HomeMLB RumorsFrancisco Alvarez To Undergo Thumb Surgery

Francisco Alvarez To Undergo Thumb Surgery

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6:49PM: Mendoza told reporters (including Mike Puma of the New York Post) this evening that the youngster actually suffered a torn ligament in his thumb that will require surgery. Mendoza added that Alvarez’s timetable for return is not year clear but that he’s “confident” that the 22-year-old will return to action at some point this year. Puma adds that Alvarez indicated to teammates that his timeline for return is between six and eight weeks.

1:02PM: “We know for sure it’s going to be more than 10 days” for Alvarez’s recovery, Mendoza told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo and other reporters.  The catcher is still undergoing further testing to check for any ligament damage or further injuries beyond just a sprain.

11:39AM: The Mets placed catcher Francisco Alvarez on the 10-day injured list due to a left thumb sprain, and selected the contract of catcher Tomas Nido from Triple-A.  In another corresponding move, left-hander Kolton Ingram was designated for assignment to open up a 40-man roster spot for Nido.  Earlier today, Mike Puma of the New York Post (X link) wrote that Nido was on his way to Los Angeles, as Alvarez was expected to require an IL stint after leaving last night’s 9-4 Mets win over the Dodgers.

In the top of the second inning, Alvarez hit an infield grounder, and Dodgers catcher Will Smith lobbed his throw over the head of first baseman Freddie Freeman.  Alvarez made it to second base on the error, but put his left hand on the ground to brace himself after stumbling on the turn around first base.  Mets manager Carlos Mendoza told SNY and other media that the thumb problem occurred on this play, and Alvarez was replaced behind the plate by Omar Narvaez for the bottom of the second inning.  Alvarez underwent an MRI after the game, and Mendoza said the team was “pretty concerned” about the situation.

After hitting .209/.284/.437 with 25 home runs over 423 plate appearances in 2023, Alvarez was looking to follow up his first full MLB season with another step forward this year.  The former star prospect has hit only .236/.288/.364 with one homer in 59 PA to date, and it now might be a while before he can improve on that small sample size.  We may learn more when Mendoza addresses reporters later today about the severity of the sprain or what kind of a recovery timeline awaits Alvarez.

Narvaez and Nido will handle catching duties in the meantime, and in Nido’s case, the selection of his minor league contract will allow the veteran backstop to take part in his eighth Major League season.  Nido’s whole career has been spent in the Mets organization, and he signed a two-year, $3.7MM extension prior to the 2023 campaign.

The catcher is still owed $2.1MM on that deal for this season, and Nido will also reach five full seasons of MLB service time after he amasses 11 more days on an active roster.  Once he hits the five-season threshold, Nido will be able to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency, while still retaining whatever is is still owed on that guaranteed salary.  When New York designated Nido for assignment and outrighted him last June, he would’ve had to walk away from his salary if he had opted to turn down the outright assignment and become a free agent, which undoubtedly impacted his decision to remain in the organization.

Ingram was claimed off waivers from the Tigers back in February, and the left-hander has struggled badly over four relief appearances for Triple-A Syracuse this season.  Over just five innings of work, Ingram has already issued six walks and allowed five hits, en route to a 7.20 ERA.  While control has been a concern for Ingram for much of his minor league career, this spike (albeit in a small sample size) in walk rate obviously jarred the Mets enough to expose the southpaw to DFA waivers.

It isn’t out of the question that another organization might put in a claim, as Ingram already switched teams twice this offseason via the waiver wire — before going from the Tigers to the Mets, Detroit first claimed Ingram off waivers from the Angels.  It was with Los Angeles that Ingram made his MLB debut with 5 1/3 innings in 2023, and he also amassed some solid numbers over his three seasons in the Angels’ farm system.  Ingram had a 30.21% strikeout rate in the minors prior to this season, but that number also plummeted to 9.5% in his brief time with Syracuse.

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