Friday, April 7, 2023

Mets Opening Day: Alvarez Called Up & Buck On Making Most Of Unexpected Off Day


The new massive scoreboard in center field debuts today. Photo by Jason Schott.

The scene at Citi Field on Friday ahead of Opening Day. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets will have their home opener at Citi Field on Friday afternoon, with the first pitch at 1:10 p.m., as they take on the Miami Marlins.

The Mets enter this one with a 3-4 record as they began the season on the road, and Thursday, they had to place their new catcher, Omar Narvaez, on the injured list with a medium to high-grade strain of his left calf. The typical return for this type of injury is eight to nine weeks.

The Mets called up top prospect Francisco Alvarez, and Tomas Nido will assume the starting role.

Mets Manager Buck Showalter, in his pregame press conference on Friday, said of calling up Alvarez, “We had a player hurt, and he was on the roster, so next guy up. We’re lucky to have a guy like Tomas, who we’re very comfortable with, obviously, see how it goes, what the day-to-day needs of the club are. We know what Tomas is, but certainly Francisco will get some playing time.”

The home opener was delayed a day by rain, and Showalter spoke of having a day off after playing the first seven without a day off on the road, “I think more than anything, that’s the way usually seasons start (that there are plenty of days off). For some reason, this has been unlike any I’ve really ever had, I think more about the start times. I think I said in Miami that I think the first time it will really have a routine feel to it will be probably Monday, but the start times, we all know what that’s driven by. We play, they tell us when to play. 

“I think yesterday, more than anything, potentially, you understand how many people have never really been here. They’re moving in apartments, houses, whatever, for the first time, it’s just a chance to kind of get organized. From spring training, we’ve been on the road since forever. I enjoyed yesterday, got in here, we had four to five pitchers here, trainers, some other stuff, but it was nice to work at a pace and be able to do some things, get organized in my office, but I can’t imagine the things the players have faced, families. 

“What does it mean? We’ll see. Other teams had the same issues with weather that we did and you make an educated guess and live with it. Fortunately, it didn’t result in a doubleheader. That’s the thing that really you’re trying to stay away from early in the year because you can’t pile them up later in the season as much as you used to, which is never a good thing anyway. You pay the price for doubleheaders, so I’m glad we had a scheduled off day to play on.” 

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