Robinson Cano

Eugenio Suarez Mets Legend

The history of the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves is typically a one-sided affair. Worse yet, it’s one which features Mets collapses and heart ache.

There’s Mel Rojas. Kenny Rogers the next year. Brian Jordan. Everything Chipper Jones. Most recently Freddie Freeman.

Most of the horrors were fueled by Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz. Glavine came to the Mets, and the balance of power in the NL East seemed to eventually shift to the Mets. Of course, Glavine melted down in Game 162, and nothing would be the same for that Mets team.

Things re-kindled last year. The Mets were in first place for 103 days. Not only did they eventually cede first place to the eventual World Series champion Braves, but they would also have the indignity of finishing under .500.

Things looked dire again this year. The Mets built a 10.5 game lead. It was 6.5 games after the Mets took four of five in an early August series. The Braves should’ve been left for dead, but they fought back.

It was one thing for the Braves to tie the division. It was another for them to take a half-game lead. The Mets responded by trouncing the Miami Marlins.

They have also gotten some help from the Seattle Mariners. Remember, for all the Braves exploits, they’re only 28-33 against teams with a winning record.

After splitting the first two games of the series, the Braves faced a 6-1 deficit in the eighth before Michael Harris II homered. He’d do it again in an improbable five run ninth giving the Braves a 7-6 lead. The second homer was off former Mets reliever Paul Sewald.

The Mets had already retaken the NL East lead, but this Mariners series could’ve given the Mets some breathing room. The Mets needed a re-payment for the favor of the Robinson Canó trade.

Well, they got it. First, it was a one out game tying homer from Julio Rodriguez off Kenley Jansen. Then, with two outs Eugenio Suarez came up to the plate:

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. Not from the Mets perspective.

Put the 1969 NLCS aside. That was another time in another era of baseball.

The Wild Card and Inter-league play came and so did the Braves tormenting the Mets. Yes, the Mets won two pennants and two division titles. The made the postseason five times.

However, when it came down to just these two teams, the Braves were always on top. The Mets never won a division where the Braves finished second. When they met in the postseason, the Braves came out on top.

That’s what makes the Suarez homer a game changer. In the history of Mets-Braves, the Braves win that game, stay a half game back (tied in the loss column), and they eventually overtake the Mets.

Suarez homered. That is changing the narrative. It moved the Mets up 1.5 games. It’s a little breathing room.

If the Mets do indeed win the division this was one of a series of pivotal moments. It may be THE moment. If so, the Mets owe the Mariners and Suarez a debt of gratitude.

Edwin Diaz And Can’t Handle New York Excuse

It may be a bit unfair to Edwin Diaz, but back in 2019, the pressure could not have been higher. Keep in mind, he plays a position that is among the most pressure filled in all of pro sports.

There were high expectations based upon what he did with the Seattle Mariners. In some ways, it was on his shoulders to try to justify the dumb and ill-received trade to acquire him and Robinson Cano.

As we all know, Diaz faltered. It was easily the worst season of his career. The common refrain from that season from fans was Diaz could not handle New York. The corollary to this was never would’ve been able to do it here.

It’s been a crutch for New York fans. The common explanation as to why players thrive elsewhere is they can’t handle New York. It’s a convenient catch-all, which helps overlook the real reason why players failed.

Justin Turner didn’t thrive in Los Angeles because he continued the launch angle approach taught to him by Marlon Byrd. No, he couldn’t handle New York.

Jason Bay wasn’t an outfielder dealing with absurd outfield walls and concussions. No, he couldn’t handle New York.

Travis d’Arnaud wasn’t an injury prone catcher at a time Jeff Wilpon was meddling with medical decisions. No, he just couldn’t handle New York (also apparently, 2015 never happened).

There are countless examples through Mets history. All of those examples and the narrative is being proven absurd this season.

The funny thing is Diaz admitted he struggled with New York. In many ways, he was the epitome of can’t handle New York. In reality, he needs to adjust.

Diaz is not unique in this respect. Players struggle coming to new teams sometimes. For some reason, that does seem to apply to the Mets more than others.

Carlos Beltran needed a full season to get comfortable and return to his Hall of Fame form. It appears Francisco Lindor is going through the same transformation.

For that matter, Curtis Granderson struggled when he first came to the Mets. Keep on mind, Granderson played the previous four seasons with the New York Yankees.

That brings us back to Diaz. Yes, he struggled with New York. However, he mostly struggled with his mechanics. Back in 2019, the Mets just couldn’t get that right.

Jeremy Hefner was hired as pitching coach, he’s been vital for Diaz. He’s gotten his mechanics right, and now, Diaz is having a great season.

It’s at the point where Mets fans love him and await his entrance into games. Narco and the trumpets are a major feature at Mets games. It’s now at the point where the Mets have invited Timmy Trumpet to games.

That’s not bad for someone who can’t do it in New York. It’s almost as if that narrative was always a poor excuse, and Diaz proved it was nonsense all along.

Joey Cora Has Been Getting Worse

The previous few seasons, the New York Mets had Gary Disarcina as their third base coach. Compared to him, anyone would look terrific.

However, that does not mean Joey Cora has been great or even good. Remember, this is the same guy the last place and perennially rebuilding Pittsburgh Pirates fired.

The reason the Pirates fired him was because he was literally the worst third base coach in the game. Things started off very rocky with the Mets.

He had very bad sends of Pete Alonso, Robinson Canó (remember having to deal with that mess), and Eduardo Escobar. Things got better over the ensuing months, but Cora has looked like the Cora of old of late.

There was Luis Guillorme against the Atlanta Braves. There was the Starling Marte send against the Philadelphia Phillies. Brett Baty against the New York Yankees. It just keeps getting worse.

Cora did it again against the Colorado Rockies. With one out, Mark Canha doubled, and Jeff McNeil was trying to score from first. There’s a number of issues on the play.

Per Baseball Savant, McNeil has slightly below average speed. He also hesitated slightly around second.

It was a perfect carom to the center fielder who threw a strike to the cut-off man. The throw by cut-off man was strong but pulling the catcher towards first.

Now, the narrative usually is it took a perfect throw. The thing is it wasn’t perfect. It was string, but it wasn’t perfect at all. Still, it beat McNeil by a good margin. Here’s the photo:

McNeil didn’t really have a chance. Even if you want to blame him for the hesitation, that’s still on Cora because he sent him. McNeil tried, but he was still out by a good margin.

If this were an isolated instance, you shrug it off. However, these sends are starting to pile up. The hope is it stops here because if it doesn’t Cora may cost the Mets a postseason game.

Mets Admit Offseason Mistakes

When you think of the New York Mets offseason, you think Max Scherzer. How can anyone blame you. After all, he’s a future Hall of Famer, and he’s still pitching like he’s in his prime.

The other big move was Starling Marte. He’s possibly been even better than expected. He’s an All-Star and may find himself getting down ballot MVP votes.

These are two great moves which have helped the Mets be in first place. They’re phenomenal moves having the exact impact you’d hope. There were other decisions which have fallen short.

First and foremost is the DH disaster.

The Mets decision to go with Robinson Canó at the start was a mistake. Just ask the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves.

Stubbornly trying Canó shelved J.D Davis and Dominic Smith, neither on whom got going on the season. Davis flopped in his extended chance and was shipped out to replace him. Smith never got his shot, and now he’s injured.

This failed triumvirate has been replaced by Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf. Vogelbach has been great so far with Ruf not yet getting a plate appearance as his platoon partner.

While they’re useless against same side pitching, they’re absolutely lethal against opposite side pitching. That makes this platoon nearly unstoppable, and it seems platoon is the name of the game with the Mets.

One platoon move they made without a trade is at third base. That was forced by Eduardo Escobar’s play. After a strong first month, he’s stopped hitting right-handed pitching, and he has a -4 OAA at third.

There were indications signing him to play out of position was a bad idea, but the Mets proceeded anyway. To a certain extent, they’ve been bailed out by Luis Guillorme (and the organization finally being willing to give him a shot to play everyday).

What’s a surprise is the Mets thought they needed a platoon partner for Mark Canha. By all accounts, Canha was having a good season, and the Mets were finding a way to get the best of him.

Canha has a 121 wRC+ and a -1 OAA. The defense isn’t great, but it’s playable.

That said, we did see continued signs of regression. Canha hit but with no power. He got on base but with a reduced walk rate and high .321 BABIP (.290 career).

That was with Travis Jankowski as his caddy. Jankowski was the late inning replacement in the field and on the base paths. The issue was Jankowski got hurt and then stopped hitting.

Rather than be victims to regression, the Mets were proactive acquiring Tyler Naquin. In a sense it was necessary with the Canha risk, but in another, it was odd considering Canha has always hit right-handed pitching better than left-handed pitching.

For that matter, he’s a better hitter overall than Naquin regardless of the split. However, Naquin has power, and Canha doesn’t. Looking at all the moves, this is an area the Mets specifically targeted.

The offseason approach was players who put the ball in play. That worked over the first two months of the season as the Mets had the best offense in baseball.

However, as the Mets hitting with runners on regressed to the mean, so did the offense. Over the past two months, this was an average to below average offense.

The Mets pitching, more specifically the starting pitching is too special to waste. Rather than wait for players to start hitting while hoping others didn’t stop, the Mets made a course correction.

Rather than be stubborn, the Mets acknowledged the limitations of their offseason plan. They made the necessary pivot. The end result is a far more dangerous team.

Whether this results in a World Series remains to be seen. What we can see is the Mets better positioned themselves to win because they acknowledged what wasn’t working and worked to fix it.

Case For Patrick Corbin

Reports indicate the Washington Nationals want the team acquiring Juan Soto to take back Patrick Corbin and his horrendous contract. Horrendous might be kind.

For the Nationals, it was money well spent because Corbin was a pivotal figure who helped that team win a World Series. Now, it may be time for the Mets to determine if Corbin is worth the investment to help them win a World Series.

In terms of salary, Corbin is earning $23.4 million this year, $24.4 million next year, and $35.4 million in 2024. Yes, the contract is that bad.

Now, looking at 2022 alone, Soto is earning $17.1 million. The Mets are paying Max Scherzer $43.3 million this year. When it’s a player of that caliber they’re willing to spend that amount.

If he were a free agent, you can assume the Mets (or some team) would be willing to give Soto close to $50 million per year. He’s certainly worth that much using a WAR/$ calculation.

The problem is that’s one year. Soto is arbitration eligible, and as seen Corbin’s contract gets increasingly ludicrous. As a result, that salary argument really only works one year.

Really, when you consider the money and prospect cost, the Mets will need to get something out of Corbin. There’s nothing from his Baseball Savant page to indicate that can ever be the case, at least not with Corbin starting.

That’s just the thing. The Mets are not obligated to start him. No, they merely have to have to find a suitable role where he can thrive. Right off the bat, it the numbers for him moving to the bullpen are not promising.

There are no real platoon advantage splits as both right-handed and left-handed batters have a an OPS over .860 against him. In his first inning of work, batters have a .957 OPS, and the first time through the lineup batters have a .733 OPS. Again, these are just ugly numbers.

Looking deeper, the issue for him is he just isn’t getting movement from the slider as he once did. In fact, it seems the 2019 season was the last time he did. Of course, the reason why this is such a problem is that’s his pitch. Really, his refinement and increased usage of the slider was the reason why he got the big contract from the Nationals, and also, why he was a key part of them winning the World Series.

As noted by the Washington Post, the team just doesn’t have an answer, and worse yet, it is conflicting information. Some say mechanical flaw. Others say location. To a certain degree, the answer has been just throw more sliders.

Certainly, there has been an arm angle change, and you can argue Jeremy Hefner could get him back to the right arm slot and extension.To wit, Devin Fink of Fangraphs noted the correlation for Corbin between his arm extension on the slider and the pitch’s ineffectiveness.

Moreover, velocity has been a bit of an issue, especially with his fastball. Limiting Corbin to 1-2 innings at max effort could have him throwing his fastball-slider more effectively. Yes, that is a gamble. 

However, this is a two-sided gamble. If you are the Mets, and you believe in your analytics department and Hefner, you can trust you can find a way to salvage Corbin as a reliever. You just never know if you can find the next Andrew Miller. For that matter, you’d settle for Joely Rodriguez from him right now.

Mostly, the gamble is not that you can salvage Corbin, but that Soto is so valuable he is worth taking on Corbin’s contract. To that, it really is a test as to just how deep Steve Cohen’s pockets are. If the Mets, who were more than happy to pay Robinson Cano to go away, believe they can add Corbin’s salary to the mix just to add a superstar while also being able to add additional pieces, you take the Corbin gamble.

Because if Corbin gives you anything, it is just a bonus. Ultimately, the biggest case for Corbin is he gets you Soto, and that is a very compelling case.

 

Mets Never Wanted Dominic Smith In 2022

For some reason, the New York Mets just don’t want to give Dominic Smith a full time job. Worse yet, they don’t want him to earn it either.

Consider this, of all the players on the Opening Day roster, Smith is the only player who has not started at least four games in a row. Yes, that does mean Travis Jankowski has.

As previously noted, the Mets first went with Robinson Canó and then J.D. Davis at DH. During Davis’ “winning” the DH job, an admittedly underperforming Smith was sent to Triple-A.

At the time, Smith was hitting .186/.287/.256. Again, when that’s your line, you put yourself in that position, especially when you have options.

However, Davis has similarly faltered. Since June 19, he’s hitting .162/.279/.297 striking out 16 times in 43 plate appearances (37.2%). That’s with a three hit game!

Nowhere will you find the Mets even contemplating sending down Davis. Again, he’s not hitting at all, and he can’t field any position. He’s literally useless to this Major League roster.

Despite that, he continues to get at-bats at the expense of Smith. Even with Smith historically faring better against left-handed pitching, they’ll sit Smith for Davis.

You don’t do this if you’re invested in Smith. That goes double when Smith had a hot bat. The reason is the Mets, at least the Sandy Alderson directed Mets, have never been truly invested in Smith.

This goes back to 2017 and 2018.

Smith and Amed Rosario struggled when they were first called-up. The reaction to each of them could not have been more different.

Smith was given competition to Adrian Gonzalez, who was really signed to play. The Mets preference was made all the easier when Smith was late to pregame, and Mickey Callaway felt the need to display his authority.

This was before Smith’s sleep apnea was diagnosed and treated.

When Gonzalez played poorly and was released, the Mets turned to Jay Bruce and Wilmer Flores. This for a team who was out of it in May and dead in the water in June.

To make matters worse, Smith was used as a left fielder for a good portion of the time. This was a first round pick and top 100 prospect. A Mets team completely out of it thought the best course of action was to see what he had . . . in the outfield.

Keep in mind, Rosario struggled, and the Mets went out of their way to ensure he’s have no competition for the job. Better yet, the team sent down Luis Guillorme for a stretch leaving Rosario as the ONLY shortstop on the roster.

Between 2018 and the present, there’s a pattern, and the person at the helm has been Sandy Alderson. People can say he’s out of the loop, but he’s out there making statements the Mets need to address the DH position.

That was yet another shot at Smith, a player he didn’t want.

Remember, the Mets nearly traded Smith for Eric Hosmer (horrendous contract), Chris Paddack (injured pitcher with a 96 ERA+), and Emilio Pagan (81 ERA+ over last three seasons). That’s just how much they wanted rid of Smith.

They wanted to take on a ton of money to get worse. It’s no wonder Steve Cohen was reportedly forced to nix the deal.

That’s all well and good, but the front office response was just to not let Smith earn a job. On some level, that’s personal. There’s certainly a history backing it up.

Overall, the Mets didn’t want Smith. Alderson has a long track record of not giving him a fair shot. Now, the Mets are ready to move on without even so much as giving him a week of starts to try to earn a job.

Scherzer Reaffirms Mets Best In NL East

The Atlanta Braves were surging and unbeatable. The New York Mets were falling apart. This is 2021 all over again.

Nah.

The Mets have Max Scherzer and just phenomenal starting pitching across the board. When you have pitching like this, you’re the team to beat in the division, and Scherzer reminded everyone of that.

Through the first six, Robinson Cano was the only one able to get a hit off of him. Of course, it was Cano, who the Braves obtained right before this series.

The Braves didn’t score a run until Austin Riley’s seventh inning homer. The Braves threatened from there with Marcell Ozuna following with a double.

This is cause for worry for mere mortals, but this is Scherzer. The future Hall of Famer, and one of the fiercest competitors in all of pro sports, struck out Eddie Rosario to end the jam.

In the end, the Braves had a run. Even with the recently sputtering Mets offense, that was a low hurdle to jump. They jumped it easily.

Brandon Nimmo and Pete Alonso doubled in the third to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. From there, the Mets loaded the bases with one out.

Luis Guillorme hit what could’ve been an inning ending double play. Instead, Guillorme buster it out of the box resulting in an RBI fielder’s choice giving the Mets a 2-0 lead.

It’s a good thing Guillorme delivered there because J.D. Davis was batting behind him. Davis had his usual terrible night at the plate marked by strikeouts, infield pop outs, and ground ball outs.

The Mets had Braves starter Max Fried on the ropes all night, but they couldn’t deliver the knockout punch. Ultimately, as a team, the Mets were 2-for-10 with RISP stranding 10.

It didn’t matter. Scherzer was just that good. So was the red hot Guillorme. In the eighth, he homered off Darren O’Day to increase the Mets lead to 3-1.

This marks his career high. Notably, half of Guillorme’s four homers have come against O’Day.

Guillorme was simply great. He was 2-for-3 with a run, double, homer, walk, and two RBI.

The Mets needed it too with Starling Marte hurt, and Jeff McNeil on the paternity list. The Mets already weak offense looked terrible. It wasn’t.

We saw the Mets add insurance runs. That made the job of the Mets bullpen that much easier.

It was a dance for Adam Ottavino, but he escaped the jam keeping the Mets ahead. After that, the Mets added an insurance run in the ninth.

With regards to that run, Nimmo and Francisco Lindor pulled off the rate hit-and-run. It was a good night at the plate for Lindor, who was 3-for-5. After an Alonso fielder’s choice, it was 4-1.

Faced with an interesting and potentially daunting option, Buck Showalter chose Edwin Diaz on a third straight night for the save. Diaz looked fully rested mowing down all three Braves he faces for his 19th save of the season.

Thinking long term, once Jacob deGrom comes back, the Mets pitching is unstoppable. It’s about seven innings from the top of this rotation with Diaz striking out the side in the ninth.

Really, that’s giving teams an inning or maybe two to score runs. The Mets offense can splutter all it wants, more often than not, they’re winning these games.

That’s what the Braves discovered. It’s what all of baseball was reminded of again.

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.

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.

Mark Vientos Emerging As Mets Best DH Option

The New York Mets screwed up their DH position entering the season. Largely due to his contract, Robinson Cano was given the first crack, and he failed miserably. It led to his release, and notably, he’s now playing for the San Diego Padres Triple-A affiliate.

While the Mets were trying to get Cano going, Dominic Smith faltered. With the lack of at-bats, he never got going, and eventually, he was sent down to Triple-A.. He’s hitting now, but his doubters will use this to call him a Four-A player.

This has led to J.D. Davis “winning” the DH job, but not really. Since Smith was demoted, Davis has a 142 wRC+, but there are caveats there. That comes with a .423 BABIP, 1.11 GB/FB, softer than usual contact for him, and a 26.2% strikeout rate. This looks more like a hot streak than true talent level.

Per Baseball Savant, Davis’ Whiff% and K% is among the worst in baseball. He’s also been a poor base runner. Despite the exit velocities, he still only has two homers, and the Mets very noticeably did not start Davis at DH against the pitching rich Milwaukee Brewers. All told, it does seem the Mets are not sold with Davis as the permanent DH.

That could open the door for someone else, and noticeably, Mark Vientos is red-hot in Triple-A.

So far, Vientos has followed his professional career path. He was terrible over the first month of the season only to post a 1.050 OPS in May. He has followed that with a 1.264 OPS in June. This is no fluke. Vientos did the same exact thing in Double-A last season posting a 1.182 OPS and 1.008 OPS over the second and third months of the season last year.

Once Vientos turns it on, he’s locked in for the rest of the season. Right now, he is in one of his better stretches. He has a six game hitting streak with three multi-hit games. He has homered four times over his last three games, and he is hitting .285/.467/.846 over this stretch.

What you see with Vientos is as the season progresses, he proceeds to drive the ball more and get the ball in the air more. At the lower levels of the minors, he was a predominantly pull side hitter, but as time as progressed he has hit for power to all fields. He’s also developed much better pitch recognition skills, and he’s walking at his highest rate in full season affiliate minor league baseball.

That’s not to say there aren’t risks. Vientos still does strike out at a very high clip. So far this season, he’s at a career worst 31.6%, and there is justifiable concern that will worsen against Major League pitching. While he’s had a 1.103 OPS since May 1, he also has a 32.7% strike out rate. He has walked 9.9% of the time over this stretch.

Of course, Vientos does not have the same benefits as Major Leaguers do down in Triple-A. The Mets have more and better analytical data at their disposal with a coaching staff adept at disseminating the information. This has helped the Mets have the fourth best strikeout rate in the majors. That’s even with Davis having one of the worst.

Right now, the Mets are in an interesting spot. They don’t have any players they like to DH everyday. Their offense is taking a hit with Francisco Lindor‘s broken finger, and it is likely to take another hit with Starling Marte getting hit on the forearm. They seem to like Davis but not against good pitching. More than that, aside from Pete Alonso this is a team without another real power threat at the moment.

This could lead to the Mets looking to trade for a DH at the trade deadline, and Steve Cohen has said he will spend to do it. However, before it gets to that point, it would behoove the Mets to take a look at Vientos. He is flat out mashing in Syracuse, and if his minor league history is any indicator, he will mash the rest of the season.

Vientos is earning the call-up, is on the 40 man roster, and he fills a need for the Mets. It is time to give him a chance. If nothing else, the Mets will know just how much DH is a real trade deadline issue.