J.D. Davis is starting to hit and if he continues to do so, the New York Mets are pretty well set at the DH spot in the lineup. Davis doesn’t even need to play every day but regular starts from him with the occasional appearance in the field could serve the team well. Every so often, he could even ride the bench and allow someone else an opportunity to get off of their feet.
The DH spot isn’t something any team should attach to any one specific player unless there’s no real choice. J.D. Martinez of the Boston Red Sox might be one of the few players who can hit well enough to take on all of the at-bats in this role. He plays for the same organization that employed David Ortiz for a long time doing the same.
The Mets shouldn’t be inclined to do the same nor should we expect them to. Their reluctance to play Davis in the field regularly and the absence of Dominic Smith in the outfield all year before his demotion show they do value defense. Taking all of this into consideration, any trade the Mets may make for a bat this year might not be for a DH spot.
How else would they improve the offense? They can call up one of the kids.
An argument in favor of the Mets promoting Mark Vientos, Francisco Alvarez, or someone else for a DH opportunity
The Mets will need to decide by August 2 if they are in the market for a big bat for regular DH at-bats. Even if it’s someone who also plays the field, there will come a point when they either acquired the guy or they need to make their way through the final weeks without the addition.
Before that decision does come around, it might not hurt to see if maybe they have something cooking with one of their top prospects. Mark Vientos is a logical choice given his awesome power and presence in Triple-A. Catcher Francisco Alvarez is in Double-A but highly-regarded enough with his bat to maybe get some major league swings in.
There are obvious downsides to this. If neither is ready, their confidence could get shaken. Their major league service time also begins which pushes them a little closer to free agency. That’s not a huge problem if the goal really is to win this year.
An even more ideal player to pair with Davis at DH would be Brett Baty. A left-handed hitter who is probably a little better defensively than Vientos, his handedness makes him a better partner at the DH spot. However, his chance is even less than Vientos and Alvarez.
All stones will be overturned by the Mets front office in hopes of bettering this team. What if an answer to help the offense become even greater doesn’t require a trade? The Mets haven’t been in a rush to promote anyone in the last few weeks as their bench continues to have a wide opening for one of those youngsters. Perhaps they simply prefer to not call up a top prospect out of fear of him going cold.
Dominic Smith didn’t work out earlier this year. The team didn’t get much from Khalil Lee or Nick Plummer. Their next and more serious option could be to give one of the top-tier prospects some swings. It might take another slump from Davis for this to happen or even a major injury.