The Mets' Francisco Alvarez reacts after he tore a thumb...

The Mets' Francisco Alvarez reacts after he tore a thumb ligament at second base during the second inning of a game against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Friday. Credit: AP/Ashley Landis

LOS ANGELES — One of the Mets’ talented, important youngsters tore a thumb ligament, a major injury for him and a major blow to the team.

In late 2022, it was Brett Baty. Now it’s Francisco Alvarez.

As Alvarez prepares for surgery Tuesday to fix his left thumb, he has a sounding board — in the form of one of his best friends on the team — for the ensuing painful process. Baty already has shown Alvarez his scar, told him about his experience with the rehabilitation and offered advice: Be patient.

“I told him it’s going to take time,” Baty said Sunday morning. “He doesn’t need to rush it. Especially for a catcher — it’s his glove hand, it’s going to be really hard to catch. But he’s also a freak in the fact that he does not feel pain and he recovers the quickest I’ve ever seen a human recover. I think he’s going to crush rehab. I told him that.”

Alvarez said: “He told me I have to be patient. Sometimes when I start to hit, it might hurt my thumb a little bit. Don’t be frustrated.”

The Mets’ medical personnel told Alvarez he will miss six to eight weeks, he said. That would put him on track for a return in early or mid-June.

“That’s what they’re telling us, but until he goes through it and they go in there and see what we got [they won’t know for sure],” manager Carlos Mendoza said. “That’s what they’re telling us so far.”


Alvarez got hurt Friday night when he fell while rounding first base and caught himself with his left hand.

Unlike with his many other injury scares — a foul tip here, a backswing there — the pain proved intolerable.

“Right after I got to second base, I know something happened because I didn’t feel my hand,” he said. “I felt like something happened.”

Blaming himself for trying to brace himself the way he did, he also said: “I feel very sad with me.”

In Alvarez’s absence, the light-hitting duo of Omar Narvaez and Tomas Nido will split catching duties. It’ll be a “day-by-day” decision and “both are going to play,” Mendoza said.

That will remain the status quo until Alvarez — a “freak of nature,” as Baty said — is back.

“I told him take your time because it’s a long season,” Baty said, “and we’re going to need you for the playoffs.”  

Bullpen hit

Lefthander Brooks Raley is on the 15-day injured list with left elbow inflammation. The Mets recalled righthander Grant Hartwig from Triple-A Syracuse.

An MRI revealed no structural damage and the Mets expect Raley back about when he is eligible (May 5). He believes a cortisone shot and a few days of rest will help. “It got past just the normal soreness,” he said. “You’re usually sore when you throw back-to-back [days], three out of four, four out of six, etc. It’s just one of those things where I wasn’t recovering like I normally do. Playing catch became a little taxing.  It was something we were working through.”

In eight appearances, Raley has an 0.00 ERA and 0.74 WHIP.


Martinez update

J.D. Martinez could join the Mets as soon as Friday, Mendoza said. He returned to minor-league action Sunday — his first game in two weeks because of a bout of lower-back tightness — and went 2-for-3 with a double for Low-A St. Lucie. He is scheduled to DH for Syracuse on Tuesday and Wednesday . . . Sean Reid-Foley (right shoulder impingement) joined the Mets physically but not transactionally. He is likely to be activated Monday.


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