Mets' Starling Marte says he can be ready for Opening Day
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Slowed by a sore left oblique, Starling Marte said Sunday that he still can be ready for Opening Day, a sentiment with which manager Buck Showalter agrees even though the season is less than three weeks away.
Marte has been only a partial participant in the Mets’ workouts, having shown up to camp with the injury. He has not been hitting but has been doing “everything else,” he said.
“I’ve dealt with these obliques before,” Showalter said. “I do know if you come back too quick from that, it turns into a long-term thing.”
Marte said he and the Mets’ medical staff thought his side issue was an oblique, but an MRI more than a week ago revealed “something else.” He declined to specify. Showalter said he wasn’t aware of any problem other than the oblique soreness and did say it is not related to the non-displaced rib fracture Marte suffered last season.
The Mets’ outfield alignment evaluation is complicated by Marte’s absence. Brandon Nimmo has been in centerfield, with Mark Canha in left. That would seem to leave rightfield — a position he hasn’t played in the majors — for Marte.
“Nimmo is a good outfielder, centerfield, rightfield, leftfield,” Marte said. “I’m the same thing. Canha, same thing. So anywhere they need.”
New pitch alert
Tylor Megill is using spring training to experiment with a cutter, which he hopes will become “another weapon” against lefthanded hitters. He estimated he threw three of them Sunday in the Mets’ 6-4 loss to the Cardinals, adding with a laugh that the results were “awful.”
“No better time to work on it than now,” he said.
Showalter added: “It’s one thing to have it. It’s another thing to have it as a usable pitch.”
David Peterson (four runs, five hits) and Megill (no runs, two hits) each pitched three innings against St. Louis. The damage against Peterson came on homers by Dylan Carlson and Paul Goldschmidt.
Both pitchers are penciled in for the Triple-A Syracuse rotation.
Megill on Max Scherzer: “That’s my favorite pitcher, and I got to play catch with him. I was fanboying a little bit.” . . . Mike Piazza and Mookie Wilson are scheduled to make appearances in Mets camp Monday.