Luis Guillorme Needs To Play Everyday
The New York Mets made a series of puzzling decisions when forming their 2023 Opening Day roster. Brett Baty was sent down to Triple-A Syracuse. Tommy Pham was given a spot on the team as a fourth outfielder. All of this despite Darin Ruf being designated for assignment.
Putting aside any questions or disbelief, what really needs to be analyzed at this point is how the Mets should best utilize their roster. Looking at the roster as it stands right now, the only conclusion is Luis Guillorme needs to be an everyday player whether that be at second or third base.
If you look at the rule changes being implemented for the 2023 season, they almost beg for the Mets to play Guillorme regularly. That is from a defensive and na offensive standpoint.
The defensive point was obvious. Guillorme is an outstanding defender. He is a more natural second baseman, but he has made the adjustment to be excellent at third. That was part of the reason he was able to force himself into a platoon at the position last season.
Keep in mind, with no shift, infield defense will be at a premium. Remember, Escobar was a -6 OAA last year when you could fully shift. Without the shift, the Mets will need more from here, and it is highly doubtful he can give it to them.
There is also the matter of left field. Last season, Canha had a -1 OAA in left. We also saw his sprint speed dip every so slightly from 27.8 ft/sec to 27.5 ft/sec. That’s not earth shattering, but he is now 34 and will be more likely to lose another step than to gain it back.
There’s also the matter of his bat. His barrels and launch angles cratered last season. We also saw him limp to the finish line last season hitting .249/.349/.383 over his final 37 games of the season. He carried that into the Wild Card Series going 0-for10 at the plate.
This all isn’t to say Canha and Escobar don’t have value. In a limited or semi-regular role, they can stay fresher and do what they do well in shorter spurts. In the event of injury, they can step up into a starting role over a stretch.
In the meantime, we can see Guillorme playing excellent defense at second or third while Jeff McNeil moving between second and left. We can also see Guillorme’s contact oriented approach thrive all the more with the institution of the pitch clock and the ban on the shift.
Overall, Guillorme promises to be much better defensively than what Canha or Escobar can provide. He may also have the chance to outperform them offensively. All told, he is just a better and more valuable player than either of them necessitating he be in the everday lineup.