How Jed Lowrie’s return will disrupt the roster

The signing of free agent Jed Lowrie made a lot of sense in terms of adding a good switch hitter who could slot in to the two hole in the lineup. However, despite his versatility, he joins a crowded Mets infield and his arrival – likely in a few weeks – will have a ripple effect throughout the roster.

It is expected that Todd Frazier‘s return will result in Luis Guillorme getting sent back to AAA Syracuse. The smooth fielding middle infielder may get the call again later in the season, but his lack of power and versatility puts him lower on the depth chart. Frazier will temporarily resume his duties at third base, bumping J.D. Davis to a bench role and Jeff McNeil to a more full-time role in left field. Coming off an injury and the worst statistical season of his career, it’s hard to get excited about Frazier’s bat, but he’ll bring a strong glove to third and some leadership and positive attitude to the dugout. And that’s likely where he’ll wind up in a few weeks when Lowrie returns.

Lowrie will likely take over primary duties at third base, pushing Frazier to the bench and either Davis or Dom Smith to Syracuse. This is a tough decision looming. Davis has shown power, and while he’s only seen time at third base, he’s capable of playing five positions – first, third, left, right and relief pitcher. He’s certainly more versatile than Smith, but the lefty first baseman  has earned his place with a productive and energetic style of play that suggests a new lease on life. Smith won’t likely see more than occasional spot starts at first to rest Pete Alonso, but he’s proven quite valuable as a pinch hitter and he could play left field in a pinch.

Lowrie will also serve as a backup to two guys who haven’t gotten a day off yet – Robinson Cano and Amed Rosario. In those instances, Frazier will get some games in at third. Given the ages of Lowrie, Frazier and Cano, injuries will be inevitable, so Smith, Davis, Guillorme and/or shortstop Adeiny Hechavaria, who is stashed in AAA, will get their chances.

The infield will be a bit of a merry go-round this year, but depth will likely be more of an asset than a problem. The only way it becomes an issue is if everyone stays healthy for the remainder of the season, and, really, what are the chances of that happening?

8 comments for “How Jed Lowrie’s return will disrupt the roster

  1. Eraff
    April 12, 2019 at 6:14 am

    At some point, Davis may become a useable Pitching Asset…interesting Guy!!!

    I’d like to see JD work on his 3b skills, and his ability to play an OF Corner…. if his bat develops, He can be an amazing Super Ute!!!

    I Like “Too Many Good Players”!!!!!….Ty Kelly is gonna be a Great Manager, someday—– I’m happy He’s not a sub on this team.

  2. Metsense
    April 12, 2019 at 9:21 am

    True, assets are not a problem.
    Lagares and Broxton are redundant as fourth outfielders.
    Dom is going to have to continue producing in a bench role because Alonso should play 150 games.
    In a game when you need a home run in the late innings who do pinch hit, Frazier or JD? I take JD. Lowrie pushes both Frazier and JD to the bench.
    There is no need for three catchers ( a former option now defunct).
    Boy, I liked these assets!

  3. April 12, 2019 at 9:58 am

    When Todd Frazier comes back I put Dominic Smith in the minors because he’s young enough that giving him this sporadic playing time isn’t helping him. When Jed Lowrie comes back I release Todd Frazier, who has no purpose on the roster.

    • April 12, 2019 at 12:21 pm

      Wilpons aren’t eating that money but if they were willing to do so they could trade Frazier. I expect Guillorme and Dom to go down when Lowrie and Frazier return.

  4. Eraff
    April 12, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Not so fast to just throw Frazier away. I’ll let the young guys become players before I start tossing major leaguers on a Scrap Pile.

    The Combination of Alonzo, Davis, and McNeill makes you shaky at 3 of 4 Defensive Corners— Davis has Yipped 2 easy DP throws already….frankly, he may benefit by some patience and some seasoning.

    I Like “Too Many Good Players”!!!!! You can Play ’em,,,you can Trade ’em…. keep that in mind. There’s no such thing as “finishing” a team in April!!!!…. throwing away assets is not good planning.

  5. Chris B
    April 12, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    I’ve been encouraged by the lineup management this season so I think this asset surplus will be handled well.

    Who spells Rosario if Guillorme is sent down? Frazier took reps at SS during rehab but, meh. Lowrie played SS a few years back but again, meh.

    I think fans are generally too optimistic about a player’s health, return to gameplay and productivity after an injury. Maybe Lowrie rehabs well but I don’t think a very slow start to his season is unrealistic. Will be nice to have Davis and McNeil to plug around the diamond in that instance.

    Frazier is the odd man out in all of this and is being cast aside by everyone (understandably). So of course that means he’s going to hit well and surprise us all!

  6. BK
    April 12, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    It’s been said by others, but this is a good problem to have. Frazier deserves a chance to re-establish himself, but if he hits like Jason Bay 2.0, at least it won’t torpedo the entire offense.

  7. Name
    April 12, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    Easy solution – release the cheater. Problem solved, everyone happy.

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