Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | Twitter |
There are some mixed feelings about the Mets' signing of veteran 1B Adrian Gonzalez. Some think it's a great, low-risk move, and make valid points about that. Others think it's an unnecessary move, and I am one of those people.
I'd understand the move more if Gonzalez was going to split time with Dominic Smith and act like a mentor to him beyond Spring Training. But, that's not the case. There is no competition for the job, as Gonzalez confirmed on Thursday. Adrian Gonzalez, a 35-year-old first baseman who spent the majority of last season on the disabled list, has the job. And the young, up-and-coming first baseman, Dominic Smith, does not.
I know Alderson was not happy with Smith's performance last season. I get that. Mistakes were made that should not have been. But, last season was the time to make the mistakes and learn from them. The team literally had nothing to lose as they were so far out of the playoff race.
It seems like the Mets are giving up on Smith for this upcoming season. They shouldn't be.
Smith had a small taste of the majors last season as a 22-year-old making his big-league debut. What kid comes up to the majors and is absolutely perfect off the bat? Of course he's going to make mistakes, especially since he didn't have a veteran player to guide him and help him. Is it fair to judge Smith on under 50 games played? It should also be pointed out that in a bunch of those games, former manager Terry Collins took Smith out before it ended. That's not good on a young kid's confidence, and we know how important confidence is in this game.
I mentioned it above and I'll say it again -- Smith had no one ot look up last season, since almost all of the veterans were traded by the time he was called up. For instance, Lucas Duda was traded before Smith got to the bigs -- since Smith was considered the future at first base and Duda was no longer needed. And yet, here we are, entering the 2018 season with Gonzalez likely starting at first instead. Why did we get rid of Duda then? Why not re-sign him instead of Gonzalez?
Smith has been thought of along with Amed Rosario as part of the future of the franchise. But at least entering this season, he's not. Instead of giving him another chance, the Mets are replacing him with someone much older and coming off a serious injury. Gonzlez, a guy who went from hitting .300/.343/.463 in 2012 to hitting .248/.287/.355 in 2017. He hit three home runs in 71 games last season, while Smith hit nine in just 49 games.
The Mets are jumping the gun a bit by telling Gonzalez he'll be the starter heading in to the 2018 season. Smith shouldn't be counted out -- at least not yet.