On the first morning of his second visit to New York City, Jarred Kelenic, a Midwest kid born and raised, went to Times Square for breakfast with his family. In addition to visiting Citi Field and taking batting practice with the Mets on Wednesday, this has been a pretty good food trip for the Mets’ first-round draft pick.
“I got in [Tuesday] afternoon, went out to eat at this awesome Italian place, and then, this morning, woke up and we went over to Times Square, and ate at this awesome diner, too,” Kelenic said. “It was pretty good. Pretty expensive. Two eggs was like 20 bucks. I really enjoyed it, though. I’m from Wisconsin, so you don’t see buildings like that.”
Such is life for Kelenic, an 18-year-old centerfielder from Waukesha, Wisconsin, who signed for a $4.5 million bonus. He hit pause on his first year — he is 8-for-13 (.615) in three GCL games — for a news conference at Citi Field, in addition to meeting many of his new Mets bosses and, he hopes, some of his future teammates.
Kelenic’s introduction was a triumphant moment, too, for Chris Hervey, a St. James native and the Mets area scout who signed Kelenic.
The first time Hervey watched Kelenic? February 2017. It was the Super 60 Pro Showcase in Chicago, an event meant for seniors. Kelenic was the only junior there, Hervey said.
“No disrespect to the other guys, but he was hands-down the best player,” Hervey said. “You had to take a step back and go, ‘This is something.’ At the time, you don’t know what it is, it’s a quick look. But it’s like, all right, this one is different.”
Three off days in a stretch of eight days starting Thursday offer the Mets rotation flexibility, though they have not named a starter for Saturday afternoon in Miami. Corey Oswalt, who was scratched from his start with Triple-A Las Vegas Wednesday but is healthy, is an option.
Jason Vargas’ return from a strained right calf is not imminent. He threw a bullpen session Wednesday, but manager Mickey Callaway said he’ll have to test his leg in a game situation before returning.
Noah Syndergaard (strained right index finger) had a 30-pitch bullpen session Tuesday. “He was executing all of his pitches, it was coming out pretty much game speed,” Callaway said. “His next step is to start facing hitters [on an unspecified day].”
Yoenis Cespedes (strained right hip flexor) will join the Mets for their series in Miami starting Friday. He has been rehabbing in Port St. Lucie, so this will serve as a chance for Callaway & Co. to touch base with him in person. Also, David Wright will travel with the team to Miami as he continues his baseball activities ramp-up . . . Brandon Nimmo (sore pinkie) and Amed Rosario (several days on the bench to focus on pregame work) returned to the lineup Wednesday night . . . The Marlins are calling up their top pitching prospect, Sandy Alcantara, to start Friday night against the Mets.