The New York Mets intend to activate first baseman Pete Alonso from the injured list prior to their next game, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. The Mets are scheduled to play the Atlanta Braves on Sunday night, but there is a chance that the game is rained out.
Alonso, 26, hasn’t played since May 18 because of a right wrist sprain. Prior to the injury, he had hit .236/.336/.433 (117 OPS+) with six home runs in 149 plate appearances. The Mets have, over the past week, taken to using catcher James McCann as their starting first baseman. Alonso’s return ought to put an end to that, with McCann going back to splitting catching duties.
Olney also reported that outfielder Kevin Pillar seems likely to rejoin the Mets “in the next couple of days.” Pillar suffered multiple facial fractures after being hit in the face with a pitch in mid-May. He hit .250/.294/.388 (92 OPS+) with two homers and two steals in 28 games before the incident. Pillar is expected to wear protective gear.
The Mets entered Sunday with a majors-leading 17 players on the injured list, per Spotrac. According to Baseball Prospectus’s calculations, no team has lost more production to the IL than the Mets have, with injuries costing them an estimated four wins.
Despite the injury woes, the Mets came into Sunday with a 25-20 record and a 3 1/2-game lead in the National League East. The NL East happens to be the tightest division, from top to bottom, in the majors. The gap between the Mets and the last-place Washington Nationals entering the day was 5 1/2 games; the second-tightest division, per that same method, was the American League West, in which the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers are split by nine games.