Defense will dictate when Max Scherzer makes Mets debut


WASHINGTON — Before a final decision is reached on when Max Scherzer will pitch, Mets officials want to watch the right-hander field his position and cover first base.

Those drills are expected to occur pregame Thursday at Nationals Park, though it’s possible a covered field due to rain will have a say in the matter. First pitch has been moved from 4:05 p.m. to 7:05 p.m. because of those weather concerns.

Scherzer was scratched from a spring training start Saturday because of discomfort in his right hamstring. After throwing a bullpen session Tuesday he indicated he was feeling better and looking toward a Friday debut with the Mets.

“It’s whether Scherzer pitches Friday, later in the rotation or we decide to push it back until after the off day in New York,” manager Buck Showalter said during a team workout Wednesday. “Those are kind of the options we’re looking at.”

David Peterson is with the team as part of the taxi squad and could be a consideration for Friday if Scherzer isn’t deemed ready.

Max Scherzer
Corey Sipkin

Brandon Nimmo, who can head to free agency after the season, indicated contract extension talks never occurred during the offseason. Nimmo has previously said to The Post that he’s open to listening if the Mets present an offer during the season.

“I can’t really offer to myself,” he said. “I have expressed my interest in staying here, but nothing has come my way.”

Nimmo said he isn’t disappointed to begin the season unsigned beyond 2022.

“It kind of solidifies that they want to wait and see and that’s fine by me,” Nimmo said. “I try to not look at it as a disappointment and the fact everyone is asking me and we’re even having this conversation is a good thing to me.”

Eduardo Escobar took the entire team to dinner Wednesday night. The meal included about 70 players, coaches and support staff.

The Mets signed right-hander John Curtiss to a one-year contract worth $770,000 that includes a team option for next season. Curtiss won’t pitch this year as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery and has been placed on the 60-day injured list. The 29-year-old Curtiss appeared in 41 games, mostly in relief, for Miami and Milwaukee last season and pitched to a 3.45 ERA.

Travis Blankehorn was designated for assignment to create space on the 40-man roster.

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