Brodie Van Wagenen told the media earlier on before Spring Training that McNeil would be taking exclusive reps in left field in order to get the utility man used to the position. However, with both Jed Lowrie and Todd Frazier going down within days of each other, it looks like the team may be temporarily shifting the utility man back to the infield.
I’m not sure how serious these injuries are, due to either the lack of the Mets officials transparency, the organization being completely oblivious, or even ownership trying to sell hope to the Mets faithful in order to sell tickets and merchandise. But apparently both of these guys shouldn’t miss too much of the regular season.
However, putting Jeff McNeil at third base opens up left field for Dominic Smith, once the Mets decide to bring up Pete Alonso to take over first. Otherwise, the Mets could feel pressed to trade Smith before the Alonso deadline and that would have the Mets at a disadvantage, in terms of potentially trading Smith.
This spring, in a small sample size, Smith has a .400 batting average with a 1.004 OPS. while driving in eight runs and hitting one home run. If the Mets give him extended time in left after Alonso’s promotion, they’ll be showing the other 29 teams two things
- That Dominic Smith still has a lot of value to the Mets, potentially just as much as a rebuilding team that has it out for a first baseman.
- That the Mets are in no rush to move Smith, by any means. Which will ultimately raise his value on the trade market, if that’s an avenue the Mets decide to go down.