luis guillorme mets
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets entered this past offseason with several crucial decisions to make. They ended up reloading the roster by committing $500-plus million to player talent in 2023 and beyond. Despite this huge dollar amount, one area didn’t get upgraded: designated hitter. Could Luis Guillorme impact how it’s handled in 2023?

In chatting with Pat Ragazzo of Sports Illustrated, general manager Billy Eppler said the Mets’ designated hitter situation is “undefined”. Part of it has to do with how New York uses that area of the lineup. Another part has to do with the players currently on the roster.

New York’s 2022 trade deadline haul included both Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf. They were tasked to be mostly a DH platoon. Vogey did a good job, but Ruf fell flat in just 29 games played for the Amazins. He produced a 24 wRC+, a .413 OPS, and -0.9 fWAR in just 74 plate appearances.

Eppler cited Ruf’s prior track record of hitting left-handed pitching as a reason why he can still be part of the solution this year. That echoes what manager Buck Showalter said last September.

Using the DH spot can be a way to keep a starter in the lineup while simultaneously giving him a breather (like Francisco Lindor or Pete Alonso). However, there are other candidates who can step into the right-handed batter’s box (not named Francisco Alvarez…for now, at least). Recently-signed Tommy Pham can do it, as can the switch-hitting Eduardo Escobar.

I think Escobar is the most intriguing option of the bunch. Sure, he’ll play the field, but having him DH somewhat regularly could lengthen the lineup and bench. Especially if his strong finish to 2022 carries over.

So, how does Luis Guillorme factor into this? He’s hit enough over 281 MLB games, but it’s not like his 101 career wRC+ is worth squeezing into the lineup consistently. His glove is, though, and he proved to be a favorite of Showalter last year. As a utility player, Guillorme set single-season career-high marks for games played (102), plate appearances (335), and fWAR (1.3). His ability to play second base, shortstop and third base will aid in making sure DH doesn’t become a rally killer.

If Ruf proves he can still be productive, he’ll be used in that role. But, I think Showalter will use it as a way to keep starters fresh while still getting Guillorme regular playing time. He can step in at third or short so Escobar or Lindor could DH. He can also play second in case McNeil needs to spend time in either left or right field.

The permutations are endless. Finding creative ways to keep players fresh and have them on the field consistently is something Showalter excels at.

In an ideal world, it would’ve been nice to see the Mets go get a right-handed power bat who could be their regular designated hitter. (Or, for the Carlos Correa deal to actually get finalized.) That didn’t happen. And now, this area of the lineup could be an issue again prior to the trade deadline.

If there are no internal solutions by that point (like Alvarez, Brett Baty, or someone else), you hope Eppler will bite the bullet and make a move that’d push the needle. Although that obvious option hasn’t yet materialized, there’s enough versatility on the roster to make the DH spot an asset instead of a liability.

Last June, Showalter said All-Star Game voting should have a category for utility players because “You can’t win without one.” Luis Guillorme played an important role in the Mets’ 2022 regular-season success. Maybe his glove is why New York’s OK having DH unsettled heading into Opening Day.

Matt Musico can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.