NEW YORK — As Max Scherzer prepares to start Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series against the San Diego Padres, New York Mets manager Buck Showalter did not want to reveal his hand too soon about who will start Game 2 for the club.
“I’m certainly not going to broadcast that to the Padres,” Showalter said. “We’ll see what postgame tomorrow brings.”
Showalter said he spoke with both deGrom and Bassitt a week ago about the potential scenarios of who could start the second game of the wild-card series. If the Mets choose to start Bassitt in Game 2, it would give the team an opportunity to save deGrom for the opening game of the National League Division Series, should they be able to sweep the Padres in a three-game wild-card round.
With both teams trying to finalize their rosters for the wild-card series, Showalter said outfielder Starling Marte is “improving, little by little” after attempting to grip a bat and baseball today. He suffered suffered a partial non-displaced fracture in his right middle finger Sept. 6.
“Different levels of comfort,” Showalter said.
Showalter added that top prospect and catcher Francisco Alvarez could make the postseason roster after the team called him up last Thursday. In 12 at-bats so far, the 20-year-old has two hits, including a home run.
“Everyone here today has a shot,” Showalter said. “All of God’s children have a chance. They’re all somebody’s son.”
For the Padres, pitcher Mike Clevinger tested negative for COVID-19 after the team placed him on the injured list on Wednesday because of an illness. Clevinger will fly to New York and could be an option for the Padres on their postseason roster, potentially as a member of the bullpen. Additionally, outfielder Trent Grisham arrived in New York after he attended to a family situation and could not travel with the team.
“I think we’re still probably leaning towards 14 position players, 12 pitchers,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “Who those guys are, not sure yet.”
The Mets and Padres kick off the first game of the wild-card series at 8:07 p.m. ET on Friday.