When players from the injured list are ready to return, the New York Mets will face a roster crunch. Dominic Smith should not become a casualty.
When Dominic Smith made his debut with the New York Mets in 2017 many thought we were watching the team’s future first baseman begin his career. However, one of the big topics of conversation for the Mets going into Spring Training in 2019 was what to do with Smith.
Smith has not lived up to the expectations of a first-round draft pick so far in his career. Combine the slow start with the emergence of Pete Alonso and Smith was on the outside looking in to start the year in 2019. But after a solid Spring Training, a good start to the season, and the willingness to help the team however he can, Smith should be on the 2019 roster for good.
The team will certainly have roster moves to make when key players are eligible to come off the injured list soon. Whether it’s Jed Lowrie or Todd Frazier to come back first, chances are Luis Guillorme will be the first to get sent back down to Triple-A Syracuse. But when the second part of that tandem comes back the Mets will have a tough choice in front of them as Smith’s name will come up often.
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One reason why Smith should stay put is that he is one of the only left-handed bats the Mets have on the bench. It may sound silly, but you want to have a good balance when it comes to possible players to hit late in the game. The Mets are heavily right-handed and Smith gives them the power from the left-handed side of the plate they need.
Smith has been a good pinch hitter so far this season and has succeeded in the role throughout his career. In most of the Mets late-inning rallies this year, it seems like a lot of them started with a hit by Smith. For a player who had his job taken away by another prospect, Smith still seems to have full concentration on his role with the team.
Another big reason why Smith should stay on the roster is his willingness to do anything for the team. As mentioned before when other players lose their jobs they complain and demand trades or call for their release. Smith accepted the fact that he lost his job to Alonso and found other ways he can be valuable. His constant willingness to play left field if needed stands out and the fact that he sought advice from Brandon Nimmo about how to go about pinch-hitting speaks volumes about Smith’s character.
There may come a point in the season where Smith’s name starts being tossed around in trade rumors, especially if he keeps up his good start to the year. There may be a team out there that can use Smith as an everyday first baseman. The Mets would not be wrong to explore such possible trades especially when they have their first baseman of the future already on the roster. But until that time comes, there should be no other reason why Smith’s name should be removed from the roster.
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The Mets seem to have a good chemistry going on right now with the team and will have tough decisions coming soon when Frazier and Lowrie are healthy again. But Smith has made a strong case to stay put right where he is.