Any notion that the Mets would call upon their top prospect and the No. 1 ranked prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, Francisco Alvarez, took a hit last week when reports emerged that he suffered an ankle injury that could very well end his 2022 season early.
But a bit of good news came down the line on Thursday when the team announced that the 20-year-old catcher will not need surgery on a right ankle that is dealing with a “loose body.” Instead, he received an injection and could return to baseball activities in three-to-four days depending on how the ankle reacts.
Showalter revealed earlier on Thursday prior to the Mets’ series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers that Alvarez was in New York City getting another opinion on whether or not he would need to undergo a procedure.
“He’s here, just trying to see what direction to go there,” Showalter said. “They already got one or two opinions. I think the plan was to get two or three opinions and decide which way to go. They’re in the decision-making process.”
Alvarez had played 32 games with the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse after a strong first half in Double-A Binghamton (.922 OPS, 18 home runs, 47 RBI in 67 games) earned him a promotion. While he struggled to find consistency at the higher level, he posted a .789 OPS with six home runs and 18 RBI over his last 24 games.
With MLB rosters expanding to 28 on Sept. 1, Alvarez could have been an option for a call-up considering the Mets’ inconsistent catching situation — mainly stemming from the struggles of James McCann. Regardless, he is still expected to make a strong push to be on the major-league roster for the 2023 season.
- Brett Baty underwent successful surgery on the torn UCL in his right thumb, Showalter said. The expected timeline of his absence is five weeks, though the manager hoped aloud on Wednesday night that he has an “outside chance” of being back with the team for the postseason.
- Showalter added that reliever Drew Smith is “a way’s away” from returning from the injured list before correcting himself and saying that both he and pitcher Tylor Megill are “close.” “There are dates for both of them to go out [on rehab assignments],” he added.