Mark Vientos

Call Dom Smith Up Now And Play Him At First

We live in a world where many, many things can be simultaneously true. With his play on the field in 2022, the New York Mets were justified sending Dominic Smith down to Triple-A.

By keeping him in Triple-A, Mets have made it abundantly clear Smith is not part of the future of the franchise. That includes the makings of the postseason roster.

We can all dicker over whether that’s the prudent move for this team. That’s besides the point. What is clear now is the Mets actually need Smith in the majors right now, and they need him at first.

The reason why is Pete Alonso.

All season long, Alonso has given absolutely everything he has to the Mets. He’s very clearly one of the reasons why this team is still in first place. Saying he’s the reason Smith needs to be recalled is no slight to him.

The truth is Alonso is just exhausted. As a result, he’s slumping, and he’s showing his frustrations out on the field.

Historically, Alonso finishes the season strong. So far this September, he’s batting .249/.314/.457. This will mark the third straight month he’s had a SLG under .500 and and OPS of .800 or lower.

Alonso’s last day off was the All-Star Break. Keep in mind, he participated in the Home Run Derby and game. He also had to fly back-and-forth from Los Angeles.

His last day off was June 8. He’s played in both ends of the doubleheader in all eight of the Mets doubleheaders this season. He last DH’d on September 3. He’s only done it four times in the second half.

At this point, the Mets are getting diminishing returns from Alonso. Yes, it’s better than the alternatives, but it’s still not Alonso being Alons, and this Mets team needs that to win games.

The problem is Daniel Vogelbach is slumping and really can’t play in the field. Right now, Darin Ruf is by far the Mets worst hitter and since joining the Mets he’s among the very worst in the game.

Making matters all the more complicated, with Starling Marte’s injury, Ruf needs to play right field against left-handed pitching. There’s no way the Mets can or should trust Mark Vientos at first.

When you break it down, as this roster is currently constructed. Alonso is the only option to play first base. That’s all well and good up until the point we started to see Alonso slump and increasingly start showing his frustrations.

Alonso needs a mini-break. The Mets need to get him out of the field a bit to rest and clear his head. Looking at the organization, Smith seems to be the only player capable of playing a game or two there defensively.

Let Smith spell Alonso for a game or two. In the event of blow outs, let Smith come in late in games. Just get someone out there who can give Alonso a breather and get some rest.

The Mets have been failing Alonso. They need him to be great, and they’re running him into the ground. It’s time to get Smith up here to find an inning or two or game here and there to get Alonso the rest he needs.

It’s time to recall Dominic Smith.

Mets Not Waiting On Darin Ruf

When teams make roster moves, whether intended or not, there are clear messages delivered. The New York Mets delivered one to Darin Ruf.

With Luis Guillorme activated, the expectation was Deven Marrero was going to be designated for assignment. In fact, that is what happened.

That also means the Mets opted to keep Mark Vientos in the majors.

Vientos is a direct threat to Ruf’s playing time, and he could be a threat to Ruf’s spot on the postseason roster. Essentially, the Mets are going to give Vientos plate appearances to show he’s ready right now to be the right-handed DH option.

That’s what Ruf was supposed to be. However, he’s been failing in that role. So far with the Mets, he has a 9 OPS+.

NINE.

That’s unplayable. That goes double for a DH. The job is literally only hitting, and Ruf hasn’t been able to do that.

Fortunately for Ruf, he’s still going to get an opportunity to prove himself. With Starling Marte on the IL, he can play right field against left-handed pitching.

On Sunday, both Ruf and Vientos were in the starting lineup against Miami Marlins left-handed starter Jesus Luzardo. While the Mets offense exploded that day, neither Vientos nor Ruf impressed.

Ruf was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He was eventually lifted for Tyler Naquin. Vientos was the DH for the whole game. He was 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.

For both players, this was a missed chance; all the more so for Vientos.

There are not going to be many chances to impress as the short side platoon option. For Vientos, he has to clearly do it. He has to leave zero doubt he is the better option at the moment.

Ruf is the veteran, and the Mets gave up a ton to get him. Vientos is battling against track record and front office politics.

However, the opportunity remains. It remains because Vientos remains on the roster. The Mets made sure of that.

Mark Vientos Must Be Called Up Now

The news on Brett Baty was bad. He tore the UCL in his right thumb. He will have it surgically repaired, and for all intents and purposes, he’s done for the season.

This means Eduardo Escobar is the New York Mets third baseman for the foreseeable future. That’s the case at least until Luis Guillorme comes off the IL.

It also means the Mets have a roster spot to fill. On that note, they’re an infielder short, but it does appear they’re filling the spot with Deven Marrero. That really doesn’t do much to help this roster right now.

Marrero is your classic Four-A player. In his Major League career, he has a 38 wRC+. That’s actually worse than the Mets catching situation. He’s been solid in the field, but his glove in no way carries his bat.

This is why he started the season with the Long Island Ducks. Picking him up as minor league depth is one thing. Adding him to the roster, and making a 40 man move in the process for a player they don’t need doesn’t make sense.

What the Mets need is Mark Vientos.

In full disclosure, Vientos is not a third base option. He’s been a poor defender there, and that’s why the Mets have looked at him at first and in left. Truth be told, they don’t love him in those spots either.

What Vientos does is hit. More than that, he destroys baseballs.

Through 94 games with Triple-A Syracuse, Vientos has a 136 wRC+. That’s after posting a 159 wRC+ in 12 games for Syracuse last season. A

s a point of reference, Pete Alonso posted a 139 wRC+ in 67 games with Triple-A Las Vegas. Vientos is a full year younger than Alonso was in 2018, and he is in a far less hitter friendly environment.

Another consideration with Vientos is his 136 wRC+ is inclusive of a disastrous first month of the season (Vientos always struggles the first month of the season). In April, Vientos hit .169/.257/.312.

From May 3 to the present, a span of 74 games, Vientos is hitting .310/.382/.582 with 12 doubles, 22 homers, and 63 RBI. Extrapolating that over 162 games, Vientos would be on pace for 26 doubles, 48 homers, and 138 RBI.

The knock on Vientos, even with this level of production, is he strikes out too much. With a 28.5 K%, which is an improvement from last season, there is truth to that.

However, Vientos does not strike out much against left-handed pitching (21.8 K%). On that note, Vientos annihilated left-handed pitching. In 124 plate appearances, he’s batting .343/.411/.759 with six doubles, 13 homers, and 37 RBI.

As an aside, Darin Ruf has struggled with the Mets. In his 15 games with the Mets, he has a 49 wRC+. That includes a 52 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. It’s a small sample size for sure, but it is indicative of the overall struggles the 36 year old has had this year.

At this point, it appears the Mets are just going out of their way to find reasons to keep Vientos in Triple-A. Vientos has proven he can hit, and his bat would fill a need. Moreover, the Mets have again made a 40 man move to call up a Four-A caliber player over him.

Yes, Vientos has his issues. They’re well known and noted. However, this is a player with the potential to be a special bat. He could provide power to a lineup and bench mostly bereft of it.

Vientos is ready to help this Mets team, and he can fill a void. He’s better than the other options the Mets are utilizing. At some point, enough is enough. We’re at that point. It’s time to call up Vientos.

J.D. Davis Cannot Play Again

On the eve of the MLB trade deadline, the New York Mets put J.D. Davis into the lineup as the DH. Even better, he was batting fifth.

Excuses were abound. It was a left-handed starter, and Daniel Vogelbach isn’t good against left-handed pitching (true). Patrick Corbin was on the mound, and Davis owns him.

That was once true. It’s not any more. It may be in the reverse now. Including this game, he’s 1-for-8 with two GIDP, three strikeouts, and a walk.

Not only is that against a pitcher he’s owned, but it’s also against someone who is probably the worst pitcher in baseball right now. What exactly does that say about Davis?

To answer the rhetorical question, it means Davis cannot play anymore. Not for a team looking to win a World Series.

Credit Buck Showalter for removing Davis for Vogelbach when the Washington Nationals went to their bullpen. That decision should be for good.

The Mets simply have to do better. Davis strikes out over 30% of the time. He hits the ball into the ground half the time. We can go on and on and delve deeper and deeper, but it’s best summed up by his bring lifted and benched.

The sad part is that’s all Davis can do. He’s horrendous in left and at third. Even if you want to overblow that one game saving pick at first, you’re not playing him over Pete Alonso.

Davis has lived far too long off the fluke 2019 season fueled by a juiced ball and an unsustainable BABIP. There’s too much at stake now, and there are players available.

Maybe there’s a Wilmer Flores reunion where the Mets can undo that massive mistake of non-tendering him and trading for Davis. There’s other smaller options, and of course, the chance at J.D. Martinez.

For that mater, the Mets can call-up Francisco Álvarez or Mark Vientos. Really, at this point, anything is better. Anything.

Davis had two at-bats in the game ahead of the deadline. He’s entitled to no more. Not upgrading from him is too egregious to even ponder.

Overall, Davis has to have played his last game as a Met. Once he’s gone, we can then focus on a complete roster ready to win a World Series.

Mets Need Offense, Bullpen, Luck At Trade Deadline

The line of demarcation for the New York Mets season seems to be June 1. Somehow, someway, it is always June for the Mets.

Entering June, the Mets had the best offense in baseball, and they were running away with the National League East. Since that time, the Mets offense has a 99 wRC+ which is 21st in the majors and seventh worst in the NL.

Keep in mind, the only teams with a worst offense are also-run teams with zero shot at making the postseason. What makes this worse is the Mets starting pitching has been phenomenal over this stretch. Their 3.45 ERA ranks sixth best in the majors and third best in the National League.

Keep in mind, much of that time was while the team had Trevor Williams in the rotation, Chris Bassitt was trying to get on the same page with Tomas Nido and Patrick Mazeika, and Carlos Carrasco was fighting fatigue. It was also a rotation without Max Scherzer for over a month.

Since Scherzer has been back, Mets starters have easily been the best in the majors with a 1.70 ERA. However, the Mets are only 9-7. Moreover, the Mets as a team are 25-20 since June 1 seeing their NL East lead dwindle from 10.5 games to 1.5 games.

Yes, part of the reason is the Atlanta Braves are on a historic tear. However, it has more to do with the Mets. Again, this team is not hitting. Morevoer, the bullpen has just been flat out bad.

Right now, Edwin Diaz is the only reliever the Mets can and will trust. The problem is he only throws one inning a night. The second best reliever on the team by ERA, Colin Holderman, was traded for Daniel Vogelbach. It’s at the point right now where the only set-up reliever the team can trust is Adam Ottavino.

Look at it another way. For the season, Mets relievers have a 3.53 ERA. On the surface, that is pretty good as it ranks as 10th best in the majors and fourth best in the NL.However, that includes Diaz and Holderman.

When you back out Diaz and Holderman, the Mets bullpen ERA rises to 3.90, which would rank 16th. That’s where the Mets bullpen is. They have a great closer, but they have a middling and unstable bridge to him. Arguably, they need a whole new bullpen.

Really, the Mets need luck. They need the kind of luck they had when Yoenis Cespedes became the best player on the planet and Addison Reed was the best set-up reliever out of the 2015 trade deadline.

That’s the thing. It’s not just getting players. It’s getting them to perform. Also, as we saw with 2015, the team got healthy and had help from the minors with Michael Conforto.

The Mets need to get a right-handed bat to push out J.D. Davis once and for all. They need a Francisco Alvarez or Mark Vientos to get called up to help at some point. Seeing the Mets catching situation, the Mets really need Alvarez to go on a tear in Triple-A to force a call-up.

Jacob deGrom needs to healthy. With him and the rest of three rotation going deep, it’ll lessen the burden and innings required from the bullpen.

Trevor May needs to be healthy. David Peterson needs to transition well to the bullpen. Peterson and Williams need to pitch well there, and Buck Showalter has to be willing to use them.

Vogelbach needs to hit as does Davis’ eventual replacement. The ship has probably sailed on relying on Eduardo Escobar hitting leaving his replacement needing to hit.

Really, the Mets need a lot. We’ve previously seen it can be done. Maybe not by Billy Eppler judging from his Los Angeles Angels tenure, but it can be done.

The trade deadline is a little more than a week away. What the Mets do will likely determine whether they win the division and just how deep they’ll go in the postseason.

Kevin Parada Wasn’t Drafted For Juan Soto Trade

With the 11th overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the New York Mets selected catcher Kevin Parada out of Georgia Tech. This immediately led Mets fans into speculation Parada was drafted so the Mets could trade for Juan Soto.

It just doesn’t work that way. Put another way, no, Parada was not drafted as a replacement for Francisco Álvarez.

Look, you can understand the Soto excitement. Arguably, the best hitter in the game is on the market after (correctly) turning down a 15 year $440 million extension.

This has led the Washington Nationals to look to trade Soto, who hits free agency after the 2024 season. According to reports, the Nationals see the Mets as a potential trade partner. That should be obvious.

After all, Álvarez is already considered the best prospect in the minors. The Mets also have top 100 prospects in Brett Baty, Ronny Mauricio, Alex Ramirez, and Mark Vientos (depending on your list). Additionally, when he returns from his Tommy John rehab, Matt Allan is anticipated to join those ranks.

Simply put, the Mets have the high-end prospect talent selling teams covet at the trade deadline. Arguably, the Mets could acquire Soto even if they make Álvarez untouchable.

Another factor is Jon Heyman’s report in the New York Post wherein the Nationals may force interested teams to take on Patrick Corbin’s terrible contract. That leaves only a handful of teams who could be in a position to make the deal with Steve Cohen having the deepest pockets.

All told, yes, the Mets have what it takes to get Soto. No, Parada has no bearing on such a deal.

As Mets vice president of amateur and international scouting Tommy Tanous told MMO about draft approach, “The boring answer is you still take the best player available but having all those picks and the pool money there’s plenty of different scenarios you can play around with.”

Honestly, this is how almost all teams approach the draft. That goes double for the Mets. They draft the best player available.

The reason why the Mets drafted Parada? He was the best player available. Keep in mind, no one had Parada falling this far.

For example, Keith Law of The Athletic and MLB Pipeline had Parada going fifth to the Nationals of all teams. Parada falling to 11 was a steal, and the Mets pounced.

Ultimately, that’s the reason the Mets drafted Parada. Really, it had nothing to do with Álvarez.

Consider this. In 2019, the Baltimore Orioles made Adley Rutschman the top overall pick in the draft. Rutschman made his Major League debut roughly three years after being drafted. That’s not atypical.

Álvarez is currently playing in Triple-A Syracuse. With James McCann’s injury, it’s entirely possibly Álvarez could be called up the minute he starts hitting. If he’s not traded, we will definitively see Álvarez in the majors by 2023 at the latest.

If Parada is three years away, he’s not an Álvarez replacement. It doesn’t work that way. The Mets drafted Parada because he miraculously fell to him; not to trade Álvarez.

As an aside, the same can be said for Jett Williams. Williams was drafted 14th overall by the Mets because he was the best player available and not so the Mets could trade Ronny Mauricio.

Yes, it’s very possible the Mets trade Álvarez or Mauricio to Soto. It could be them both plus other pieces while absorbing a bad contract. Soto is 23 and that awesome.

However, there’s no cause and effect here. Parada is a Mets draftee because he was the best player available. It’s really just a coincidence he plays the same position as Álvarez, the best and most coveted prospect in the game.

Let Dominic Smith DH

You can argue the New York Mets best options for DH are not currently on their roster. However, it does not appear the Mets are ready to head in those directions as of right now.

Mark Vientos is mashing, but the Mets seem to be scared enough by the 30.7% strikeout rate to keep him in Triple-A. Francisco Alvarez was just called up to Triple-A. He is not an answer for DH as he is being developed as a catcher, and the Mets do not want to find themselves in a Kyle Schwarber or Gary Sanchez situation.

As for a trade, you don’t normally see big trades like this until the end of this month. Certainly, you will not see anything until after the All-Star Break. Everything considered, it seems the Mets solution for DH is already on the roster, at least the short term solution.

Looking at the roster right now, you can only conclude Dominic Smith needs to get the job.

Yes, Smith struggled mightily to start the season. He was hot in Spring Training, and he cooled off considerably as the Mets first tried to see if Robinson Cano had anything left. He didn’t. At that point, the Mets appeared to decide they should go with J.D. Davis, and when the Mets felt a pitching crunch, they sent Smith to Triple-A.

Over that time period, we saw Davis again prove he can’t be a Major League DH. On the season, Davis has 101 wRC+, 31.0% strikeout rate, .099 ISO, 1.81 GB/FB, and ranks towards the very bottom in the majors in whiff% and K%. In sum, there is no way, shape, or form the Mets can justify playing him evreryday at any position.

That brings us to Smith.

The biggest issue with Smith is we only saw him healthy and hitting in one season. That was the pandemic shortened season when he actually received MVP votes despite the Mets being terrible. With that season, you thought he would be a permanent fixture for the Mets. However, he battled an injured shoulder in 2021, and he had the aforementioned nightmare start this season.

Well, after he was recalled Smith has started hitting again. Over the past nine games, Smith is hitting .333/.333/.524 with four doubles and two RBI. Smith came up as a pinch hitter on Saturday hitting a double. After that, he started the following two games. Over this three game stretch, Smith is 4-for-9 with three doubles and 2 RBI.

Simply put, he’s hitting well. With the way the Mets are hitting now, if anyone is hitting well, they simply need to be in the lineup. Does this small sample size seem like grasping at straws? Perhaps, but then again, that’s where the Mets are.

Consider, the Mets 84 wRC+ from the DH position is the second worst in the National League. Since June 1, the entire team has a 99 wRC+, which ranks as tied for seventh worst in the National League. That’s a precipitous drop for one of the best offenses in all of baseball over the first two months of the season.

Now, DH is the only issue. We have seen Mark Canha, Luis Guillorme, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo fall into bad slumps. Only recently did Eduardo Escobar and Francisco Lindor battle out of very bad slumps. The team has gotten absolutely nothing from the catcher position. Taking everything into account, the team needs players who are hitting well in their lineup.

Right now, that’s Smith. He’s hitting right now. As a result, he needs to be in the lineup now either at first or DH. Give him a few weeks. If he falters, he can be traded for the needed relief help. If he succeeds, the Mets assets can be directed to fill real needs. Whatever the case, the Mets need Smith, and for Smith, this should be his last opportunity.

Astros Different Class Than Mets

The New York Mets played the Houston Astros four times over the past week, and it just didn’t go well for the Mets. Not only did the Astros sweep all four games, but they also dominated them.

As Mets fans, we can lie to ourselves. We can say it’ll be different when the Mets have Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. Truth is, that might not be sufficient.

We saw that with Taijuan Walkers start. He was again brilliant shutting the Astros out over 7.1 innings. Edwin Diaz finished that inning, but Drew Smith couldn’t keep it scoreless allowing a two run homer to Jason Castro.

Even with the homer from the backup catcher hitting .095, it was just two runs. When your pitchers all two runs, that’s a winnable game. When you’re at home, you need to win those games.

The excuse will be it was Justin Verlander. Fine, he’s a future Hall of Famer, and he leads the AL in wins. He was great. However, that doesn’t explain one run scored over two games and six over four games against the Astros.

Come up with your reasons. Once you cycle through them, there’s one simple answer – the Astros are just better. That’s a big problem.

If the Mets want to win a World Series, the Astros are a potential roadblock. If not them, the New York Yankees, who are having a historically great season.

Before that, there’s the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and really, the seeming randomness of the postseason.

For the Mets, they need to admit their problems and find solutions. Really, they’re pretty obvious.

First and foremost, J.D. Davis is not a DH. They need to stop forcing it. Maybe the team gives Dominic Smith another look. Maybe they call-up Mark Vientos.

Whatever the Mets decide, they can’t play Davis anymore. He’s been a disaster. Sure, people will run to say the same about Smith, but whatever. Point is, DH is a black hole for the Mets.

This alludes to another issue. With Francisco Lindor struggling again (potentially due to the broken finger), Pete Alonso is the ONLY power threat.

The Mets need to try to give someone a look there before they can make a trade. While we’re on that subject, Chasen Shreve can’t pitch for this team again.

Shreve hasn’t performed for two months now, and he’s getting worse. The Mets need to find his replacement ASAP. While they’re at it, it couldn’t hurt to add another reliever for the late innings.

There’s some other areas to address. However, Jeff McNeil’s versatility and Luis Guillorme’s glove answers many of those problems.

There’s more from there, but those potential problem areas may be overstated. Overall, we see against better pitching and fielding teams, the put the ball in plat approach fails. That’s been very true for the Mets.

None of this is an overreaction. The Mets are great and can win a World Series. However, that doesn’t change the facts. The Astros are in a different class than the Mets.

That’s with or without deGrom and Scherzer. Yes. deGrom and Scherzer can lead the Mets to a World Series. They can also lose due to the inability to score runs against good pitching and defense teams.

With each day, the Mets issues become more apparent. Fortunately, there’s still time to address them. Hopefully, the Mets admit them now and become incredibly pro-active.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Toss Out Rotten Fish

From the rumors, the New York Mets are being threatened for National League East supremacy, but then again the Mets dispatched with another opponent. This time it was the Miami Marlins.

1.  It might’ve been Father’s Day Weekend, but Francisco Lindor proved it’s always Mother’s Day. His mom came to the game on Friday, and he hit his first of two homers in the series. After breaking his finger, he seemed understandably off, but this weekend, we saw the real Lindor again.

2.  Taijuan Walker has pitched like an ace since Max Scherzer went down. Over his last six starts,  he’s averaging 6.0 starts with an increasing strikeout rate. This could be one of the best two year deals in Mets history.

3.  The Mets DH situation was a disaster before J.D. Davis got hit on the hand. That could effectively end his season (it did last year), which is going to rob the Mets of a right-handed bat off the bench. And before people start, he wasn’t hitting for power before this hand injury.

4.  It seems the DH spot will now fall to Dominic Smith, who faltered earlier, and/or Daniel Palka, who hasn’t played in the majors since 2019. With respect to Smith, the only hope is he begins hitting again with regular at-bats.

5.  While Mark Vientos continues to be the best possible DH option, from a purely crazy standpoint, you do wonder if Michael Conforto would be available on a minor league deal. After all, Scott Boras has hinted Conforto may be able to hit this season. It would seem a mutually beneficial arrangement even if there’s a 99% chance Conforto doesn’t play this year.

6.  The biggest concern right now is Jeff McNeil‘s hamstring. As Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez pointed out, he tried to play through a similar injury last year and struggled. Hernandez also noted the flight to Houston won’t help matters. Ideally, the Mets can give him a day or two to get healthy.

7.  David Peterson had a much needed good start. That was much needed for him and for the Mets.

8.  The fact Seth Lugo was pitching after his two year old just had surgery and his wife is expecting any day now is just remarkable. Given that context and how great he has been as a Met, we can afford him one bad pitch before freaking out.

9.  Where is it written in stone the Marlins play their very best against the Mets at all times?

10.  Chris Bassitt had a strong start but hit a bump. He is still a part of the solution this season and in the ensuing years.

11. Sandy Alcantara is just that good, and the Marlins have him effectively locked up until 2027. That would be very bad news for the Mets except you know the Marlins will get rid of him well before that.

12. The cavalry seems to be on their way with reports Scherzer could be a week away and James McCann on a rehab assignment.

13. The Mets have effectively shelved Patrick Mazeika, and you have to wonder just how much longer he will be a Met. With every homer from Francisco Alvarez, the chances of his getting designated for assignment increase exponentially because next time there is an injury, Alvarez may very well be called up to stay.

14. The Mets continue to do Josh Lewin dirty. First, he’s replaced by an inexperienced and poor announcer, and then, his podcast is replaced with amateur hour. He and Mets fans deserve much better.

15. Drew Smith is back to being Drew Smith, and as a result, the Mets bullpen is again a strength. That goes double with Adam Ottavino pitching well.

16. Very quietly, Starling Marte keeps getting better and better all season.

17. It’s obvious why we’re not talking about it much, but Pete Alonso‘s defense has really regressed. With the Mets DH options being what they are, you could move Alonso there, but the Mets obviously don’t want to interrupt his Silver Slugger caliber season.

18. Luis Guillorme is just a guy who gets on base and plays great defense. If the Mets cared about that in the past, perhaps they make the postseason prior to this year.

19. On this date last year, the Mets had a 5.5 lead game on the Atlanta Braves. The key differences is that Mets team had a +20 run differential, and this one has a +72. The other key difference is that team lost deGrom, and this one will be getting him back. These are not remotely the same seasons.

20. Interesting to think about, but this upcoming series against the Houston Astros might actually be a World Series preview.

Mets Have A DH Problem

So much for that J.D. Davis hot streak. Just as it seemed like he was going to run away with the DH job, the New York Mets sat him against good Milwaukee Brewers starting pitching, and he is currently in a five games stretch where he is 3-for-13 (.231) with zero extra base hits over his last five games.

Again, looking at the season as a whole, he’s at a 108 wRC+, 1.87 GB/FB, and he rates among the worst players in the majors in Whiff%. In total, he swings and misses a lot, he’s hitting for no power, and the Mets believe they need to shield him from good pitching. All told, this cannot be your DH.

It’s not just a Davis problem. Lately, the Mets have gone with Nick Plummer as the left-handed compliment to Davis. As bad as Davis has been, Plummer has been worse as he’s mired in an 0-for-20 streak.

We have seen Eduardo Escobar DH often this season. Well, he was recently dealing with medical issues, and he’s in his own 0-for-18 streak.

Overall, when you look at the DH position, the Mets as a team have a 83 wRC+. In every way, shape, and form, this is completely unacceptable. A position whose only responsibility is to hit is below average at the plate. It’s just insane.

Yes, there’s also some Robinson Cano in there and some of Dominic Smith‘s troubles. That all said, the Mets DH position still has players who just do not hit enough to justify playing at the position on a daily basis.

Now, you could argue Pete Alonso should DH, especially with his defense slipping entirely. Really, he has been the worst he’s been in his career. However, making that move is a double edged sword because Alonso has been completely locked-in at the plate, and the Mets can ill afford to lose that in the lineup.

This is honestly where Smith was supposed to help. When he wasn’t playing, he could be late inning defense and a credible bat in the lineup in the event of a disaster. He’s hitting in Syracuse (111 wRC+), but short of having a spot to play everyday, the Mets may be ill advised to call him up to languish on the bench again.

So again, what is there to do?

You can call-up Smith to see if he can grab the job again, but he may not be hitting enough yet to do it. You can roll with Davis despite all of his faults and Mets justifiable unwillingness to play him against good pitching. They could give Escobar an extended look, but he can’t hit now, and forget about Plummer.

Maybe Michael Conforto becomes available. As Scott Boras has said Conforto may not be able to play the field this year, but he might be able to hit. It may be worth a minor league deal for the end of the season to see if he can get back to being Conforto. Then again, for many reasons, this ship has probably sailed.

All told, it seems as if Mark Vientos remains the best option for now. If he falters, well, then maybe the Mets return to Smith again (assuming you don’t forever lose him calling up Vientos over him), or they made a trade deadline move. Whatever the case, they can’t keep doing this. Sooner or later, the Mets need to do something.