The first baseman/outfielder is having the worst season of his major league career. In the 58 games he has suited up for the New York Mets, he has a .194 batting average, with 17 RBI. He is slugging a .276 on-base percentage, and a .284 slugging percentage. He has also not hit one out of the yard so far either.
As the All-Star Break has come to a close and the second half of the season underway, Smith will not be a part of that. It was announced on Thursday that he would start the second half on the 10-day Injured List with an ankle, after rolling it while running the bases last Saturday against the Cubs.
The Mets were not a bad team last season, as they were in first place in the NL East for a good chunk of their campaign, but they ended up self-imploding, and the eventual World Series champion Atlanta Braves took the division over. After making several splashy moves the previous offseason, like with the signing of Max Scherzer and Starling Marte, as well as the team they already had, things were looking bright in Queens.
As the 11th overall pick back in 2015 out of Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, California, Smith has been expected to play a big role with his bat. After a very successful 2020 season, hitting 10 home runs in 50 games, Smith’s production dipped as he ended up having a mediocre 2021 year, batting .244 with 11 home runs, 58 RBI, an on-base percentage of .304, and a slugging percentage .363 in 145 games played.
Many fans just saw this as a down year for Smith and the Mets, as the team went into a downward spiral in the second half. The team is hoping he can reach back to his .316 batting average from 2020. As of now, fans and the team just hope that he can get back to the same production from 2021.
The August 2nd trade deadline is approaching quickly, and as the Mets are very much in playoff contention, they will be buyers. The team just announced Friday that they acquired first baseman/designated hitter Daniel Vogelback, most likely meaning less playing time for Smith.
Smith’s name has already been thrown out there as a potential player the Mets may use as a trade piece. Recent reports have indicated that, according to Robert Murray, teams like the Cubs and the Red Sox are already showing signs of interest in the 27-year-old. Especially with a crowded outfield, and a very crowded first baseman group, all signs are pointing to Smith being the odd man out.
A change in scenery could be exactly what he needs. It can be a chance to let go of old demons, and have a fresh start. However, there is a good chance that he will not get traded, and if that’s the case, then he will really need to figure out what’s going wrong in a hurry. Either way, the next month or two are going to be very interesting to see what ends up happening with Smith.
The New York Mets are standing tall at the top of the National League East as the only team with a record above .500. Not only are the Mets 9.5 games ahead of the reigning World Series Champion Atlanta Braves (at the time of publishing), they have the most wins in the majors with 35.
This week the team decided to make some adjustments to their roster by optioning our MLBbro, Dominic Smith to Triple A Syracuse and bringing in a right handed pitcher, Adonis Medina this week. A move that was discussed by manager Buck Showalter via ESPN.
“We needed a pitcher to try and keep everybody healthy down there,” manager Buck Showalter said. “And Dom was the option we ended up with.”
The demotion is a chance for the team and Dominic to reset and figure out where their future lies. After finishing 13th in the NL MVP voting with slashes of .316/.377/.616 while hitting ten homers and driving in 42 runs in a shortened season, Smith looked like a can’t miss prospect for the future.
He was quietly doing damage in 2021, flirting with a career year, but inconsistency has been his Achilles heel. Since that 60-game explosion in 2020, our MLBbro has struggled at the plate with hitting slashes of .235/.301/.346 with 11 home runs. The biggest issue at the plate is his rhythm as he has three times as many strikeouts as walks in his last 594 plate appearances before being optioned.
This season almost became a parting of the ways for the Mets and our MLBbro. With the new designated hitter option in the National League, the Mets saw it as a possibility to get another big bat in the lineup. On top of his slow development, Smith’s struggles were also attributed to a lack of conditioning that compounded wrist problems and sleep apnea issues.
“I was a little bit banged up… “The wrist (strain) started in spring training on a check swing. I didn’t want to miss much time, so I just wore a little tape on my wrist and went after it.
“But then because my wrist was hurting, I wound up messing up my labrum due to my one hand follow through on my swing.”
This adjustment has brought our MLBbro to this point where he has bottomed out with a .186 batting average with zero homers this season. The Mets believe that optioning him to Syracuse will get his groove back at the plate and alleviate the frustrations and pressures of not playing every day.
“In the situation that we are in, we have a really good first baseman in Pete Alonso,” Showalter said. “[Smith] is probably feeling like every at-bat, he has to hit four home runs in one at-bat.
“[We want him to] settle in a comfort zone, just remind himself how good [he is]. He’s a confident guy. I see the work he keeps doing, trying to be perfect in every at-bat. It’s hard to do in this game. The pitchers are really good. Just try to settle into some consistent at bats and know what he is going to be out there every day. Just get into a groove where he can be who he is capable of being.”
There is the plan for our MLBbro for now. Dominic gets time to find his consistent stroke to get back to the majors. When he returns, will it be in a Mets uniform? Who knows? Smith’s slump has put him in the rumor mill for quite a while. It was reported that Smith was being dealt to the Padres in exchange for Chris Paddack, Eric Hosmer and Emilio Pagan. Issues with Paddack’s medical report kept Dominic in New York. Paddack eventually got Tommy John surgery.
Smith’s last shining moment was on May 1st when his four hits effectively landed him this final roster spot at DH and ended the Robinson Cano era in the Mets organization. Since then, Dominic has been in a 6-for-46 slump.
The Mets still say they believe in Smith’s potential.
Mets general manager, Billy Eppler said, “It was hard, but I made sure to articulate how good of a player I thought he was and still do,” Eppler said. “It’s a point of adversity. But he’s got our support, and any resource that he can help with, anything he needs from us, he’s got it.”
Look for Dominic Smith to get hot and be ready for the DH role down the stretch for the Mets this postseason. Even if that doesn’t work out, he could be traded to a team for what he truly wants, which is being in the lineup every day.
NATIONALS PARK — Melanated Mound Marauder Carl Edwards Jr. throws gas for the Washington Nationals. Unfortunately, Tuesday night in Washington was just a quick trip in relief where he gave up three earned runs and a 2-0 lead to the New York Mets in his Nationals debut.
After their contentious series in Queens last month, the teams were well behaved as New York beat Washington 4-2 at Nationals Park.
During his only inning of work, Edwards turned Patrick Corbin’s best start of the season into a no decision. After a tremendous start in Rochester leading to dreams of staying in the District for the rest of the season, Edwards lived through the nightmare debut with help from one of his biggest clubhouse supporters.
Nationals manager Davey Martinez and new teammate Josh Bell came to his defense. Edwards definitely pulled his weight in his prior destination. During his extended stay in western New York, Edwards was killing it with a 1-0 record and a 0.63 ERA in 13 games. He had only walked four batters coming in, striking out 17 and opposing batters were hitting at a 0.68 clip. Washington was hoping Edwards could be a part of a remixed middle relief tandem that could relieve pressure from the already taxed bullpen.
Bell admitted that he was “pumped” to have Edwards on his side because he didn’t relish the notion of facing Edwards’ “elite cutter” anymore. He also gave his “homeboi” props for having a great, albeit short spring training. The latest edition to Washington’s evolving rotation
Bell didn’t help Edwards’ cause in his fateful fifth inning. Despite repping for his man with the media, the Nats first baseman played a tough out into what was ruled a two RBI double that gave the Mets a 3-2 lead. Bell did continue to scorch with the bat, going 2-for-4 in the game to lift his average to .349, good for fifth in the league.
The only Black starting first baseman in baseball is locking down an All-Star bid early in the season. The Nats haven’t gelled as a team yet, but MLBbro Carl Edwards adds another live arm that can help hold the fort during this rebuild.
Mark Gray remembers 12-year #MLBbro first baseman/outfielder Donn Clendenon, most notable for his bro bashing during the 1969 World Series when he won the WS Most Valuable Player Award by blasting three clutch homers to help lead the team known as the Miracle Mets to a World Championship.