While the Mets wanted no part of actually spending time in Cincinnati, it would’ve been nice if they won more baseball games before skipping town. If it wasn’t for a Justin Verlander gem on Wednesday night, New York could’ve easily gotten swept right out of Great American Ball Park.
They scored six runs for the second straight game on Tuesday (in yet another loss). But after that, the Mets combined for two runs over the final 18 innings of this series. Thursday afternoon’s matinee was especially deflating to watch. The at-bats weren’t great, and a parade of Reds pitchers — who aren’t any of their big guns — completely shut manager Buck Showalter’s offense down.
Now, the Mets head to DC for a four-game set against the Nationals, who nearly swept them at Citi Field a couple of weeks ago.
Speaking of Buck, do you think his job is still safe at this point? I feel as though his leash is longer than it would usually be in this situation. But still, something has to change. Since I don’t think the manager’s seat is scorching hot at the moment (although that could change fast), the roster needs to get revamped, as much as it can in the middle of May.
You know what that means — calling up Mark Vientos and Ronny Mauricio.
We heard a rumor about a Mauricio promotion possibly happening within the near future. But if we’re purely talking about who really deserves to get called up next, it’s Vientos.
Mauricio is slashing .338/.372/.590 with 21 extra-base hits (13 doubles, two triples, six homers) so far this year in Syracuse. Vientos boasts a .353/.444/.714 line with 21 extra-base hits of his own (10 doubles, 11 homers).
The Mets’ offense is completely lifeless and inconsistent right now. We saw the kind of boost both Brett Baty and Francisco Alvarez have provided the club. So why not get radical and bring up two more kids? At the very least, it’ll be another message to the clubhouse that if you don’t perform, New York will give someone else a chance to do so in their place.
Showalter has said that he doesn’t want a young kid getting promoted to just be the designated hitter. But at this point, what’s the big deal? He can find a way to get Vientos somewhat consistent work at first and third base while keeping Baty and Pete Alonso fresh. We already know that Mauricio would slot in at second base, as well.
General manager Billy Eppler and Co. would have to make tough roster decisions that they’ve been putting off, but it’s time. The Mets are 18-20 and it’s not going to get any easier.
The no-brainer decision would be to option Luis Guillorme to the minors to make room for someone — likely Mauricio. As for making room for Vientos, you pretty much have your choice between Eduardo Escobar and Tommy Pham. At this rate, it doesn’t matter who it is, just pick one (I’d go with Pham in this situation).
Daniel Vogelbach is a prime candidate, as well. He’s the only primary left-handed hitter off the bench, though, so my thought is he somehow survives this hypothetical shakeup. However, he could easily be on the chopping block, too.
Whatever happens, the Mets need to make a move to promote at least one of Vientos or Mauricio. Preferably both. Because you know what? It’s still early in the season, but it’s getting late in the standings. And it’s not like the Mets have shown any real signs of life during a stretch of games where they were supposed to take off and get back on track.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.