tim locastro mets
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

With Opening Day just three sleeps away, the Mets have been busy on Monday. Players will be hitting the field for an intrasquad game, but the front office and coaching staff are making final roster decisions. One of those included designating Darin Ruf for assignment, which opened up a roster spot for Tim Locastro.

Now that he’s officially on the squad, there will be a friendly — and painful — competition brewing between him and Mark Canha as long as they’re on the same roster:

Who will get hit by more pitches in 2023?

The Mets set a record last year by getting hit with 112 pitches. It wasn’t necessarily a close race, either. The San Francisco Giants finished in a distant second at 95, followed by the Cincinnati Reds at 92.

New York had six different players get hit by at least 10 pitches in 2022. Canha was far-and-away in first place with 28 HBPs. Brandon Nimmo came in second at 16.

Canha has gotten hit by at least 10 pitches in each of the last five seasons. The 28 he accrued in Queens was a new career-high mark, but only by a little bit. Our favorite foodie was hit by a pitch 27 times with the Oakland Athletics in 2021.

So, how does Locastro fit into this equation? He’s appeared in 247 games over parts of six MLB seasons. He’s been hit by a pitch 37 times during this span. This includes a shocking 22 HBPs in just 91 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2019 (h/t to the We Gotta Believe podcast).

It took him just 250 plate appearances to get those 22 HBPs, while Canha needed 542 to reach 28 last year. And to put things more in perspective, those 37 hit-by-pitches for Locastro have come across 549 big-league plate appearances.

Since Canha is the starting left fielder and Locastro will settle into a fourth outfielder role, one would imagine the former has the upper hand in this battle. However, Locastro has shown that he can keep up despite limited playing time.

Let’s hope dinner in NYC will be on the line for whoever wins.

Here’s how Mets’ rotation is lining up to start 2023 season
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You can reach Matt Musico at matt.musico@xlmedia.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.