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Mets optioned Brett Baty, Mark Vientos to Triple-A

Mar 19, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets third baseman Brett Baty (22) and New York Mets first baseman Mark Vientos (27) walk back to the dugout after running home against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at Clover Park. / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets announced Saturday that infielders Brett Baty and Mark Vientos have been optioned to Triple-A and will start the regular season in the minor leagues.

“It was a tough decision,” Mets GM Billy Eppler told reporters about Baty, specifically. “We met this morning… the coaching staff, the front office, had a pretty long meeting, walked through a lot of different combinations and went around the room. And the consensus of the room was it was best served to have him start in Triple-A.”

This spring, Baty has impressed at the plate, slashing .325/.460/.885 with a home run, six RBI and two stolen bases. However, it was going to be an uphill battle for the 22-year-old with third base logjammed with veterans like Eduardo Escobar and Luis Guillorme likely making the Opening Day roster.

“One of the things that we talked about was, with Brett, we think he’s got a chance to be an above-average regular player at the major league level for a championship-caliber team,” Eppler said. “While he had a great camp, we’re really excited about his future, there’s just some more development markers left for him to reach.”

When asked what those “markers” are, Eppler said Baty needs to continue to be tested in different game situations and to get more game time at third base.

Baty made his MLB debut last season when Guillorme was down to injury. In 11 games, Baty went 7-for-38 (.184) with two home runs and five RBI before he went down to a thumb injury.

On Baty, manager Buck Showalter said, “He started off well, tailed off, but he really showed that his defense has the chance to be up to par. Like the way he ran the bases, the effort. Had a real good exit conversation with him today and future bodes well for him.”

Vientos made strides this spring. The Connecticut native hit .278 with two home runs and 11 RBI.

“Mark had a good camp, as well. He’s continued to actually improve defensively as well,” Eppler said. “We were very deliberate with the things they’ve achieved and the challenges they’ve overcome. Happy with where they are.”

Showalter added, “[Vientos] really worked hard defensively, now the challenge is to carry that over once the season starts down there and try and finish off some things.”

Like Baty, it was an uphill battle for Vientos to make the Opening Day roster as his natural position is at third base and so he began playing games at first base to find a different path to the big leagues.

Eppler said the strides Vientos made at first were evident but in the case of both players, the Mets are looking for something more.

“In the case of those two players, with Brett and Mark, we’re looking for a complete baseball player,” he said. “We’re looking for guys we can trust at the batter’s box, trust on the bases, trust defensively. That’s the ultimate goal here, is to bring championship-caliber players to this ballclub.”

Eppler said that he told both players that they are a phone call away if something were to come up.

In addition, the Mets announced LHP Zach MuckenhirnRHP Denyi Reyescatcher Michael PerezINF Jonathan AraúzINF José Peraza and outfielder DJ Stewart have been reassigned to minor league camp.

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