Thursday, June 13 2024

Ahead of Saturday’s game against the Miami Marlins, Mets manager Carlos Mendoza spoke to the media about his team including when Adrian Houser is expected to return to the rotation, why the major lineup changes and much more.

Houser’s next start

Adrian Houser was supposed to return to the rotation this week, but got up in the bullpen and was unable to do so. However, Mendoza says the right-hander will start next Tuesday against the Cleveland Guardians.

As a starter, Houser was ineffective. In six starts, he pitched to 8.16 ERA and teams were hitting .287 off of him. But his walks were the problem. In 28.2 innings as a starter, he walked 20 batters.

However, he saw some success as a reliever. In two relief appearances, he pitched four innings and gave up just one run and walked only three batters over four innings of work.

Houser’s start will push Christian Scott to start Friday’s game against the San Francisco Giants at home.

Reason behind lineup changes

With the Mets lineup struggling to score runs, Mendoza has shaken it up in a big way. Francisco Lindor will hit leadoff on Saturday with Brandon Nimmo — returning from a stomach bug that took him out the last two games — hitting in the three spot.

“Trying to create something different here,” Mendoza said. “Having two guys who care so much about the team and to do whatever it takes to get this team rolling means a lot.”

The first-year Mets skipper said he approached both Llindor and Nimmo about his lineup changes and they were receptive to it, and he’s thought about making a change in the past but also wanted consistency in the lineup. Saturday felt like the right time to do it.

“Lindor, he’s [hit leadoff] in the past, and I want him to get on base and put pressure on the pitchers the way he runs the bases,” Mendoza explained. “I like Nimmo’s at-bats with runners in scoring position and gives me a lefty in between Pete [Alonso] and J.D. [Martinez], there are a lot of different things that goes into making these decisions.”

Kodai Senga, Drew Smith updates

Mendoza confirmed that Kodai Senga will throw another bullpen on Sunday and that he feels like Senga is getting close with his mechanics to move on to the next stage.

Senga’s last bullpen was Wednesday and when asked if he thinks it’s normal that bullpen sessions were so far apart, Mendoza reiterated patience.

“He’s a unique personality, here,” he said. “He’s a player that knows himself better than anybody and we’re going to continue to give him time and whatever he needs to get him back on the mound.”

Mendoza said that they don’t want to push him and give him the time he needs to work out his mechanics and be physically able to pitch on a regular basis.

As for Drew Smith, he’s scheduled to throw a bullpen either Monday or Tuesday. The reliever had a setback when he felt a pinch in the back of his shoulder while playing catch — he’s on the IL for a front shoulder injury.

Mendoza said that Smith is playing catch and is not feeling that pinch any more and is progressing.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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