Marcus Stroman’s mobility will ultimately determine when he can return to the Mets, but his scheduled session for Friday facing hitters might be an indicator he’s progressing rapidly.
The right-hander last week was placed on the injured list with a left calf tear, but has continued throwing during his rehab in an attempt to keep his arm built up during the recovery. Stroman’s biggest obstacle is running to field his position.
“Timeline still to be determined, but he will be facing hitters [Friday], which is encouraging,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said before the Mets’ 4-2 loss to the Red Sox at Citi Field.
Stroman’s spot in the rotation has been filled by rookie David Peterson, who won his major league debut Tuesday and is scheduled to face the Braves this weekend in Atlanta.
“[Stroman] is going to have to train and put himself in a position where he feels confident and the training staff feels confident he can play the game at full speed,” Van Wagenen said. “He’s a ground-ball pitcher, so he’s going to need make sure he can get off the mound and cover first base.”
Bruce Maxwell’s offensive potential made him an attractive option to the Mets, who officially announced the catcher’s signing to a minor league deal. Maxwell was the first MLB player to kneel during the national anthem, in 2018 with Oakland.
“Bruce is a guy that we’ve had interest in and tracked in the past and we think from a power standpoint he provides us some good insurance from Wilson Ramos’ standpoint and if he can progress quickly we think he can help us,” Van Wagenen said.
Maxwell, according to Van Wagenen, has improved his mobility behind the plate.
“We are hopeful that with continued work he will be able to catch a game on a regular basis if necessary,” Van Wagenen said.
Behind Ramos, the Mets have catchers Tomas Nido and Rene Rivera on the 30-man roster.
Jake Marisnick never fully rebounded from the left hamstring injury he sustained about two weeks ago in camp, prompting his placement on the injured list this week, according to Van Wagenen.
“He was able to get to top speed but he wasn’t able to maintain that top speed the way in which he had hoped,” Van Wagenen said. “We felt like it was prudent decision to put him on the IL, allow him to get this thing right and then hopefully within the 10-day timeline he will be back to 100 percent to where he’s able to start games and be the difference-maker defensively as we had hoped he would be.”
The Mets were facing their first team flight since the coronavirus outbreak, with a charter to Atlanta awaiting them after Thursday’s game. Manager Luis Rojas indicated the team would be using a bigger plane than normal to implement social distancing. The Mets generally use a bigger plane for travel in September after rosters expand.
Hunter Strickland was designated for assignment as the Mets added lefty Daniel Zamora to the bullpen. The Mets also placed infielder Eduardo Nunez on the IL with a left knee contusion.
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