NEW YORK -- The Mets received some encouraging news this week on third baseman J.D. Davis, who was able to take outdoor batting practice at Citi Field and is a strong candidate to come off the injured list when eligible this Saturday at Coors Field. Davis has not played since taking a Chase Anderson fastball off his left hand on April 6.
When Davis does return, he will reclaim his job as the Mets’ starting third baseman, even though both Luis Guillorme and Jonathan Villar have thrived in his absence. Villar contributed a pair of RBI hits during Tuesday’s doubleheader sweep of the Phillies, but it was Guillorme who earned the start the following day, as manager Luis Rojas wanted his contact bat in the lineup against hard-throwing Phillies starter Zack Wheeler.
“He’s the guy that will give tougher at-bats,” Rojas said of Guillorme. “Villar’s a guy that will turn around on a ball, do damage. … They’re both playing really good.”
Still, the Mets believe Davis has the most offensive potential of the bunch, considering his .307/.369/.527 slash line with 22 homers, during his breakout season in 2019.
Rain, rain, go away
A difficult weather week could continue on Thursday, when team officials expect to spend their morning monitoring rain patterns in the tri-state area. Of significant concern is the fact that Jacob deGrom is scheduled to pitch for the Mets, who fear starting the game only to endure a lengthy delay that could knock him out for five days.
Still, manager Luis Rojas said he doesn’t intend to use an opener. If the Mets conclude that skies are clear enough to play, they will do so with deGrom on the mound.
The problem won’t disappear after that, either; additional poor weather is forecast for Friday in Colorado, where snow could blanket Coors Field. The Mets, who have already had five games postponed or suspended due to weather and COVID-19 issues, will worry about that game if and when the snow does fall.
“Whether it be the weather, the COVID, we can’t control those things,” first baseman Pete Alonso said. “We can’t really dwell on it. … It’s been kind of a weird, rocky start, not because of our play but because of the inconsistency from outside factors that we can’t control. So, I think the more that we get blessings from the weather and are allowed to play on a consistent basis … the more consistent we’re going to be.”
Under the knife … or not
Rojas confirmed that he was aware Jed Lowrie wanted to undergo knee surgery last year, but the Mets manager called that the extent of his knowledge. Instead, Rojas continued, most of his talks with Lowrie revolved around the infielder’s comfort with various knee braces, which he was attempting to use as temporary fixes that would allow him to play.
A source confirmed last week that the Mets would not allow Lowrie to undergo surgery while under contract with the team. He did so shortly after the season instead, then signed with the A’s and responded with two home runs and a .333 batting average over his first dozen games. Lowrie entered Wednesday’s play leading the league in games played after appearing in zero with the Mets in 2020.
“I was aware that he wanted to have surgery, but there were some conversations that I wasn’t really a part of,” said Rojas, one of the highest-ranking Mets officials from last season still in the organization. “I knew that he needed the brace to play, and that was more what our conversations were about.”
From the trainer’s room
• Outfielder Michael Conforto was back in the lineup on Wednesday, one day after being struck on the right wrist with a pitch. X-rays on Conforto’s wrist came back negative.
• Reliever Dellin Betances (right shoulder impingement) has been receiving treatment at Citi Field and “is feeling better every day,” per Rojas, but continues to experience “minor pain, soreness” in his arm. Betances has not begun throwing and will not travel with the Mets to Colorado and Chicago, meaning he won’t join Davis in coming off the IL when eligible this weekend. His absence could linger far beyond that.