New York Mets’ infielder Ronny Mauricio tears ACL in winter ball

Ronny Mauricio, New York Mets.

One of the few highlights for the New York Mets down the stretch of the 2023 season was the debut of top prospect Ronny Mauricio. Mauricio showed flashes of brilliance in his major league debut, hitting .248 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 26 games, with some highlight-worthy hits mixed in. The Mets had big plans for Mauricio in 2024 as President of Baseball Operations David Stearns recently told the media the team was set at third base with a trio of solid internal options like Mauricio, Brett Baty and Mark Vientos. Any plans of Mauricio contributing to that competition are now gone, however, as he tore his ACL while running the bases in winter ball, SNY’s Andy Martino reports.

The injury occurred on this play, as Mauricio was trying to steal a base and appeared to have his spike catch in the dirt as he attempted to return to first base. Mauricio needed to be helped off the field and exams in New York confirmed the tear.

The Mets have not offered a timetable for Mauricio’s return, noting a return-to-play estimate will be provided after the surgery, but a typical timeframe for an ACL recovery is nine months. If Mauricio had the surgery tomorrow, he would most likely be looking at a return in late August at the earliest, essentially ruling him out of any major contribution to the 2024 Mets.

This is a tough blow for the Mets to take since Mauricio is one of their more dynamic young players but the injury shouldn’t alter the team’s plans for the offseason too much. The Mets weren’t looking at a third base-only option in free agency and that shouldn’t change now, although it could push a potential DH acquisition towards a player who can also be a backstop at third base, such as Justin Turner or Evan Longoria.

The Mets will also now be looking for more out of Baty, who is the front-runner to start at third base once the season begins. Baty had a tough year in 2023 and was likely facing stiff competition from Mauricio to win the starting job but now he should have a relatively clear runway to establish himself in the majors.

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