The New York Mets have started to round out their roster as they get set for the upcoming season. Recently they added Tommy Pham and whether you were a fan of the deal or not, he adds much-needed depth to the outfield and the bench.
Pham may not have been the top choice for the Mets or their fanbase but he was really the only one willing to come off the bench. If you wanted Andrew McCutchen or Adam Duvall you would have to give them a starting role and I can’t imagine anyone wanting to replace Mark Canha, Brandon Nimmo, or Starling Marte with one of those options.
Like I said before, Pham adds much-needed depth to the outfield and the bench. It’s also possible that we could see him DH for some games as he hits pretty well against lefties. He might be just the compliment Daniel Vogelbach needs when facing off against righties in the batter's box.
Now I know what you are going to say: “What about Darin Ruf? He’s supposed to be the DH when Vogelbach is on the bench. We can’t possibly carry both of these guys!”
Well, I am here to tell you that the Mets might carry both Tommy Pham and Darin Ruf come Opening Day.
Despite his abysmal introduction to Queens, Darin Ruf will get every opportunity to win a spot on the Mets Opening Day Roster. I just can't see the Mets parting ways with him when the team lacks depth in certain areas.
With Pete Alonso heading off to the World Baseball Classic for the first few weeks of Spring Training, the Mets don’t have a real option at 1B and that’s where Ruf comes in to play.
He has played most of his career at 1B (232 games to be exact) and will need to hold down the fort while the Polar Bear tries to help Team USA win the WBC. These first few weeks of Spring Training give Ruf ample playing time to get his bat back up to speed to be what the Mets thought they were getting from him when they traded for him at the deadline last season.
If he does succeed and return to form you can pretty much guarantee him a roster spot come at the end of March.
It may seem frustrating but if you want Ruf to revert back to the player he was before joining the Mets, I think Spring Training is the best place for him to do it. If he doesn’t, if Ruf is unable to be the bat we expect then I am pretty sure the Mets won’t hesitate to let him go.
They did it with Robinson Canó. The former 2B could not keep up with the rest of the Mets offense so he was released at the beginning of May. I am confident that the same will happen with Ruf if he doesn’t get his act together.
For now, expect Pham and Ruf on the bench when the Mets head to Miami for Opening Day.