The Mets have lost their patience with Jeff McNeil
Most directly impacted by Baez’s presence is former Mets starting second baseman Jeff McNeil. He has seen his time at second base dwindle in recent games. Instead, McNeil is landing over in left field whenever his bat does get into the lineup.
It’s hard to blame the Mets for doing this. McNeil has not been himself all year long. It will be a grind for this once reliable .310+ hitter to even complete the season above the .250 mark.
Versatility in the field has helped saved McNeil from going to the bench for good. He has moved around the diamond and outfield grass throughout his major league career. This might be the only reason why we ever see him start. His bat has certainly not spoken up to justify anything more than the occasional pinch-hitting opportunity.
I really like McNeil but this year has been insanely bad for him. I’m curious if after the year ends we hear he was never fully healthy. He missed a good chunk of change mid-year and never quite got into the hitting groove.
McNeil’s future with the Mets is a bit more mysterious. However, he’s no longer the untouchable top-of-the-order guy we once thought he would be for the next few years. If Baez somehow returns in 2022, it’s probable McNeil gets pushed out.