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NY Mets Lineup: 3 players are riding the pine since Javier Baez arrived

Aug 31, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets shortstop Javier Baez (23) catches a fly ball hit by Miami Marlins first baseman Lewin Diaz (not pictured) during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 31, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets shortstop Javier Baez (23) catches a fly ball hit by Miami Marlins first baseman Lewin Diaz (not pictured) during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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Aug 16, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; New York Mets third baseman J.D. Davis (28) watches his single against the San Francisco Giants in the fourth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

We knew there would be some major changes to the New York Mets lineup when Javier Baez arrived to the club and everyone else got healthy. What I’m not sure we anticipated was how it would affect three players.

Baez was a good match for the Mets because he helped to fill the absence of Francisco Lindor at shortstop. Upon Lindor’s return, Baez was able to move over to second base. The plan has been in place nearly every game with the Mets hoping this can help create the best defensive alignment and starting lineup possible.

However, three Mets who have struggled in different ways are now riding the pine more than ever. What does the future hold for each of them?

The Mets lineup no longer has room for J.D. Davis

Baez’s arrival hasn’t affected J.D. Davis as much as another player’s production has. Jonathan Villar is ripping baseballs as if his life depends on it. Always a superior defender as well with Davis showing no signs of improvement, this is a case of Luis Rojas riding the hot hand, bat, and glove.

It’s a little curious because if you look at the statistics, Davis is still having a fine year. He has one of the best batting averages on the team. But this is deceiving.

Although he hit .282/.384/.394 in August, it was a rather lackluster contribution. Davis isn’t swatting home runs with authority like we came to expect. He’s getting his hits and reaching base but also striking out a lot. He went down on strikes 29 times in only 86 plate appearances during August.

The clutch gene hasn’t been present for Davis this year nor has his pair of clutch jeans he picked up from the store in late 2019. The presence of Baez only makes it more difficult to justify putting Davis in the lineup. If the Mets play Just Dingers, they then need to sit Villar and one of the other guys on this list.

For Davis, it seems like the only starts he may get for the rest of the year is against a left-handed starter. And those starts should be his final starts as a Mets player. His fate has been sealed. The Mets are trading him this winter.

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