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Dom Should See Some Time In LF

Yesterday, Dominic Smith received his second start of the season, and much like the rest of the season, he hit. In five plate appearances, he was 2-for-4 with a run and a walk.

With that performance, Smith is now hitting .438/.526/.500. Seeing those results, his age, and his previously being considered among the Top 100 prospects in the game, you’d believe the Mets would be doing everything they could do to get him into the lineup.

The problem is Smith plays first base, a position now occupied by Pete Alonso and with the way Alonso is playing, there’s no way you’re having him sit to create more playing time for anyone else on this roster.

Now, it should be noted Smith played left field last year. He wasn’t not good there at all. In 90.0 MLB innings, he had a -5 DRS and a -3.1 UZR. Part of the reason why was his poor speed.

Baseball Savant had Smith’s sprint speed at 26.3 ft/second. Coincidentally, that was the same foot speed as Rhys Hoskins, another first baseman poorly masquerading as a left fielder. With respect to Hoskins, the Phillies moving Carlos Santana was partially motivated by their wanting to get Hoskins out of left.

Absent any improvements, you’d be hard pressed to find a reason why Smith would post better numbers than Hoskins -24 DRS and -11.3 UZR in left. This may have been one of the reasons why the Mets abandoned the experiment heading into this season. The question now is whether the Mets should revisit this decision.

Seeing Smith this year, he’s been in better shape, and he’s been quicker than in years past. Part of that is his getting better sleep with his sleep apnea mask. Between his better conditioning, his having experience in left, and with his now hitting, the Mets have plenty of reasons to believe Smith could now succeed in left.

In fact, as Matt Ehalt of Yahoo reports, both Smith and his agent have approached the Mets about playing left field. The Mets outright rejected the idea. The end result is Smith has no real avenue to play.

While you understand why the Mets wouldn’t want to revisit the idea, it may be short-sighted. The team is already poor defensively in left with Jeff McNeil, and they have been poor defensively at third when J.D. Davis plays there. If you put McNeil at third, where he is better suited, and Smith in left, the Mets are still weak in left, but overall, they’re better defensively.

They would also be better offensively, especially with the way Smith is hitting.

Even if the Mets don’t want Smith in left everyday, there’s value in just getting him on the field more frequently. That value is an even better offense than what we have already seen. It’s also more versatility for a manager who seems intent on setting the major league record for double switches.

Mostly, this is about finding a way to maximize the talent on the Mets roster. Smith in left field could help them accomplish that.

11 thoughts on “Dom Should See Some Time In LF”

  1. marty says:

    ELLIS VALENTINE for right field!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. LongTimeFan1 says:

    Just as I posted on MMO…

    Funny how Mr. Sheridan – AKA Mets Daddy, has been extremely anti-JD Davis from the time he was obtained railing on his big league performance through 2018 and even now despite the solid offense while embracing Dom Smith despite very similar path.

    Now he he wants Dom to play left field despite the defense to get his bat in the lineup at the same time he rails against JD Davis’s defense. That’s what I call a hypocrite with an agenda that defies common sense.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      If you’re calling my positions on Dom and J.D. hypocritical, you don’t understand my positions.

      To put it as succinctly as possible, Davis is a bad fielder, and there’s nothing in his offensive profile which suggests he will succeed at the MLB level. As a result, the Mets are a better team with him on the bench or in Syracuse.

      That’s even the case if you’re playing Dom in LF.

  3. OldBackstop says:

    Trade Smith. He is at his peak value.You make him look like a C- LF instead of a A 1B you just hurt his value.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I’m not trading Smith this year. He’s valuable depth

      1. OldBackstop says:

        Valuable depth behind Alonso? Was Pipp valuable depth behind Gehrig? The Mets keep pulling Alonso to play Smith….Alonsin has finished less than half his starts. Smith is the very definition of a spare trading chit.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          You need a new dictionary

  4. OldBackstop says:

    Smith has batted .210 in over 300 major league at bats coming into this year. He has 18 at bats. I’m not benching Conforto or McNeil or Nimmo so he can flounder around and revert to his career numbers.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      1. Let’s not make Dow’s sample size to be the end-all be-all when his talent level is much better than that.

      2. I never said to bench those players in favor of Dom. In fact, I specifically said to play Dom over Davis.

  5. oldbackstop says:

    ….and, that flashy slashes consists of 21 plate appearances, 6 singles and only 2 EXBH, both doubles, no home runs. Four of his eight hits came in two Mets wins where there were a total of 19 hits.

    Dom Smith will NOT be hitting .438 when he gets a few dozen more at bats. He hit .198 in ’17 and .224 in ’18.

    If you want to argue we should look to AAA numbers, than you should be the president of the JD Davis booster club.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I continue to be befuddled how you simply can’t comprehend there’s more to Davis’ stats than his triple slash line.

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