Since Spring Training, the Mets have made it a point to say Dominic Smith is being viewed by the team as primarily a first baseman. That meant no outfield reps for the 23-year-old, even though he told the team he wanted to do so.
Fast forward a few months and the Mets have been left no choice but to consider Smith for outfield time considering the recent injuries to players like Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Jeff McNeil.
Manager Mickey Callaway admitted to the media before Wednesday night's game against the Nationals that Smith could be featured in the outfield if need be.
"Maybe we'll get some Dom playing time out there if we have to depending on the game situation, which to tell you the truth, I'm comfortable with," Callaway said. "He has been taking some fly balls in the outfield during BP for fun, so sometimes you have to do what you have to do and that might be the case tonight. So we'll just have to wait and see."
Stopping by SNY's "Citi Pre Game Live" at Citi Field prior to tonight's game, Smith told Gary Apple and Todd Zeile that he thought his limited time in the outfield last season went well, so he's ready to take on the task yet again.
"Yeah, I got a little experience, a little taste of that last year," Smith said. "My first time going out there and I felt like I did well. But, the same token, I worked very hard this offseason to get better at that and now they're starting to work with me a little bit more to hopefully get back out there. I want to get out there, I want to help the team no matter where I'm at."
It's no secret that Smith is a team-first player, and considering his bench role so far this season, he is doing everything he can to make an impact for the team. That includes upgrading his versatility and carrying around every glove in the book.
Even if it's a catcher's glove.
"You know, I got a catcher's glove right now, I want to carry around every mit," Smith said chuckling.
It was a thought by some that Smith should be featured in the outfield, as he got off to a hot start at the plate this season. Getting his bat in the lineup consistently, though, just wasn't in the cards. Pete Alonso had established himself the starting first baseman, and the Mets were more inclined to put J.D. Davis in left field for McNeil when it was needed.
However, injuries cause teams to scramble and put the best lineups on the card on gameday, and Callaway may need Smith in the outfield depending on pitching matchups.
Smith is hitting .308/.438/.436 with one homer and six RBI in his bench role so far this season (37 games). And pretty soon, he could be wiping the dust off that outfield leather.