Mets infielder Brett Baty during a spring training game against...

Mets infielder Brett Baty during a spring training game against the Marlins on March 1. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

MILWAUKEE — Brett Baty’s right thumb is bothering him again. 

He left Triple-A Syracuse’s game on Tuesday with soreness in that digit and is scheduled to get medical imaging done on it Wednesday, according to the Mets. 

Last year, a right thumb injury in August ended Baty’s season just 11 games into his call-up to the majors. He had surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament. 

After swinging and missing in the bottom of the third inning of his minors game Tuesday, Baty was in obvious discomfort, shaking his right hand and walking a lap around the plate. Manager Dick Scott and an athletic trainer checked on him. He stayed in the game, wound up walking — fouling off three consecutive pitches and taking two balls — and ran the bases. But prior to the top of the fifth, he was replaced by Jose Peraza at third base. 

Baty, 23, is one of the Mets’ top prospects and impressed team officials with his defensive improvements at third during spring training. 

Hunter hurt 

The Mets put Tommy Hunter on the 15-day injured list with what they called back spasms, his third time being sidelined with a back-related issue since August. 

Hunter, 36, estimated that he has had close to double-digit back surgeries in his life — including multiple in 2021 to repair six herniations that he thought ended his career — so that this happened again didn’t surprise him. 

“My back was a little worse than most other people,” he said. “Just part of it as this point. Luckily, it’s not terrible, but it still sucks at the same time.” 

The pain popped up again, according to Hunter, after he threw 44 pitches across two innings (five runs) Monday against the Brewers. 

He plans to resume throwing in a couple of days and stay “on routine as much as possible,” he said. 

The timing of Hunter’s latest back issue was fortunate for the Mets, who wanted a rested reliever and were going to be without Hunter for at least a couple of days anyway. 

They called up righthander Denyi Reyes from Triple-A Syracuse. Reyes, 26, had a three-game cameo with the Orioles last year after struggling in the minors. 

The Mets signed Reyes to a minor-league deal in November and had him in major-league spring training. 

“He got our attention as a guy that can help us,” manager Buck Showalter said. “We were hoping it wasn’t this early, but things take shape.” 


Tim Locastro long has had a track record of being a ball magnet, but he took it to a small-sample extreme through the Mets’ first five games: In four plate appearances, he was hit by a pitch three times. 

“I’d take a .750 on-base percentage any day of the week,” he said with a smile despite describing bruises on his elbow and butt. 

Locastro doesn’t know why he gets hit so often — and insisted he isn’t curious why — but accepts the reality. In 2013, his last year at Ithaca College, he got plunked 27 times in 48 contests, which averaged out to more than one in every other game. In 2019, he was third in the majors with 22 HBPs despite playing in just 91 games. 

After Locastro won a job with the Mets with a strong spring training, which included getting drilled six times in Grapefruit League play, Showalter said of his HBP habit: “He’ll fit right in.” The 2022 Mets got hit by 112 pitches, the most of any team since 1900. 

Locastro at least does wear an elbow guard at the request of his mother, Colleen, who — naturally — hates that he gets hit, he said. 

“It was [a lower-level minor league] in Vancouver,” Locastro recalled of 2014. “We didn’t have the game live, it was only on the radio. So when I would get hit by pitches there, she would always ask me where I got hit by pitches and if I’d wear an elbow guard. So I started wearing one. 

“I like getting on base. I like being able to steal bases and score runs for our team. If the ball is coming inside, I’m not going to move.” 

Next up 

Justin Verlander (right teres major strain) is scheduled for another MRI on Wednesday, Showalter said. 

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