As we’ve already established on these here interweb pages, the Mets are on the struggle bus right now. Losing 11 of 14 and dropping to 17-18 on the year will do that. New York has already called upon some of the kids from Triple-A to join them in Francisco Alvarez and Brett Baty. So, when will Mark Vientos join them?
If it were up to former Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, the right-handed hitter would already be up on the big leagues. The RocNation COO sent out a tweet over the weekend in support of his client that included the following picture:
I mean, Brodie has a point. The Mets are struggling in many ways when it comes to offense. And that’s especially the case when it comes to who the designated hitter is upon facing left-handed pitching.
Vientos did struggle in limited big-league action last year (.546 OPS in 41 plate appearances). However, he also put together a 24-homer, 72-RBI campaign in Triple-A last year with a .877 OPS.
He followed that up by performing well during Spring Training. In 54 Grapefruit League at-bats, he posted a .791 OPS with seven extra-base hits (five doubles, two homers), and 11 RBI. Things have gone to another level once the regular season started in Syracuse, though.
Vientos has accumulated 132 plate appearances thus far. He’s slashing a healthy .339/.424/.696 with 10 doubles, 10 home runs, 21 runs scored, and 27 RBI. It sure looks like the bat is ready, so you can’t blame BVW for trying to create a little more noise than there already is on #MetsTwitter about him.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Van Wagenen has made a favorable Mark Vientos comparison on Twitter. He also did it back in February right before pitchers and catchers reported to Port St. Lucie:
Big Pete Alonso is a super star and one of the best power hitters of this generation. A comparison of Pete’s age 22 year old season to @MarkVientos_5 at the same age illustrates an exciting trajectory. pic.twitter.com/nbmDRgxFhu
— Brodie Van Wagenen (@RocBVW) February 3, 2023
Getting Vientos back in the big leagues seems like a no-brainer right now. And it is something current general manager Billy Eppler is at least considering at the moment. But with the way the Mets have built the position-player side of their roster, it seems like Vientos will have to wait a little longer. Mostly because New York is likely pushing off a tough decision.
Which current bench player gets the hook to make space for Vientos? Tomas Nido isn’t going anywhere, but only because he’s a catcher. Tommy Pham hasn’t been great but also hasn’t been terrible. Plus, the Mets just signed him to a deal a couple of months ago. Eduardo Escobar is an obvious trade/DFA/change-of-scenery candidate, but how would that impact the clubhouse because he’s beloved among his teammates?
Luis Guillorme isn’t hitting, but we know Buck Showalter loves having his defensive versatility on the field. Daniel Vogelbach is very one-dimensional as a player, but he’s the best left-handed hitter currently on the bench.
So, yea, the Mets need to make the best baseball decision, and soon. Someone’s gotta go, and they’re clearly trying to put it off right now. But as long as Mark Vientos keeps hitting, the pressure will remain. And even if they don’t feel it, you know BVW will let everyone know about it.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.