Double-A Portland’s Henry Owens kicked off the minor league season in style Thursday, throwing six hitless innings against Reading before the game was called due to rain.
Owens, probably Boston’s top prospect now that Xander Bogaerts is in the majors, was matched up against the Phillies’ best pitching prospect, fellow left-hander Jesse Biddle.
Owens, who went 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA in six starts after a late-season promotion to Double-A last year, was probably done after six regardless, given that it was the first day of the season and he had thrown 86 pitches. He struck out nine and walked two in the gem.
Second basemam Mookie Betts, another one of Boston’s top prospects, went 4-for-4 with a homer from the leadoff spot to lead the offense in the 5-0 victory.
Jon Morosi reports that the Mets have had preliminary trade discussions with the Tigers concerning veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler.
Kinsler, 35, had the worst season of his career in 2017, finishing with a .236/.313/.412 triple-slash line along with 22 home runs, 52 RBI, 90 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 613 plate appearances. He did, however, have a .244 BABIP, which is 42 points below his career average, so the Mets — and any other interested team — would be banking on a rebound season in 2018.
Kinsler’s 2018 option, worth $10 million, vested when he took his 600th plate appearance in 2017. He can become a free agent after the season.
The Mets need a second baseman or a third baseman and they will use Asdrubal Cabrera at whatever position isn’t addressed. In this case, Cabrera would be the everyday third baseman if the Mets were to acquire Kinsler.