Going into Spring Training, it was a foregone conclusion that the Mets would be having Adrian Gonzalez and Wilmer Flores as their tandem at first base. Unless Dominic Smith could have obliterated the baseball to unforeseen proportions the Mets would send him to AAA Las Vegas for at least a few months. However, there was a glimmer of hope for Smith.
If Gonzalez didn’t hit a lick and Smith had, then you’d have a very public display for the fans to force Sandy Alderson and company to allow the kid to play. To this point, Gonzalez had a pathetic Spring Training debut and looked about as bad as many fans thought he’d be. Unfortunately for Smith, injury reared its ugly head at the worst possible time and Smith barely played at all.
That is why we now find Smith in AAA where he’s manning first base for the Las Vegas 51s. Finally healthy, Smith needs to remind the decision makers that they have another viable option in place of A-Gon.
Three games in and Dominic Smith is doing just that. He’s got 10 at bats, four hits and three of them have been for extra bases (Two doubles and one home run). Add that, at least so far, his defense is still immaculate and it should certainly make Mickey Callaway ponder his options should the major leaguers struggle.
This quick start is exactly the type of thing that Smith desperately needed after his no show in Port St. Lucie this spring. Meanwhile Gonzalez has hit, with only a sliver of power, and should be able to hold the position for a few more weeks, regardless of what Smith does. AAA is a lot lower profile than the televised Spring Training games but people are watching and gaudy numbers will force the issue.
Zack Wheeler doing his own “Quick Start Showcase” – 5.0 innings with only 3 hits and 1 walk is all the more impressive for being in the PCL. The 6 Ks aren’t a bit unwelcome either. It was enough for the Mets to announce that they would be promoting him to start on Wednesday. Stay tuned to see who gets sent down.
Luis Guillorme needs to catch that magic – His OPS over the same 3 games is under .700 but he’s not gotten a single of his characteristic walks.
Peter Alonso agrees that he was ready for AAA – He’s off to a blistering start with 5 hits in 11 at bats with 2 doubles and 2 home runs to show for it.
John Mora riding his OBP – His three early walks are a large reason for his healthy OPS but he also has a triple and a home run to his credit.
Jeff McNeil is healthy – He’s only played 1 game but with how much DL time he’s seen I’m happy to see him playing at all.
Nabil Crismatt is worried we might forget him – With all the love Corey Oswalt and Chris Flexen have gotten of late (thanks to Spring Training) Crismatt wasn’t on our minds. His debut outing, 6.0 IP, 1 hit, 0 BB, 9 Ks, was enough to remind us of his talent.
Desmond Lindsay off to a solid start – He’s getting on base even if he isn’t showing much power yet.
Andres Gimenez needs to be careful – We will forgive a lot when you have a .913 OPS but his 6 Ks in 4 games isn’t pretty.
Justin Dunn, where were you hiding? – If Justin Dunn pitches this well for a few more outings, the “experts” will start doubting where they ranked the Mets minor league system. The hits aren’t great but he didn’t walk anyone and struck out 7.
Harol Gonzalez is exactly what we expect – Quality innings from Gonzalez to start the year are hardly a surprise.
Blake Tiberi is a surprise early success – He cannot maintain his OPS above 1.000 but he was the Met’s 4th pick from 2016 draft and looked to be a solid hitter back then. Who knows, maybe he’ll be a 2018 breakout.
Anthony Kay… finally – His 4.0 innings weren’t spectacular but his injuries have held him from doing much more in previous seasons. So long as he goes out and pitches every fifth day this month, I’ll be satisfied.