelinas, 10-3.

Alonso's towering blast to left field in the bottom of the first off right-hander Brandon Lawson (Rays) drove in three runs and was the start of a huge night. He added two doubles and a single, scored three runs and became the first AFL player to knock in six runs in a game this fall.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After tying for the Minor League lead with 36 homers this season, Peter Alonso now has the Arizona Fall League crown in his sights as well. The Mets' No. 2 prospect blasted his sixth homer of the fall Wednesday night as his Scottsdale Scorpions routed the Peoria Javelinas, 10-3.

Alonso's towering blast to left field in the bottom of the first off right-hander Brandon Lawson (Rays) drove in three runs and was the start of a huge night. He added two doubles and a single, scored three runs and became the first AFL player to knock in six runs in a game this fall.

Gameday

Alonso's homer tied him with Peoria first baseman Braxton Davidson (Braves) for the AFL lead, which he didn't realize until Davidson mentioned it to him later in the game. Alonso said he'd love to add another homer title to his resume, though he's not scheduled to play in Scottsdale's season finale on Thursday.

"I like him, but I hope he doesn't hit one tomorrow," Alonso said. "That would be sick. That's a great honor, and there's a lot of talented players here. If I can do that, that'd be great."

Baseball's best first-base prospect, Alonso tops the Fall League in extra-base hits (13), shares the lead in homers and doubles (seven) and ranks second in RBIs (27) and total bases (50). He also slammed an already legendary home run off a 103-mph fastball from right-hander Nate Pearson (Blue Jays) in the Fall Stars Game.

But Alonso also endured a lengthy slump, going 4-for-41 with 12 strikeouts before snapping out of it with a game-tying two-run double in the seventh inning of Tuesday's win over the Salt River Rafters. He said he fell into a rut where he got too aggressive.

"I was just swinging at pitches that aren't drivable, and I was getting out of myself," said Alonso, who's batting .255/.339/.510 in the AFL. "Tonight, I just made them come to me and didn't swing at stuff I don't want to swing at, like offspeed in the dirt. I just made my zone smaller and thankfully I got some pitches to hit, and I capitalized."

Alonso wasn't the only offensive hero for the Scorpions, who totaled 17 hits, with every member of their lineup collecting at least one. Left fielder Taylor Trammell (Reds) scored three runs and had three hits, including a triple, while designated hitter Abraham Toro (Astros) also scored three times and tallied two hits, including a double.

Javelinas second baseman Keston Hiura (Brewers) homered off right-hander J.B. Bukauskas in the first inning and later doubled, boosting his league-leading totals in hits (31), RBIs (33) and total bases (54). Hiura has the most RBIs in the Fall League since Mike Olt (Rangers) had 43 in 2011. Bukauskas hit 100 mph with his fastball and struck out five in 3 2/3 innings, though left fielder Trent Grisham (Brewers) tagged him for a homer in the third.

The loss ended Peoria's chance to post the highest winning percentage of any team in the Fall League's 27 seasons. Now 20-9 with one game remaining, the Javelinas currently rank third with a .690 winning percentage, trailing only the 2011 Surprise Saguaros (.722) and the 1999 Mesa Solar Sox (.705). Peoria will meet Salt River in the AFL championship game on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET, broadcast live on MLB Network and MLB.com.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

New York Mets

Van Wagenen meets with top prospect Alonso

Mets first baseman, mashing in AFL, aiming to earn starting job in '19
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Doubtless, new Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen will spend much of his offseason looking outside the organization for help, in the bullpen and elsewhere on the roster. Yet one of the most significant questions Van Wagenen faces is in-house: He must decide whether Peter Alonso or someone else is the long-term answer at first base.

Following a Saturday night dinner with Alonso in Arizona, Van Wagenen offered a hint to that end.

NEW YORK -- Doubtless, new Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen will spend much of his offseason looking outside the organization for help, in the bullpen and elsewhere on the roster. Yet one of the most significant questions Van Wagenen faces is in-house: He must decide whether Peter Alonso or someone else is the long-term answer at first base.

Following a Saturday night dinner with Alonso in Arizona, Van Wagenen offered a hint to that end.

"My philosophy is to try to put the best 25 guys on the field," Van Wagenen said. "That may be a cliché, but I think he has a chance to be an impact player. Our goal is to try to have as many impact guys on the field as we can."

Video: Peter Alonso on working towards playing for Mets

The Mets' previous administration was reticent to call up Alonso, despite a season in which he hit 36 home runs with 119 RBIs at Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas. While it will be another five months before Van Wagenen has an opportunity to make his words reality, he made certain to stop in Arizona on his way to the General Managers Meetings to meet the Mets' No. 2 prospect.

"I think he's a professional. I think he's handled himself really well both on and off the field," Van Wagenen said. "I wanted to be able to show him the respect and give him the understanding that he's a priority to this organization. He's a priority to me. And I wanted to make sure he knows that he has the full support of the organization as he goes forward."

Working against Alonso are two distinct issues. One is Dominic Smith, a former first-round Draft pick who has hit .210 in 105 Major League games but still has standing in the organization. The other is that by waiting until late May or early June to call up Alonso, they can dampen his salary later in his career by preventing him from becoming a Super Two arbitration-eligible player -- though Van Wagenen, like most front-office executives, downplayed that strategy when asked about it.

"My goal is to win as many games as we can, so my goal is to put the guys on the field that can help us do it," Van Wagenen said. "The wins in April are just as important as the wins in September."

All Alonso can do is continue to hit, which he has done with aplomb in the Arizona Fall League. Bashing five home runs in his first 20 games there, Alonso made the AFL Fall Stars Game. Consider it a talking point for his chat with Van Wagenen.

Video: EAST@WEST: Alonso drills a solo homer in the 1st

"I feel like I can provide power with the best of them," Alonso said last week in an interview with MLB Network. "Also, I feel like I'm a very, very good run-producer. I don't want to brag, but I led the Minor Leagues in RBIs and home runs, and I feel like that can help the team win.

"I just want to go out there and compete and win the job. Come Spring Training, and right now, I need to just keep playing hard every day, and the results are going to follow. I know the hard work and dedication I've put in to becoming a better baseball player; it's been my life's work. I'm just going to keep building, and don't stop until I get there."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets

Alonso homers off 103-mph heat in Fall Stars Game

MLB.com

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Peter Alonso is no stranger to mashing homers, which is exactly what he did to start the scoring in the Arizona Fall League's 13th Annual Fall Stars Game on Saturday night.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Peter Alonso is no stranger to mashing homers, which is exactly what he did to start the scoring in the Arizona Fall League's 13th Annual Fall Stars Game on Saturday night.

:: 2018 Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game ::

The 2018 Minor League home run co-champ took the second pitch -- a 103-mph fastball from Blue Jays No. 4 prospect Nate Pearson -- deep to straightaway center with an exit velocity of 110 mph, per Trackman. Alonso also walked twice in the game and scored three times, but his East squad fell to the West, which walked off with a 7-6 win.

"That first one was coming in pretty good … he was throwing some noise up there," Alonso said. "The first one I swung too hard. With a guy like that, you pretty much need to swing as soft as you can and let the pitcher supply the power. Thankfully I got a fastball to hit up in the zone and I capitalized on it."

Surprise Stadium doesn't have Statcast™, but to put Alonso's blast into perspective, the fastest pitch hit for a home run since Statcast™ began recording data in 2015 was a 102.8 mph fastball from Aroldis Chapman that Rafael Devers took deep in August 2017.

"I knew he could hit, I was going to challenge him," Pearson said. "I got one fastball by him, tried to get another, but he was ready for it. He's a great hitter."

Alonso finished the 2018 regular season with 36 homers, tied for the Minor League lead. The Mets' No. 2 prospect (No. 56 overall) is tied for second in the Arizona Fall League with four homers through 19 games, so going deep on the AFL's biggest stage only seemed natural.

Not only are massive homers becoming a habit for Alonso, but so is setting Statcast™ records.

Just last week, Alonso hit a double that had an exit velocity of 116.3 mph-- harder than any ball a Mets player had hit since 2015. Later in that game, he homered at 113.6 mph.

Need more evidence that Alonso is a dream-come-true for Statcast™ lovers?

During the Futures Game, Alonso hit a two-run homer with an exit velocity of 113.6 mph and a launch angle of 46 degrees, which was the only ball Statcast™ has ever tracked with an exit velocity over 113 mph and a launch angle over 40 degrees.

Video: WLD@USA: Alonso's 415-foot home run down the line

Alonso also impressed defensively with a nice stop in the fifth, diving to his left and robbing Blue Jays prospect Cavan Biggio of an RBI and an extra-base hit.

Video: EAST@WEST: Alonso lays out for impressive diving stop

"I'm really enjoying myself defensively out here," Alonso said. "There's been a bunch of plays like that. I'm just looking to get better and better and continue to elevate my game."

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

New York Mets

Kilome to miss 2019 after having TJ surgery

Mets star pitching prospect underwent procedure this week
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- One of the silver linings of the Mets' season, pitching prospect Franklyn Kilome, will miss the entire 2019 campaign. The Mets announced Thursday that Kilome, their fifth-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, underwent Tommy John surgery this week.

Part of the Mets' next upcoming wave of pitching prospects, Kilome, 23, posted a 4.03 ERA at Double-A Binghamton, with 42 strikeouts in 38 innings after the club acquired him from the Phillies for second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera in July. Overall, the hard-throwing Kilome produced a 4.18 ERA in 26 starts for the Mets' and Phillies' Double-A teams.

NEW YORK -- One of the silver linings of the Mets' season, pitching prospect Franklyn Kilome, will miss the entire 2019 campaign. The Mets announced Thursday that Kilome, their fifth-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, underwent Tommy John surgery this week.

Part of the Mets' next upcoming wave of pitching prospects, Kilome, 23, posted a 4.03 ERA at Double-A Binghamton, with 42 strikeouts in 38 innings after the club acquired him from the Phillies for second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera in July. Overall, the hard-throwing Kilome produced a 4.18 ERA in 26 starts for the Mets' and Phillies' Double-A teams.

Four of the Mets' top six pitching prospects have now undergone Tommy John surgery in the past two years. Seventh-ranked prospect Anthony Kay returned to the field this summer following his 2016 surgery, while ninth-ranked prospect Thomas Szapucki and 13th-ranked Jordan Humphreys have yet to do so after their 2017 operations.

Kilome profiles as the brightest of the bunch, capable of throwing consistently in the upper 90s. Tommy John surgery typically carries a 12- to 18-month recovery, putting Kilome on track to return to Minor League play in 2020.

• Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes delayed his second (left) heel surgery due to a scheduling conflict, but he expects to have it done by the end of next week, according to multiple sources. Cespedes remains on track to begin baseball activities in late February or early March, though he does not anticipate being able to run full-speed at that time.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Franklyn Kilome

Pipeline names Mets' Prospects of the Year

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- In many ways, the saga surrounding the Mets' decision to keep Peter Alonso in the Minors all year overshadowed the rather spectacular nature of his season itself. In 132 games, Alonso hit 36 home runs, including a walk-off on the final pitch of the Triple-A Las Vegas season. He knocked in 119 runs. He posted a .975 OPS. He submitted, statistically speaking, the best offensive season of any first-base prospect in the country.

NEW YORK -- In many ways, the saga surrounding the Mets' decision to keep Peter Alonso in the Minors all year overshadowed the rather spectacular nature of his season itself. In 132 games, Alonso hit 36 home runs, including a walk-off on the final pitch of the Triple-A Las Vegas season. He knocked in 119 runs. He posted a .975 OPS. He submitted, statistically speaking, the best offensive season of any first-base prospect in the country.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

For that reason, Alonso was named MLB Pipeline's Mets Hitting Prospect of the Year. Left-hander David Peterson is the organization's Pitching Prospect of the Year, as chosen by MLB Pipeline staff. To receive consideration, players must have spent at least half the year in the Minors, and appeared on their organization's Top 30 Prospects list.

"I just need to keep working, and getting better," Alonso said last month at Citi Field, where he was honored as the Mets' Minor League Player of the Year. "Every kid grows up in the back yard playing baseball with their dad, dreaming of being out there, playing on that field. It's going to be a special moment. You get to a point where I'm lucky to be playing. I know it's going to happen. I just have to continue to get better, and keep proving I can do it every single day."

Video: Alonso on significance of his final HR of 2018

Based on his performance, Alonso, the Mets' second-ranked prospect behind shortstop Andres Gimenez, deserved to end this season in the Majors. But 40-man roster concerns prompted the Mets to keep Alonso at Las Vegas, much to his frustration. It remains to be seen whether the former second-round Draft pick will break camp with the Mets next spring, or stay in the Minors as Dominic Smith, Jay Bruce and Wilmer Flores receive first-base reps.

"Everyone's trying to figure out a way, how to make the team," Alonso said. "It's a competition, but I just need to concentrate on playing the best ball I can play."

The same is true for Peterson, the Mets' first-round Draft pick in 2017 and currently their sixth-ranked prospect. In his first full professional season, Peterson dominated at Class A Columbia, posting a 1.82 ERA in nine starts. But Peterson scuffled a bit after the Mets promoted him to Class A St. Lucie, producing a 4.33 mark in his final 13 outings.

Video: Top Prospects: David Peterson, LHP, Mets

The left-hander profiles as a future cog of the Mets' rotation.

"You want to move as fast as possible," Peterson said. "Everyone's dream is to play here. But the only thing you can do is go out there every day, and play as hard as you can. The only thing I can control on a daily basis is what work I put in, how hard I work and the focus I put on my craft.

"Ultimately, I can't call myself up. I've got to wait for that call."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets

Alonso wins Mets' Minor League PoY Award

Organization's No. 2 prospect joins other Majors hopefuls at Citi Field for end-of-season honors
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- In the end, Peter Alonso did make it to Citi Field this season -- just not in the way he wanted.

Alonso was on hand Wednesday to accept his Sterling Minor League Player of the Year Award, for a season that saw him hit .285 with 36 homers and 119 RBIs at Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas. Although Alonso expressed disappointment last month that the Mets did not make him a September callup, he's come to terms with an organizational decision that has both service-time and 40-man roster implications.

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NEW YORK -- In the end, Peter Alonso did make it to Citi Field this season -- just not in the way he wanted.

Alonso was on hand Wednesday to accept his Sterling Minor League Player of the Year Award, for a season that saw him hit .285 with 36 homers and 119 RBIs at Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas. Although Alonso expressed disappointment last month that the Mets did not make him a September callup, he's come to terms with an organizational decision that has both service-time and 40-man roster implications.

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"Being here at Citi Field, just getting ground balls, taking BP, taking pop flies, being here, it's awesome," Alonso said. "Regardless of being in the big leagues or not, it's special. Citi Field is a cathedral. It's an incredible place to play, and I can't wait until I'm playing there with people in the stands."

Video: WLD@USA: Alonso mashes a 2-run homer to left field

Scheduled to depart New York on Thursday, Alonso, the Mets' second-ranked prospect and No. 61 in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, will briefly return home to Florida before heading to the Arizona Fall League. There, he will continue to work on his first-base defense as he prepares to try to make the team next spring.

"I just have to trust that -- it sounds cliche, but it's all in God's hands," Alonso said. "I just need to keep working and getting better. … I'm lucky to be playing, and I know it's going to happen. It's just that I need to continue to get better, and just keep proving I can do it every single day."

Other Mets Minor Leaguers to receive rewards included:

Justin Dunn, Organizational Pitcher of the Year
The team's first-round Draft pick in 2016, Dunn rebounded from a disappointing first full professional season to post a 3.59 ERA over two levels this year, ending his summer at Binghamton.

"The biggest thing for me was I got back to who I was with being an athlete," Dunn said. "Last year, I kind of put so much pressure on myself to be a complete pitcher that I got away from who I was. So I went back to work and started to understand my body again, and how I was supposed to move as a pitcher and being able to feel the positions I needed to be in. So my delivery is much more repeatable and cleaner."

Dunn's season also ended with a unique thrill: the Long Island native pitched to David Wright on Tuesday in a simulated game at Citi Field.

"That was a pretty surreal moment for me, being a New York kid," Dunn said. "Growing up, there were two people I wanted to meet: Derek Jeter and David Wright. So to get out there and face him on the field that basically is his, it was a pretty cool moment. And for him to tell me I had some pretty good stuff afterward, made it even better."

Andres Gimenez, Class A Advanced St. Lucie Player of the Year
Just 19 years old when the Mets promoted him to Binghamton, Gimenez saw little falloff from his production at St. Lucie. Overall, the shortstop batted .281 with 29 doubles, five triples, six home runs, 38 stolen bases and a .756 OPS.

"I feel like I can do more," Gimenez said, "but I'll take this year as a positive and keep going."

David Peterson, Class A Columbia Player of the Year
The Mets' first-round Draft pick in 2017, Peterson split his summer between Columbia and St. Lucie, and posted a combined 3.16 ERA. Next year will be a critical test for Peterson, who should make it to Binghamton by the end of the season, at which point the big leagues will be within reach.

"You want to move as fast as possible," Peterson said. "Everyone's dream is to play here. But the only thing you can do is go out there and play as hard as you can."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets

AFL-bound Mets prospect Alonso eager to prove

Top-ranked Gimenez, 6 others also on roster for Scottsdale Scorpions
MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Peter Alonso's disappointment at not receiving a September callup with the Mets has been tempered in part by his desire, in his words, to "go to the Fall League and tear it up."

The Arizona Fall League on Thursday announced that Alonso, the Mets' second-ranked prospect, and top-ranked shortstop prospect Andres Gimenez will both play for the Scottsdale Scorpions when the league begins next month. All told, the Mets will have eight players on the team: Alonso, Gimenez, pitchers Gerson Bautista, Matt Blackham, Eric Hanhold and Stephen Nogosek, catcher Ali Sanchez and outfielder Desmond Lindsay.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Peter Alonso's disappointment at not receiving a September callup with the Mets has been tempered in part by his desire, in his words, to "go to the Fall League and tear it up."

The Arizona Fall League on Thursday announced that Alonso, the Mets' second-ranked prospect, and top-ranked shortstop prospect Andres Gimenez will both play for the Scottsdale Scorpions when the league begins next month. All told, the Mets will have eight players on the team: Alonso, Gimenez, pitchers Gerson Bautista, Matt Blackham, Eric Hanhold and Stephen Nogosek, catcher Ali Sanchez and outfielder Desmond Lindsay.

Consider it a consolation prize for Alonso, who had hoped his 33-homer, 112-RBI season would be enough to earn a big league promotion. The Mets dashed those dreams earlier this week when they announced that Alonso will instead have to wait another year.

"If I were to get called up, even if I fail, I could take something into the Fall League," Alonso said in a telephone interview. "Or if I'm successful, that gives me all the confidence in the world. It would be like, 'Man, I can do this at the big league level? You guys better watch out.'

"If it was up to me, I'd be in the big leagues. But if everyone had it their way, everyone would be in the big leagues. So if it's not my time right now, then it's not my time. I just need to keep showing that I can do it, that I can be that player that I know I can be. I want to show that."

Alonso will have ample opportunity to continue proving himself in the Fall League, an annual showcase for top prospects that in recent years has played host to former first-round Draft picks such as Brandon Nimmo and Gavin Cecchini. The Mets' second-round pick in 2016, Alonso will join Gimenez, one of the most high-profile international signings in franchise history.

Although Gimenez is four years younger than Alonso, and thus not as close to the big leagues, the shortstop hit .296 with 10 stolen bases and a .737 OPS after an aggressive midseason promotion to Double-A Binghamton. Gimenez is the Mets' top-ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline.

Lindsay, the Mets' top pick in the 2015 Draft, rates as their 11th-ranked prospect. Nogosek is their 25th-ranked prospect; he and Bautista are two of the three relief pitchers the Mets received for Addison Reed in a July 2017 trade. Hanhold, the player to be named in the Neil Walker deal later that summer, currently clocks in as their 29th-ranked prospect.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Peter Alonso, Andres Gimenez

Mets won't call up slugger Alonso in September

Club's No. 2 prospect disappointed he will finish season at Triple-A
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Throughout this summer, Peter Alonso believed as long as he continued crushing baseballs as well as just about anyone in professional baseball, his year would end with a trip to the Majors.

Earlier this week, Alonso received a phone call from Mets executive Omar Minaya, who told him that will not happen. Although tempted to reward the standout season of the organization's second-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, the club on Tuesday made official what many around the team have suspected for weeks: it will not call up Alonso when rosters expand in September.

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CHICAGO -- Throughout this summer, Peter Alonso believed as long as he continued crushing baseballs as well as just about anyone in professional baseball, his year would end with a trip to the Majors.

Earlier this week, Alonso received a phone call from Mets executive Omar Minaya, who told him that will not happen. Although tempted to reward the standout season of the organization's second-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, the club on Tuesday made official what many around the team have suspected for weeks: it will not call up Alonso when rosters expand in September.

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For the Mets, it is a business decision that allows them to allot playing time elsewhere, and to keep an extra 40-man roster spot free this offseason. For Alonso, it is an emotional blow at the tail end of a year that has seen him hit 18 home runs in 60 games at Triple-A Las Vegas.

"I'm not going to lie, it's really disheartening and disappointing, because one of the things that people tell you is as long as you are successful, you're going to be in the big leagues," Alonso said during a phone interview. "It's just one of those things where I understand it's an organizational decision, and at the end of the day, I have to respect that. But it's really disheartening because I feel like I've performed, and am deserving of a reward.

"At the end of the day when you look up, it's like, what else can you do? I guess the answer is nothing."

Alonso's regular season will end when Las Vegas plays its final game on Monday. He will then travel to the Arizona Fall League for more work at first base, which the Mets were unwilling to give him in New York.

"He's had an unbelievable season," assistant general manager John Ricco said. "He's done everything we asked. He had a great year in Double-A. We moved him up to Triple-A. He's having a really good year. But the way we see it, the lack of playing time is a big factor."

In 125 games split between those levels, Alonso is hitting .277 with 33 home runs, 111 RBIs and a .953 OPS. Mets officials in the past have pointed to Alonso's defensive struggles as a reason for his extended stay in the Minors, though he was recently named Las Vegas' Defensive Player of the Month.

"I know people say I stink at defense," Alonso said. "I'm going to let all those people know that I figured a lot of things out. Yes, there's always room to improve, but one day I'm going to win a Gold Glove [Award]. I know a lot of people are going to be surprised that I'm saying that, but in my heart, I know that's going to happen. I know I'm going to keep working. I want this more than anybody.

"There are so many people in the baseball world that are striving to become big leaguers or get back to the big leagues. But I guarantee you none of them want it more badly than I want it."

With Jay Bruce, Dominic Smith and Wilmer Flores all requiring first-base reps in September, Ricco said, there was not enough playing time available to make an Alonso promotion worthwhile. Alonso disagreed, recalling how much he benefited from being around the varsity team in high school when he did not play as a freshman. This week, he plans to pick rehabbing All-Star David Wright's brain in Las Vegas about what it takes to be a big leaguer.

"If I were to get three at-bats in September, I would be over the moon because I would be there," Alonso said. "The one thing I would do even if I don't play, or if I don't get much of an opportunity to play, would be to watch and learn. ... They said there's not going to be enough playing time up there, but I don't need much."

For the Mets, there are also roster considerations at play. By waiting to call up Alonso, the organization can delay putting him on its 40-man roster until next year. The club can also potentially keep him in the Minors long enough next season to prevent him from becoming a Super Two arbitration-eligible player.

Keeping Alonso in the Minors, however, is in many corners an unpopular decision. In a statement, Alonso's agents Adam Karon and Tripper Johnson called the Mets' decision "disheartening for Peter after producing an historically great season," and "equally disheartening for Mets fans who would enjoy watching and getting to know one of the more talented and entertaining players they've developed in years."

Since learning of the team's decision, Alonso has tried to stay as positive as possible, leaning on his late grandfather's life mantra: "Just keep on swinging."

"It hurts because I play with passion," Alonso said. "The amount of success I've had this year, I look up and I'm like, 'Man, I can do this. I can play. I'm doing it this year.' To not get called up, to me, it's heartbreaking because I put everything I have into making the big leagues."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets

Callaway: Alonso in mix for September callup

Manager: 'We want to make sure he's in a good spot in his overall game'
Special to MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Rosters can expand next Saturday, and the Mets are going to have to decide whether their power-hitting first baseman at Triple-A Las Vegas will be part of the expansion plan.

Peter Alonso's name is under consideration by the Mets' decision makers, according to manager Mickey Callaway.

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NEW YORK -- Rosters can expand next Saturday, and the Mets are going to have to decide whether their power-hitting first baseman at Triple-A Las Vegas will be part of the expansion plan.

Peter Alonso's name is under consideration by the Mets' decision makers, according to manager Mickey Callaway.

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"We've discussed him, the pros and the cons of what we're trying to do with him, not only this year, but in the future," Callaway said before Saturday's game against the Nationals at Citi Field. "He's definitely a name we're discussing."

Callaway had said Friday that Jay Bruce would be getting a lot of time at first base the rest of the way to see if he could be the primary option there next season. Callaway also said Saturday that first baseman/left fielder Dominic Smith, who was sent down to Las Vegas Friday, would probably be back as a September callup. And Wilmer Flores started his team-high 68th game at first on Saturday.

Video: NYM@WSH: Alonso makes a difficult juggling catch

But Alonso is intriguing. MLB Pipeline has him rated as the Mets' No. 2 prospect. His bat has accounted for a lot of production this season, as the 23-year-old righty hitter entered Saturday with a .278 average, 32 homers and 109 RBIs across 123 games with Las Vegas and Double-A Binghamton.

"I think we want to make sure he's developed and when he comes up here, he's ready to play at the Major League level," Callaway said. "It's not just about swinging the bat here. It's about defense as well. And we want to make sure he's in a good spot in his overall game and the things that we're going to value as an organization moving forward before we put him in that position."

Rosario a hit batting first
Amed Rosario sat atop the Mets' lineup card for the 31st time on Saturday. It has been his spot for the most part since the third week of July. Callaway has liked what he has seen since then from his 22-year-old shortstop.

"I think he kind of just instinctively is a little more patient when he leads off," Callaway said. "I think we've seen hitters like that in the past. I think Asdrubal Cabrera comes to mind when you moved him around. Whether it was leadoff or second or fifth, you saw a little bit different approach. And I think that Rosario is doing that as well."

Overall as a leadoff hitter, Rosario began the day batting .223 in 130 at-bats with four doubles, a triple, two homers and 15 RBIs. He had walked eight times and stolen nine bases in 11 tries.

Video: NYM@PHI: Rosario laces an RBI single into left field

Rosario also began the day second in the National League with nine steals since the All-Star break, and he was batting .303 with a .338 on-base percentage, three doubles, two homers, 12 RBIs and 12 runs scored in his previous 15 games.

"I think where we were at in the season, we wanted to see if he could handle it," Callaway said of the leadoff role. "I think he had made some significant adjustments already and was doing a pretty good job. … Now [Brandon] Nimmo was out for a while as well, so that kind of helped the decision. Ever since [Rosario has] been there, it's been a good test for him, and he's responded really nicely."

Back on Aug. 16 in the first game of a doubleheader in Philadelphia, Rosario hit a leadoff homer among his career-high four hits in a game that also came with a career-high four runs and a career-high tying three RBIs.

Video: NYM@PHI: Rosario rips 4 hits, homer vs. Phillies

"I think there's also he's spent more and more time around Jose Bautista and has talked to him a lot, watched his ABs," Callaway said. "Obviously, Jose puts together a real nice patient at-bat, lays off some tough pitches, and I think that's also rubbed off on Rosie. So he's done a great job in that leadoff spot and I really like him right there."

Catching update
Kevin Plawecki started behind the plate for the second straight game on Saturday, but he's due to depart soon for the birth of his first child. Devin Mesoraco left Thursday's game against San Francisco with neck stiffness, but he has been available to catch on a limited basis. Tomas Nido was called up from Binghamton on Friday to have another catcher on hand.

"It's more muscular in nature," Callaway said of Mesoraco. "And it's something that a little medicine will probably help relieve, and it's gotten a little better so far where we feel confident he could go back there and catch an inning or two if need be. The biggest problem would be swinging at this point."

Brian Heyman is a contributor for MLB.com based in New York.

New York Mets, Yonder Alonso, Amed Rosario

Matz expected to miss 1 start; Oswalt recalled

Mets opt to play it safe with left-hander's forearm strain
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Without much reason to push Steven Matz through a bout of forearm discomfort, the Mets on Friday made the obvious move, placing Matz on the disabled list with a flexor-pronator strain. They expect him to miss only one start.

"There's no reason to push him through at this point," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "In a different scenario, we could. But it doesn't make much sense right now. So we'll give him a little bit of a breather and have him come back ready to go and finish strong."

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NEW YORK -- Without much reason to push Steven Matz through a bout of forearm discomfort, the Mets on Friday made the obvious move, placing Matz on the disabled list with a flexor-pronator strain. They expect him to miss only one start.

"There's no reason to push him through at this point," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "In a different scenario, we could. But it doesn't make much sense right now. So we'll give him a little bit of a breather and have him come back ready to go and finish strong."

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To replace Matz on the active roster, the Mets recalled right-hander Corey Oswalt, who will start Sunday, from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Adding a bit more clarity to his injury situation, Matz said he felt a bit of forearm discomfort as far back as July 26, when he pitched in Pittsburgh. The sensation returned on Tuesday at Washington when Matz gave up seven runs in two-thirds of an inning, complaining afterward of forearm tightness. But he never considered it a major issue.

"That's why I went out and pitched," said Matz, who has undergone three elbow surgeries, including Tommy John, since the Mets drafted him in 2009. "Stuff comes up during the season. It's part of what we do. We're throwing a baseball as hard as we can. Stuff comes up, and it's just figuring out, 'OK, is this something I've got to be worried about? Or is this something I can gut through?'"

Were the Mets in contention, Matz might have been able to gut through Sunday against the Braves. But with little at stake over the season's final two months, the team decided to give him a 10-day break.

"We have the time right now," said Matz, who is 5-9 with a 4.35 ERA in 21 starts. "Just to miss one start is not the end of the world."

The DL stint gives the Mets another chance to see Oswalt, the Mets' No. 15 prospect who went 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in four July starts. Oswalt will be on an extra day of rest after last pitching Monday in Las Vegas.

Video: SD@NYM: Oswalt picks up his 1st MLB win

Playing time machinations
Despite the Mets' assertion that they want to use their young players as much as possible down the stretch, Callaway wrote out Friday's lineup with three 30-somethings who are unlikely to be a part of next year's team -- Jose Bautista, Austin Jackson and Jose Reyes -- in starting roles.

Of most intrigue was the addition of Reyes, who played second base over rookie Jeff McNeil. Callaway said that was due to McNeil needing regular rest after missing most of the past two seasons because of injury.

"One of the challenges with McNeil is he's going to start getting tired, and he's gotten tired throughout the season a little bit because he hasn't played a lot in the last two years," Callaway said, adding that McNeil will start most days down the stretch. "We knew when we called him up that he's going to need some days off."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Steven Matz, Corey Oswalt

Mets land Phils prospect Kilome for Cabrera

MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- The Mets traded veteran infielder Asdrubal Cabrera to the Phillies on Friday for Double-A right-hander Franklyn Kilome.

Kilome has made 19 starts for Reading in 2018, recording 83 strikeouts to counter 51 walks while accumulating a 4.24 ERA and 1.44 WHIP over 102 innings. The 23-year-old will join the Mets farm system that landed four prospects on MLB Pipeline's updated Top 100 list on Thursday.

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PITTSBURGH -- The Mets traded veteran infielder Asdrubal Cabrera to the Phillies on Friday for Double-A right-hander Franklyn Kilome.

Kilome has made 19 starts for Reading in 2018, recording 83 strikeouts to counter 51 walks while accumulating a 4.24 ERA and 1.44 WHIP over 102 innings. The 23-year-old will join the Mets farm system that landed four prospects on MLB Pipeline's updated Top 100 list on Thursday.

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Kilome was signed by the Phillies out of the Dominican Republic in 2013 and was the Phillies' No. 10 prospect. He is now listed as the No. 5 prospect in the Mets organization following the trade.

"He's a little bit raw, but there is a lot of potential there," Mets assistant general manager John Ricco told reporters on a conference call on Friday. "We're really excited to bring him to an organization that prides itself on developing pitching talent."

The right-hander stands at 6-foot-6 and has a fastball that reaches the upper-90s, complimented by a curveball that MLB Pipeline states "often flashes plus."

Video: NYM@PIT: Cabrera on trade to Phillies, time with Mets

Cabrera, 32, played one of his best games of the season on Thursday night as he collected three extra-base hits and produced a season-high four RBIs against the Pirates at PNC Park. He appeared in 98 games with the Mets in 2018, slashing .277/.329/.488 with 58 RBIs and 18 home runs. He is set to be a free agent after this season.

"I feel good," Cabrera said when discussing the trade with reporters before Friday night's game, a 5-4 loss. "It's part of the game. I'm really happy because I leave with my head up because I did my best for the Mets."

Cabrera played in 374 games with the Mets over 2 1/2 seasons after signing with the club as a free agent in December 2015. New York will now turn an eye toward the future, as Ricco indicated to reporters that 26-year-old rookie Jeff McNeil will see a lot of time at second base in the wake of the trade.

Video: SD@NYM: McNeil singles on 1st pitch he sees in career

Mason Wittner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.

New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Asdrubal Cabrera, Franklyn Kilome