Pete Alonso hasn't benefited from the arrival of J.D. Martinez, a change the Mets should consider

Big Pete's protection plan is off to a slow start.
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

J.D. Martinez made his New York Mets debut on April 26 in a 4-2 loss against the St. Louis Cardinals. It happens. Baseball isn’t scripted.

Unfortunately, things haven't gotten much better. Pete Alonso was slashing .263/.340/.516 heading into the game where Martinez debuted. He had already hit 7 of his 8 home runs and driven in 12 runs. Ever since, Alonso has been on a cold streak that has included a double, a home run, and nothing else other than a couple of walks and a whole lot of strikeouts. He’s now batting only .206/.295/.420 on the year.

Martinez has been objectively as unproductive for the Mets. Still easing into an everyday role, he has yet to go yard and has only two extra-base hits as well—a double in his debut and another in their 1-0 loss against the Chicago Cubs which ended with Alonso thrown out at home shortly after. He has struck out 11 times and drawn only a pair of walks. The protection plan isn't going the way we expected.

The Mets might want to think about splitting up these two sluggers in the lineup

Rather than have a pair of lumbering right-handed sluggers back-to-back in the order, the Mets might want to start considering some separation. Martinez isn’t the reason for Alonso’s slump or vice versa. With so many ice cold bats in the lineup, the Mets need to try something.

The fact that the Mets’ leadoff hitter leads the teams in RBI and with only 3 home runs is problematic. Francisco Lindor who has even passed Alonso. Don’t look now but DJ Stewart whose job was in jeopardy has driven in 15 compared to Alonso’s sweet yet not plentiful enough 16.

Nimmo and Brett Baty have been the hottest hitters for the Mets over the last week. Nimmo has been fine out of the leadoff spot despite the poor batting average. Baty, whose season has been up-and-down already, might be the best fit for hitting fourth right now. Whether it’s behind Alonso or Martinez doesn’t matter much.

In his 3 games batting cleanup already this season, Baty was 4 for 12. From the number five spot, he was a bit weaker slashing .250/.321/.271 overall in 13 games. Now regularly batting eighth and excelling, all 3 of his home runs have come when buried in the lineup.

This is the problem we knew the Mets would run into and did from the onset of the year. A player like Jeff McNeil has no real perfect place to hit in the lineup. And with struggles of his own, he offers no restitution to the slumping bats or can provide them with any sense of creative lineup ideas. The 2022 NL batting champion has been arguably the least valuable regular on the team. He doesn’t hit for average or power. There is nothing remarkable about his defense either.

Baty only dropped so low in the lineup when Martinez arrived. He last batted fifth on April 24. He has found himself in the sixth spot or higher once—a win against the Chicago Cubs where he walked twice and scored a pair of runs.

Moving Baty up is worth a try. He’s getting on base consistently. The game he started and didn’t get on base since the Martinez era began was the first. He has a hit or a walk in every start since. Take advantage of one of the few consistent hitters in the lineup. As soft as he has hit the ball all season, use the luck until it dries out.