With the universal DH likely to be in effect for the 2020 season, the Mets might benefit from that more than any other National League team.
The Mets have the greatest moment in baseball history – Bartolo Colon’s home run.
But with the designated hitter most likely coming to the National League in any 2020 season, and more likely than not beyond, the Mets lineup will get that much better.
Robinson Cano has certainly lost step, both offensively and defensively. But the 37-year old certainly will benefit from being a full-time designated hitter. Brodie Van Wagenen’s plan would be to have Cano become a regular designated hitter as soon as the league allowed.
Having Cano be the full-time DH will also put two players at their natural positions full-time: Jeff McNeil, and J.D. Davis.
McNeil can do anything. He’s a career .321 hitter with an .896 OPS. He has played four positions at almost an equal split between the infield and the outfield. Surely, he’ll have no problem adjusting. But imagine the numbers he can put up as a stationary second baseman. In his rookie year, he hit .329 while playing 460.2 of his 476.2 innings at second base.
Davis proved he can play every day last year. In a “why-not” trade, he wound up slashing .307/.369/.895 in 410 at bats, and made his way into the lineup every day at around the the All-Star break.
Davis started in in 99 games last year. In the teams final 68 games, he started 53, and appeared in 63, of them. His last appearance at third base in 2019 came on June 21.
In the first 103 games in his career, he played third base in 73 of them. Prior to last year, he had spent just 26 professional innings in the outfield, and opposed to 325.2 innings at the hot corner.
Davis is natural a third baseman, and having Cano DH gives the Mets an infield of, from lest to right, Davis, Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil, and Pete Alonso.
Of course, there will be days when Alonso needs a break from defense. That could be attributed to be fall off in the second half.
But the Mets have plenty of players that are able to move around. Dominic Smith can play first base with Alonso as the DH, while newcomer Jake Marisnick, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael Conforto can man the outfield. Smith, of course, spent a lot of time in the outfield last year, as well.
Plus, Wilson Ramos’ bat needs to be in their lineup as often as possible. When Ramos did not start behind the plate, the Mets went 8-18.
There is another designated hitter option on this team, too.
His name is Yoenis Cespedes.
If Cano, McNeil, Davis, and Ramos are all playing the field, that probably means that Yoenis Cespedes is DH’ing.
No one knows what Cespedes will bring to the table. But if he stinks, even as a DH, the lineup is deep enough to have several other combinations as previously mentioned.
If the Mets get the best case scenario with Cespedes and Jed Lowrie, they have the potential to have at least 12 players who are good enough to play ever day.
So the next time a Met fan tells you about the “strategy” being taken from the game, you can tell them that even Jed Lowrie is a better option at the plate than any pitcher they have.