In Sunday’s finale against the San Diego Padres, the New York Mets made a move nobody expected to see. Light on the bench, some late-game maneuvering shifted catcher Tomas Nido out from behind the plate and over to third base beginning in the eighth inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, playing third base for the first time in his professional career, Nido drove in a run with a single. He wasn’t credited with an RBI but he did give the Mets the faintest of hopes that they could come surging back after dropping the lead mid-game.
Nido’s hit as an infielder pushes him ahead of Jed Lowrie on the all-time list of Mets hits. Lowrie, as every fan remembers, left New York with a goose egg.
Why even bring up Lowrie? He’s a talking ghostly reference point all fans can appreciate. Without even mentioning a number, many understand that to pass Lowrie means someone did something just once.
The bigger story here is that the Mets need to do something about their bench
There’s no reason why Nido should be playing third base unless we’re late into extra innings and all other resources have been exhausted. The Mets were unfortunately extremely shorthanded in this game. Jonathan Villar was out to deal with a family issue and Billy McKinney was sidelined while dealing with a day-to-day injury. This left them with a Sunday bench of James McCann and Brandon Drury.
We saw how this hurt the Mets. Robert Gsellman was used as the ninth-inning pinch hitter, striking out in the final at-bat of the game to end it. While the game was out of reach at this point with the Mets trailing 7-3, it’s not a good situation.
The game did feature a few moments which could lead to some roster changes to help rectify the small bench. Jeurys Familia was wild and saw his ERA balloon up. As we have often seen, a bad outing sometimes leads to an IL stint for pitchers.
Jacob Barnes wasn’t much better. He gave up a grand slam to Fernando Tatis Jr. and a solo shot to Manny Machado. Is a DFA calling his name?
Depending on how long the Mets are without Villar and how McKinney is feeling could factor into what the Mets do next with their roster. They may have gotten Luis Guillorme back, but the lack of warm bodies available off the bench is something that needs correcting.
On the 40-man roster in Triple-A, the team has Patrick Mazeika, Travis Blankenhorn, and Khalil Lee to choose from. Blankenhorn’s versatility makes the most sense for the team right now. However, because he was just sent down, they may need to wait a little longer until he is eligible. MLB requires ten days between a demotion and promotion.
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Nido never did get to see any action at third base in his two innings there. The ball managed to avoid him this time around. If he ends up at the hot corner again, will he be so lucky?