Buck Showalter hints at a big role for Francisco Alvarez in 2023 - and maybe this October

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Will Francisco Alvarez go from No. 1 prospect in baseball to part of the Mets’ postseason roster?

“I didn’t hear your question,” Mets manager Buck Showalter smiled when asked that after the team’s season finale Wednesday, before giving his real answer: “He’s certainly under consideration. We’re lucky to have good options and he’s one of them.”

If Alvarez doesn’t make it, though, Showalter was asked if, like he did with the Core Four in 1995, he would have Alvarez in the dugout to soak up the postseason experience.

“He’s a big strong young man, I’m not going to tell him any differently,” Buck joked, “but that’s definitely a possibility if it’s legal – we did a lot of things back in ’95, but I’m not sure what they let you do anymore. He’s a very serious guy and you can tell players are drawn to him. We have some good young people coming down the line and I was proud of him. Our people have been working very hard with him.”

That is indeed legal, as teams are allowed to carry a taxi squad (that includes one catcher) with them for postseason series in case a move needs to be made – remember, perhaps, how that got Erik Kratz a postseason experience with the Yankees.

It will be a big decision for Showalter ahead of the noon Friday deadline to put together the roster for the three-game Wild Card Series, which may be more position-player heavy given only three starters are needed, and Alvarez will be one of those in the mix with Mark Vientos, possibly a returning Darin Ruf, and maybe others as a right-handed DH option.

The fact that Alvarez can be a third catcher or pinch hitter may sway things, depending on Ruf’s health, but there’s one thing it seems Alvarez won’t be doing: heading to the WBC?

“Who’s the catcher for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic? I can tell you who it won’t be,” Buck said. “(Alvarez) needs to be in St. Lucie.”

Perhaps, it seems, his immediate future is in limbo, but there are big plans for Alvarez in 2023.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroWFAN

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