New York Mets could use a vengeful Jose Bautista in Braves series
By Tim Boyle
Jose Bautista could really help the New York Mets this week by punishing his former team, the Atlanta Braves.
The New York Mets will spend their Memorial Day playing two games against the Atlanta Braves down in Georgia. They will stay there for a few more as they take on one of baseball’s hottest squads.
Thus far, the 2018 campaign has been kind to the Braves. They look way ahead of schedule and appear to have more overall talent than the 25 men in Flushing.
If New York wants to take this series, they could really use some help from Jose Bautista. Hopefully, he has some vengeance on his mind.
Before joining the Mets, Bautista spent 12 games with the Braves. They wanted to make him a third baseman but realized this kind of sorcery would not work. Combined with his poor bat, the Braves released him into the free agent pool.
The Mets were there to hire Bautista almost as soon as they could. There was a day of speculation before they agreed to a deal with Joey Bats. The agreement seems to have worked out well for the Mets although opportunities to see Bautista play regularly are almost non-existent. In the series against the Braves, I’m hoping we see more of Bautista.
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While Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier sit on the sidelines, we should see Bautista play a little more. Specifically, it’s against left-handed pitchers when Bautista should start.
The Mets are employing an outfield of three lefty bats. Brandon Nimmo in left field, Michael Conforto in center field, and Jay Bruce in right field make up the trio. They also have Adrian Gonzalez swinging a lefty bat at first base, but he typically shares time with Wilmer Flores.
Nevertheless, there are opportunities for Bautista to see at-bats.
Considering Monday is a doubleheader, Bautista should get at least one start against the team that told him to pack his bags. It doesn’t matter if it’s a lefty or a righty on the mound.
The Mets need to see what Bautista can do against teams that spurned him in the past.
The Braves rotation includes only one lefty, Sean Newcomb. On whichever day he pitches, we should expect to see Bautista batting somewhere in the middle of the order.
I don’t expect Bautista to last the full season in New York. Although, I didn’t think Gonzalez would still start at first base regularly by this point. There is a niche, albeit small one, for Bautista to keep his roster spot. If he can blast some big bombs against his former team in this series, it could go a long way toward finding room.
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What do you expect from Bautista in the series against the Braves?