Mets top prospect Dominic Smith makes debut, gets taken out early
Smith collects his first major league hit, but gets taken out on a double switch in the sixth inning of his MLB debut
The much anticipated debut part two took place for the New York Mets, but it didn’t last too long. Dominic Smith suited up in his first MLB game on Friday night in Philadelphia. He wound up going (1-for-3) with a base hit. Smith was double switched out of the game in the sixth inning when Paul Sewald took over with two outs.
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Smith was in take mode in his first at-bat against starter, Nick Pivetta. He took a first pitch fastball for a strike followed by an outside curveball that was called a strike. Down 0-2, Smith chased a slider that dipped out of the zone.
His second at-bat was again passive early. He showed a good eye at the plate, working the count in his favor early at 2-1. Two pitches later, he bounced a curveball back up the middle for his first major league hit in the fourth inning. Smith ended his night at the plate by grounding out on a first pitch fastball in the sixth.
In the field, Smith had a rocky sixth inning. He was unable to make a play on a ground ball that he tried to backhand. The scoring spared Smith what could have been called an error. The next batter was Odubel Herrera who hit one right to Smith. He didn’t field it cleanly, but recovered to make the play at first.
To be kind, it’s curious that Smith was swapped out of the game. Michelle Ioannou wrote in depth about the decision. There will be plenty more games and chances for Smith down the road, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that his debut didn’t last past the sixth inning when the whole point was to get him as many reps as possible. Especially since Smith is the only actual first baseman on the roster and he was taken out in a one-run game at the time.
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At least Smith’s debut carried his first big league hit. He should be right back in the lineup on Saturday when the Mets continue their series against the Phillies. Smith will get his hacks against Aaron Nola (8-7, 3.12).