Mets manager Buck Showalter spoke with reporters about the team’s decision to option Dominic Smith to Triple-A this week, calling it a “difficult” conversation to have with the first baseman (link via Newsday’s Laura Albanese). “You always try to put yourself in their shoes knowing that, in a lot of cases, you can’t,” Showalter said of his conversation with Smith. “It’s one of those cases where someone says, I know what you’re feeling. No, you don’t. No, you don’t, so don’t act like you do. I’ve learned in situations like that, you’re better off listening than you are talking.”
Smith will play primarily first base in Syracuse, and Showalter voiced confidence in the 26-year-old’s ability to find his swing with the help of regular at-bats and to get back to the Majors sooner than later. For the time being, however, with a banged-up pitching staff, the Mets needed a extra arm. Smith had minor league options remaining and had been struggling through infrequent usage. The former first-rounder hit .299/.366/.571 from 2019-20, but he batted just .186/.287/.256 in 101 plate appearances this year. Smith told SI.com in March that he played through a small tear of the labrum in his right shoulder last year, and it’s certainly possible there are (or were) some lingering effects of that issue.
A few more notes out of Queens…
- Former Mets lefty Aaron Loup chatted with SNY’s Andy Martino about his decision to sign with the Angels over the winter, revealing that the Mets indeed made an offer but did not match the two-year, $17MM terms he received from the Halos. Loup details that the Angels were aggressive from the jump, while the Mets took their time in putting together an offer as they sorted through front-office and managerial searches. Loup acknowledges that he and his agents “tried to stall the Angels as long as we could” while waiting to see if the Mets would match the offer. Ultimately, the Mets came in the $12-12.5MM range with a two-year offer, per Loup, who unsurprisingly opted for the larger guarantee in Anaheim. Loup has already allowed more runs in 18 2/3 innings with the Angels than he did in 56 2/3 frames as a Met last year, though the bulk of the damage against him has come over his past four appearances. No one expected the 34-year-old to replicate last year’s immaculate 0.95 ERA in the first place, and the fact that he’s sporting nearly identical strikeout, walk and ground-ball rates suggests that Loup ought to bounce back from this rough patch before long.
- Showalter told reporters, including Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, that Francisco Lindor has “a form of” fracture in his finger. However, it doesn’t seem to be terribly serious, as Lindor is in tonight’s lineup, hitting third and playing shortstop. The injury came about in an unusual fashion, as he got his finger stuck in a hotel door. The shortstop seems to be in good spirits about the situation, joking with reporters about keeping the door open from now. “I ain’t touching that door,” Lindor said, per Tim Healey of Newsday. “It can stay open.” Lindor has been a key part of the club’s tremendous start to the season, as he’s hitting .261/.345/.442 for a wRC+ of 126. He’s also added seven steals and quality defense, accumulating 2.1 fWAR already with less than a third of the season played.