The slumping player other than Pete Alonso who needs a big series against the Braves most

It has been a cold couple of games for a guy the Mets might be starting a little too much.
Apr 30, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets right fielder DJ Stewart (29) watches his
Apr 30, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets right fielder DJ Stewart (29) watches his / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Pete Alonso has been in a rut with his home run against the St. Louis Cardinals hopefully a sign of breaking out of it for good. The New York Mets offense as a whole has been a rollercoaster. Alonso helped carry the team early. Lately, it has been all Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo doing the lifting.

Against Charlie Morton of all people, the storyline for Alonso to break out of his slump is right there for the taking. He’s hardly the only one the Mets need to wake up. Now 1 for his last 12, the Mets need DJ Stewart to do something.

Mets slugger DJ Stewart needs to prove he belongs in the lineup against the Braves

Stewart is finding himself in plenty of Mets games even with J.D. Martinez around. He started twice in left field against the Cardinals. The Mets won both games so we can’t really criticize the choice all that much.

One of the most highly-debated roster decisions by the Mets from Opening Day onward was the presence of Stewart. Hitting below the Mendoza Line this season and 4 for his last 23 but with 7 walks versus 4 strikeouts, he’s a threat to drive in runs and get on base even during this current cold streak of his.

But the Mets do need more from him and maybe only because they’re so insistent on playing him often. In his last three starts which came in the last three games, he batted fourth or fifth. Those are spots in the lineup the team can ill-afford to have handed to someone who isn’t playing well.

In Stewart’s defense, he did go from a more regular role to the bench rather quickly. He started once against the Chicago Cubs and went hitless. The same thing happened in the series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Only one hit in the month of May thus far in 16 plate appearances, he could simply be one of those players who needs consistent at-bats to stay productive.

Stewart has had some big hits already this year. A home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers and another versus the Cubs later on in April led directly to Mets wins. The team seems a little lost as to how to use him now. It’s a daily choice between Taylor in left field or whether they put Harrison Bader or Tyrone Taylor in center field.

Still useful for the Mets but less necessary, it shouldn’t be a coincidence that several of the once hot players have stiffened since their playing time reduced. Taylor has also seen a drop off in his playing time and production. Bader, to some degree, as well.

The only solution is for the players to evolve quickly into whatever role the club wants for them. And in this role, it requires the ability to come off the bench. Stewart hasn’t been the dream substitute they’re trying to make him into. Slashing .143/.333/.286 off the bench with one hit in 9 plate appearances, he has struggled in the one area they could use him most.

There is no better time to put on a showcase than in your home building against a hated rival. Alonso is most certainly the player we want to see tear through the Braves pitchers. Stewart needs a good series just as badly.