Mets Notebook: Jennings signs, Alderson to look for pitching depth, Lagares recovery update
The New York Mets signed Desmond Jennings on Tuesday, provided an update on Juan Lagares and took a look at the pitching situation.
Just hours before their second game of the season against the Atlanta Braves, the New York Mets have become one of the busiest teams in Major League Baseball.
Here is the latest:
Mets ink Jennings
MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reported on Wednesday that the Mets have signed former Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings to a minor-league contract where he will report to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Jennings spent the first seven years of his career with the Rays where he compiled a .245 career batting average with 55 home runs and a .322 on-base percentage.
The Cincinnati Reds signed the 30-year-old during the offseason, but released him after he failed to make the big-league roster after spring training.
This looks to be purely a depth signing as Jennings’ experience in the majors could prove vital if the injury bug sweeps through the outfield further. The team is already without center fielders Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo.
If Mets fans are looking for a best-case scenario with Jennings, let's hope he will provide the same kind of play James Loney brought to first base when Lucas Duda battled back problems last season.
Lagares inching toward return
Lagares lost his spot on the major-league roster after straining his oblique toward the end of spring training, opening the door for Michael Conforto make the club.
It looks as though the center fielder is almost ready to come back, though.
DiComo reported that the Mets are “targeting the middle of next week,” for Lagares’ possible return.
Given his recent health history, it’s understandable if the Mets are pessimistic. Lagares played in just 79 games last year due to a torn ligament in his thumb and later sprained his shoulder during the offseason while playing winter ball.
Alderson doesn’t seem satisfied with pitching depth
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is already facing durability issues from his starting pitching staff.
After Steven Matz was sidelined for three weeks due to elbow inflammation, Noah Syndergaard’s next start was pushed back to Sunday because of a blister on his middle finger and Seth Lugo was shut down for at least a few weeks due to a partial tear in his UCL.
Alderson already has to contend with monitoring Zack Wheeler, who will be making his return to the mound after missing two years because of Tommy John surgery along with Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom after their 2016 seasons were cut short due to injury as well.
The Mets GM told the media, via Newsday’s Marc Carig, that he will “sniff around” the market for some pitching depth and added insurance in case 2016 repeats itself.