New York Mets Minor League catcher Francisco Alvarez during practice...

New York Mets Minor League catcher Francisco Alvarez during practice at Clover Park in Port St.Lucie, Florida, on Friday, February 18, 2022. Credit: Octavio Jones

Mets catching prospect Francisco Alvarez has a “loose body in his right ankle,” but has a chance to play again this season for Triple-A Syracuse, the team announced on Thursday.

Alvarez, 20, was scheduled to receive an undisclosed injection on Thursday and is tentatively scheduled to resume baseball activities in three to four days, the Mets said.

In a news release, the team said: “His return to play will be dictated by his response to the injection and baseball activities. Additional updates will be provided as appropriate.”

Alvarez is batting .180 with six HRs in 32 games in Triple-A after hitting 18 homers in Double-A. The Mets are going with James McCann and Tomas Nido at catcher with limited offensive production from either.

It was unlikely that Alvarez was going to get called up to catch in the big leagues this season, but general manager Billy Eppler didn’t completely rule it out a month ago in an interview on WFAN.

Alvarez’s struggles in Triple-A and his injury make it an even more remote possibility. Alvarez last played on Aug. 23.

Buck’s not a fan of . . .  

Along with many Mets and U.S. Open tennis fans, Buck Showalter has been caught in traffic trying to get to and from Citi Field as the events are taking place in the same area this week.

“We should do what the San Antonio Spurs do,” Showalter said. “The rodeo is bigger there than the U.S. Open is here and [the Spurs] go out of town for two weeks.”

The Mets don’t hit the road again until Monday at Pittsburgh. The team is urging fans to take public transportation to this weekend’s home games against Washington.

Buck’s also not a fan of . . .  

Showalter said he had to pull over while driving on Thursday to get on a conference call that was about rules changes MLB plans to institute in 2023.

While Showalter mostly declined to reveal specifics, he did indicate that the three-batter rule for relievers – which he detests – is probably going to remain on the books next season.

Showalter has often pointed out that the rule, which was supposed to speed up games by limiting the number of pitching changes, has not affected time of games at all.

“When they put something in and they tell you what it’s going to do and it doesn’t do it, they get stubborn,” he said.  

Lights on or off?

Thursday's game was delayed for about 10 minutes in the third inning because of a disagreement about when to turn the lights on at Citi Field with the 4:10 p.m. start.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts objected to the lights beginning to get turned on with two outs in the top of the third. He wanted them turned on at the start of the half-inning, but that didn't happen.

Roberts said he felt that since the lights weren't turned on for the entire top of the third, they shouldn't be turned on until the top of the fourth so the Mets didn't get an advantage in the bottom half.

Buck Showalter objected to that plan, and eventually the lights were allowed to continue to go on with two outs in the top of the third as planned. 

Extra bases

On roster expansion day, the Mets filled their two available spots with infielder Deven Marrero and righthander Adonis Media. Righthander Connor Grey, who was optioned to Syracuse on Saturday, was designated for assignment . . . The rotation for the Nationals series will be David Peterson, Max Scherzer and Carlos Carrasco (returning from the injured list).

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