New York Mets designated hitter Pete Alonso singles against the...

New York Mets designated hitter Pete Alonso singles against the Miami Marlins during the fourth inning of an MLB baseball game at Citi Field on Sunday, July 10, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

ATLANTA — The inevitable became official Monday: Pete Alonso will go for the three-peat — or the three-Pete, if you will.

As the two-time defending champion, Alonso announced that he will participate in the Home Run Derby next week in Los Angeles, seeking to become the first person to win three in a row. Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. is the only player with three Derby titles, but his didn’t come in consecutive events.

“I don’t think anyone has more fun than I do, especially when it comes to this event,” Alonso said. “It’s so fun. I’m really, really excited for it.”

Alonso won as a rookie in 2019,  when he edged Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and repeated in 2021,  when he cruised through and beat Trey Mancini in the finals, declaring afterward that he is “the best power hitter on the planet.” (The 2020 event was canceled because of the pandemic.)

This time he is running it back with his pitcher from last year, former Mets bench coach Dave Jauss — or “Money-Man Jauss,” as Alonso called him —  who now is a senior adviser with the Nationals but was more than happy to reunite upon receiving the invitation. Alonso said they have stayed in touch since the Mets let Jauss go last offseason as part of the coaching-staff overhaul, adding that he considers Jauss “part of my baseball family.”

“He said he’s loose and ready to go,” Alonso said. “Just need to give him two pots of coffee for before and a case of Bud Light for after, and he said he’s good to go.”

Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. also revealed Monday that he will participate. The rest of the field remains unannounced.

 

“I don’t know who else is going to be doing it, but for me it doesn’t really matter because I’m out there having a blast,” Alonso said. “It’s something that I really enjoy doing. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to putting on a show.”

Daily deGrom

Jacob deGrom will make his third rehabilitation start Thursday with Triple-A Syracuse. That means an extra day of rest after his last outing, which doesn’t change the expectation that he will return by the end of the month.

Asked if deGrom, who is coming back from a stress reaction in his right shoulder blade, encountered a back issue recently, manager Buck Showalter said, “His back seems to be fine. I haven’t heard anything about his back” before adding with a chuckle: “Keep going over body parts, maybe you’ll hit on one.”

If Thursday goes well, Showalter said, deGrom will have “some form of another outing, whatever they choose that to be” next week. Complicating those plans are the minor-league All-Star breaks coinciding with the major-league version. There won’t be any actual minors games for deGrom to pitch in.

“So there’s a lot of teams that are getting people ready for post-All-Star that don’t have games to play, so you have to make a game up,” Showalter said. “If we think that’s the best way to go, we will make a game up. There will be some [minor-league] players that won’t get a break.”

Extra bases

The Mets activated Travis Jankowski, who missed more than six weeks with a broken left hand that required surgery. He took the roster spot of Jeff McNeil, who went on the paternity list . . . Taijuan Walker, the Mets’ most reliable starter this year and a potential free agent after the season, recently hired Scott Boras to be his agent, he said  . . . Third-base prospect Mark Vientos was added to the NL squad for the Futures Game. He’ll play with catcher Francisco Alvarez, his Syracuse teammate and the Mets’ top prospect.