The St. Louis Cardinals have beaten the New York Mets 14-9 in their 3rd Spring Training game. New York rested key players like SS Francisco Lindor, 1B Pete Alonso, and OF Michael Conforto. They also did not use any significant starter or reliever. Nevertheless, there are still a few trends starting to form that were present in this game:
Kevin Pillar, J.D. Davis Further Intensify Outfield Battle
While most of the lineup seems to be solidified, the battle for the three outfield spots remain. Though Kevin Pillar likely has an uphill battle in front of him, his stellar defensive reputation could allow him to compete more than expected. If he continues to perform in Spring Training as he did today, the Mets could decide to start Kevin Pillar in centerfield, moving Nimmo or Davis to DH.
Key Prospects Have Mixed Game Performances
The Mets used their stars’ off-days as a chance to give more playing time to their best prospects. Francisco Alvarez got the start at DH today, but he went 0-2. Albert Almora Jr., signed this offseason in an attempt to revive his development, also had a rough game, going 0-3 with five runners LOB. Pete Crow-Armstrong struggled in the same fashion, going 0-3.
On the flip side, Brett Baty was brought in to pinch-hit and hit an RBI double. Ronny Mauricio also came in and got a hit. In the end of the day, most of these players are still at least a year or two from the big leagues.
Mets Prior Good Pitching Fades to Pitching Woes
The Mets started non-roster invite Jerad Eickhoff, clearly signaling that today’s game was a rest-day for their high-caliber pitchers. Eickhoff struggled, letting up 4 ER over 2 IP, and Jacob Barnes was not much better after him with 3 ER in 1 inning. The 3 bright spots, Kilome, De La Cruz, and Nogosek, each only pitched for one inning. The others, were not able to give the offense enough time to salvage the game.
Ultimately, this is just a Spring Training game, and one of the first nonetheless. Some players will arrive ready, and some need time to get there. The good news is that we all can finally non-misguidedly hope that the Mets will be a force to be reckoned with this year.