Manager Mickey Callaway indicated the Mets are considering optioning Dominic Smith to Triple-A Las Vegas due to his continued struggles at the big-league level, according to a report by Matt Ehalt of NorthJersey.com.
Smith struck out as a pinch hitter in tonight’s 5-4 loss to the Nationals and is 4-for-41 in his last 16 games, plunging his numbers to an unsightly .186/,208/.329 batting line with a wRC+ of 44.
“You know if you have a bad game and you’re not in the lineup the next day you try to press more or do more,” Smith said. “It just kind of weighs on your mentally for sure. You want to play and want to do well and just worry about other things.”
Shockingly, Smith has just one RBI in 72 plate appearances, which made one wonder why Callaway had him batting in the cleanup spot on Wednesday against the Phillies. He went hitless.
Callaway said that Smith simply looks lost at the plate, during his post game presser tonight. “He’s been struggling at the plate. He looks indecisive at times. We just need to constantly evaluate where he can get the best development.”
The writing may be on the wall for the 23-year old Smith with the team now looking to transition outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to first base at the slugger’s request.
“He’s definitely taken some ground balls over there just so we can initially evaluate where he’s at and if it’s an option for this year or something that needs to be introduced in the offseason and then have spring training to prepare,” Callaway said on that subject.
Once considered the future at first base for the Mets, Smith has seen his stock drop precipitously. In recent weeks, Wilmer Flores has been holding his own at first base while providing some much needed power and a clutch bat. He’s currently wielding a 121 OPS+ and 114 wRC+ in 198 at-bats.
Smith has expressed frustration with his poor performance and his body language has spoken volumes after each disappointing plate appearance.
“You try to impress them every day and impress them with the work you put in and your play,” Smith said. “I try to play hard and do the right things and that’s all I can control.”
With power prospect Peter Alonso hot on his heels as well, the future is looking much more bleak than it was a season ago for Dominic Smith.