Mets likely to have Adrian Gonzalez start at first base

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24: Adrian Gonzalez
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24: Adrian Gonzalez /

It’s probably the only time you’ll hear Mets fans hoping for an old injury to flare up.

But according to Mike Puma, it seems that the Mets are entering the season with the intention to start Adrian Gonzalez at first base. Where does that leave Dominic Smith? Back down in Triple-A:

This is absolutely terrible, and I’m desperately hoping that Spring Training will change their minds. Sure, Dom didn’t have a great end of the year with the Mets. But Adrian Gonzalez had a virtually non-existent one with the Dodgers. He lost most of his playing time to a back injury and a rookie phenom named Cody Bellinger. Gonzalez played about 20 more games than Smith last year and still only managed to put up an OPS of .642. Smith nearly matched that number, with an OPS of .658.

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If back injuries have taught the Mets anything, (and you’d think they would have, RIP David Wright), it’s that they can sometimes be unpredictable and knock a player out of the lineup for a prolonged period of time. There isn’t a big enough difference between Gonzalez’s numbers and Smith’s, for me to say “yes, this is a good idea.” Gonzalez’s performance coming off of such an injury warrants just as big of a question mark, as Dominic Smith being able to adjust to the major league level.

Though terrible, Smith was at least able to put up a .306 OBP in those 49 games. In 71 games last season Gonzalez only managed to get his OBP up to .287. There’s only a slight difference there, but with more play time, that number should definitely be higher.

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There’s no reason to not give Dominic Smith his proper shot in the MLB this March. The Mets did not sign Carlos Santana. They signed a temporary fix, if you even want to call it that. My hope is what it has always been for Smith. He puts on an amazing show in Spring Training so much so, that they would be crazy to have him start the year in Vegas. If not, we can always hope that A-Gone’s back injury flares up again right?