Álvarez And Vientos Show Mets Won’t Let Mistakes Define Them

On August 2, 2022, the New York Mets traded J.D. Davis along with prospects Carson Seymour, Thomas Szapucki, and Nick Zwack. for then San Francisco Giants 1B/OF/DH Darin Ruf. It was a trade widely panned at the time due to the prospect overpay. However, this is the type of trade where if the Mets won the World Series no one would really care about the overpay.

The converse to this is naturally the overpay is highlighted when the player struggles. This is why teams typically will not admit a mistake and do everything they can to try to make the trade work. If they can get just one big hit or a small hitting streak, they can point to that to say they didn’t completely mess up. What most teams don’t realize is that player struggling mightily only makes the trade worse because the player not only struggles, but they also inhibit a team’s chances of winning.

Things with Ruf actually started great. In his first Mets plate appearance, he hit a pinch hit double. The problem is Ruf has done absolutely nothing after that. In 28 games, he is hitting .152/.216/.197 with three doubles and seven RBI. It is not hyperbole to say the Mets have gotten more from him as a pitcher (two scoreless innings in a blowout loss) than they have as a position player.

Part of this was probably the Mets fault. They took a player who played semi-regularly, and they asked him to be a pure bench/platoon option. Unfortunately, Ruf was not suited for the role. Make no mistake, this was an unforced error and a complete gaffe by the Mets. They gave it a little less than two months before admitting defeat and investigating their other options.

Mets teams of old play and lose with Ruf. This Mets team doesn’t care about how their image and competency are adjudged. They know that will solely be defined by winning the World Series. The Mets saw Ruf would’ve hindered those chances. Instead, the Mets needed to pursue other options who would give them a better chance to win.

First, it was Mark Vientos. In Oakland, it did seem like he was figuring things out. We would even see him hit his first Major League homer. He was cutting down on the strikeouts and taking better at-bats. The thing is he had chances in his last game in big spots, and he didn’t deliver.

We have seen enough from Vientos to see he is going to be a power hitter at the Major League level. In his minor league career, he has shown the ability to make adjustments and thrive at the plate. However, with the Mets waiting so long before calling him up to the majors, he might not have that time he needs to get comfortable, adjust, and thrive before playing in the postseason.

With that in mind, the Mets called up Francisco Álvarez, the player Keith Law dropped a Mike Piazza comp on before the season. Certainly, with the 27 homers, Álvarez has backed that up. Mets fans have been waiting for this since Álvarez said in Spring Training his goal was to make it to the majors this season. He probably would’ve made it sooner if not for that ankle injury.

Right now, it seems Álvarez is here to DH in one game and be available as a pinch hitting option. While Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer were complimentary of his work behind the plate, a team that is going to win and lose the World Series based on their pitching cannot sit James McCann and Tomas Nido, who are exceptional framers.

No, for now, this is a one shot deal. Álvarez is here to DH. He is here because Ruf couldn’t do the job. He is here because the Mets are still unsure if Vientos can do the job. Mostly, he is here because this Mets team will not be defined by their mistakes. Instead, they will be defined by winning.


4 Replies to “Álvarez And Vientos Show Mets Won’t Let Mistakes Define Them”

  1. David Klein says:

    Dom sucks also proofread.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I would think a comment like that wouldn’t be a grammatical disaster, and yet, it was.

  2. Blair Schirmer says:

    The Mets’ sorry deadline moves probably cost them the division. The difference between the players they dealt and the players they acquired and played was right around negative 2 rWAR. They’d be a half a game up tonight. And that’s just if they hadn’t moved at all. It doesn’t consider where they’d be if they’d had an intelligent, *successful* deadline. Gary Cohen mentioned it tonight, the modest cost for someone like Contreras since the Mets knew they had two catchers who wouldn’t hit. Contreras would not have required a top prospect, and certainly wouldn’t have required more than the Mets gave up for Ruf, and there were numerous other options as well.

    J.D. Davis is another sad, Mets story, a player who appears to be in decline or stuck in neutral who leaves the Mets and immediately gets turned around by a smarter FO and begins producing, putting up an impressive 150 OPS+ with San Francisco. Meanwhile Ruf had been hitting .188 in his last 27 games with the Giants, but the Mets just had to have the 36-year old, refusing to acknowledge their error (they played him in 28 games and gave Ruf 74 PA despite his .413 OPS and OPS+ of _20_) until they had put themselves in a position where it was possible to lose, whereupon they went belatedly with untested minor leaguers who, no surprise, didn’t come through.

    Platoon DHs are the kind of players teams out of it dump just to get rid of salary. They take 28-year old A-ballers to paper over the deal or fill out an organizational hole in the lower levels. But not the Mets, who in return for Ruf gave up four promising or useful players, any one of which should have been more than sufficient, and who overall are controllable in total for, get this, 20 years. 20 years of young or promising players for Daren Ruf. Zaidi and his FO must have been giggling all night over that one.

    The Mets FO is still so chaotic they endplayed themselves into praying for a twenty year old kid to save them. A good FO, a smart FO would have recognized by mid-August, if it had somehow dealt for Ruf at all, that he was done—and would have done something about it. But the Mets still Mets, and here we are.


    1. metsdaddy says:

      J.D. Davis is terrible, and he will fail in San Francisco.

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