The latest Mets roster move was the right call yet highlights a major flaw

The Mets picked their poison with the latest roster move.
St. Louis Cardinals v New York Mets
St. Louis Cardinals v New York Mets / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The long-awaited arrival of J.D. Martinez to the New York Mets starting lineup finally happened. The two hits and run batted in were welcomed. Too bad the best offensive contributor outside of him was Tomas Nido.

In order for Martinez to join the Mets, the team had to send Zack Short packing. The limited infielder was used sparingly, appearing in 10 games for only 12 plate appearances. One single was all he could muster up in those dozen trips to the plate along with a pair of walks. Known for his limited offensive contributions, it was a choice between sending him into DFA limbo or demoting DJ Stewart.

The Mets chose the former. In doing so, they kept the far better bat but a glaring roster issue remains.

How can the Mets use DJ Stewart with J.D. Martinez around?

Easing Martinez into everyday action should give Stewart enough regular at-bats each week. A pinch hitting opportunity daily for Omar Narvaez or Tomas Nido feels like a must, too. Even a big spot with Harrison Bader at the plate against a righty could have Stewart coming off the bench to swing for the fences. This was the Mets’ strategy on Friday with two outs and nobody on in the ninth. Stewart went down on strikes.

Unlike our old friend Daniel Vogelbach, Stewart could stay in the game to play left field with the Mets moving Brandon Nimmo into center field. It won’t cost the team two roster moves.

The loss of Short does promote an ongoing flaw with this team. They now have one backup infielder and it’s not a very good one. Joey Wendle has made multiple errors already. At the plate, he’s not doing a whole lot either. It’s fine to have him. However, the team will now exclusively rely on Wendle for the duties he was sharing alongside Short.

Moving on from Short was absolutely the better move and yet it keeps the Mets as a more incomplete team. This is the hazard with having an everyday DH on your roster like Martinez. Before his arrival, the Mets were using Stewart as the DH with sprinkles of others. They won’t have that sprinkling nearly as much unless they forego using Stewart almost altogether.

The plan for the Mets is for Stewart to see action in the outfield and at first base.

But how often do we really expect them to sit Pete Alonso or any of the outfielders in favor of Stewart? Tyrone Taylor has been one of the team’s best hitters and should be the one starting in the outfield. Stewart has a role on this team, but it’s a terribly limited one. Meanwhile, Wendle became a lot more important at three infield positions. Alternatives like Jose Iglesias won’t cut it.