PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Several weeks into learning another set of hitting coaches, Pete Alonso said Wednesday he has hit it off with Eric Chavez and Jeremy Barnes, who bring very different backgrounds to the batting cages.
Chavez spent 17 seasons in the majors. Barnes, who played in the minors, worked as a minor-league hitting coach and last year served as the Mets’ de facto player development boss.
Their message, Alonso said, is basically the same as that from Mets hitting coaches of the recent past — they had four last year — but the “different verbiage” has “helped a lot.”
“A lot of things click with my method, and I feel like my approach has been really, really good,” Alonso said. “They’re there to help enhance everything and help fine-tune stuff right now.
“Chavey understands what you’re supposed to feel and look like. And he understands the numbers that are presented, but Barnesy does a really good job of dissecting them, and then also, I feel like he’s done a really good job of presenting certain ideas for game planning in the future. We’ve scratched the surface so far. I’m excited to get into the groove and the flow of the season and see how it unfolds.”
Alonso’s comments came after he hit his first home run of spring training, a three-run shot to left-centerfield off Astros lefthander Adam Morgan. He is 5-for-23 in eight exhibition games.
“That felt really nice. Hopefully more to come,” he said. “I feel excellent and I feel really confident in the trajectory heading toward the season.”
Nearing the end of his second spring training with the Mets, Carlos Carrasco finally found his way into a major-league exhibition game Thursday, pitching four innings against the Astros.
Houston reached Carrasco for three runs and six hits. He struck out three and walked one. Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez hit home runs off what Carrasco said were “great pitches.”
“I feel really good,” Carrasco said. “I give a lot of credit to those guys who homered.”
Cano’s on first?
Robinson Cano will play first base Thursday against the Nationals, part of the Mets’ effort to keep their defensive options open. Starting third baseman Eduardo Escobar, similarly, played second on Wednesday.
“Just trying to make sure everybody gets a look at places they might have to play if something comes up,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Just because you’re an infielder doesn’t mean you’re going to be comfortable with any [infield spot].”
The extent of Cano’s first-base experience: 14 games with the Mariners in 2018. It isn’t clear how much he would play there for the Mets, given the presence of Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith.
The Mets hired Katie Pothier as executive vice president and chief legal officer, the team announced.
She had spent the past five years with the Rangers. From 2002-10 she had a similar job with the Padres, where she overlapped with Mets president Sandy Alderson (Padres CEO from 2005-09).
Ed Kranepool and Art Shamsky, members of the 1969 Mets, threw out the ceremonial first pitch . . . Former manager Terry Collins made an appearance on the field during Mets batting practice, preparing to call the game for SNY . . . David Wright is expected in camp as a guest instructor starting Thursday.