The shortstop is hitting .189/.295/.277 and is once again slumping, just when we all thought he was over his offensive issues.
“Last time I was here with you guys, I said I wasn’t in a slump … Now I’m in a slump,” says Francisco Lindor.#Mets
— David Lennon (@DPLennon) May 4, 2021
The Mets have World Series expectations this year, powered by an ambitious owner, a considerable financial investment in roster improvements, and the presence of difference-makers such as Lindor and Jacob deGrom.
However, the team has been hit by an unprecedented rash of injuries.
As of Tuesday afternoon, stars such as Pete Alonso, Carlos Carrasco, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Taijuan Walker, Noah Syndergaard, J.D. Davis, and Kevin Pillar, among others, are sidelined with different injuries.
Lindor remains healthy, but given his offensive struggles, the Mets may need contributions from other sources if they are going to keep fighting for a World Series championship in 2021.
Besides the obvious deGrom answer, here are three players that can emerge to help save the Mets’ season.
3. Dominic Smith
With a .236/.289/.314 line so far in 2021, Dominic Smith has been a major disappointment for the Mets, and his lack of production has been felt on the offensive end.
He has had a few good games here and there, but hasn’t been able to get into a rhythm at any point of the season when we are about to complete the two-month mark.
Smith showed the world what he is capable of in the shortened 2020 season, when he was one of the brightest spots in the Mets offense.
Last year, Smith hit .316/.377/.616 with 10 home runs in just 50 games.
He was an extra-base hit machine, but this year his power has virtually evaporated completely.
His isolated power last year was .299, but this year it has collapsed all the way to .079.
He should eventually be fine and get hot, it has been a tough ride to this point.
The Mets need his bat, especially now with so many absences.
2. J.D. Davis
Currently on the injured list with a hand issue, Davis is expected to return to the lineup this week barring any setbacks.
He is clearly not the most talented fielder in the world, but he more than makes it up with his dangerous bat.
In a limited sample size (14 games and 48 plate appearances), Davis is hitting .390/.479/.610 with a couple of home runs.
— MLB Homeruns (@mlb_bombs) April 21, 2021
His offensive breakout was one of the reasons behind the Mets’ late postseason push in 2019, and while he didn’t have a good 2020, everybody in the organization is familiar with his offensive potential.
When he is healthy, Davis is a .300 bat capable of hitting homers at a 30-per-season pace.
He just needs to get back in the lineup and, with a few games to shake off the rust, will likely pick things up right where he left them off.
1. Marcus Stroman
DeGrom is the obvious star in the Mets rotation, and the most important player to their World Series aspirations.
However, the rotation is a unit of five, not one.
That’s why Marcus Stroman, as one of the few remaining healthy and effective starters, needs to keep dominating.
Stroman introduced a split-change this season, and it has paid off tremendously results-wise.
So far, the right-hander has a 2.73 ERA in 52.2 innings.
He has been a stabilizing force in a rotation severely hit by injuries and underperformance.
If he keeps this up, the Mets will be in good position come October.