With Jed Lowrie and Todd Frazier out, which New York Mets players will step up and replace them on Opening Day?
With Opening Day just over one week away, it’s now time for the New York Mets to get serious. The club’s 25-man roster needs to be set, and decisions must be made on who will be in the lineup when the Mets face the Washington Nationals on March 28.
With both Jed Lowrie and Todd Frazier still sidelined, opportunities have opened up and other players are being considered for third base and first base.
Prior to the start of spring training, the plan was to get Jeff McNeil plenty of playing time in left field. However, Lowrie’s continued absence has necessitated a change of plans for the Mets.
For the last week and a half, the versatile McNeil has been slotted in at third base. It is looking very likely that he will be there on Opening Day.
By trade, McNeil can play second or third. He has made it clear that he is open to playing at whatever position he is needed. That is good news as McNeil’s bat has been hot since he first stepped foot in the Mets’ clubhouse last season.
Who's on first for the Mets?
As far as first base is concerned, it’s not yet clear who will be manning the position once the season starts. Frazier was slated to be at first for the Mets on Opening Day. Like Lowrie, there is no set return date for Frazier.
On a positive note, the two top candidates to take over in Frazier’s absence are putting up big offensive numbers this spring.
Dominic Smith is hitting .349 with one homer and nine RBI. However, his numbers in 105 major league games over the last two seasons are less than impressive. His career average is .210 in 310 at bats. To be fair, Smith is still just 23-years-old and has shown sprinkles of potential.
Competing with Smith is rookie Pete Alonso. Alonso is making his presence known with a .360 spring average, a .680 slugging percentage, and a team-leading four home runs. It would be hard to ignore his spring training production after impressing last season in the minors.
Mets management has said they plan on putting the best 25 players on the Opening Day roster. Smith and Alonso are giving the club something to think about. We’ll find out shortly which players will be coming north with the team.