With about a week left of regular season play, the New York Mets have some postseason roster decisions looming. The big decisions come on the pitching side, with the 4th starter spot up for grabs as well as a couple of roles in the bullpen, but there’s another position still up for grabs.
Darin Ruf has been dreadful since being traded from the Giants at the deadline. He’s hit just .152/.216/.197/.413 with no homers in his predominantly DH platoon. In the month of September, he’s been even worse, slashing .103/.182/.103/.285 with no extra-base hits. Simply put, he can’t be on the playoff roster if this continues over the last week of the regular season.
Dominic Smith has been tearing it up recently in AAA, so is he more deserving of a spot on the Mets postseason roster?
Smith struggled in the big leagues earlier this season, earning a demotion after slashing .194/.276/.284/.560. However, in AAA, he’s sporting a .284/.367/.473/.839, which is really strong. He’s hit 10 homers, 11 doubles, scored 42 runs and driven in 38.
In my eyes, he’s an all-around upgrade over Ruf. Smith is crushing the ball and he could be a great spark for the Mets. He’s also a much better defender than Ruf, at least at first base.
Another interesting thing about Dom is his reverse splits. Over his career, he has a .750 OPS vs. lefties and .727 vs. righties. So even though he’s a left-handed hitter, he could still fulfill the lefty side of the platoon if they want to use Vogelbach against righties.
I don’t know why the Mets wouldn’t try this. Ruf has given us nothing, and I would expect him to be left off the playoff roster or maybe even DFA’d within the next week. He does have one year of control left, plus an option for 2024, but where does he fit into this team’s future with Mark Vientos here now? Vientos is the much safer play at DH.
I would give Dom Smith a shot. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance from him before, and he’s showing it again in the minors. Hopefully it works out for him.