Mets Notebook: Mark Vientos starts at first base, Pete Alonso to undergo MRI

ATLANTA — Pete Alonso is still bullish on the prognosis of his left wrist contusion, but the Mets are playing it safe and sending him back to New York for further testing.

Alonso, who was hit on the wrist by a pitch from Atlanta Braves right-hander Charlie Morton on Wednesday night, had a CT scan before leaving Atlanta on Thursday and is scheduled to have an MRI in New York. The Mets want their doctors at the Hospital for Special Surgery to evaluate the slugger, but the hope is that he will be able to meet the team in Pittsburgh this weekend for a three-game series.

“Talking to Pete during the game on the field and talking to him after the game, I knew he wasn’t going to play today,” manager Buck Showalter said Thursday before the series finale between the Mets and the Braves at Truist Park. “It was quite painful. The scan was scheduled here. As far as I know, he is still encouraged.”

Mark Vientos made his first start at first base in place of Alonso. The rookie played a considerable amount of first base in the minor leagues, moving to make room for Brett Baty at third base. Vientos played primarily first base during spring training. Vientos will also play Thursday, which would indicate the Mets don’t expect to get Alonso back until Saturday at the earliest.

“It’s not something he’s not familiar with,” Showalter said. “We’re just hoping he can get it going and give us a little help offensively.”

The Mets favored Daniel Vogelbach over Vientos as their designated hitter recently, but Vogelbach is hitting just .203 this season with two home runs, but just .083 with 13 hits over his last 15 games (3-for-36 in 44 appearances on set). ). Showalter has been criticized for favoring the struggling slugger, but the lineup isn’t exactly a manager’s decision alone. The Mets gave Vogelbach a chance to show he could hit for the same power he did last season, but he ultimately failed to prove it.

At some point, the Mets may have to figure out if they’re better off without Vogelbach, especially if it means getting another bullpen arm. How to proceed with Vientos is another question the Mets must answer soon, but for at least a few more days they have a place to play him.

Vientos got into just 12 games since being called up from Triple-A Syracuse on May 17, and had only limited opportunities to play at the plate. Made a start at third base in Colorado two weeks ago. It’s difficult for a developing player to have such a minimal role, but the 23-year-old is doing everything he can to stay ready.

“I’m just trying to take each day like I’m playing,” Vientos recently told the Daily News. “I try to keep everything the same and be consistent. The only way my game is going to be consistent is if my routine is consistent.”

Vientos works daily at third base and first base in addition to his work in the cages. He’s hit just .188 since being called up, but has shown flashes of the power the Mets saw when they selected him in the second round of the 2017 MLB Draft.

“You can’t sit just because you’re not playing,” Vientos said. “You have to try to get better, try to move.”

Alonso, who leads the league with 22 home runs, is still considered day-to-day.


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