Lucas Duda was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays 11 days ago, so Dominic Smith should have been called up to the New York Mets 11 days ago.
Although he recorded 21 extra-base hits (including eight home runs), scored 28 times, and had 26 RBIs in July, New York has continued to do what it did with Amed Rosario: Make excuse after excuse to delay his deserving call up to the big leagues.
Many assume that because Rosario was called up recently, Smith isn’t far behind. Heck, general manager Sandy Alderson used that exact phrase when Rosario’s long overdue promotion was announced, per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.
Dominic Smith is "not far behind," according to Alderson, but no set timetable for him. Rosario, the No. 2 prospect in MLB, debuts Tuesday.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) July 31, 2017
A week later, Alderson insists on remaining vague and providing no real answer as to when Smith will join the club, according to Newsday‘s Anthony Rieber.
“[Smith will be called up] in the near future. But I can’t give you a specific time frame. I have said we prefer to see him earlier than Sept. 1. I think we will. But other than that, I can’t be more specific.”
Smith has suited up for all but three games for the Las Vegas 51s this year. His clean bill of health and durability should be rewarded, not taken for granted and wasted in the minor leagues.
Realistically, the Mets have been out of playoff contention for at least a month, maybe longer. There’s nothing better for an MLB-ready prospect than getting a head start on what should be a major bounce-back campaign next year.
By keeping Smith down on the farm, the Mets may actually be compromising his development, which isn’t going to help the team contend in 2018.
New York is too focused on increasing the limited trade value that its veterans hold when they should be giving their future every opportunity to play. Let them go through their growing pains in what is shaping up to be meaningless baseball down the stretch.
It’s a lot better than having young players experience those growing pains while a team is trying to make a playoff push, isn’t it?
Mets outfielder Jay Bruce saw time at first base last week, and even after missing the last three games with neck stiffness, New York found an alternative way to occupy first base last night, sticking the versatile Wilmer Flores at the position.
It’s a position that Smith so desperately deserves to call his own at this point.
His numbers over 110 games with Triple-A Las Vegas are ridiculous. He’s hitting a robust .332 with 51 extra-base hits (16 HR), 74 RBI, 76 runs scored and a .913 OPS.
Apparently, New York’s management believes that calling up Rosario and Smith earlier in the year would have been an indication that they were throwing in the towel for 2017.
The funny thing? Had the Mets promoted the pair months ago, they’d probably be in the middle of a playoff push right now.
The time for Dominic Smith to make his MLB debut passed a long time ago. What the Mets are doing now is just absurd—and completely indefensible.