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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.

View Full Game Coverage

"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.

View Full Game Coverage

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

Gimenez among 4 Mets prospects in Top 100

Shortstop ranked No. 60, joined by Alonso, Kelenic, Dunn
MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- MLB Pipeline revealed its midseason re-ranking of the overall and club Top Prospects lists, and shortstop Andres Gimenez led a group of four Mets that cracked the Top 100 overall prospects.

Gimenez came in at No. 60 overall while remaining the No. 1 prospect in the Mets organization. The 19-year-old shortstop played in 86 games for Class A Advanced St. Lucie in 2018, slashing .282/.348/.432 with 28 stolen bases to compliment six home runs and 30 RBIs.

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PITTSBURGH -- MLB Pipeline revealed its midseason re-ranking of the overall and club Top Prospects lists, and shortstop Andres Gimenez led a group of four Mets that cracked the Top 100 overall prospects.

Gimenez came in at No. 60 overall while remaining the No. 1 prospect in the Mets organization. The 19-year-old shortstop played in 86 games for Class A Advanced St. Lucie in 2018, slashing .282/.348/.432 with 28 stolen bases to compliment six home runs and 30 RBIs.

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Mets' Top 30 prospects list

Less than a week after representing the Mets in the All-Star Futures Game, Gimenez was promoted to Double-A Binghamton on Sunday.

Joining Gimenez on the Top 100 list are first baseman Peter Alonso (No. 65), 2018 first-round Draft pick outfielder Jarred Kelenic (No. 69) and right-handed pitcher Justin Dunn (No. 100).

Alonso began the year in Binghamton and slugged 15 home runs while posting a .314 batting average over 65 games before being promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas in June. Dunn has been on the rise as well, posting a 2.52 ERA and 1.235 WHIP over 17 combined starts between Class A Advanced St. Lucie and Binghamton.

Syndergaard, Frazier making progress
Noah Syndergaard (hand, foot and mouth disease) worked out on Thursday, and the Mets remain optimistic that the right-hander could return from the disabled list as soon as during next week's two-game set with the Nationals.

Video: NYM@NYY: Syndergaard K's Gardner with nasty pitch

 "He's doing really well," manager Mickey Callaway said. "Had a good workout today. Threw up to 120 feet, no issues. He's in a really good spot. We got to see him yesterday. He looked great, felt good. He's in a good spot, and kind of in line for that Washington series."

Callaway also stated that Todd Frazier, who landed on the disabled list on July 9 with a left rib cage muscle strain, is expected to start his rehab assignment "in the next couple days."

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

New York Mets, Todd Frazier, Noah Syndergaard

McNeil debuts, records first MLB knock

Club recalls utility man Evans; Kelly designated for assignment
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- For most of this summer, Jeff McNeil waited, waited, waited for a callup that he figured would eventually come. Consistently batting well over .300, McNeil believed if he continued plugging away at the highest levels of the Minors, he would end the year in Flushing.

Prepared though he was, when the call finally came on Monday evening, McNeil scrambled. Watching television at his home in Las Vegas, McNeil stuffed all his belongings in a suitcase. Then he raced to the airport, where he narrowly missed his red-eye flight to New York. He quickly rebooked a slightly later one.

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NEW YORK -- For most of this summer, Jeff McNeil waited, waited, waited for a callup that he figured would eventually come. Consistently batting well over .300, McNeil believed if he continued plugging away at the highest levels of the Minors, he would end the year in Flushing.

Prepared though he was, when the call finally came on Monday evening, McNeil scrambled. Watching television at his home in Las Vegas, McNeil stuffed all his belongings in a suitcase. Then he raced to the airport, where he narrowly missed his red-eye flight to New York. He quickly rebooked a slightly later one.

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Tweet from @AnthonyDiComo: A very happy Jeff McNeil breaks down the circumstances surrounding his call-up to the Mets: pic.twitter.com/w7hwbRND8c

"It was a little stressful," McNeil said, laughing.

The hectic day did not, however, affect McNeil's debut. Entering Tuesday's 6-3 win over the Padres as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, McNeil punched the first pitch he saw into shallow center field for a single. The ball, which he plans to frame and give to his mother, was already on display in his locker after the game.

"It felt amazing," McNeil said. "You always want to get your first hit out of the way. I'll come back tomorrow and try to do the same thing."

He should continue to receive those opportunities. The Mets' roster flux offers a prime chance for McNeil, 26, who went 9-for-28 with a double and five RBIs over his past seven games at Triple-A Las Vegas, hitting safely in all of them. Splitting time this season between Double-A Binghamton and Vegas, the unranked prospect batted .342/.411/.617 with 19 home runs, 71 RBIs and 36 walks in 339 at-bats. He placed among the Eastern League's home run and OPS leaders throughout his time there.

A career .311 hitter in the Minor Leagues, McNeil credited his 2018 surge to being fully healthy for the first time in two years. Now recovered from a sports hernia and a torn hip labrum, which limited him to 51 games the past two seasons, McNeil says he has added enough bulk to turn his doubles into homers.

"I'm having a pretty good year," said McNeil, whose wife, parents and siblings flew in from Santa Barbara, Calif., to watch his debut at Citi Field. "I was swinging the bat well. I was putting together good at-bats. I knew if I did that, I would eventually get a call."

The issue with McNeil is his defense. A natural second baseman, McNeil is blocked at that position by Asdrubal Cabrera, at least until the Mets find a trade partner for the veteran. Instead, McNeil figures to play third base with the Mets -- a position he manned early in his Minor League career, but only recently began revisiting. Manager Mickey Callaway said that McNeil could bounce around the infield, and even the outfield, in Flushing.

"We feel comfortable with him at multiple positions now," Callaway said. "That was kind of a goal of the last couple of weeks, was to kind of hone on a couple more positions, to give us more options."

In addition to McNeil, the Mets called up utility man Phillip Evans from Las Vegas on Tuesday, designating infielder Ty Kelly for assignment. McNeil took the roster spot of injured outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who went on the disabled list.

Evans, 25, made the Mets' Opening Day roster and has already spent two stints in the big leagues this season, going 1-for-9. He was hitting .256/.327/.493 with 14 homers and 39 RBIs in 62 games with Las Vegas, including .325 with two home runs in his last 10 contests. Evans missed a chunk of the Minor League season due to an infection.

Kelly finished 1-for-11 during his brief time with the Mets. He will need to clear waivers if he is to remain in the organization.

Heart and hustle
Outfielder Brandon Nimmo, whose quirks include running to first base on walks and hit-by-pitches, is the Mets' winner of the Major League Baseball Players' Alumni Association's Heart and Hustle Award, given annually to the player from each team who best "demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game." Nimmo will receive his award at Citi Field later this year.

Injury updates
Third baseman Todd Frazier will travel to Florida this week to ramp up his rehab from a left rib cage strain. Frazier could return during the Mets' next road trip, which begins Thursday in Pittsburgh.

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

New York Mets, Yoenis Cespedes, Phillip Evans

Tebow likely done for '18 with broken right hand

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Over the first half of this season at Double-A Binghamton, Tim Tebow performed well enough, and for long enough, for a big league promotion to seem plausible. An Eastern League All-Star, Tebow hit .273/.336/.399 in 84 games, adding weight to general manager Sandy Alderson's preseason proclamation that he expected Tebow to make the Majors.

That dream will likely have to wait at least until next season. Tebow broke the hamate bone in his right hand last week, the Mets confirmed, and will undergo surgery on Tuesday. The operation typically carries with it a six- to eight-week recovery, which should take Tebow past the end of the Minor League season.

NEW YORK -- Over the first half of this season at Double-A Binghamton, Tim Tebow performed well enough, and for long enough, for a big league promotion to seem plausible. An Eastern League All-Star, Tebow hit .273/.336/.399 in 84 games, adding weight to general manager Sandy Alderson's preseason proclamation that he expected Tebow to make the Majors.

That dream will likely have to wait at least until next season. Tebow broke the hamate bone in his right hand last week, the Mets confirmed, and will undergo surgery on Tuesday. The operation typically carries with it a six- to eight-week recovery, which should take Tebow past the end of the Minor League season.

"I view this season as a complete positive," assistant general manager John Ricco said. "It's disappointing he's going to miss the last month, but to see a guy in a couple of short years competing at the Double-A level, and thriving [is impressive]. The last couple of months, he's been playing really well. I don't see how that can be anything but a positive."

Tebow, 30, hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games before injuring the hand while swinging a bat last Thursday. He underwent tests the following day and visited a specialist in New York on Monday.

The injury almost certainly ends what had been a breakout season for Tebow, the former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL star who signed with the Mets late in 2016 to pursue a baseball career. Following a 2017 season spent at Class A ball, Tebow spent last offseason revamping his swing with the help of Nationals star Daniel Murphy, Mets hitting coach Pat Roessler and others. He showed up to Spring Training with a slimmer body and a shortened swing, which he used to great benefit at Binghamton.

Demonstrating improvement throughout the season, Tebow hit .226 in April, .241 in May, .301 in June and .340 in July. He went 1-for-4 with a double in the Eastern League All-Star Game.

"I have learned a lot," Tebow said this past month. "I am also continuing to make those adjustments and learning to improve based on the pitchers, series, games, all of that. I think, as a hitter, you have to have a short memory and also continue to be able to learn. I still think that there are a lot of things that I know I will improve on, and can improve on, and I am making those strides every day."

Neither Tebow nor the Mets have indicated how long they expect his baseball experiment to last, though Ricco said the team has no reason to believe Tebow is considering retiring.

"Obviously, the age factor is there and it's tough for him to miss this last month," Ricco said. "But I view this as nothing but a positive. He's really gone out and made great strides."

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

New York Mets

Mets deal Familia to A's for 2 prospects, int'l cash

New York nets third baseman Toffey, reliever Wahl, $1 million in slot money for closer
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- By the time the Mets reported to Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Jeurys Familia's locker was already empty. They had said their goodbyes the night before, understanding that Familia's departure was a matter of when, not if.

It finally happened during their 7-6 loss to the Yankees. The Mets dealt Familia to the A's for two prospects, third baseman Will Toffey and reliever Bobby Wahl, plus $1 million in international bonus pool money.

NEW YORK -- By the time the Mets reported to Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Jeurys Familia's locker was already empty. They had said their goodbyes the night before, understanding that Familia's departure was a matter of when, not if.

It finally happened during their 7-6 loss to the Yankees. The Mets dealt Familia to the A's for two prospects, third baseman Will Toffey and reliever Bobby Wahl, plus $1 million in international bonus pool money.

"This trade hits three major areas," Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said in a statement. "We got a Major League-ready reliever our scouts recommended, a position player who was a high selection from the 2017 Draft and strong prospect in the A's system as well as receiving international bonus pool money to help in the future."

Video: MLB Tonight on Jeurys Familia being traded to the A's

Toffey, 23, was Oakland's 17th-ranked prospect and a fourth-round pick in the 2017 Draft. He was batting .244 with a .741 OPS at the organization's Class A Advanced Stockton affiliate. Upon acquiring Toffey, the Mets immediately promoted him, assigning him to Double-A Binghamton.

"I think very highly of Toffey," Mets special assistant J.P. Ricciardi said in a statement. "He's got great strike-zone discipline, gap-to-gap power and is a solid defender."

Wahl, 26, made his Major League debut during a brief stint with the A's last summer. Capable of throwing in the upper 90s, he owned a 2.27 ERA in 34 appearances with Triple-A Nashville. Wahl underwent surgery last year to alleviate symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome, but he has responded with 65 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings this season.

Video: CHC@OAK: Wahl gets groundout to complete save

Rather than call Wahl straight up to the big leagues, the Mets assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas. A source said the team is recalling Paul Sewald to replace Familia on the active roster.

In addition to the players the Mets acquired in the trade, special assistant Omar Minaya called the international bonus pool money "extremely helpful" for a team that has become increasingly aggressive in that arena in recent years. The Mets also received roughly $3 million in salary relief, as the A's reportedly absorbed the rest of Familia's contract. A day before completing the trade, Ricco said the Mets were willing to take on money to acquire better prospects in deals for Familia, Asdrubal Cabrera and other pending free agents. But they did not do so in this deal.

In Familia's absence, the Mets will likely install Robert Gsellman as their closer, though manager Mickey Callaway said matchups could dictate whom he uses in the ninth. Replacing Familia, who ranked third in team history with 123 saves, will not be easy in any context.

"The A's are lucky to have a quality guy and a quality pitcher like Familia," Callaway said. "He's done a great job for this organization. I know the fans, I know the coaching staff and the players are going to miss him. But I understand it's also necessary at this point to try and strengthen our team in the future. It sounds like we did a pretty good job of that."

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

New York Mets, Jeurys Familia

Mets moving prospect McNeil around diamond

Defensive versatility will accelerate slugging infielder's ascension to Majors
MLB.com