What’s the plan for Dominic Smith? He didn’t start on Opening Day. Instead, the New York Mets decided to go with J.D. Davis versus the lefty as the DH, put Robinson Cano at second base, and move Jeff McNeil into left field. There was a lot of logic to the starting lineup on Opening Day.
In game two, the lineup still made sense, but Smith was still missing from it. He would later get a chance to pinch hit for Cano only to strike out in the opportunity.
It would have made perfect sense for the Mets to actually start Smith at first base and use Pete Alonso as the DH given his fat lip from the opener. This wasn’t what they chose to do. Instead, the Mets have rolled with a pair of starting lineups with guys already battered or ones coming into the year with some lingering injuries.
Mets starting lineups have been Dominic Smith empty in two tries
The season is young and Smith will find at-bats. Right now, the Mets have yet to show their cards as to what they have planned for him.
Game two of the season more closely resembled what most of us thought a typical lineup would look like to begin the year. Brandon Nimmo was back and in center field. Other than Tomas Nido catching in favor of James McCann, it was predictable.
Cano getting off to such a strong start isn’t good news for Smith’s playing time. He is Smith’s biggest competition for at-bats even if they don’t directly swap positions. The two left-handed-hitting role players on the 2022 Mets probably will never see a week straight of playing time. Cano should get starts at DH, second base, and even maybe first base although I’d disagree with that decision. Smith will get time at first base, DH, and maybe left field but perhaps not as much as we believe.
It’s going to be tough for Smith to prove himself on the Mets this season with sparse playing time. Unless the first two games are nothing like the rest, we can expect to see Smith struggle to find starts.
Needless to say, a single injury can completely change his role on the team. Until then, as long as Cano continues to hit well, Smith may indeed wish he had been traded to the San Diego Padres.