The Mets need a new Kelly Johnson

The Mets have had a great run of late, but there are aspects of the team that could use shoring up. Those include the erratic bullpen and the occasionally sketchy defense. Today we are going to look specifically at the sub-par crew of pinch hitters the team has available most games.

When the Mets have their best offensive lineup on the field, that leaves very little in the way of talent for late-game pinch hitting. In the Sunday game against the Nats, the Mets had Michael Conforto in CF and Wilson Ramos catching, that is a lineup we have seen a lot of because it is the best hitting lineup the team has. However, in that very winnable Sunday game that was lost, manager Mickey Callaway had very little to work with in pinch hitting spots.

The hitters that were available to pinch hit were Luis Guillorme, whose slash line for the season is .176/.200/.294, with one memorable home run, which happens to be literally a one in his MLB career event, at least so far. Also available to hit were Juan Lagares, slashing .180/.254/.257, Aaron Altherr, at .074/.105/.167, and the slugger of the bunch, back-up catcher Tomas Nido, at .204/.232/.315.

This crew is not going to cut it in NL games where pinch hitting for pitchers late in the game is crucial. In that Sunday game mentioned earlier, Guillorme and Altherr were the chosen pinch hitters, and both were retired in a game the Mets could have won.

One reason the choices are so dismal is that Dominic Smith is out with an injury, he performed well as the primary pinch hitter earlier in the season. But Smith is not expected back anytime soon.

The Mets were blessed with some excellent pinch hitters in the past such as Rusty Staub and Lee Mazzilli. Matt Franco provided some key hits off the bench back in the ‘90s. Then there was the 2015 pennant-winning Mets team. That team, far too often, was sending up players like John Mayberry Jr., Matt Reynolds and Eric Campbell to pinch hit, at least early in the season. Then the FO made late-season acquisitions Kelly Johnson and Jose Uribe to call on when needed, and they performed.

There may be an answer to the problem within the organization. Veteran outfielder Rajai Davis is hitting 280/.329/.394 in Syracuse, and he looked pretty good earlier in the year when he was briefly on the big club. Despite being 38, Davis still has some speed, a plus for this team.

Waiver wires should be watched closely in case some veteran hitter should be released. If the Mets are in a tight situation late in a game and they have to rely on one of the current four to pinch hit, they are asking for trouble.

6 comments for “The Mets need a new Kelly Johnson

  1. NYM6986
    August 13, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Great article showing the glaring need for more bench strength. If Nimmo comes back that could be a big boost. Did not realize Smith was going to be out that long. Davis from Syracuse would be an improvement since
    Altherr is awful. I agree on watching the waiver wires. Why not bring up Tejada over Guillorme for the stretch run. He is hitting over 300 at Syracuse and had MLB experience.

  2. Hobie
    August 13, 2019 at 11:35 am

    Raj v. Altherr is a no-brainer.
    Tejada vs. Guillorme (& Rivera vs, Nido) are at least half-brainers IMO.

  3. August 13, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    I understand everyone wondering why Altherr continues to be on the roster. But Altherr was slashing .948 in SYR when he was recalled. Davis is slashing .724 or 45 points below the team average.

    Last year in Cleveland, Davis had a .559 OPS in 216 PA. The year before, split between two teams, he had a.641 OPS in 366 PA. He’s now 38 years old. I doubt he’s an answer.

    At this point, I’d call up Arismendy Alcantara. He’s slashing .892 in SYR. His previous MLB experience is not good but it’s better than what Altehrr is giving now. He’s 27 and in addition to being an OFer, he has experience at three infield positions.

    Or you could say that Davis and McNeil are both OFers at this point and call up The Dilson.

  4. boomboom
    August 13, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Definitely the number 1 priority for the playoff push. And neither Nimmo or Dom are back before September (or maybe mid September) so gotta get some bats up here. I would think Dilson, Tejada, or even Travis Taijron could provide something on the bench that neither Altherr or LG provide.

  5. August 13, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    A ‘Murd-erred Row’…Lagares, Altherr, Nido, Guillorme (thank you for the miracle HR, Louis) this is not a bench to have in the middle of a WC race… sorry BVW, do something.
    Mets cannot wait two weeks for the Sept call ups, there are games to be won before that, come on now. R Davis, Tejada, at the least, unless there is progress no one is sharing about Nimmo and Lowrie, who of course would both be the best scenario.

  6. Eraff
    August 14, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Mets need to get lucky here…Dilson and Ruben are Infielders (Dilson has minor OF experience). So, now the team is lacking Lefty OF AB’s—- Nimmo, Smith, McNeill.

    You may see Todd in Left, and one of the IF’ers (Dilson and Ruben) to Third. Perhaps Rajai and one of Dilson/Tejada…that would provide some late inning ability to move people around and still cover the OF.

    Desperation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: