Notes: Capacity boost; Koosman; Lucchesi

June 4th, 2021

SAN DIEGO -- Citi Field is about to look a lot closer to normal.

When the Mets return to Flushing for their next homestand beginning June 11, they will nearly triple their capacity from 12,222 to 33,875 fans, pursuant to Department of Health guidelines of New York state. Ninety percent of those seats will be in fully vaccinated sections without social distancing requirements.

The Mets also will open many concession stands that were closed during the first two months of the season, and will offer various promotions and events over the next four months. Single-game tickets for the remainder of the season will go on sale at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday at

Koosman date set
’s number retirement ceremony, which had been scheduled for last summer before COVID-19 interfered, has a new date. The Mets will retire the left-hander’s No. 36 before their game against the Nationals on Aug. 28.

Koosman will become the first Mets player not in the Hall of Fame to have his number retired at Citi Field, though he’s unlikely to be the last. Team officials have been mum about their plans to retire other numbers, but they have expressed a willingness to become more open to the concept in general.

Notable numbers not retired by the Mets include David Wright’s No. 5, Gary Carter’s No. 8, Dwight Gooden’s No. 16, Keith Hernandez’s No. 17, and Darryl Strawberry’s No. 18. The Mets have frozen the numbers of Wright, Carter and Hernandez, not issuing them to any new players. But Nos. 16 and 18 remain in use.

Koosman, 78, spent a dozen seasons in Flushing, playing major roles in the Mets’ 1969 World Series championship and 1973 National League pennant.

Padres reunion
The trade that sent from San Diego to New York last winter left him at times confused, upset and angry, as Lucchesi has expressed. But he’s over it now. As Lucchesi prepared to start against his old team on Friday at Petco Park, he spent time greeting old friends, including Eric Hosmer, Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr., with whom he is particularly close.

“Of course I want to strike every one of those guys out, but I’ve just got to stay content, do my job, hit the glove, and it will go my way,” Lucchesi said. “I can’t get too mad. I’m not even mad.”

Lucchesi later admitted that he was “a little upset” at the three-team deal better known for sending pitcher Joe Musgrove from Pittsburgh to San Diego. But Lucchesi is comfortable now in Queens, starting every fifth day -- albeit in an unorthodox role. The Mets have been reticent to let Lucchesi face any lineup a third time through, resulting in most of his starts ending after three or four innings.

Still, Lucchesi said his goal is to pitch deeper, beginning Friday against his old friends.

“I’m happy with my new team,” Lucchesi said. “Of course, I want to deal against my past team. Of course, those feelings are still there. But I’m just a chill, content guy, and I’m just going to go out there and be myself and hit the glove tomorrow. That’s all I have to say about that.”

Brief hibernation
The Mets gave first baseman a routine maintenance day on Thursday, after he started all three of their games this week in Arizona. That was part of the Mets’ plan for Alonso, who convinced team officials he did not need a Minor League rehab assignment before coming off the injured list on Monday after a right hand sprain.

Minor matters
• The Mets have signed infielder to a Minor League contract. A Nicaraguan former top prospect of Kansas City, Cuthbert has never managed to find his footing in the big leagues, posting a slash line of .250/.300/.378 over parts of six seasons with the Royals and White Sox. But he is still just 28 years old with experience at first, second and third base. The Reds recently released Cuthbert after he slashed .203/.330/.338 in 21 games for their Triple-A Louisville affiliate.

• Veteran outfielder and infielder cleared waivers. The Mets outrighted both to Syracuse.

• Right-hander , a second-round Draft pick in 2020, made his professional debut with three scoreless innings Thursday for Low-A St. Lucie. Ginn, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Mets' No. 6 prospect, has spent the past year-plus recovering from Tommy John surgery.