Mets option Francisco Alvarez to Triple-A Syracuse
The Mets have optioned catcher Francisco Alvarez to Triple-A Syracuse, making official an outcome that had been expected for about a month.
With Opening Day in eight days, Alvarez was the latest cut as New York works to trim its roster to 26.
Fellow prospect Ronny Mauricio was optioned last week.
In listening to manager Buck Showalter speak shortly after camp began, it was clear that the organization's plan -- barring an injury to one of the other catchers -- was to start Alvarez in the minors.
With both Omar Narvaez and Tomas Nido on the roster, and the team wanting Alvarez to continue shoring up his defense behind the plate, the top prospect will have to wait at least a bit longer to make a big league impact.
Beyond the glut at catcher, there was also the underwhelming offensive performance of Alvarez during spring training.
The 21-year-old slashed just .107/.194/.107 with 10 strikeouts and zero extra-base hits in 28 at-bats over 14 games.
The Mets also held Alvarez back out of the gate when it came to getting in games at catcher since he was recovering from offseason ankle surgery.
While Alvarez will begin the year in the minors, the expectation remains that he'll be up this season, especially since the Mets remain in need of more punch in their lineup -- something the power-hitting youngster should be able to provide.
When Alvarez does arrive, It could be in a hybrid role where he catches a few times a week and also gets lots of at-bats at DH. The Mets' plan is for him to remain behind the plate long-term, and they won't stunt his defensive development -- nor should they -- by using him in a DH-only role.