Alonso heads to injured list, out at least 3-4 weeks

June 9th, 2023

PITTSBURGH -- For more than two months this season, Pete Alonso served as the Mets’ best hitter, one of the league’s foremost sluggers and a legitimate threat to hit 60 home runs.

Now, an already reeling Mets team must figure out how to navigate a critical stretch of its schedule without him.

Alonso will likely need 3-4 weeks to recover from a bone bruise and a sprain in his left wrist, which he suffered when he was hit by a fastball Wednesday in Atlanta. Should Alonso progress as the Mets envision, he will return at some point between early July and the All-Star break. And while there’s a chance that Alonso can come back sooner, as one person close to him predicted, the Mets spent Friday preparing for life without their best hitter.

“It’s impactful,” manager Buck Showalter said. “But what are we going to do? … We have the people to withstand it.”

Showalter continued that thought by saying, “obviously, we are a better team with Pete,” which qualifies as a significant understatement. Alonso’s MLB-leading 22 home runs are the same amount as the next two teammates combined. He has accounted for 29 percent of the Mets’ homers and 18 percent of their RBIs.

That trend seemed unlikely to change until Charlie Morton struck Alonso on the wrist with a 97 mph fastball on Wednesday, knocking him out of the game. Although initial X-rays came back negative, Alonso underwent subsequent testing including a bone scan. Upon viewing those results, Mets doctors diagnosed Alonso with both a bruise and a sprain.

Morton, whose errant fastball occurred a day after Alonso was overheard trash talking Braves pitcher Bryce Elder from the visiting dugout in Atlanta, apologized for the pitch and said it was not intentional. Alonso and other Mets believe that to be true.

“That’s part of hitting in the Major Leagues,” Showalter said.

Regardless, the Mets now have to deal with the consequences. To replace Alonso on the active roster, the team recalled infielder Luis Guillorme from Triple-A Syracuse. Guillorme will serve as a bench option at all four infield spots, with Mark Canha and Mark Vientos splitting the starting reps at first base. The former is probably the Mets’ best defensive first baseman outside of Alonso, despite limited experience at the position. The latter is a rookie who offers significant offensive potential, but who has slumped since his callup last month.

Neither of them is Alonso, who has been one of baseball's most durable players since breaking into the league in 2019. The two-time All-Star and Home Run Derby champion had appeared in 97.4 percent of the Mets’ games at the time of his injury. He had gone to the Major League IL just once before, spending the minimum 10 days there in 2021 due to a sprained right wrist.

This stint will be longer, which will also affect Alonso’s individual pursuits. Before this injury, he was on pace for 57 home runs. His quest to become the first National League player of his generation to hit 60 now appears squashed.

For the Mets, that’s the least of their worries. The team began a three-game series in Pittsburgh on Friday having lost six consecutive contests, including a sweep in Atlanta that dropped the Mets a season-high 8 1/2 games out of first place in the NL East.

“I’ve said it many times: Nobody cares about your problems,” Showalter said. “This is what we are and what we’re dealing with. So now we can go forward.”