With the 2020 MLB season expected to feature the universal DH and be shortened to roughly 82 games (if and when it begins, hopefully around July 1), the Mets are one of the National League teams that could benefit the most.
If you take one quick glance at the Mets' roster, four players jump out immediately as DH candidates: Yoenis Cespedes, J.D. Davis, Dominic Smith, and Robinson Cano.
During The Cookie Club presented by Insomnia Cookies on Wednesday, manager Luis Rojas, Davis, and Smith all talked about the kind of impact the universal DH this season could have on the team and on them personally.
"We've had different talks among coaches, and some of the things that come to mind is the health factor," Rojas explained. "That's the number one thing, just having our pitchers with a big ramp up and whatever scenario we run into spring training wise and regular season wise. ... we want to leave the pitchers alone (without them having to hit).
"And then, with the individuals we have on the team. Guys like Dom and J.D. can move around in different positions. I think the guys showed last year that for a National League team, we score some runs. We have some guys that can definitely swing the bat."
When it comes to Smith, who appeared destined for a bench role in 2020 with Pete Alonso at first base and the outfield full, the DH in the NL could change things.
"Whatever situation I get put in, I want to be prepared. If we do get the universal DH, I want to make sure that I come in prepared. I want to make Luis make tough decisions. I want to force him to make some tough decisions, because if he's forced to make tough decisions it means our club is doing some things real well. It's a pretty good lineup. We get an extra hitter in there, I think it should be super fun to see what this offense could do."
For Davis, the expectation before the universal DH came into play was that he would start most games in left field, with Brandon Nimmo in center and Michael Conforto in right.
In a world where the Mets have the DH at their disposal every game, they can try tons of different alignments, including one where Cespedes is in the field and Davis is the DH, and one where Davis is at third base, Jeff McNeil is at second base, and Cano is the DH.
"I was super pumped about it," Davis said. "Individually, you can't get wrapped up into it. But as a team perspective (and) what Dom said, I definitely think it's going to make (decisions harder) for Luis. I think it's gonna be a great addition to our lineup, just to have another bat in there -- even though Jake (deGrom) really wants to hit. But I think it would be better for us (to have a DH)."