Mets Should DH Mark Canha
With the New York Mets potentially pursuing Juan Soto, the question becomes what the team does with their outfield alignment. Despite Soto being a poor outfielder, the Mets really aren’t going to get the 23 year old superstar to put him at DH.
If Soto was moved to left, where he belongs, this would force Mark Canha to DH. Really, when you look at it, the Mets should probably move Canha to DH as soon as the second half starts.
The predicate for such a decision is the Mets current options at DH have been a complete failure. J.D. Davis is a strikeout and ground ball machine. Dominic Smith has already been demoted once and is easily having the worst season of his career. Neither belong in the everyday lineup right now.
On that front, Luis Guillorme does belong in the everyday lineup. You can argue it’s for his defense alone, but he’s also been hitting this season. Of course, it’s hard to play him everyday.
Remember, Jeff McNeil was an All-Star second baseman. His defense has been good too with a 0 OAA. It’s not Guillorme good (2 OAA), but with his bat, you can more than justify playing him there.
That said, McNeil is versatile. In addition to being a good second baseman, he is a good left fielder (1 OAA). Actually, he is better in left than second.
On that front, Canha has not been good in left. In fact, he has a 0 OAA. Yes, it’s the same as McNeil at second, but across Major League Baseball, McNeil’s zero ranks higher than Canha’s.
At least from a defensive standpoint, it makes sense to put McNeil in left with Guillorme at second. The move makes further sense with McNeil battling a hamstring issue.
So, it makes sense defensively, and it makes sense offensively.
Guillorme (119 wRC+) has hit much better than Davis or Smith. However. However, he hasn’t hit better than Canha (124). The good news is this never needs to be an either/or calculation. It’s a both/and.
Defensively, Guillorme at second, McNeil in left, and Canha at DH. As it so happens, all three of these bats in the everyday lineup with Davis and Smith sitting is also the optimal batting order.
To a certain extent, this is and should be obvious. However, the Mets have not operated this way. Rather, they’ve flipped a coin and picked one of Davis or Smith to diminishing returns.
It’s one thing if the Mets were still invested in Davis or Smith, but they’re not. They’ve gone out of their way to say they’re upgrading the DH position to replace them.
The thing is the Mets may not actually need a DH. In the end, what they may need is to just optimize their lineup with the players already on the roster.