New York Mets: Van Wagenen’s depth plans tested early

New York Mets. Citi Field (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
New York Mets. Citi Field (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
New York Mets
Todd Frazier, New York Mets. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

That was fast

First, it was free agent signee Jed Lowrie, he of the recent two-year, $20M contract. Lowrie was expected to play most of his time at third base. That was until he sprained his knee last week. The good news is that there is no structural damage. The bad news is Lowrie will be sidelined anywhere between two and six weeks. The 11-year veteran could miss opening day and then some.

No problem, the Mets still have last year’s third baseman Todd Frazier. Yes, he’s a free swinger with more career strikeouts than hits, but when Frazier makes contact, he can knock the stuffing out of a ball. The original plan was to have Frazier split his time between third and first. That way there would be a veteran around to balance out the young player who wins the first base job, either Dominic Smith or Peter Alonso.

Scrap that idea for now as well. Frazier injured his left oblique muscle this week and required a cortisone shot. For those who don’t know, the oblique is to the side of the abdominal muscles. Every time he turns, sits, or stands, it hurts. It’s a tricky injury to gauge, so there is no timetable for his return.

T.J. Rivera, a career .304 hitter, missed all of 2018 due to “Tommy John” surgery. Early reports aren’t good as he is still struggling to come back.