Mets President David Stearns walks on the field before a...

Mets President David Stearns walks on the field before a game between the Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on Friday, Mar. 29, 2024. Credit: Jim McIsaac

PHILADELPHIA — With one disappointing quarter of the Mets’ season complete, David Stearns and Carlos Mendoza still believe — even if all they have to show for it is sentiments and hypotheticals.

Mendoza addressed the Mets as a group after a particularly ugly loss to the Phillies on Wednesday night, his first time doing so in a postgame setting, to reiterate his belief in the team but emphasize that everybody has to be better. On Thursday afternoon, Stearns said much of the same in one of his periodic news conferences, citing the Mets’ anticipated improving health and difficult schedule so far as reasons to believe their circumstances will improve.

“We have a talented group that has a run in it,” Stearns, the president of baseball operations, said before the Mets’ 6-5, 11-inning win over the Phillies. “And we probably haven’t played our best baseball yet.”

Stearns added of the Mets’ potential status as sellers at the trade deadline: “We’re not anywhere close to even having discussions like that. We’re in mid-May. We’re focused every single day on trying to win baseball games. From a trade deadline strategy discussion, that’s something that we’ve got months to figure out and is not anywhere close to my thought process at this point.”

Regarding the Mets’ kind of, sort of team meeting, Mendoza said he “got them together” to remind his players that it’s a long season and there are better days ahead.

“I don’t want to call it a meeting, but it was just more like a walkthrough after the game with guys, making sure they’re keeping their head up,” Mendoza said.

The Mets are 20-23, losers of five of their past seven games and nine of 14 this month.


The hallmark of their season to date: streakiness. They went 0-5, then 12-3, then 8-15.

“We’ve had periods where we’ve been really good, and we’ve had periods where we haven’t played well enough,” Stearns said. “And that leads to the record we have, which is probably pretty indicative of how we’ve played over this first quarter of the season.”

Mendoza said: “There’s stretches where we’re playing well, but then we’ve been through some stretches like the one right now where we make mistakes, we’re not playing the way we should be playing.”

Stearns highlighted the Mets’ health as a source of optimism. Tylor Megill (right shoulder strain) will return to the rotation Monday in Cleveland. David Peterson (offseason hip surgery) is a couple of weeks away. Kodai Senga (right shoulder strain) isn’t as close, but Stearns reported that Senga “felt like he was making some strides” in fixing his mechanics during his most recent bullpen session.

Francisco Alvarez is about halfway through the Mets’ estimated eight-week recovery window after surgery on his left thumb. With the team away, he remained in New York “going through pretty rigorous rehab exercises on a daily basis,” Stearns said.

Getting key players back should help, as long as the healthy ones stay that way.

“And look, we’ve got to play a little bit better,” Stearns said. “Frankly, it doesn’t really matter what I think or what anyone thinks. What matters is how we ultimately play.”

Mendoza said: “At the end of the day, I truly believe we’re going to get there. We’re going to start playing the way we know.”

Notes & quotes: Brandon Nimmo was scratched from the lineup because of a stomach bug. Tyrone Taylor batted leadoff and DJ Stewart played leftfield in his stead. “He was in pretty rough shape,” Mendoza said . . . The Mets sent Joey Lucchesi back to Triple-A Syracuse after a one-day stay in the majors and called up lefty reliever Josh Walker . . . Drew Smith (right shoulder soreness) isn’t close to returning following his recent setback. Although he resumed throwing, he won’t throw a bullpen session until Monday and will have to re-do his rehab assignment . . . Lefthanded reliever prospect Nate Lavender had season-ending internal brace surgery — a version of Tommy John surgery — to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow . . . The Mets are “still working through” the severity of reliever Shintaro Fujinami’s right shoulder strain and his timeline to return, Stearns said. But they believe he won’t need surgery.


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