Mets' Francisco Alvarez, left, reacts to an injury on second...

Mets' Francisco Alvarez, left, reacts to an injury on second base during the second inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, April 19, 2024. Credit: AP/Ashley Landis

LOS ANGELES — When Francisco Alvarez left the field in obvious significant pain Friday night, his Mets teammates, coaches and others agreed: It takes a lot for him to come out of a game, so it must be bad.

They were right.

Alvarez needs surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb, manager Carlos Mendoza said Saturday. The Mets are “pretty confident” he will play again this season, Mendoza added, but the team didn’t reveal a time line for his return. Starling Marte said Alvarez told him he’ll be out six to eight weeks.

The Mets hope Alvarez will have surgery early this week.

“We have to wait till he goes for surgery and see what happens,” Mendoza said. “He’ll get through it. We’ll help him. We’re pretty confident that we’re going to get him back.  As a human,  he wants to be out there, he wants to contribute. But right now, he’s not going to be able to do that.”

Marte said: “He brings so much energy to all of us. It’s definitely a tough blow.”

Alvarez landed on the thumb when he stumbled rounding first base Friday night. He stayed in the game to finish running the bases, but Mendoza took him out when — upon his return to the dugout — the Mets realized he couldn’t squeeze his mitt.

Without Alvarez, a 22-year-old homegrown fan favorite who has as much slugging potential as anybody on the team other than Pete Alonso,  the Mets will lean on their original 2023 tandem: Omar Narvaez and Tomas Nido, whom they called up from Triple-A Syracuse.

Narvaez’s early-season injury last year created the opportunity for Alvarez to become the starting catcher. Now the reverse has happened, with Narvaez getting a chance to be more than a highly paid backup.

Nido has played parts of seven seasons with the Mets but was removed from the 40-man roster last June. He was batting .345 (10-for-29) with an .862 OPS in the minors this year.

“It was a tough 10 months that I was gone,” Nido said. “I don’t take for granted being back here. I know what it takes to win. We’ve done it here before. I’m excited to come back and be able to put that Band-Aid on while Alvy gets healthy again.”

Nido’s long Saturday began with a 6 a.m. flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, where Syracuse was playing. He had a layover in Atlanta, a two-hour delay, a four-hour-plus flight to Southern California and a trafficky, 90-minute drive from the airport to Dodger Stadium.

He arrived near the end of the first inning and entered the game, a 6-4 Mets win over the Dodgers, in the seventh.

It’s not clear how Mendoza plans to split playing time between Narvaez and Nido. Through nine games, Narvaez is batting .200 with a .499 OPS. He grounded into a double play in his first at-bat and tried to sacrifice (succeeding once) in his second and third at-bats Saturday.“There will be opportunities for other guys,” Mendoza said.“Guys are going to have to step up — Narvy, Nido — and we feel good about them. You hate to see it. We don’t know how long [Alvarez is] going to be out for. But we know how much energy he brings and the way he was playing.”

Narvaez said: “It’s sad because he’s a really important piece of our team. We all know that he’s a tough kid and it takes a lot to take him out of the game. But things happen. Just gotta play the game. I’m ready to go.”

As hot as they are, the Mets know Alvarez’s absence is a major one.

“It won’t be, probably, the last hard news that we have,” Brandon Nimmo said. “That’s unfortunately the case of being in a marathon of a 162-game season.”

Baty is back

Brett Baty returned as a pinch hitter, going 0-for-2 and playing three innings at third base. He hadn’t played since departing Tuesday’s game with tightness in his left hamstring.

Extra bases

The Mets designated lefthander Kolton Ingram for assignment. They claimed the reliever off waivers in February; he never appeared for them in the majors . . . Before the game, Alvarez had an extended conversation with agent Scott Boras. Around this time last year, Alvarez left Boras for a new agency, Rimas Sports. Now Rimas is facing severe punishment from the MLBPA for improper recruiting of clients, thrusting Alvarez and others into uncertainty regarding their representation.


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