Mets notes: Kodai Senga throws at Citi Field, Carlos Mendoza lays out JD Martinez plan ahead of Opening Day 2024

Kodai Senga Mets
Kodai Senga (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

QUEENS, N.Y. — Taking part in the Mets’ pre-Opening-Day workout at Citi Field on Wednesday was ace pitcher Kodai Senga, who had a catch in the outfield as he ramps up his throwing program.

The 31-year-old right-hander, coming off a highly successful rookie season in North America that featured 202 strikeouts, a 2.98 ERA, and a second-place finish in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, was sidelined early in spring training with a strained shoulder. 

After being shut down, doctors cleared him to begin throwing last week. Wednesday was the second time he threw since getting the green light. 

“Right now, he’s on an every-other-day schedule,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. “[He came out of it feeing] fine.”

At this rate of progression, he is expected to make his 2024 season debut sometime in May where he will resume his role as staff ace.


JD Martinez, who was signed on a one-year, $12 million last week, is ramping up toward the rigors of a full season down at the Mets’ spring training facilities in Port St. Lucie, FL. He will stay there for the next 10 days before getting reevaluated. 

“He’s getting a lot of at-bats. We’re getting reports every day,” Mendoza said. “He’s facing our minor-league pitching… So he’s getting a ton of work running the bases, getting physically in shape as well… So for the first 10 days, he’s over there and then we’ll have to have that conversation if he needs more time and we need to get him to one of our [minor-league] affiliates or just more at-bats in Port St. Lucie. We’ll see where he’s at and then we’ll make a decision.”

JD Martinez Mets trade rumors
JD Martinez (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

On Tuesday, he had six at-bats against Adrian Houser, the Mets’ No. 5 starter, who pitched six innings in his final bit of spring training work before rejoining the team in Queens. 

Once Martinez is ready to go, he will be penciled in as the team’s everyday designated hitter to provide a big bat behind the likes of Pete Alonso in the middle of New York’s lineup.

“This guy has been one of the best hitters in the league in not only what he does on the field, but what he does behind closed doors and how much he likes to talk about hitting,” Mendoza said. “The knowledge he has when it comes down to the run production side of things impacts our team. When we got the news, you could tell in that locker room, it was a different feeling. When we get him, it’s going to be a lot deeper lineup. A right-handed bat that I’m going to pencil in right behind Pete. That’s no secret.”

It does not bode well for the future of DJ Stewart, who Mendoza announced made the Opening Day roster on Wednesday as the only team transaction of the day. Early speculation is that he will be demoted to Triple-A once Martinez is activated but for the time being, he has an opportunity to make a good first impression on his manager.

“[He’s a] lefty bat with power, the way he controls the strike zone, versatility,” Mendoza said while listing why Stewart made the team. “He’s a guy that can play left field or right, can play first base. So that was the biggest factor.”

DJ Stewart Mets Twins
(AP Photo/Craig Lassig)

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