Despite Adrian Gonzalez’ struggles at the plate, Sandy Alderson says the New York Mets are standing pat at first base.
According to Matt Ehalt of North Jersey.com, Sandy Alderson is content with the New York Mets first base situation, despite the struggles of Adrian Gonzalez, the titular starter at first early in camp.
The team does not plan on making any new acquisitions, including the recently jettisoned Adam Lind, who became available after the Yankees released him following the signing of former Mets second baseman Neil Walker.
Prospect Dominic Smith, who started at first late last year, remains sidelined with a bad hamstring and has played in just one game this spring. Furthermore, during last year’s late-season trial, he struggled, hitting below the Mendoza line (.198) with an OPS of .658 and a WAR of minus-1.2 in 183 plate appearances. He did show flashes of power with seven home runs and 26 RBI.
Gonzalez, a five-time All-Star, was signed for the league minimum but has struggled thus far during Grapefruit League action, notching just a .520 OPS in 33 spring at-bats. He has yet to go deep this spring.
Gonzalez is coming off an injury-plagued year in which he hit just three HR in 262 at-bats with a .642 OPS. He was supplanted by NL Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger with the Dodgers. The Mets are counting on Gonzalez regaining even his 2016 form when he hit 19 HR and knocked in 85 runs with a 111 OPS+.
Despite his struggles, Alderson remains confident:
“We’re not happy Dom hasn’t been able to play but very happy with the progress Adrian is making. He seems to be coming around. Outstanding first baseman and great in the clubhouse. Right now, we’re in pretty good shape. (Wilmer) Flores is available, (Jay) Bruce in a pinch.”
Gonzalez is an established veteran, and if he can regain his form he is a difference-maker in a lineup. That said, Lind mashes righties like Flores hits lefties and the two would make for the perfect platoon combination. A move at the present juncture, however, might be premature as plenty of hitters remain available in this buyers’ market.