A concern about the bench and platoon players on the Mets roster

Mar 22, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets left fielder Tommy Pham (28) comes in from
Mar 22, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets left fielder Tommy Pham (28) comes in from / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

In the eighth inning of Friday’s game against the Miami Marlins, the New York Mets bench was completely depleted on consecutive at-bats. It was a late Hail Mary by Buck Showalter to get the offense going.

Luis Guillorme led off by pinch hitting for Tommy Pham. After grounding out against righty Dylan Floro, Daniel Vogelbach was called upon to step up to the plate in favor of catcher Tomas Nido. He doubled and was pinch run for by Tim Locastro. A fly out and a robbery in the field by Jorge Soler ended the inning.

There was one more roster move to make. With Nido out of the game, Omar Narvaez put on the catcher’s gear to end it.

Is this the best or worst way to use the Mets bench players?

This isn’t a criticism of Showalter. There wasn’t much else he could have done differently other than maybe pinch hit Vogelbach for Pham to start things off. At the time, it was a 1-0 game. A double from Vogelbach could have led to Locastro pinch running and staying in the game to play left field. Nido could have used his sacrifice bunt abilities to move him over to third base with only one out.

It’s a lot of would’ve, could’ve, should’ve, and frankly we don’t know if things would have gone this way. What it would have done is at least given the Mets the ability to turn to Narvaez and Guillorme later on.

This wasn’t the story of Friday’s 2-1 loss. Call it an observation in the background of the letdown after a triumphant first victory of the season only about 26 hours earlier.

We already knew the Mets would routinely platoon Vogelbach and Pham as well as Narvaez and Nido. Seeing it in action with the two additional moves mixed in has me wondering if this could come back to bite the Mets in the future. What would have happened if the Jazz Chisholm home run didn’t happen and the Mets found themselves in extras? 

Showalter would have been playing without all of the pieces. The devil’s advocate side of things: it’s better to use the players than to have them sitting there unused. Let’s see if anything changes.

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