It was a common take for at least a few years. We all believed it. The New York Mets were built for the DH. They had several candidates for the job. Robinson Cano might age poorly but at least he could give them some offense. J.D. Davis couldn’t field and was a natural to become a DH candidate. Then there was Pete Alonso’s questionable defense that made him ideal for the role.
Flash forward to 2022 when the Mets don’t have much of a DH at all. Alonso has been their best guy in the spot but his growth on defense makes him a solid enough option to take the field every day and flash some leather.
It’s a stunning turn of events for the Mets this year. The one area we thought they were most secure has actually become a spot where they need the most improvement.
The Mets have a dire need to upgrade the DH spot
Of all the roles on the team to need an addition at, the DH spot isn’t such a bad place. You have options. It doesn’t matter if someone isn’t ready to field the position—cough, Francisco Alvarez, cough—you can get away with holding a guy on your roster even if he is limited to nothing more than hitting—cough again, Mark Vientos, cough again.
The Mets haven’t gotten much at all out of Davis or Dominic Smith this year. The two could have been a force platooning in a DH role. Instead, they’re looking more like bench players whose future in Flushing doesn’t look like it should extend much longer.
The Mets have tried a few internal options at DH but not all of them. Alvarez was just promoted to Triple-A where he will join Vientos. Either one of them could be candidates to get at-bats as a DH with Vientos far more likely because of where he has been this season—one step below the major league level. It might not be a bad move to try him out at the major league level before the trade deadline. One downside to this is that if he starts off hot then cools off, they might buy too much into depending on him.
If nothing else, this Mets front office has been tactical. Not every addition has been a hit. They have had misses under Steve Cohen.
Nobody has been rushed to the major leagues. This caution could be for the best. Alvarez and Vientos aren’t going anywhere. If they were to acquire a DH candidate via trade, they’d still have each of them to turn to should they choose to do so.