1 Mets free agent signing aging like milk in the summer sun

New York Mets v Washington Nationals
New York Mets v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages

He can’t be that bad. Look at those career numbers against lefty pitchers. In a part-time role, Tommy Pham should thrive with the New York Mets.

Are you a victim of those optimistic preseason thoughts? Raise your hand if you feel like you’ve had your heart torn out by Pham being inserted into the middle of the Mets lineup.

The decision to pair Pham with Daniel Vogelbach as the other half in this role (with Pham often playing the field) isn’t working out. In Tuesday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, Pham was pinch-hit for after just one plate appearance while inserted in the number five spot of the order. He’s carrying a .188/.284/.348 slash line through 81 plate appearances.

Warm milk is good. Milk that has been sitting in the summer sun isn’t. That’s how this one is aging.

What the Mets could’ve done instead of signing free agent Tommy Pham

There are a lot of options they could’ve tried. We know they were in on Adam Duvall and Andrew McCutchen late in free agency. Each chose more playing time over a part-time role with the Mets. Free agency didn’t have all that many realistic options for a role like this. Shouldn’t it have opened the door for Eduardo Escobar to be the righty on the roster instead?

The Mets could have easily had Escobar in the current Pham role as an infielder with Brett Baty as the primary starting third baseman. The rookie has seen his share of struggles but with a .244/.330/.397 slash line in his first 88 trips to the plate, he’s outperforming his two veteran teammates.

There was even the option of handing the role to a player like Mark Vientos or carrying three catchers for a period of time and letting Francisco Alvarez DH a lot. This last one is understandably less popular. With Daniel Vogelbach also on the roster, there are so few options for the team to get through a season.

Pham hasn’t had a hit since May 4th. He seemed to use up all of his Jedi Power that day. He was hitting an acceptable .241/.323/.444 at the time.

A more noticeable difference in the two weeks since, Pham has now hit in the five spot far more regularly than he should. He even batted fourth on Monday against the Washington Nationals. This has vibes of Eric Campbell and John Mayberry Jr. in the middle of the order.

Pham has been playing a lot lately and in a big spot in the lineup. I appreciate Buck Showalter trying to mix things up. His hypothesis has failed. Bury the guy back on the bench. This isn’t working. It has gone sour.