New York Mets need a better excuse for keeping Jeff McNeil in AAA
By Tim Boyle
The New York Mets made a few transactions on Monday. Along with it was a lame excuse as to why Jeff McNeil will remain in AAA with the Las Vegas 51s.
Prior to their doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday, New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway revealed why Jeff McNeil is still in AAA. With a roster spot open due to Todd Frazier‘s latest DL stint, Callaway unveiled the organization views McNeil strictly as a second baseman.
To no one’s surprise, there was an outcry from the fans all over Twitter. Can you blame them? McNeil is a 26-year-old tearing apart minor league pitchers this season. If there was an excuse to promote him, Frazier’s injury is perfect.
Instead, the Mets again prove why they are in the basement of the MLB. They don’t think big picture. Frankly, they don’t even think in a smaller sphere.
Second base is McNeil’s main position, but he has also played a lot of third base in his professional career and even some shortstop. McNeil has spent time all over the field throughout his six seasons in the minors. To say he’s strictly a second baseman is incredibly shortsighted. It’s also a lame excuse for keeping him in Las Vegas.
I can understand wanting to give him a few more at-bats in AAA before a promotion. What I cannot fathom is how a team with nothing to lose would really think feeding the fans this bit of information would go over well. How dumb do they think the fans are?
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Over the last three seasons, Asdrubal Cabrera has gone from starting shortstop to starting utility infielder to starting second baseman. Jose Reyes has played all over the infield, too. Right now, the Mets are even playing Dominic Smith out of position with regular starts in left field. Those guys aren’t handcuffed to a single position. Why should McNeil be?
My hunch says this was not the real reason why McNeil will remain in the minor leagues for at least another day. By saying they view McNeil as a second baseman only, the Mets only allow distractors to argue against them with facts. If they view him as a guy who should only play second base, we cannot say that’s untrue. We can, however, point out the hypocrisy.
I cannot imagine too many fans are happy to hear this. Along with Peter Alonso, McNeil is one of the few minor leaguers fans are eager to see play in the big leagues. Alonso’s struggles in Las Vegas make it much easier to put a hold on his promotion.
Along with Ty Kelly, the Mets have promoted a few others. P.J. Conlon will return to New York and Jacob Rhame will be available in the doubleheader. Drew Gagnon will also have a chance to show us what he has in store. The 28-year-old has been selected to start in Tuesday’s game.
July should be the time of year when we look at which big-name players will join the team. Instead, a week before the All-Star Game, we’re getting angry about an “older” prospect getting snubbed.
Next: Five Mets who could get traded this season
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