The Mets are activating star shortstop Francisco Lindor from the 10-day injured list before tonight’s game against the Giants, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com was among those to relay. He’ll be making his first appearance since mid-July after missing five weeks with a right oblique strain.
Things were looking up for the Mets before Lindor hit the IL on July 17. New York had been leading the National League East for the prior couple months and looked to have a good chance at snapping a four-year playoff drought. That’s no longer the case, as the Mets have fallen flat in August and dipped below .500 in recent days. New York enters play tonight sporting a 61-63 record, sitting in third place in the division. They’re six and a half games back of the Braves and two games behind the Phillies, giving them very little margin for error if they’re to make a playoff push over the season’s final five-plus weeks.
For the first time, Lindor will pair with trade deadline acquisition Javier Báez in the middle infield. The Mets acquired Báez from the Cubs in the hope that he could hold down shortstop for a few weeks before sliding to second base upon Lindor’s return. Unfortunately, Báez missed ten days himself due to back spasms, but he made his return to the lineup over the weekend.
Lindor started the season very slowly, but he’d begun to find some rhythm offensively before the injury. Overall, he’s carrying a .228/.326/.376 line over his first 364 plate appearances. That’s career-worst production — no doubt a disappointing start to his time in Queens — but Lindor has continued to offer Gold Glove caliber defense and should see an improvement in his hitting numbers, since he’s been plagued by a .248 batting average on balls in play.