New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker will play first base Tuesday night against the Texas Rangers. Seriously.
New York Mets, I have a question for you. Who’s on first? The answer, one that is sure to infuriate Mets fans, is Neil Walker.
Walker will play first base and hit fifth in Tuesday night’s game against the Texas Rangers.This will be the first time in Walker’s major league career that he will play the position.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 8, 2017
Walker was having a solid season before going on the disabled list with a partially torn hamstring in mid-June, hitting .270 with nine home runs and a .820 OPS. He’s struggled since returning to action, going just 3-for-27 (.111 BA). That kind of performance isn’t going to generate interest in the veteran, who recently passed through waivers unclaimed.
“I knew that it was coming,” he told Newsday‘s Sal Cacciatore. “I knew that situation was going to arise and there was probably a good chance I was going to clear waivers. It doesn’t really affect me. We’re groomed to go day-to-day here and to keep working hard and go out and compete.”
As for his struggles at the plate, he believes he’s close to breaking out of his funk.
“Obviously, since I’ve gotten back, I haven’t played great. The leg is feeling a lot better. I just haven’t hit my stride. My timing and rhythm just haven’t been there and I haven’t been able to find the barrel as much as I’d like to, but we’re getting close.”
So while Mets trot Walker out to a new position, Dominic Smith, the team’s first baseman of the future, remains stuck at Triple-A Las Vegas, waiting for a promotion that seems like it’s never going to come.