It seems that after many twists and turns, finally the inevitable is going to happen. After being one of the more prized acquisitions of the offseason for Brodie Van Wagenen, Jed Lowrie has yet to don the blue and orange of the New York Mets. Now that it is the dog days of August, it seems like Lowrie is finally coming closer to getting on the field. He couldn’t have picked a better time to try and get back to the team. After the Mets surged to win 15 of 17 games against a collective of lower tier teams and the Washington Nationals, they find themselves in a compromising position.
While the Mets lost two of three in their series against the Atlanta Braves, their biggest loss came in game one in the form of their best hitter. While hustling out a groundball in the ninth inning, Jeff McNeil tried to stretch to beat the throw from first. Not only was he not safe, but he also strained his left hamstring and found himself sitting on the 10-day IL. While it is far less severe than the injury that Robinson Cano suffered, an injury is still an injury, and it might be something that sticks with McNeil even when he comes off of the IL.
Currently, the Mets have a low level of reserves to deal with on their bench. Back from the dead, Ruben Tejada suited back up for the New York Mets for the first time since Chase Utley broke his leg in the 2015 NLDS. Tejada swung .330 down in Triple A Syracuse, by far the most successful season he has had playing professional ball. Of course, the nostalgia aspect of having Tejada, who became a rallying cry in the 2015 push to the World Series, is fun to add to a team that is trying to make a postseason push of their own. The fact of the matter is that Tejada can’t be relied upon to be that piece off the bench at the major league level. His offensive abilities have never made him able to do that, and his at bats this season with the Mets, though limited, have further proven that point.
The other infielder that the Mets have in their dugout is Luis Guillorme. Guillorme, outside of his heroic home run against the Washington Nationals, has proven to also be an ineffective offensive player at the major league level. Van Wagenen was smart to sign Joe Panik to a deal before McNeil’s injury, and now the signing has proven to be even more effective than originally planned. Panik will be a quality starter in McNeil’s absence now that there’s an open spot in the lineup.
Still, Panik is not what Lowrie is. Making his first All-Star game last season at age 34, Lowrie would provide an instant boost up the middle for the team. If he were to come this season, it essentially would feel as if the Mets made a deadline acquisition for a quality infielder. Of course, this all hinges on whether or not Lowrie makes it to the roster this season, something that the team is hopeful of.