Mets need Francisco Lindor to start carrying the team on his back

May 17, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) walks against the Atlanta Braves in the eighth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) walks against the Atlanta Braves in the eighth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

The New York Mets are working with a much different starting lineup than planned. Injuries are piling up and the team is dipping deeper into their minor leagues for assistance. The offense was already scuffling before players started dropping like flies. Is it still okay to use that cliché? I feel like it’s offensive to flies.

Anyway, things may get even rougher with the continued absence of some of their main guys. As poorly as some have performed, the backup options are no better.

Someone who has stayed healthy is shortstop Francisco Lindor. Aside from his superb defense, it’s about the only thing he has done well this season. The highest-paid player in franchise history has gotten off to a frustrating start. He’s back below the Mendoza Line and already hearing it from the fans.

Excuses for his slow start have left the building. Lindor must now play like the superstar he was brought in to be.

Francisco Lindor needs to start leading the Mets on and off the field

The Mets can and will get through these injuries they’re facing. As short-handed as they are, many teams around the league as seeing their injured lists piling up like a Washington Capitals penalty box in a game against the New York Rangers.

Injuries are going to happen over the course of any MLB season. The Mets have, unfortunately, seen far too many in the last week alone. The timing just flat-out stinks. Those already on the IL were not yet back before the new injuries occurred. It’s up to Lindor to carry the Mets on his back with continued Gold Glove-caliber defense with some added offense we thought we were promised.

Lindor isn’t the only culprit still healthy and available for the Mets to produce. Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith have each seen their woes at the plate this season. Two men we have seen encourage their teammates from the sidelines and dugout, I would like to see them lead the rallying cry for more offense along with Lindor. With a great paycheck comes great responsibility.

Chemistry is pretty important for a team to win games and I’m not so sure the mojo exists right now with the Mets because of all of the changes to have healthy bodies available. The club was riding high after their seven-game winning streak. Following their sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend, they seemed dead.

The players’ emotions are almost as erratic as the fans are on social media from at-bat to at-bat. When they’re up, there’s no stopping them. When they’re down, expect a two-hit performance.

It’s big boy pants time for Francisco Lindor

The only moment we saw from Lindor to showcase his leadership ability came in post-game in the now-infamous “ratcoon” performance. He lied through his smile then sealed our faith in him with an arm around Jeff McNeil’s shoulders to tell the world everything was going to be all right, (rockabye?).

Otherwise, Lindor has been absent from the spotlight. Perhaps this is just his style. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes too much attention on a player is a bad thing. We know there are plenty of guys on the Mets who don’t mind having all eyes on them instead.

More than anything, Lindor’s leadership needs to take place on the field. Whatever happened between him and McNeil in the tunnel, I hope it’s something he was embarrassed about and can learn from. Likely some boiled over frustration, he simply needs to start hitting the ball.

Heartbreaking pitches thrown in Mets history. Next

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For some extra motivation, maybe it can help him to take a cue from Nick Castellanos and just pretend the baseball is his worst enemy. If I had $341 million of earnings coming my way, that might be the IRS.