Mets Twitter and those on other social media outlets are a very vocal.
And one thing is for certain, the fans on these outlets are very high on the club’s top-rated prospects.
If it was up to them, Brett Baty would be starting at third base.
Mark Vientos would be the right-handed DH.
And of course, top rated prospect Francisco Alvarez would be starting behind the plate every day and remind everyone of the days of Mike Piazza or Gary Carter.
Well, be careful of what you wish for, because when Omar Narvaez went down last week a left calf strain, Alvarez got the call.
Although, Tomas Nido will be the Mets primary catcher, Alvarez will get a lot of work behind the dish and that includes the tough assignments like tonight against the San Diego Padres. Make no mistake, the young catcher didn’t embarrass himself behind the dish, however, he went 0-4 with three strikeouts, including a game ending K against closer Josh Hader.
“He’s a tough, tough pitcher for anyone,” said manager Buck Showalter and with runners on second and third with first base open, Hader could have chosen to pitch to the left-handed hitting Brandon Nummo and put Alvarez aboard.
The veteran though, chose to see if the rookie would go fishing.
After going up 2-0 on the count, Alvarez swung at what looked like balls three and four and set himself up to end the game.
Hader to his credit did what he had to do to get his team a win and Alvarez looked like an overmatched rookie.
“He’s got the pitches,” Alvarez said.
Understand, the Mets are not a rebuilding team. They are not in the position to have normal growing pains with rookies, but when you start them, it will be the cost of doing business. Not everyone can be Pete Alonzo, who came up and looked like a grizzled veteran.
Most of the time, these kids are going to have their growing pains and sometimes it’s going to cost you wins.
Now even if Alvarez walked there – and believe me, he was not getting a ball to hit from Hader – there’s no guarantee Brandon Nimmo would have tied or won the game.
Alvarez though needed to understand what was going there. Not get too excited and be a hero.
“It’s not that difficult,” he said. “I just have to wait on my pitches and that’s it.”
It just didn’t happen tonight.
In all fairness, though, the Padres are no joke of a team. The “other” team that loaded up this past winter, many picked them to win the World Series this year.
And that was after San Diego showed the Mets the door last off-season.
There’s still 150 games left this season. It’s obviously too soon to make any judgements. One thing is for certain though, Alvarez will be a factor – either good or bad – during the season-long marathon.
Just give him time.
Met fans got what they wished for here. Now they need to be patient.