Buck Showalter managing Francisco Alvarez’s workload – Boston Herald

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Francisco Alvarez has been one of the very few bright spots for the Mets this season. The 21-year-old’s performance has given fans a reason to keep paying attention.

However, despite his age, the Mets are keeping a close eye on Alvarez’s workload behind the dish as they navigate through the remainder of the 2023 season.

“We talk to our guys a lot and understanding [Alvarez’s] output on everything and knowing where a good spot for a catcher is, especially at their age,” manager Buck Showalter said after the Mets’ 7-1 win over the Cardinals Friday night.

“I think sometimes, because someone’s young, they think they can play in every inning and every pitch. You don’t necessarily see things [affect them] physically. You see concentration, you see the mental and emotional part of it. You get mentally and emotionally tired more than you get physically. … He’s in a good place right now and we’re just trying to keep him [there].”

The slugger has played in 92 games this season while spending 84 of them behind the dish. The rookie’s offensive output has generated the most excitement — .223/.294/.463 with 21 homers and 45 RBI.

With the course of the Mets’ season changing from contenders to developers, getting Alvarez and the rest of the youngsters in the lineup every day can be enticing, however, Showalter said it’s not difficult to let the catcher take his rests when necessary, especially with the attitude he has displayed.

“One of the easier things is managing a kid like [Alvarez],” said Showalter. “He’s on every minute. He was so happy [Friday] night about strike three. We had talked about where you go there if your ahead in the count and how you execute it. He put [the sign] down, there was no shake-off, he knew what he was supposed to call in that situation and he executed and the game was over.

“I said to him ‘That was fun, right?’ he said ‘oh, that was a lot of fun.”

Alvarez was penciled back into the lineup Saturday night against the Cardinals batting sixth as the catcher for Kodai Senga.

ROSTER MOVES

The Amazins selected LHP Adam Kolarek from Triple-A Syracuse and recalled RHP Vinny Nittoli. Kolarek has appeared in just one game in MLB this season and it came with the Dodgers on June 11 where he tossed 1.1 scoreless against the Phillies. Nittoli has tossed 1.2 scoreless frames for the Mets in 2023.

Southpaw Joey Lucchesi was sent back to Triple-A after tossing 5.2 scoreless innings against the Cardinals on Friday night. Right-hander Dennis Santana was designated for assignment.

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