Mets lineup suddenly needs Dominic Smith’s left-handed bat
By Tim Boyle
The New York Mets have lost a lot of left-handed players to injury over the last week. It’s time they put Dominic Smith’s hot season to use and play him every day.
A slightly false narrative at the beginning of the year was how left-handed heavy the New York Mets are. Sure, they probably had one lefty too many in what is likely the final year of the left-handed specialist. As things have gone, it hasn’t been a major issue.
Following some recent injuries, the exact opposite has actually occurred. They are without Robinson Cano, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo. All three left-handed hitters are on the IL with Conforto’s return looking like the most likely to end soonest following his concussion last Thursday.
Their absence leaves the Mets with few left-handed options. Luis Guillorme isn’t going to hit much, but one guy who has come around this year and performed at a high level should. Suddenly, it’s Memorial Day weekend and the Mets lineup needs Dominic Smith in it every day.
More from Rising Apple
- NY Mets News: Marcus Stroman sees “potential fit” with the Angels
- NY Mets were too “seek” and not enough “destroy” last winter
- NY Mets: 1 trade target to consider from each 100-loss team
- NY Mets: Top 12 free agents the team should look to sign this winter
- NY Mets: Jeff Wilpon’s legacy continues to plague the Amazins
Through 50 plate appearances, Smith is hitting .317/.440/.463 with a home run and 6 RBI. Most of his playing time has come as a pinch hitter with a rare start at first base. Because Pete Alonso is on a mission to break every rookie Mets record and more this year, his opportunities have been limited.
The Mets recently changed their tune when it came to putting Smith in the outfield. Shortly after experimenting with J.D. Davis in left field as well, they’ve decided it was time to give Smith the same chance. I’m an admitted Davis convert and want to see him play as much as possible, particularly in left field where he has a bigger future. However, during McNeil’s absence, it’s Smith who should start against right-handed pitchers in left field.
Balancing a starting lineup is still important. It’s one of the simplest ways to write out the nine names of the men you want on the field at the beginning of the game. Losing those four left-handed sticks all within a week of each other could hurt this team when matched against a tough righty. It hasn’t thus far, allowing Mickey Callaway an opportunity to escape some more criticism in 2019.
Coming into Friday’s game, Smith has gone 10 for 31 versus righties this year so it’s easy to see how valuable he is. Against lefties, he’s still doing well with 3 hits in 10 at-bats.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
If ever there was a time and excuse to force Smith upon us, it’s now. The fans are on his side and the man has done nothing but hit and behave all year long. He’s the guy who should come up with some of the most important at-bats for the squad versus righties during this stretch. He’s the last lefty standing. It’s time to put him to work.