francisco alvarez mets
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Don’t look now, but the Mets we expected to see on the field every night in 2023 might be arriving.

New York’s 10-game West Coast road trip has started with four straight wins — three against the Oakland Athletics and one against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Overall, they’ve won five straight and now own an 11-6 record.

Something that’s been noticeable is the offense starting to wake up. Their series-opening win in Oakland included 17 (!) runs and 17 (!!) walks. While hanging eight runs on the Dodgers Monday night, manager Buck Showalter’s club collected 14 hits.

But not everyone on offense is firing on all cylinders just yet. The Mets would definitely like to get the below five hitters going at the plate. Two of them showed signs of life Monday night, but that’s not enough to keep them off this list. And no, I’m not including Eduardo Escobar. Everyone already knows he’s not hitting, and it’s been so pronounced that Brett Baty is back in the big leagues to take his place at the hot corner.

So, I’ll be sticking with dudes who are still slated to be getting at least a significant chunk of playing time.

Mark Canha

Mark Canha put together a solid first year in Queens last season. Across 140 games (542 plate appearances), his performance was worth 2.8 fWAR off the strength of a .266/.367/.403 line with 13 home runs and 61 RBI, all sussing out to a 128 wRC+. Part of that was powered by a fast (but not so powerful) start. He slashed .345/.429/.364 in 63 plate appearances last April.

It hasn’t been the same story so far this year. He’s already collected more extra-base hits to start 2023 (four doubles, two homers) than last year (one double). However, it’s been accompanied by a .196/.313/.375 line, leading to a 94 wRC+.

Canha currently owns a 54.8% fly-ball rate, which is a full 20 percentage points higher than what it was last year (34.7%). More fly balls are OK, but only if the quality of contact also improves. It’s remained the same for the outfielder (19.0% soft-hit rate, 28.6% hard-hit rate) compared to 2022 (20.9% soft-hit rate, 28.5% hard-hit rate).

Francisco Alvarez

Through 15 plate appearances across four games played, Francisco Alvarez owns a -67 wRC+ and -0.3 fWAR. He’s collected just one hit — an RBI single — while not yet drawing a walk and striking out at a 40.0% clip.

Is he just not ready for the big leagues yet? It’s possible. After all, the Mets would’ve ideally had him in Triple-A for most of this year. Things change, though, and he was needed to fill Omar Narvaez’s spot.

However, I don’t agree with how Showalter is deploying him. New York has stressed many times that Alvarez needs to play every day. If that’s the case, why is he in the big leagues playing sporadically? It just doesn’t make sense, and it’s not like he’d stick out like a sore thumb at the bottom of the order. Either give him some consistent run to see if he can get in a groove or send him back to Syracuse.

Jeff McNeil

Now, you might be thinking, “Why is Jeff McNeil on this list? He just got three hits on Monday!” And you’d be right about that. This was also his first multi-hit performance since April 4th. Between those two occurrences, McNeil hit .161/.395/.258 across 43 plate appearances. A 25.6% walk rate during this time helped him manage a 106 wRC+, but they call him the “Hit Machine” for a reason, ya know.

The left-handed hitter may just need to relax and play more to his strengths. After hitting balls up the middle at a career-high 40.0% clip last year, it’s currently down at 28.3%. Most of that difference has gone to pulling the ball. The second baseman is doing that at a 50.9% clip to start off 2023 (it was 34.2% last year).

McNeil had 53 (!) multi-hit performances en route to winning the 2022 batting title. That included eight such performances during the month of April. Let’s hope his three hits on Monday (his third multi-hit game of 2023) get him started on a heater.

Daniel Vogelbach

And now, you might be thinking, “But Vogey homered last night! Why is he here?” Well, even with Monday’s solid night at the dish, Daniel Vogelbach is slashing .200/.394/.360 through 33 plate appearances. When your on-base percentage is out-pacing your slugging percentage, you still need to get going.

His first-inning oppo-taco home run could be the swing that gets him going, though.

Vogey isn’t an elite power hitter. But, he could stand to get the ball in the air more often because legging out lots of infield hits certainly isn’t in his future. He’s currently rocking a 0.0% line-drive rate, a 71.4% ground-ball rate, a 28.4% fly-ball rate, and a 23.8% hard-hit rate.

Tomas Nido

Nobody is expecting Tomas Nido to be the reincarnation of Mike Piazza. It’d be nice if the dude added just a smidge more offense to his Gold Glove-caliber work behind the dish, though. You know, just to keep the line moving when there’s a rally in progress.

Entering Tuesday’s action, Alvarez is the only current Mets player with a worse wRC+ (-67) than Nido (-13). He’s accumulated 35 plate appearances so far this year, which has led to a .125/.171/.125 line. Last year, Nido hit .239/.276/.324 with a 74 wRC+.

The Mets backstop has seen four different pitches at least 20 times so far in 2023 (slider, four-seamer, sinker, changeup). He’s posted a 104 wRC+ against four-seamers, but he’s in the negative for two of them (-37 vs. sliders, -100 vs. changeups) and not much better against sinkers (33).

You can reach Matt Musico at 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.