Today, the focus will stay in the infield, but shift to the bench, with Jose Reyes being the name that needs to go.
The switch-hitter has been absolutely dreadful this season as he is 3-25 on the season and started with a 0-20 slump before getting all three of his hits against the Atlanta Braves last Saturday.
That performance gives him a slash line of .120/.154/.120 on the season with no homers or RBI and only one run scored. He also has only one stolen base, while getting caught once as well.
The 34-year old started off badly in 2017 also as he hit .215/.284/.370 in the first half before taking off in the second half with a .288/.356/.472 slash line.
Another aspect to consider is his defense. While some might point out that Reyes’ versatility makes him valuable to the team, there is a strong argument to the contrary.
Reyes graded out negatively at every position he played at last year. He had -5 DRS at both second and third base, -15 DRS at shortstop, and even recorded -1 DRS in left field in only 5 1/3 innings. That gave him a combined total of -26 DRS.
So, yes the Mets can put him at those positions. However, at this stage, he essentially plays none of them well, and he is especially bad at his natural position of shortstop.
With the Mets only paying the former star $2 million this season, the Mets can afford to cut bait with him.
And with the way Gavin Cecchini has been playing, they definitely should.
The former first-round pick is hitting .348/.403/.545 with one home run and six RBI at Triple-A Las Vegas. In 66 at-bats, he only has 11 strikeouts as well.
While there is no guarantee those numbers will translate well to the majors and a utility infield role, the 24-year old changed his swing in the offseason, which gives reason to be optimistic that he might have figured it out.
The last factor here to consider is the connection between him and Amed Rosario. Many believe that the main reason Reyes was brought back to the team was to be a mentor to the 22-year old.
Reyes was in the same position as Rosario at one point. He was a budding star at the shortstop position that possessed game-changing abilities on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
It’s good to have a mentor for Rosario, but at what cost is it worth?
Right now, Reyes is essentially an automatic out as a pinch-hitter and has failed to deliver in multiple key spots.
With a 16-8 record, the Mets cannot afford to continue to place a guy in situations that they might have a better shot getting their desired result from a pitcher.
While there is always a chance Reyes could heat up in the second half like he did last year, the Mets can’t continue to wait and see if he can get back to that level.
They were essentially out of playoff contention after June last year and had no other options, frankly, that were truthfully better than him.
This year, they have options available to them, and those could increase with Luis Guillorme also in Triple-A and T.J. Rivera expected to be healthy by the middle of the season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery last year.
The team can’t afford to let Reyes’ first-half struggles derail their ability to contend this season. With a 16-8 record on April 28th, the Mets would be better off taking the bet that he won’t find himself at the plate, than the one where he does.