Jason Vargas
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

This upcoming week will give us a nice taste of what is to come for the New York Mets in 2018, starting with the debut of Jason Vargas.

Number 40 is back. But to the dismay of a good chunk of New York Mets fans, it’s not because Bartolo Colon is back in uniform for the Amazins’.

Instead, free agent acquisition starting pitcher Jason Vargas, who has chosen to don the number 40 jersey, will make his Spring debut this upcoming week. The left-hander will see his first action of 2018 when he takes the Marlins on Thursday.

Vargas is expected to be a key contributor the rotation after signing a two-year, $16 million deal with the Mets last Sunday. With Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom anchoring the first two spots in the rotation, Vargas will find himself as the number three or four starter depending on how Matt Harvey performs in the preseason.

Syndergaard will toe the rubber Monday, as the Mets travel to West Palm Beach to face the Houston Astros. As for the rest of the key starters in the rotation, Matz will follow against the Astros on Tuesday and Matt Harvey against the Braves on Wednesday.

For Jacob deGrom’s debut, we will have to wait just a little longer. As MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reported, deGrom still needs to throw a little more after missing several days of Spring workouts while welcoming the birth of his second child.

Other News and Notes

  • The Mets are battling a minor injury plague only the second week of Spring Training. It may not nearly resemble the catastrophe that was the 2017 season, but it still is enough to raise your stress levels. Dominic Smith is battling a strained quad, while Jay Bruce deals with plantar fasciitis. Juan Lagares has a strained hamstring and Tim Tebow suffered a sprained ankle after tripping over an outfield sprinkler. The good news is Michael Conforto is progressing ahead of schedule. Even with all of the days off the club is giving him, he is expected to graduate from hitting off a tee to soft-tossing according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

A former disciple of Stan Fischler. IBWAA member. Bylines at Baseball Prospectus Mets, Elite Sports New York, and my own creation: Baseknock MLB. Formerly Amazin' Avenue of SB Nation. Proud UAlbany Alum.