Luis Rojas was presented with the issue in several forms on Saturday, but the Mets manager couldn’t find much good to come from the four-day layoff his team was entrenched in after MLB postponed the opening series in Washington for security reasons, with four nationals. players tested positive for COVID-19.
OK, maybe there was a bright spot: Rojas could watch other MLB games and take notes.
“It’s a little weird,” Rojas said. “I watched a ton of matches [Friday] night and highlights so I think we can get something out of that. You look, you also see some of the things that you can detail from some of the things that you see on the road. You can write them down, take notes. There are opportunities even if it is a little weird. We do our best even if the circumstances are not what we want.
On Saturday, the Mets played a mock game at Nationals Park after a third straight day of practice. They will host another training session on Sunday before heading to Philadelphia for their scheduled opening Monday night.
“It’s a weird feeling,” said James McCann. “It’s like a kid on Christmas morning looking forward to opening day and then getting carried away and sitting there and watching the other teams play without being able to play. I think two words would be “harsh” and “strange”. ”
Jacob deGrom remains the scheduled starter for Game 1, with Marcus Stroman and David Peterson ready for the next two games. Taijuan Walker is set to start Thursday’s home opener against the Marlins, and Rojas has said he remains undecided if he will return to deGrom for Game 5, after a day off, or start the southpaw. Joey Lucchesi, possibly paired with a game opener.
DeGrom last faced the batters on March 26 in a spring B training camp. He hosted a side session on Saturday, according to Rojas, and can’t wait to get started.
“Jake is everywhere, let’s just say that,” Rojas said. “He throws off the slope, the next thing you know, he does stuff, he just wants to be active. I think some of the guys sometimes want to get out of the hotel and just be there to run, but we also know we have to be limited as well and make sure we have a good return workout. [Sunday]. »
The Braves face the Nationals – who will be without several players after positive tests and quarantines – in a three-game series starting Monday. But Rojas declined to say if he saw the situation as an advantage for the Braves, after the Mets lost such an opportunity to play a weakened team.
“The general comment once again may be that it was a disappointment early on, once you broke the news, because you want to play,” Rojas said. “But I think everyone has done a good job shifting the gears of what we have to do. We’ve got to have the ability to do that, a 162-game season, all the ups and downs you see in baseball.
McCann also refused to cry foul.
“It’s easy to sit down and watch this and say it’s not right or what you mean,” McCann said. “But at the same time, life is not fair. … We are in 2021, we are in a pandemic and you process the cards that are distributed to you.