Brodie Van Wagenen and the New York Mets are facing tough roster decisions when Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie both return.
Pete Alonso, Dominic Smith and Jeff McNeil are proving that they need to play
The baseball season is less than a week old and the New York Mets already have problems. For once though, the team’s problems come in positive form.
The Mets began the season with veterans Todd Frazier, Jed Lowrie and Travis d’Arnaud on the injured list. Normally, this would be very bad news. However, the players that have been given an opportunity in each’s absence are making a case for regular playing time. The problem now revolves around what to do when Frazier, Lowrie and d’Arnaud return.
Prior to the start of spring training, the Mets were considering using Frazier at first base and Lowrie at third. When both ended up on the DL early in camp, those plans were put on hold, Instead, the Mets looked for other options. Rookie Pete Alonso and 23-year-old Dominic Smith received the bulk of the playing time throughout Grapefruit League play. Both performed well and made the club’s 25-man Opening Day roster.
In Lowrie’s absence, Jeff McNeil has had the opportunity to play both third base and left field. Like Alonso and Smith, he has produced at the plate and brought youthful enthusiasm and energy to the Mets lineup.
Can d'Arnaud stay healthy for an entire season?
The d’Arnaud situation has become a never-ending saga of injuries and “could-have-beens.” It’s hard to believe that he was once considered the big acquisition in the trade that sent R.A. Dickey to Toronto back in 2012. That was the deal that included a minor league prospect named Noah Syndergaard.
The fact that d’Arnaud is still with the organization is hard to believe. He has yet to make it through a full season without injury and when he is in the lineup his production has been minimal.
When the Mets signed Wilson Ramos in December, it signaled the end of d’Arnaud being considered the everyday catcher. It was long overdue. The Mets headed north with Wilson and career minor leaguer Thomas Nido as his backup.
The Mets have reported that both Frazier and d’Arnaud are ready to begin rehab assignments with the club’s class-A Port St. Lucie team. It is not known when the two will rejoin the Major League roster.
Lowrie still has a way to go before he sees any game action. He has just begun fielding ground balls and swinging a bat but has yet to be given the go-ahead to run on his sprained left knee.
Mickey Callaway and Brodie Van Wagenen are going to have some big decisions to make once Frazier, d’Arnaud and Lowrie are healthy enough to rejoin the team. With the way Alonso, Smith and McNeil are playing, it would be crazy to take them out of the lineup.