New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway praises his second baseman Joe Panik and says “he has been terrific.”
Sometimes, it’s just the team you’re on and the environment around you that affects how you play the game. That’s what’s happened with New York Mets second baseman Joe Panik.
In 103 games for the San Francisco Giants this year, Panik posted a slash line of .235/.310/.317 in 388 plate appearances. The Giants designated Panik for assignment earlier this month, with the Mets signing him shortly after. In nine games for New York, Panik has put up a slash line of .333/.379/.444 through 29 plate appearances.
It’s safe to say Panik has had a resurgence in the batter’s box since coming back home. This week, he ultimately revealed the reasons behind his rebirth.
“We’re just working on staying short to the ball and compact with my swing,” Panik said, per Mike Puma of the New York Post. “Just try to get back to the hitter I’ve been in the past and not try to do too much. Chili is like, ‘Use your hands and be short to the ball,’ and we have really been working on that and [Sunday] I really felt it.”
Panik was brought in shortly after Robinson Canó hit the injured list with a torn hamstring. Canó could possibly miss the rest of the season. This means Panik could be the Mets everyday second baseman through September and quite possibly beyond that.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway has made it known that Panik has done everything they’ve asked from him since joining the organization.
“Wow, he has been terrific,” Callaway said. “I think you have a lot of confidence with him handling the bat, he’s putting together great at-bats, the defense has been solid, and we are getting a lot of production out of him. We stuck him in the No. 2 hole and it seems like he’s thriving there right now.”