With the Mets’ starting rotation sustaining its first injury of spring training, the team got a good performance from a possible replacement who could land himself in the starting staff at the beginning of the season.
Tylor Megill followed up a solid spring debut with another promising outing in the Mets’ 5-5 tie against the Houston Astros. The righty allowed just one hit and two walks in 2.1 innings on Monday night. He struck out three batters.
Megill’s outing comes a day after the Mets learned starter Jose Quintana suffered a stress fracture in his rib and would be sent to New York for more imaging. The team will have to wait a bit longer for those results as the Colombian’s flight to New York was cancelled Monday.
Quintana pulled himself out of the World Baseball Classic and the Mets didn’t provide a timetable for return. Quintana said on Instagram that he is trying to be ready for the start of the season but it’s likely he won’t be, giving Megill a shot at opening the season in the starting rotation.
[ Mets notes: Players depart for World Baseball Classic ]
Megill wouldn’t get the start on Opening Day like last season — as long as Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer stay healthy — but could fill in the fifth spot if Quintana isn’t able to pitch.
Left-hander Joey Lucchesi is a possible replacement as well, but his spring debut didn’t go well on Monday. The lefty struggled with his command, allowing two four-pitch walks, a hit and one run in an inning of work.
David Peterson is Megill’s biggest competition for the role. Peterson is currently listed as day-to-day, avoiding any major injury after getting hit with a comebacker in Saturday’s Grapefruit League game against the Miami Marlins.
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The 27-year-old pitched two hitless innings that game, recording a strikeout and two walks.
Prospect Ronny Mauricio continues to draw attention. The Mets sixth-ranked prospect hit a single on the first pitch he saw and drove in two runs in the seventh inning. Mauricio did strike out in the ninth inning.
The 21-year-old is hitting .400 in 15 at-bats, with three homers and 7 RBI.
Prospect Brett Baty made a couple of nice defensive plays at third base, a good sign since his defense was made a priority coming into spring training. Baty fielded a grounder in foul territory and delivered an accurate throw to retire an Astro. Baty followed that up in the eighth inning by fielding a slow roller and delivering another accurate strike to first base.
Carlos Carrasco got the start on Tuesday, giving up four hits and an earned run. Carrasco gave up a homer but showed improvement from his debut outing against the Atlanta Braves, when the righty admitted he had some issues with the pitch clock.
Carrasco said he felt more comfortable pitching with the clock in his second spring outing.
“I took my time,” he said. “It feels way different.”