Francisco Alvarez and Matthew Allan aren’t headed for the Majors yet, but the two top prospects moved one step closer on Saturday.
“Adding those two guys, it kind of gives us that balance in our depth; adding the arm, adding the catcher, two of our biggest prospects,” manager Luis Rojas said. “For them to come in and be in an environment when there's competition at a great level -- we have some great veterans, guys with experience at that site, and they can have that competition created there for their development.”
Whether the Mets have any plans for the two youngsters to contribute at the big league level remains to be seen, though many teams are using a handful of spots in their player pools to give prospects a place to develop in the absence of a Minor League season. The Mets had two open spots in their pool, giving them the opportunity to add the two blue-chip prospects.
“We created the pool with a lot of guys that have Major League experience,” Rojas said. “It’s a built-to-win team; that was the theme that the whole pool was made of. … As we move forward and we have some of that room, we can definitely make decisions like this and bring some other guys to take advantage of the situation. Those two guys added to the pool, they can definitely help us win games, too, so it's a win-win.”
Wilson Ramos spent much of Friday night thinking about the final play of the Mets’ loss to the Phillies, which saw Roman Quinn sneak his hand under the catcher’s glove to score the game-winner despite what appeared to be a perfect throw from Michael Conforto.
“I 100% thought that was out at the plate,” Ramos said. “As soon as I saw the replay, that was tough. I tried to tag the runner, and my tag was up. It cost us the game.”
Asked whether he would have done differently, Ramos stood by his approach Friday.
“I’ve been thinking about that play all night,” Ramos said. “Those plays happen in half a second, so we don’t have time to think about what we have to do in those situations. We have to react, try to make those plays.”
Cano back at DH
Following a productive return to the lineup Friday, Robinson Canó was back in the DH spot on Saturday against the Phillies.
Cano, who missed 10 days with a Grade 2 adductor strain, said he hopes to be back in the field in the coming days.
“I’m good [physically] right now,” said Cano, who went 2-for-5 with a home run and a game-tying single in his return. “They just want to see how I feel the first two days, but I'm planning on next week being at second base, for sure.”
Rojas didn’t say when Cano would be back in the field, though he suggested it wouldn’t be this weekend.
“I want to get him on the field, but there's a couple things playing out right now where we're giving guys days off,” Rojas said. “We want guys with versatility, so if somebody can come into the game, we can keep guys moving around. Robinson plays second base exclusively. For this weekend, we just want to have that.”
From the training room
• Jeff McNeil was out of the lineup for a second straight day with a bone bruise in his left knee, an injury he suffered crashing into the wall while making a catch Thursday against the Nationals. Rojas said McNeil “feels better today,” though he wasn’t sure whether he would be available off the bench Saturday.