PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Lefthanded pitching prospect David Peterson’s first Grapefruit League game came with an ugly line and a message from manager Mickey Callaway: Don’t sweat February results.
“We’re not really caring if they get hit around,” Callaway said of pitchers generally this time of year. “I know they probably care way more than we do. We try to show them what we value. Go up to them and, ‘Hey man, throw the ball over the plate, ease into spring training. We’re going to see the real you halfway through and through the end of camp.’”
Facing the Astros on Sunday, his first appearance of his first big-league camp, Peterson allowed three runs on four hits and a walk in one inning. He had two outs and the bases empty, but then Houston started to square him up.
Peterson, 23, was the Mets’ first-round pick in 2017. Last season, he reached advanced Class A St. Lucie, posting a 4.33 ERA in 13 starts.
Callaway said there is “definitely a chance” Peterson pitches for the Mets in the majors this year.
“But in spring training, we just want to get him around the big boys and let him know how it’s done, watch them work and take all those routines that he’s learning and that information into the season to make him a better pitcher,” Callaway said.
Notes & quotes: Travis d’Arnaud still has hurdles to clear before getting into exhibition games, Callaway said. As part of d’Arnaud’s rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery last April, the Mets are trying to simulate various throwing situations before making him go through a full-speed game. But, Callaway said, “the ball is coming out of his hand like a rocket.” … In the Mets’ first split-squad games Tuesday, Callaway will go to Orlando to manage against the Braves. Bench coach Jim Riggleman, a serial interim manager who outsiders have speculated could replace Callaway if the Mets start slow, will manage the Mets at home against the Tigers. “My interim guy,” Callaway cracked with a smile. “We need to get him some experience.”