Mets welcome Cardinals to Citi Field while the Daniel Vogelbach situation is crippling the team
Also, Ronny Mauricio plays the outfield, and what the hell is the plan with Daniel Vogelbach?
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets were off on Thursday and will begin a three game weekend series with the Cardinals at Citi Field tonight
Mets prospect Ronny Mauricio started in left field for the first time in his career in Syracuse’s game against Buffalo and crushed a pair of home runs
News and Notes 🗞️
Former Brewers President David Stearns is expected to join the Mets as their head of baseball operations after this season (USA Today)
Former Met Matt Harvey is becoming the managing director at Newmark, a commercial Real Estate firm (New York Post)
The Mets will be hosting Pride Night at Citi Field on Friday (release)
Roster Moves 📰
RHP Stephen Ridings activated from the injured list and optioned to Triple-A Syracuse
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (32-36) vs. Cardinals (27-42)
Where: Citi Field, Flushing, New York
Starters: RHP Tylor Megill (5-4, 5.14 ERA) vs RHP Miles Mikolas (4-3, 4.02 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
The Daniel Vogelbach situation just keeps getting worse ✍️
I’m going to begin this by stating for the record that I don’t actually have anything against Daniel Vogelbach. I think he’s a fun-loving, affable guy who is clearly well-liked in the Mets’ clubhouse, and I’d love nothing more than to see him consistently mash right-handed pitching and send Vogel-bombs towards the Shea Bridge.
That said, he should never have come to Queens to begin with.
The process surrounding Vogelbach’s acquisition was flawed at the time and looks worse now.
With the Mets desperate for more offense from their DH spot last summer, they sent flame-throwing rookie right-handed reliever Colin Holderman in a deal that instantly screamed overpay. You just cannot trade a talented arm with the potential to develop into a high leverage late inning reliever, who also has six years of control remaining, for a one dimensional left-handed slugger…. who doesn’t do nearly enough slugging.
At the time of the trade Vogelbach had crushed only 12 home runs in 237 at-bats with Pittsburgh, and while he’s always displayed a knack for being a high on-base percentage guy, speed is quite clearly not his strongpoint so it’s not like him reaching first base puts any pressure on the defense.
And at the risk of sounding increasingly negative, the 2023 season has been an unmitigated disaster for Vogelbach straight from the get-go.
In his first 118 at-bats of the year the 30-year-old is slashing .203/.343/.297. And really one only of those numbers is overwhelmingly concerning. Vogelbach has never been a high average hitter, and his career mark of .216 doesn’t exactly put this year’s batting average to shame. His .343 on-base percentage actually mirror his career mark, demonstrating his above average knowledge of the strike zone and willingness to take a walk. However, Vogelbach’s slugging percentage is over 100 points lower than his lifetime average, and if he’s not slugging the ball consistently….why exactly is he here?
Thus far in 2023 he’s cleared the fence only twice and contributed only five doubles.
To make matters even worse, it was revealed this week that the reason he has not played in a game since June 7th—nine days ago—is that the Mets have been trying to give him a mental break to help him regroup. Now as an advocate for mental health, I think that’s great. As a diehard fan of the New York Mets, I think it’s asinine.
First of all, Vogelbach is simply the most one-dimensional player New York has ever employed. His position is listed as first base, but in his 11 months with the club Mets fans have never seen him wear a glove. He is a station-to-station baserunner. He can’t hit lefties and at this point, he’s a power hitter against right-handed pitchers that doesn’t hit for power.
Pete Alonso is currently on the injured list thank to the effects of taking a Charlie Morton offering to the wrist, and in his absence the Mets have been alternating between using a corner outfielder—Mark Canha, and a third baseman—Mark Vientos, to cover position number three on your scorecard. The fact that Vogelbach’s name has not been mentioned as even an option to start a game there before Alonso returns says all you need to know about how the Mets view his defensive capabilities.
Secondly, while Drew Smith’s ‘sticky stuff’ ejection and subsequent suspension that will have the Mets playing a man short for the next week has been well documented, the team has already, willingly, been playing a man short on the bench for over a week.
Think about that. A Major League Baseball team made a conscious decision to not utilize every spot on its roster.
Giving a guy a day or two off for a mental break—often bracketed around a team off day for maximum effectiveness—is common practice in baseball. This is different. Particularly during a stretch where twice, with the Mets needing power to get them back in the game late, they opted to let slap hitter Luis Guillorme take his turn in the batter’s box without even thinking about pinch-hitting with their supposed left-handed power-hitting designated hitter.
If Vogelbach wasn’t going to hit for a week and a half regardless of the game situation, the Mets should have placed him on the injured list.
Or….and here’s a novel idea…should have consulted with him and mutually agreed to send him to the minor leagues for a stretch to rebuild his confidence in a lower pressure environment. He’s out of minor league options so that would have required outrighting him off the roster and he would have had to accept the assignment.
However, option number three, simply DFA’ing him and cutting the cord would have conceivably been enough of an incentive to convince him to try his luck in Syracuse for a couple of weeks.
And for the record, door number three should 100% remain a possibility.
I assume Vogelbach will be in the lineup tonight, though that will likely be at the expense of Vientos, a prospect that Mets should be giving considerable run with Alonso out.
If Vogelbach fails to convincingly turn things around before Alonso is ready to come off the injured list at the end of the month, I really can’t come up with a plausible reason for anyone other than Vogelbach to be the roster casualty.
New York clearly missed with both of their trades for DH help last summer. The Darin Ruf debacle got more attention, but it was also handled with much more realism. The Mets recognized they made a mistake, and refused to let it multiply, sending Ruf packing at the end of spring training.
At some point here, they have to be willing to do the same thing with Vogelbach.
Around the League 🚩
The Rays won their 50th game of the season by besting the A’s 4-3 in Oakland
The Phillies got two hit games from Trea Turner, Nick Castellanos, Bryson Stott, and Alec Bohm and held on to defeat the Diamondbacks 5-4
A.J. Smith-Shawver earned his first Major League win as the Braves won the opener of their series with Colorado
Former Met Javier Báez had two hits and drove in two runs in the Tigers 8-4 win over the Twins