Jordan Yamamoto out to earn Mets rotation spot, uniform number


PORT ST. LUCIE — Jordan Yamamoto grew up in Hawaii, which also produced Sid Fernandez — a key starting pitcher for the Mets’ last World Series winning team in 1986.

“[Fernandez] is a legend in Hawaii,” Yamamoto said Sunday. “I grew up with one of his nephews and we used to play Little League together, so we all got baseball cards from Sid Fernandez growing up, all of them signed and everything.”

Fernandez and another Hawaiian player of note, Benny Agbayani, both wore No. 50 for the Mets, representative of the 50th state. But the right-hander Yamamoto, who arrived in a trade with the Marlins this offseason, has been issued No. 45 in spring training. Miguel Castro is No. 50. Yamamoto noted that as a newcomer to the Mets he will have to earn the number.

He has entered camp as a possibility for the fifth spot in the rotation, along with David Peterson and Joey Lucchesi, but also can provide depth at Triple-A Syracuse.

Last season the 24-year-old Yamamoto posted an 18.26 ERA in four appearances for the Marlins. He has battled shoulder issues throughout his career.

“The big thing in my career so far is staying healthy,” he said. “It’s one of those issues that has been underlying for a while, so this offseason I focused on my shoulder, getting my shoulder healthy so it can last.That was my main thing, cleaning up mechanics, I need to be in the [strike] zone a lot more, but the main thing is just being healthy.”

Yamamoto’s self-awareness has been refreshing to manager Luis Rojas.

“What stood out the most for me is he’s very aware of what he needs to get better at,” Rojas said. “Not that I knew, but he knew, and he voiced it immediately and I know he’s been real good with the communication with our coaches, our strength and conditioning, our medical — everything he needs to do in order to prepare and get better. We have liked that a lot so far.”


Tomas Nido was just finding his groove offensively last season when he contracted COVID-19 and never returned to the active roster.

He returns as the backup catcher, this time to James McCann, who received a four-year contract worth $40.6 million from the Mets. In 24 plate appearances last season, the defensively solid Nido posted a .929 OPS.

“It was a very small sample and it was something to build off this offseason and it was what I wanted to see,” Nido said. “It definitely helps the confidence.”



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *