I’ll be the first to say I put Mets veteran Dom Smith on a pedestal earlier this season after a strong spring training in the Grapefruit League. Smith, 26, is one of the longest tenured players on the team, but when he gets on the field, I question what he is doing out there.
Take Sunday night’s game against the Phillies. Smith fielded a routine grounder and instead of taking it to first and stepping on the bag himself, he ran hard to first and tried to be cute by flipping the ball to starting pitcher Chris Bassitt. It was unnecessary and, though it still resulted in an out, made Bassitt visibly upset. There was no need for Smith to get rid of the ball, and, as Mets fans have seen in years past, could have turned into an error.
At the beginning of the season, Smith was at the helm of many trade rumors, including one with a lot of steam that would land him in San Diego for Eric Hosmer and Chris Paddack. I was glad the trade didn’t happen, but I have given up on believing Smith is the right fit for the Mets.
Smith spoke to media members several times this season about how he would jump at any opportunity he gets to be an everyday player. But he hasn’t shown he can competently do that, and of course the Mets will always go in favor of Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil.
The utility player has struggled mightily at the plate when he starts and when he serves as the designated hitter, recording just 16 hits in 86 at-bats to post a dismal .186 batting average. Still, there was hope for Smith defensively at first base, as Alonso hasn’t been known to be the strongest first baseman. But Alonso has shown a drastic improvement at the position and is the most reliable person for everyday first base duties.
Strutting out Smith every few games is not working, and frankly, the experiment must end. I would rather see Luis Guillorme get more time as the DH, as he has been productive at the plate.
Although I like Smith as a person, he just doesn’t fit the mold the team needs. Maybe a team like the Reds or Pirates could use him, but not the Mets, who are all-in on making a deep playoff run.
I’m not upper management, but I would jump at any offer for a relief pitcher or player who is known to be patient at the plate at get on base. Smith’s time in New York seems to be quickly slipping away.
(Photo: Matt Slocum/AP/Cropped)
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