The Mets have no justification to sit Jose Iglesias in favor of Jeff McNeil

Other than the occasional day off, Jose Iglesias needs to play.
Washington Nationals v New York Mets
Washington Nationals v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

The New York Mets roster is built for platooning. However, as the splits have shown, it’s not exactly the most winningest recipe.

DJ Stewart is hitting .181 against righties with only former catcher Omar Narvaez holding a worse average at .150. At the top of the list is Francisco Alvarez at .316 followed by Harrison Bader at .305.

The team’s third best batting average against righties belongs to Jose Iglesias at .286. His .306 OBP isn’t fantastic nor is he expected to put up big OBP numbers. What has become too much of a trend is that Jeff McNeil and his .204 batting average versus right-handed pitchers is well below what it needs to be. Iglesias has regularly started over McNeil when the team faces a left-handed starting pitcher. Where is the justification with Iglesias hitting this well?

Jose Iglesias has won the everyday second base job and the front office cannot say otherwise

A group of suits in a front office might prefer a style of play out of a position. Well, Iglesias does a lot of the things McNeil was expected to do. He puts the bat on the ball. He plays good defense. Hits don’t always come in bunches for him, but you can usually count on him for a big one each day.

He had another on Wednesday with the bases loaded.

Sure, it’s a small sample. But when you excel in these kinds of situations, you get a reputation as someone a team can rely on. It’s one of the many reasons why we still look back at Wilmer Flores’ time in Queens with a smile.

Hitting with runners in scoring position has been a struggle for McNeil as well this year. Just a .203 batting average in those opportunities, which nearly equals what he has done against righties altogether, is another mark against him. The only two players to suit up for the Mets this year to hit worse in these situations are Tomas Nido and Zack Short who were each DFA’d.

At no point other than McNeil owning a certain pitcher or Iglesias having a poor history against one is there much of an analytical reason to sit Candelita. It’s an unsatisfying chapter in what could be the conclusion for McNeil’s time with the Mets.

Yet at the same time, the story of a player like Iglesias fighting his way back to the majors and in such style is too irresistible to not enjoy.