Earlier this season, Gary Cohen was giving daily updates on what Brett Baty was doing in the minors. It was a weird thing for a broadcaster to do, almost like he was politicking for Baty to get a promotion. Usually that’s in the domain of writers, both mainstream guys and bloggers. It would be curious to know why Cohen felt comfortable doing that for Baty. And now that the line has been crossed, why isn’t he doing it for either Ronny Mauricio or Mark Vientos?

The easy answer is that Baty did well in Spring Training and then was fantastic in his brief stay in the minors. On top of that, the Mets had a spot for him with the incredibly poor start by Eduardo Escobar, meaning there was an opening in the lineup for him to grab. How many of those points can we apply to Mauricio and Vientos? Let’s examine how those two compare to Baty:

Spring Training:
Baty – 50 PA, .325/.460/.425, 1 HR, 7 R, 6 RBIs
Mauricio – 35 PA, .242/.286/.636, 4 HR, 5 R, 8 RBIs
Vientos – 58 PA, .278/.310/.481, 2 HR, 3 R, 11 RBIs

Baty had the best AVG, OBP and the most runs scored. Mauricio had the best SLG and the most homers. Vientos had the most playing time and the most RBIs. You can certainly make a case for Baty being the best of the bunch here. But it doesn’t feel like a slam dunk. And on a team that’s not overflowing with power in the lineup, it seems curious not to be intrigued by Mauricio, especially given his 26 HR in Double-A last season at age 21.

Baty – 42 PA, .400/.500/.886, 5 HR, 9 R, 15 RBIs
Mauricio – 108 PA, .327/.370/.604, 6 HR, 19 R, 16 RBIs
Vientos – 103 PA, .372/.456/.721, 7 HR, 18 R, 22 RBIs

Baty was fantastic and showed the HR power he didn’t in Spring Training. Mauricio and Vientos don’t measure up on the triple slash line but they also have more than twice the PA. If Baty had 100+ PA, it’s quite likely he wouldn’t be batting .400 right now, either. But by the same token, with the extra PA he might be leading in HR, RBIs and R.

Which brings us to the position part of the equation.

It’s always nice when the top prospect plays the position of one of your under-performing regulars. It’s why Baty gets the call in mid-April while the others are toiling away in the minors on the last day of the month. But while it might not be as obvious, there’s a need for production on the Mets that both Mauricio and Vientos could attempt to fill, if given a chance.

The Mets are getting strong DH production from Daniel Vogelbach with a 125 OPS+ but he sits versus LHP and the players the Mets have used to fill the righty spot of the platoon have been dreadful. Primarily the righty DH has been filled by Mark Canha and Tommy Pham. In 22 PA as a DH, Canha has a .495 OPS while in 24 PA, Pham has a .450 mark. The two have combined to go 6-37 as a DH, giving them a meager .162 AVG. Additionally, they have just one extra-base hit, a double by Canha.

Meanwhile, Vientos has been raking. And while he’s hit all season so far in Syracuse, he’s done particularly well in his last 12 games. In his last 51 PA, Vientos is slashing .475/.549/.900 – that’s better in each category than the amazing start that Baty had and in a bigger sample, too. The Mets’ righty DH guys haven’t been as bad as Escobar but they’ve been rotten. It makes you wonder how much longer the Mets’ front office will tolerate inept performance when they have a top prospect ready to step in.

Some will counter that there’s less reason to call up a guy to be the short side of a platoon than there is to promote someone to play every day. If that’s the case then how about Mauricio? The Mets finally made the move that they should have awhile ago, moving Mauricio off shortstop to get him reps at another position. They’ve moved him to second base, which may not be optimal but it can work for the 2023 Mets with Jeff McNeil’s ability to play the outfield.

Typically, you want to have productive players manning the corners of both the infield and outfield. Unfortunately, neither of the Mets’ corner outfielders are providing much offense so far this season. Canha sports an 89 OPS+ overall and Starling Marte is even worse with a 75 mark. But essentially, they play every day because the options are to play Luis Guillorme and his 79 OPS+ or Pham and his 76 mark in their place.

Mauricio has all of seven games played at second base and you know that things would have to be beyond miserable at the MLB level for the Mets to call him up and plug him into the starting lineup with that little amount of experience. It’s why it was maddening that they didn’t move him earlier. What’s the magic number where the Mets will feel comfortable? It’s impossible to say. Likely, at this point it’s more tied to how poorly Canha/Marte/Pham perform than it is to how many reps Mauricio has under his belt.

Two weeks from now, if that trio is still struggling and Mauricio keeps hitting and doesn’t embarrass himself in the field, then perhaps we can seriously call for a promotion. But really, it doesn’t matter what the bloggers call for the club to do. Yet if we can get Cohen to give daily updates on the broadcast for Mauricio and Vientos, that will carry a ton of weight and perhaps force the Mets’ hand, like it did with Baty.

7 comments on “What do Ronny Mauricio and Mark Vientos have to do to get the call to Queens?

  • Steve_S.

    Agree on the two-week timeline for Mauricio to be called up. He’ll have more experience at 2B and hitting at the AAA level, and if Canha and Pham don’t hit better, McNeil can surely move to LF.

    Vientos has that AAA experience and should be up sooner rather than later to DH and PH mainly.

    I wonder if they are looking to deal Escobar soon.

  • Metsense

    Let’s break down the equations:
    McNeil > Canha @ LF = McNeil @ LF
    Baty > Escobar @ 3B = Baty @ 3B
    (Escobar > Guillorme @ 2B) + (Mauricio > Escobar) = Mauricio @ 2B
    (Canha > Pham @ DH) + (Vientos > Cahna ) = Vientos @ DH
    Escobar > Guillerme @ UI = Escobar @ UI
    Cahna > Pham @ 4th OF = Canha @ 4th OF
    The above is simple arithmetic. When Epler learns it then the Mets will be a better team.
    In the past, the Mets had a feature on their broadcasts of the happenings on the farm. It was a good feature. I didn’t like Gary Cohen’s updates on Baty and not updates on other prospects. I didn’t think it was professional and appropriate.

    • deegrove84

      I love your formatted response.

      The issue with Mauricio and Vientos getting a promotion is different for both. Vientos has a clearer role to assume in the majors but is due to get only 1/3rd of the playing time with most pitchers being right-handed. You could continue to marginalize Escobar and have Vientos spot start at 3rd or 1st but a prospect should be promoted to a 50%+ timeshare of starting.

      Mauricio needs another full week at second without major fielding hiccups and without a significant down-tick in hitting. Remember that his bat has always been a bit streaky and he could go cold with little reasoning. Once it’s clear that Mauricio is ready to field second they should promote him.

      • Brian Joura

        I thought I was being aggressive with wanting to see two more weeks of Mauricio at 2B…

      • Metsense

        Thanks David. We are on the same page for this.
        Mauricio has another obstacle. Pham has a free agent contract of 6 million dollars. He hasn’t been totally horrible. That is a lot of money to throw away for a DFA . As a free agent signing, he is protected until the summer for a trade. At least Guillerme a minor league option left.

  • Brian Joura

    Vientos adds a HR on Sunday after this was written

  • NYM6986

    Had Mauricio been given playing time last year at other positions, he might just be on the big club. That was a management screw up as his path to play SS would be blocked essentially for his entire career. Let’s not forget that he had little to no AAA experience until this year, so his bat in 2023 has been more than encouraging at that level. More relevant than his strong spring training performance. As you pointed out, Vientos is another player who has no strong position but I’d rather bring his bat in as the RH DH because every game counts, even though most pitchers are righties meaning he would be sitting a lot of the time. This points to Guillorme being sent down since I believe he has an option available. Not sure why Marte and his weak start is not dropped down in the lineup with McNeil, the reigning batting champ being moved up in the lineup. Any why is Baty not hitting 6th instead of 8th? So great to be a “Monday morning quarterback” on all these issues instead of being the one to make live the decisions and living with the consequences. This season really hinges on getting some pitchers back or we might be the team with the highest payroll ever looking to sell at the deadline. OMG I hope not. A split today would be great.

Leave a Reply

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

%d bloggers like this: