David Wright

Kyle Seager Interesting Stop Gap Third Base Option

The New York Mets desperately need a third baseman. This has basically been the case since David Wright initially went down in 2015, and it’s the case now.

There’s two issues with filling that vacancy. First and foremost, the third base free agent pool is not great. Case-in-point, Kris Bryant is far and away the best option, and he may not be a third baseman anymore.

The Mets could try to sign a shortstop like or Corey Seager to move them to third, but that’s easier said than done. If you can sign any one of them, you do it.

Yes, that’s the case when the Mets have Mark Vientos and Brett Baty. Neither are guaranteed to succeed in the majors or stick at third. Notably, for a Mets system bereft of outfield talent, both players have played some left field.

This leaves the Mets with a conundrum. They can’t hand the position to a prospect. For some reason, they don’t trust Jeff McNeil. It’ll be difficult to get a shortstop and move him to third.

Well, that leaves them looking for a stopgap. It’s not the solution anyone wants, but it’s the situation they find themselves. Glossing over the free agent list, Kyle Seager jumps off the page.

Seager, 34, is very clearly past his prime. He’s not the 5+ WAR player he was five years ago. The Mets don’t need him to be that. Really, they just need him to be Seager.

In 159 games last year, Seager hit a woeful .212/.285/.438 with good power numbers. Seager had 29 doubles, a triple, 35 homers, and 101 RBI. Ultimately, he had a 100 OPS+ making him the epitome of a league average hitter.

Behind those numbers was a dip in his walk rate, an uptick in his strikeout rate, and a shockingly low .226 BABIP. While he’s traditionally been a lower BABIP guy, he’s never really been that low.

Judging from Baseball Savant, Seager is still able to square up a ball and drive it. After all, you don’t play in Safeco and hit 35 homers without that ability. Still, his exit velocity dipped in three straight years.

With better plate discipline, and his working with a hitting coach (whoever that will be), Seager could be better than he was in 2021. At the very least, he could be back around league average even if the numbers look different.

If that’s the case, that would be great news for a team like the Mets. While Seager is known for his power, the real value lies in his glove. While he’s not the Gold Glover he once was, he’s still very good at the position.

In 2021, Seager had a 4 OAA. That’s a slight uptick from the 3 OAA he had in 2019 and 2020. That 4 OAA ranked tied for eighth in the majors. His 13 OAA since 2019 also ranks eighth.

Seager is a very good glove, and that’s of increased importance with the Mets. While the pitching staff will be rebuilt, they still have ground ball pitchers in Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker as locks for the rotation.

Adding Seager at third would improve the Mets. His glove would make the pitching better, and there’s still something in that bat. In the event the Mets can’t convince a Correa to move to third, Seager is definitely the stopgap option which would help improve this team.

Billy Eppler Might Be Worst Possible Hire For Mets

Maybe, it’ll work out. Maybe, the real problem in Los Angeles was Arte Moreno. With the Wilpons, you don’t have to convince New York Mets fans of that.

That said, there’s nothing to like about the Mets hiring Billy Eppler as the New GM.

You’re stuck as to where to begin on how this is a bad choice, and you’re left wondering why the Mets didn’t just delay this process longer. After all, this is someone who couldn’t build a winner with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, who is now entasked can with building a winner around Jacob deGrom and Francisco Lindor.

It doesn’t make sense. That’s even before you consider his free agent signings make the Bobby Bonilla deal seem like a bargain. The problem for Eppler was he never turned Justin Upton into a David Wright.

A big reason why is Eppler has a very poor draft and player development track record with the Angels. With respect to the Mets, it’s the one of the few things they did well, so the hope is their existent structure can offset one of Eppler’s many weaknesses.

However, in many ways, none of this is Eppler’s biggest issue. No, Eppler’s biggest issue is he hired Mickey Callaway.

Like Alderson, Eppler hired the worst kept secret in baseball. Like Alderson, he kept Callaway employed while he harassed women.

Undoubtedly, Eppler will blame Joe Maddon, who really wanted Callaway. Moreover, he can blame the owner who pushed to hire Maddon and give him what he wants.

It’s akin to Alderson. Most are aware Callaway was hired by Jeff Wilpon. Alderson wanted Kevin Long or Brad Ausmus, a manager actually hired by Eppler.

In a way, that might be one of the positives we try to tell ourselves. Alderson and Eppler are aligned in many ways. We also hear Eppler is good friends with David Stearns, who is the real target. The other bonus is he’s not Brodie Van Wagenen.

However, in the end, this amounts to nothing more than talking ourselves into a bad hire. We can continue to do it until the Mets hire the president of baseball operations they ultimately want to hire.

Wilmer Flores Is All That’s Left Worth Rooting For

Look at the postseason landscape. On the American League side, you have the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros. So far, you have the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS, and they are going to face one of the San Francisco Giants or Los Angeles Dodgers. While the series may be good, it’s not exactly an awe inspiring list of teams to root for to win the World Series.

Plain and simple, we know the Astros have cheated, and they have been unpunished and unapologetic about it. They are facing off against the Red Sox who have their own issues on that front, and they are led by Alex Cora, who was purportedly the ring leader of the entire operation. As we saw, Cora was fired for one year just for show.

When it comes to the National League, the Braves are the epitome of evil. Putting aside the history with Chipper Jones calling Mets fans closet Yankees fans, everything John Rocker, and really, every soul crushing loss, this is a racist fan base eagerly doing the racist Tomahawk Chop chant every game. Rooting for them is like rooting for the hunter in Bambi.

We know all about the Dodgers. There was the 1988 NLCS, and there was Chase Utley. They’re the team who signed Trevor Bauer. We should also mention they’re the favorite team of the Wilpons. No self respecting Mets fan should ever root for the Dodgers.

Understandably, Mets fans probably aren’t too eager to root for the Giants. After all, behind Madison Bumgarner and Conor Gillaspie, they beat the Mets in the 2016 Wild Card Game. There is also all things Barry Bonds. There is also Gabe Kapler, and the heinous things he has been alleged to do.

That should leave a Mets fan wondering what is left in this soulless landscape. Who is the hero who can emerge from all of this dredge? The answer is old friend Wilmer Flores.

Wilmer is the same player who cried at the very idea of leading the Mets only to win a walk-off homer his next chance. In fact, Wilmer has more walk-off hits than any Mets player. That’s a list which includes players like Edgardo Alfonzo, Carlos Beltran, Mike Piazza, Darryl Strawberry, and David Wright. Really, Wilmer has brought us much more joy than we ever could’ve imagined.

Now, he’s the only player really worth Mets fans rooting for this postseason. While we understandably don’t have much reason to root for any of the remaining teams, that goes double for the Braves, there is every reason to root for Wilmer. Hopefully, he and the Giants outlast the Dodgers and the Braves en route to Wilmer winning a World Series ring. After all, if anyone deserves it, it’s him.

Michael Conforto, He Didn’t Give Up

In what may be the last time Michael Conforto plays at Citi Field as a member of the New York Mets, he would have a night to remember. He was 3-for-5 with a run, double, and two RBI. That double came in his final at-bat of the night:

This night was the type of night we always expected from Conforto. He had clutch hits and terrific defensive plays in right field. The fans serenaded him and begged him to stay. It was just an emotional night with him at center stage:

If we look at just last night, it was a fitting end to Conforto’s time in New York, at least the Citi Field portion. However, expanding it out, it just doesn’t feel like Conforto would be leaving the right way. There is just too much unfinished business for him here.

When Conforto was first called up, we saw a superstar. In his rookie year, he certainly delivered on that. Yes, we will always go back to the two home runs in Game Four of the 205 World Series, but it was much more than that. As an aside, the fact we don’t call that Conforto Corner is our collective failure.

He’d homer in Game 2 of the NLDS. He had a sacrifice fly in Game 1 of the World Series. In a moment forever burned in my memory, Conforto came up to bat in the bottom of the 12th inning in Game Five. The Mets were down 7-2, there were two outs, and he was down in the count 1-2 to Wade Davis. Conforto didn’t give up. In fact, he would single.

In many ways, that is what should truly define Conforto’s tenure with the New York Mets – He didn’t give up.

After that rookie season, he would come out and establish himself as the best player on the Mets at the start of the 2016 season. That was until he got hurt. Between the injury and changing positions, Conforto fought it all year long. Instead of acknowledging the impact of the injury, an unfair narrative emerged. They put the label on him he couldn’t hit left-handed pitching and that Madison Bumgarner broke him.

It seems dumb in retrospect, but Conforto wasn’t quite guaranteed a starting job in 2017. Conforto would force his way into the lineup, and he would emerge as a new style of lead-off hitter. He would become an All-Star. At the time, it seemed like the first of many. Unfortunately, partially because of a devastating shoulder injury, to date, it would be Conforto’s only appearance.

It was a downright miracle Conforto was ready for Opening Day in 2018. Actually, it was a miracle and downright malpractice by the Mets organization. Instead of giving him the time he really needed, they pushed him forward. He struggled early on leaving many to wonder if he would ever fulfill his promise; if the injury robbed him of his career.

Conforto would have a strong second half in 2018, and he would carry that forward into 2019. He’d do that while moving to right field to help the team, and he would do it while being a leader. Early on, the Mets knew Conforto was a true leader. It wasn’t that the Wilpons saw and pushed it like they did with David Wright. Rather, it was what the clubhouse themselves saw.

Players like Jay Bruce, Michael Cuddyer, and Curtis Granderson would take Conforto under their wing and help guide him. This would pay dividends later as Conforto would emerge as the true leader in the clubhouse. He was always front and center answering questions, and he made sure to quash any problems which could emerge in the Mets clubhouse as a result of the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal.

In the disaster that was the 2020 season, Conforto was one of the best players in all of baseball. While the Mets did falter, Conforto was truly great. By OPS+, it was his best year at the plate. He was that .300 hitter we all knew he could be one day. If there was an All-Star team, he would’ve been one. This is where his career should have springboarded.

With Conforto’s Job like luck, he’d get COVID entering Spring Training. Then, he’d suffer a hamstring injury. This really robbed him of the chance to get get up to game shape and speed. Like in 2016 and 2018, he would struggle. But this is Michael Conforto, he just wouldn’t give up.

Starting in August, we saw the real Conforto again. Over his final 57 games of the season (with three still to go), he hit .266/.367/.441 with 10 doubles, seven homers, and 28 RBI. That’s in a year where he had every reason to never recover or put up any good numbers. As discussed above, he would have one final great moment at Citi Field in a Mets uniform.

Now, Conforto is heading into free agency. Between the Mets front office in flux, his agent being Scott Boras, and the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, no one knows what this means for Conforto and his time on the New York Mets. In many ways, it would be unfair to him and the fans to see it end like this.

Conforto has more in him, and he has a destiny to fulfill here. Conforto deserves a World Series, and he deserves it with the Mets. If he stays, it can and will happen. After all, as we’ve seen throughout his Mets career, he just doesn’t give up, and he will keep coming back and doing great things. The Mets need to just keep him around longer to let him do that in right field in Citi Field where he hit the two homers in Game Four.

Carlos Correa Better Option For Mets Than Kris Bryant

This offseason, the New York Mets have a number of holes to fill in free agency. Chief among them is third base as the Mets have not had a third baseman since 2014 when David Wright was yet to be diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Since then, the Mets have better filling around the edges and singing players like Todd Frazier, who struggled to stay on the field.

Looking at the free agent landscape, it appears the two best options are going to be Carlos Correa and Kris Bryant. While Correa is a shortstop, he has indicated his willingness to change positions like Alex Rodriguez once did. With that being the case, Correa instantly becomes the top third base option available.

Correa just turned 27, and he is on pace to have his best ever season as a Major Leaguer. Currently, he has a 6.9 WAR, and he should meet or surpass the 7.0 he had in 2016. Notably, with Correa having three seasons of 6.7 WAR or  better, we are talking about a future Hall of Famer.

The reason is Correa does not have a real hole in his game. This year, he has a 135 wRC+. This will mark the fourth time in his seven year career he has had a 135 wRC+ or better. Putting aside the 60 game 2020, he has always been above league average at the plate, and only one time has he registered a wRC+ below 123.

In the field, Correa is a great defensive shortstop. After his struggles in his rookie season, Correa has a a 47 OAA and a 62 DRS at shortstop. That puts him at a Gold Glove level at the position.

All told, Correa is a Silver Slugger level hitter at the plate and a Gold Glover in the field. He could be a right-handed balance to the Mets heavy left-handed hitting lineup, solve the eternal third base woes, and add yet another MVP caliber player to the roster.

Despite all of that, many are hand wringing over the likelihood Correa would have a qualifying offer attached thereby putting the Mets in a position to forfeit a first round pick. In the alternative, they suggest Kris Bryant.

Unlike Correa, Bryant has actually won an MVP award, and like Bryant, he has a World Series ring. While the Mets would be better for adding Bryant, he is not the same caliber of player as Correa, and he probably doesn’t solve the Mets third base question.

After being traded to the San Francisco Giants, Bryant has split time between third base and the outfield. That is much akin to what he did in Chicago. Part of the reason is Bryant is a versatile player which is a bonus. However, it is also the result of his not being a very good third baseman.

Since 2017, Bryant has not posted a positive OAA at third accumulating a -9 OAA. Over that time, he also has a -2 DRS. In the outfield, he has posted better numbers in left field with a 2 OAA and a 6 DRS. Looking at the numbers and the trajectory, you could argue Bryant is really a LF at this point in his career.

Now, you could try him at third for a while, especially if your confident in your shifting, but Bryant doesn’t quite have the bat he used to have which allowed him to offset his poor defense. Keep in mind, he is still a terrific hitter, just now the 144 wRC+ he was over the first three years of his career. In fact, since 2018, Bryant has been a 126 wRC+ hitter.

That is largely why we have seen Bryant fall from being an MVP caliber player to being “merely” an All-Star caliber player. After posting an 18.3 WAR over his first three seasons, Bryant has posted a 10.5 WAR over his next four seasons (with the 2020 season caveat). While Bryant has had strong seasons, and he has a 3.3 WAR so far this year, he’s just not the caliber of player Correa has.

We should note that disparity is likely only going to grow. Next year, Correa will be 27, and Bryant will be 30. Bryant is nearing the end of his prime as Correa is just entering it. As a result, you are likely going to get far better production from Correa over the course of their respective contracts. Indeed, Correa is better now and will very likely remain better.

If you’re a Mets team with not much help on the way from the minors and the impending free agency of players like Carlos Carrasco, Jacob deGrom (player option), Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, Brandon Nimmo, and Taijuan Walker coupled with Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Dominic Smith being arbitration eligible, you are a franchise very much set on expanding this window. That goes double with Javier Baez, Michael Conforto, Aaron Loup, Marcus Stroman, and Noah Syndergaard as free agents this offseason.

This is a Mets team which needs to focus on winning in 2022 or tearing it down to rebuild. If you are really focused on winning now, Correa is the far better option than Bryant regardless of the qualifying offer being attached. The Mets should not be overthinking it. Go get the far better player and make this Mets roster the best it can possibly be.

Mets 2021 Uniforms: Back in Black

After the years of waiting, the New York Mets are finally bringing back the black jerseys on July 30, and they’ll be worn for all the ensuing Friday games.

These are the jerseys Mike Piazza and Edgardo Alfonzo wore the last time the Mets captured the pennant at home. They’re the jerseys David Wright and Carlos Beltran wore the last time the Mets clinched a division at home, and they wore them again to open Citi Field.

Now, we’re going to see current Mets greats carry on the tradition. Certainly, we should expect to see Jacob deGrom, Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo, and Pete Alonso accomplish similar feats to those Mets teams.

Friday nights are the perfect time for these jerseys. By limiting it, it prevents the issue fans previously had where the regular jerseys were almost entirely phased out for the black.

Of course, there’s also hope the Mets still embrace the blue alternates. It would be great to see Mr. Met return to the sleeve and have them worn on Family Sundays at Citi Field.

Overall, it’s great to see the Mets bringing back a fan favorite jerseys and treating them like a special event. Hopefully, it is something which stays well past this season.

Mets Should Celebrate Bobby Bonilla Day

Well, it’s July 1, meaning this is yet another year the New York Mets make their installment payment to Bobby Bonilla on the 25 year buy out. It’s also the day people try to rush to be funny.

Truth be told, Bonilla Day and everything associated with it should be celebrated by Mets fans:

1. The deal got rid of Mel Rojas, who needed to go because he was terrible and cost the Mets the 1998 Wild Card.

2. His injuries opened the door for playing time for Roger Cedeño, who would set the then Mets single season stolen base record.

3. Cedeño’s breakout helped the Mets use him as a key piece to obtain Derek Bell and Mike Hampton. Of course, the other key was buying out Bonilla freed up the money to permit the Mets to make the trade.

4. Hampton was the NLCS MVP as the Mets won their first pennant in 14 years.

5. When Hampton departed in free agency for the Colorado Rockies money and Denver school system, the Mets used their compensation pick on David Wright.

As we know, Wright would go on to become the Mets best third baseman and arguably their best ever position player. Certainly, any organization would do all they could do buy out a player for a pennant and to obtain a player like Wright.

There’s also the fact the joke is on everyone else now. The Bonilla money is a rounding error for the Mets now. Unlike the Wilpons who were ashamed, Steve Cohen uses Bonilla to promote special experiences at Citi Field.

Overall, the Bonilla buy out was one of the best things the Mets ever did, and it will continue to be. So everyone can repeat the same lame forced jokes while Mets fans bask in the glory of it.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Can Beat Good Teams

After the Chicago Cubs swept the New York Mets at Wrigley, the Mets nearly returned the favor at Citi Field:

1. It all begins and ends with Jacob deGrom. If he’s healthy, he and the Mets are unbeatable. Right now, he’s not healthy.

2. Another important thing is no one knows what’s wrong. We just lived the era of Jeff Wilpon, MD. Let’s let the professionals actually call the shots.

3. Marcus Stroman picked up the slack with seven great innings. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for the win, but with the bullpen innings saved, it may mean one down the road.

4. That David Peterson start was huge, but he’s had those moments. The real key for him is consistency.

5. The Mets are usually known for the worst free agent signing. With Taijuan Walker, it’s nice seeing the Mets make the best one for once.

6. On that note, Kevin Pillar has been much better than advertised. It’s not just the offense and defense. It’s the grit.

7. Pete Alonso is great, but he has his moments where he tries to do way too much. Sometimes,he needs to take instead of jumping out of his heels. It’s why that AN was a sacrifice fly.

8. Its a tough spot for Drew Smith, but if you’re brought in to mop it up, don’t make a game of it. That’s how you eventually lose a roster spot.

9. The Dellin Betances rehab assignment has the feel of the old David Wright ones.

10. Luis Guillorme‘s ability to transfer is at another level, and as we saw with the play at the plate, it’s game changing.

11. Billy McKinney continues to play well. It appears he may need to hold the fort down just a little longer.

12. The new rules, or better put, efforts to enforce the rules, is merely a deflection from the change in the ball. It also has the added benefit for MLB to have a bargaining chip for the impending CBA talks.

13. Knock on wood, but so far, we’re not seeing any change in performance for Mets pitchers. We’ll see if that continues when enforcement officially begins.

14. With all these games bunched up, Sean Reid-Foley suddenly becomes massively important. His stepping in for deGrom is a sign of the value he can provide to this team

15. For all that narrative about the Mets not beating over .500 teams, they just took five of seven from the San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs.

16. Again, you win with pitching a defense. The Mets have the best FIP and second best DRS. If that continues, they’ll continue to win.

17. The Mets have an opportunity to absolutely bury the Washington Nationals and force them to be sellers. They may be tired, but they can’t miss this chance.

18. Last time deGrom was the Mets only All-Star was 2015. That’s a good omen, but odds are the Mets will get a few pitchers.

19. Dominic Smith seems more comfortable in the OF, and he’s working counts, but he needs to pick it up.

20. The Mets have the largest lead in baseball, and they’re not really playing well yet. This team is scary good.

Keith Hernandez Reminder Mets Need Better Attention To Own Hall Of Fame

During this series between the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals, it was announced Keith Hernandez will FINALLY be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame. It didn’t exactly go great:

The Edward Jones advertisement being larger than Hernandez’s name is embarrassing. Then again, at least the Cardinals are attending to their Hall of Fame.

The Cardinals have an official committee, and they have fan votes to determine who belongs in their Hall of Fame. More than that, they actually have a Hall of Fame.

When Citi Field first opened, there was some lip service to the Mets Hall of Fame. As time progressed, and the impact of Madoff continued, we saw the Team Store push into and completely overwhelm the Mets Hall of Fame.

Aside from that, there’s been a serious lack of attention to inducting new members. The last member inducted was Mike Piazza in 2013. That’s unacceptable.

Right now, 13 of the top 24 Mets by WAR have not been inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame. Put another way, most of the best players in team history have not been recognized.

That includes Edgardo Alfonzo and Al Leiter. That’s shocking with Alonzo being the best second baseman in team history, and with Leiter being the only Mets pitcher to win a play-in game.

It’s more than that. Bobby Valentine led the Mets to consecutive postseasons. Johan Santana had many great moments including the first and only no-hitter in Mets history. There’s also Nelson Doubleday who purchased the Mets and brought in the right people leading to the best run in Mets history.

Point is, the Mets Hall of Fame is severely lacking. Case-in-point. David Wright has not yet been inducted. We can argue over retiring his number, but his not being in the Mets Hall of Fame is absurd.

The Mets need to have Wright and others in the team Hall of Fame. For that matter, there needs to be a real Mets Hall of Fame.

This is a franchise with real history and great moments. It’s well past time it’s celebrated and properly honored. The Mets need a real and proper Hall of Fame. Hopefully, it will happen soon.

Mets Lost Faith In Jeff McNeil Again

If we hearken back to the 2018 season, the New York Mets were languishing, and Todd Frazier landed on the IL for the first time in his career. Jose Reyes was just flat out terrible, Wilmer Flores was at first, and David Wright, well, he wasn’t an option. Down in Double-A Binghamton, Jeff McNeil was flat out raking. He just kept hitting and hitting and hitting.

The answer seemed obvious to everyone. Everyone, that is, except Sandy Alderson and the New York Mets. When pressed on calling up McNeil to play third base, the answer was McNeil was a second baseman only. Of course, the irony there was McNeil was the Binghamton Rumble Ponies Opening Day third baseman.

Back then, it was difficult to ascertain how much of personnel decisions were driven by Jeff Wilpon, whomever Wilpon decided to listen on any given day, or Alderson. Whatever the case, McNeil would eventually get the call-up, prove himself, and he would go on to have an All-Star season in 2019.

Since 2019, things have gone quite uneven for McNeil as it has for the rest of us. In the end, what we do know with McNeil is he is an exceptionally gifted contact hitter, and he is a fiery player who you could trust defensively at four different positions.

According to Baseball Savant, McNeil has a career 3 OAA at second, 3 OAA at third, and -1 OAA in left field. DRS has a much better picture with McNeil having a 5 DRS at second, 6 DRS at third, and a 3 DRS in left field. All told, McNeil is not a Gold Glove, but he is a very solid defender at multiple positions.

As noted, McNeil could hit. Entering this season, McNeil had a 139 wRC+. Since his debut, he has been the 13th best hitter in the majors, and he trailed only Brandon Nimmo among Mets players. All told, McNeil has established himself as a very good, versatile, and valuable Major League player. Despite that, we are seemingly back at square one with McNeil.

With the acquisition of Francisco Lindor, and his preference to hit near the top of the lineup, McNeil was dropped from the top two spots, where he thrived, to sixth and seventh in the lineup. Perhaps it was the drop in the lineup, the new baseball, the delay to the season, the typical influence Chili Davis has on his teams, the pandemic, or just the normal ebbs and flows of the season, but McNeil has struggled.

The thing is, he didn’t quite struggle right away. In fact, to start the season, McNeil was tattooing the ball. Unfortunately, he was not getting any luck. Balls he normally hit for singles and doubles weren’t falling in anymore. The Mets reaction to that was to sit him after the Mets first two games of the season.

That has become an emerging pattern for McNeil. So far, the Mets have played 17 games, and McNeil has only started in 14 of them. The only projected starter who has started in fewer games is J.D. Davis, but that was only because Davis landed on the IL after getting hit by a pitch early in the season.

Davis is somewhat illustrative of the problem here. Davis has again been a nightmare defensively. He’s already a -2 DRS and a -1 OAA at third. He made errors directly impacting his team and leading Taijuan Walker and David Peterson to have shorter starts. The end result was just one game off, where he still appeared as a pinch hitter, and he was put right back in the lineup.

For some reason, Davis is able to work through his problems despite them not being fixable. For McNeil, this is very clearly a blip, but he keeps getting relegated to the bench. Instead of getting to see more pitches and get into a rhythms, the Mets are doing to the opposite. In fact, they’re just setting him up to continue to struggle.

Perhaps, this is just Alderson resting back on previous biases towards players from his first stint with the Mets. Taking a broader look, Dominic Smith has had some similar struggles getting into the lineup. In fact, the Mets have begun using him as a platoon bat. That’s despite him being one of the Mets best hitters against left-handed pitching.

To some extent, McNeil is also being used as a platoon player. For example, he was also not in the lineup against Patrick Corbin. More likely, McNeil is just being punished for struggling. For some reason, he is not going to be permitted to struggle and figure things out at the plate while others can go out there being butchers in the field costing the Mets games.

Make no mistake, how the Mets are handling McNeil is a very big problem. They are taking one of their best players, and they are crossing him up further. They are not putting him in a position to succeed in terms of where he hits in the lineup and in terms of getting to play enough to get into a rhythm and figure things out. Whatever the reason for the McNeil benchings, they have to stop, and they have to stop now.