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.
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+.
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.