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WBC may have contributed to Francisco Lindor’s slow start

ATLANTA — Edwin Diaz might not be the Mets’ only casualty from the World Baseball Classic.

In evaluating how Francisco Lindor’s season has played out, manager Buck Showalter said there is a possible correlation between the shortstop’s largely underwhelming numbers and his participation in the World Baseball Classic this spring.

“I think as we get away from it we will see some of the effects from it,” Showalter said Tuesday before the Mets lost 6-4 to the Braves. “I think we see a little bit of it even with Lindor, having to start that competitive championship thing in February, as opposed to April.”

Lindor hit a two-run home run in the third inning after he entered the game with a .213/.284/.404 slash line, 10 homers and 40 RBIs.

Showalter raised his point about Lindor and the WBC as he discussed Omar Narvaez, who also participated in the event, returning from the injured list after the catcher missed two months with a left calf strain.


Francisco Lindor celebrates with teammates after hitting a two-run homer in the third inning of the Mets' 6-4 loss to the Braves.
Francisco Lindor celebrates with teammates after hitting a two-run homer in the third inning of the Mets’ 6-4 loss to the Braves.
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“It’s a whole different clock they have got,” Showalter said. “I can’t tell you how much it meant to Omar and Francisco to be vital cogs in their countries’ pursuit of that championship. It’s good for baseball, but I think it’s got some residual too that we’ll probably look at as the season ends.”

Diaz, the Mets’ closer, tore the patellar tendon in his right knee during an on-field celebration at the WBC.

The right-hander had surgery that will likely keep him sidelined for the season.

It was pointed out to Showalter that Pete Alonso, who entered play with an MLB-leading 21 homers, also participated in the WBC.

“I think it’s kind of worked out well for him,” Showalter said. “Pete starts his motor about Nov. 2. He’s a guy who has got all the cylinders moving 24 hours a day.”


Jacob deGrom’s former Mets teammates were deflated to hear the two-time Cy Young award winner needs elbow surgery — and may need a second Tommy John surgery.

Brandon Nimmo said he sent deGrom a text to let the right-hander know the Mets were thinking of him.

DeGrom, who had Tommy John surgery in 2010 during his first minor league season, will turn 35 this month.

Current Met Justin Verlander had Tommy John surgery in October 2020 at age 37 and resumed his Hall of Fame career by last year winning a third Cy Young award.

“I think it’s different when it’s your second [Tommy John] surgery,” Verlander said. “But we have even a bunch of people come back from that. I wouldn’t put anything past him. He’s gotten better and better stuff-wise as he’s gotten older. Maybe this surgery gives him a chance to revamp his whole body and he comes back better than ever. You never know.”

Verlander said he doesn’t know deGrom well, but it was disturbing to hear that an elite performer will be sidelined for a long stretch. DeGrom missed half of the 2021 and 2022 seasons with various ailments, including elbow discomfort.

“Any time you see somebody as talented as that who can’t stay on the field it’s tough because it’s always a lot of ‘what if’ questions,” Verlander said. “Those questions suck because you want them answered, you want to see him on the field. … You would like to see what he does with longevity. I’m not counting him out by any means, but it’s disheartening because I know how much he cares and how much these guys like him and it speaks volumes for his character and you wish those people the best.”

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