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Pete Alonso not in lineup as Mets begin series with Cardinals

ST. LOUIS — Begrudgingly, Pete Alonso took a seat Monday night.

He was out of the starting lineup for the first time this season when the Mets played the Cardinals, manager Carlos Mendoza deciding the series opener was a good time to rest the slumping slugger.

Alonso had been the last Mets player to start every game. After seeking a day off for Alonso for about a week, Mendoza settled on Monday after Alonso’s struggles deepened over the weekend against the Rays.

“I told him I’d much rather be in there than not,” Alonso said. “But I totally respect his decision. I respect his decision and he said be ready because there’s a ton of scenarios where you come into the game and impact the game in the later innings. So, hopefully, I get a chance to get back in there and impact the game positively.”

Alonso wound up entering the game as the first baseman in the bottom of the sixth, replacing Joey Wendle in the batting order.

“Obviously, not an easy conversation, because he wants to be out there every day,” Mendoza said. “And you appreciate that. Guys who want to post, who don’t want to come out of the lineup at any time. But it’s one of those decisions where I feel it was important for Pete to have a day.”

Although St. Louis started righthander Kyle Gibson, against whom Alonso historically has not fared well, Mendoza said the day off was “more just big picture and what he’s going through right now.”


What Alonso is going through right now: 1-for-his-last-29. His average was down to .206, his OPS to .715.

Alonso also is hitting pitches hard at a stunningly low rate relative to his norm, about one out of every four batted balls — which ranks in the bottom 10% of the majors. Last year, he had a 40% hard-hit rate. In 2021, 47%.

“He’s struggling,” Mendoza said. “But again, it wasn’t easy to give him a day today. That says who he is, whether he’s feeling it, whether he’s not feeling himself at the plate, he still wants to be there, you know? That says a lot. He’ll continue to work and has gotta continue to grind through it. He’ll get through it.”

Alvarez update

Francisco Alvarez had the stitches removed from his surgically repaired left thumb.

Two weeks into an expected eight-week rehab, Alvarez has continued to travel with the Mets because they want him to remain involved in hitters meetings, as well as the daily pregame pitcher/catcher sessions, Mendoza said.

He has been doing one-handed hitting drills and has started playing catch.

Personnel news

The Mets re-added a familiar name: righthander Yohan Ramirez, the reliever who threw behind the Brewers’ Rhys Hoskins — triggering a benches-clearing episode — in the second game of the season.

They had traded Ramirez to the Orioles in mid-April, but when Orioles cut him late last week, the Mets claimed him on waivers.

To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the Mets designated for assignment righty Max Kranick, who had been a depth rotation option.

Extra bases

Tylor Megill (right shoulder strain) is due to make another rehab start within the next couple of days, and it might be his last. Is he a lock to return to the rotation once healthy? “We’re probably going to have to make that decision,” Mendoza said. “We still have a few days, a week or so, before we have to make that decision.” . . . The Mets promoted centerfielder Nick Morabito, their second-round draft pick in 2022, to High-A Brooklyn. He was about the best player in the Florida State League with Low-A St. Lucie over the first month of the season, slashing .397/.530/.513 . . . Mets announcer and Cardinals Hall of Famer Keith Hernandez briefly had trouble getting into Busch Stadium because he was wearing his 2023 badge, which wouldn’t scan, so security wouldn’t let him pass. He eventually dug his 2024 ID out of his bag.

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