New York Mets starting pitcher Jose Butto delivers during the...

New York Mets starting pitcher Jose Butto delivers during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers in Game Two of an MLB doubleheader baseball game at Citi Field on Thursday, April 4, 2024. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Jose Butto got summoned to be the Mets’ 27th man and pitch the second game of a doubleheader against Detroit at Citi Field on April 4. But he looked like he belonged among the top 26.

Now the 26-year-old Venezuelan righthander is going to get a chance to be among those on the regular roster.

Manager Carlos Mendoza announced before Friday night’s game against Kansas City at Citi Field that Adrian Houser will get an extra day of rest and pitch Monday night here vs. Pittsburgh and that Butto will take the start in Sunday’s series finale after being recalled from Syracuse.

Since Kodai Senga and Tylor Megill are on the injured list, the Mets could choose to keep Butto around in the rotation if he excels again. He threw six innings against the Tigers, allowing one run and three hits while striking out six and walking three en route to a no-decision.

“We know he’s ready,” Mendoza said.

Butto yielded seven runs and nine hits over four innings in his lone Mets start/major-league debut in 2022. He made seven starts and appeared in nine games last season, going 1-4 with a 3.64 ERA.

His spring training numbers were very good this year — four games, two starts, 10 innings, 1-0, 0.90, 9 Ks, two walks.


“We made some tough decisions in spring training and unfortunately he had to go down,” Mendoza said. “But then he got an opportunity in the doubleheader and did a hell of a job, giving us six, especially when he didn’t have his best stuff command-wise.

“… This is a guy, he’s not afraid. He’s going to take the ball. He’s going to compete. I like the fastball, the changeup . . ..  . . and here he is, getting an opportunity again on Sunday. I’m looking forward to it.”

Marte bats second

Starling Marte was in the two hole for this series opener, just the third time he has batted second in the first 13 games.

Asked if he wants to keep Marte at that spot if he does well, Mendoza said, “Yes. I’ve been talking about trying to find consistency in the lineup, especially the one-through-five, one-through-six, if everyone’s healthy, matchups and things like that.

“But, yeah, ideally, especially with the way he’s playing, the way he’s moving. I like the at-bats.”

Marte was an All-Star in 2022, his first season with the Mets. Last season, he was hampered by a groin issue. He batted .248 and played in just 86 games. The 35-year-old rightfielder was at .271 with a homer and three RBIs heading into this latest game.

“Watching him in the Dominican in the offseason, we saw a lot of good signs, and it carried over to spring training,” Mendoza said. “What we’re seeing now, that tells all of us that we have a healthy player.

“When we have a healthy Starling Marte, we all know he’s a special player.”

Marte put it this way on Opening Day, “It feels good to be healthy.”

Baty taking off

Brett Baty’s bat ran cold and his glove wasn’t golden last season as a rookie, creating questions whether he would be the long-term answer at third base.

In these first few weeks of this season, though, he has appeared to be the answer.

The lefty-batting former first-round pick brought a career-high six-game hitting streak into Friday night. He was at .370 over that span. He had a slash line of .311/.354/.378 with a homer and six RBIs overall and had gone 4-for-12, including one homer, vs. lefties. And he had looked sharp in the field.

“We’re seeing a player playing with a lot of confidence,” Mendoza said. “You see it at the plate. You see it on defense. I like especially when he gets to two strikes how short he is to the ball, going the other way when he needs to, the left on left. … There’s a lot to like right now for Brett.”

J.D. update

J.D. Martinez received a cortisone shot Tuesday for tightness in his lower back. So what’s the DH doing now?

“Just continuing to rest,” Mendoza said. “Let the shot do the work. Hopefully, there’s some movement starting (Saturday).”


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