Mets manager Mickey Callaway will ultimately make the lineup decisions for Opening Day of the 2019 MLB season, but Brodie Van Wagenen has been clear about who he wants to see playing first base on March 28.
The new Mets GM told WFAN's Mike Francesa on Wednesday that he intends for Peter Alonso to make his major-league debut at first in Washington against the Nationals. (Newsday's David Lennon)
Van Wagenen has sung Alonso's praises throughout the offseason, saying last month he thought the prospect "has a chance to be an impact player" for the big-league club.
Van Wagenen even paid the righty a visit en route to the general managers' meetings in November, watching him play in the Arizona Fall League and taking him out to dinner.
Alonso, who turns 24 on Friday, said he was honored by the gesture.
"The fact that [Van Wagenen] reached out and just wanted to talk with me and have dinner, it meant a lot personally," he said (New York Post). "I just thought it was a real classy thing to do and that speaks volumes."
Alonso excited the Mets with his power in the minors this past season, hitting 36 home runs in 132 games between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas.
With Jay Bruce now gone following the Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz blockbuster, first base is open for Alonso.
But despite Van Wagenen's eagerness in seeing the youngster on Opening Day, the GM may ultimately opt to keep him off the big-league roster until April 10 at the earliest so that the team can secure an extra year of control over him.
Alonso will get the chance to make his case for Opening Day at the Mets' big-league camp in the spring.