3) NY Mets DH/1B/RF Darin Ruf needs to show something this spring to stay
Mets fans are united in wanting to see the end of Darin Ruf’s Mets tenure. Last year was, for lack of a better word, rough.
There isn’t much Ruf could do to change our opinions. A hot spring means he’s an exhibition game hero. A cold spring only means we were right—it also sounds refreshing on a hot day.
The only justification for keeping Ruf would be if the Mets lose a position player to an injury. Even then, he’s such a redundant player to have around with Tommy Pham already on the roster. Mark Vientos can do pretty much anything Ruf could. His eventual release or trade is inevitable with three very good-hitting prospects prepared to take a roster spot.
VIentos may not even be the best choice for the Mets to select over Ruf. Brett Baty and his ability to play third base (albeit he does need to improve) plus left field makes him a more effective player to have. The Mets would be swapping out a right-handed hitter for a left-handed one. It’s small potatoes compared to the prediction and the early experience Baty will get.
The Mets made the baseball decision last year to designate Robinson Cano for assignment when rosters shrank from 28 to 26. There won’t be a reason like that to move on from Ruf. Do they need it? His performance has been reason enough. A wrist injury may delay his departure. An IL stint could be in his future.