There is a strong belief the DH will be back again in 2021 which is great news for the New York Mets and Dominic Smith.
There is no clear answer yet as to what National League Baseball will look like in 2021 other than the fact that we’ll see the New York Mets sitting atop everyone else in the standings, right?
Before we jump ahead to October 2021 with Steve Cohen chugging beers on a parade float, let’s take stock of what the team may actually look like.
Depending on what the club does this winter, things could drastically change. Pete Alonso will be around. So will Michael Conforto. And although I cannot say for certain what position he’ll play, I fully expect Jeff McNeil to be in the lineup.
Then there’s one of the best players from the 2020 season, Dominic Smith. He should also get to play quite a bit in 2021 thanks to the likelihood of the DH returning in 2021.
Buster Olney of ESPN says it’s a “safe bet” that the DH returns to the NL next year. I can see why. A large number of pitchers don’t like to hit. Adding in a DH increases offense which I suppose makes fans a tad more interested in the sport?
Whatever the basis for the DH return next year is, it seems like it’s coming back. It couldn’t be better for someone like Smith whose 2020 season needs an encore.
Likely, with the DH back in the mix, it won’t be Smith that sees the majority of time as the designated hitter. I would imagine he plays a lot of first base and even gets an occasional start in left field. Alonso, Robinson Cano, J.D. Davis, and maybe a few others would get their at-bats as the DH.
The Mets made good use of the DH in 2020 with a variety of players assuming the role. Over the course of a full 162-game season, it’ll be even more instrumental in keeping players fresh. Just as important, it can keep the best bats on the field every single game.
Smith’s role with the Mets is still somewhat in limbo given the uncertainty of how long the designated hitter sticks around. Is it just visiting for another year? Or have we seen the last of pitchers carrying wooden stakes to the plate?
For years, it seems like we have had to preach creativity for this organization in one way or another. In free agency, they had to work within a budget. With the starting lineup, it meant playing guys out of position.
There’s no creativity needed with the DH and having Dominic Smith around. Sure, you can spread your creative wings a little bit. Overall, though, it’s just about inserting the best players possible into the starting nine.
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Grab a bat, Dom. Your playing time isn’t going anywhere.