Dominic Smith has lost weight again and had a battle with sleep apnea. He’s ripping it up in spring and has deserved to stay until the bitter end and until the Mets make a final decision on who makes the Opening Day roster.
Spring training stats are fool’s gold. So, I won’t post any here. On the surface, Alonso seems to be the better prospect. Better with the glove (it’s close) and better hitting the long ball. That’s not even close.
The easy, lazy thing to do would be to send Alonzo down. The Mets could try to further justify the pick of Smith by doing that, I wouldn’t put it past them, and Alonso won’t complain. But is that the right thing to do?
Ideally, they could keep both. Jed Lowrie, won’t be ready for a while and Todd Frazier is out for a while as well, so they could do this. I vote for keeping both on the roster. Smith can play some outfield in a pinch. It would work in the short term and both have earned it.
Alonso should be the starting first baseman. He’s earned it. If you want to potentially create some fear in opposing pitchers. Put Alonso in there. He’s physically imposing at 6-2, 245 pounds. He can hit the ball a country mile and he was the best home-run hitter in AAA last season. Smith has never risen to those heights so to me, he has to earn his place. If he’s truly a different guy, he’ll get some opportunity. This is the Mets, we KNOW there will be some injuries. There already have been.
Alonso, 24, a year older than Smith, is ahead of him in his development. Alonso could be the Mets best find in years and they flat out didn’t call him up last season based on finances, not baseball ability. Will they make the same mistake twice? I don’t think so but with the Mets anything is possible.
The final spring lineup could be a good indicator of things to come, but one of the first basemen won’t be in the Opening Day lineup:
Conforto needs Alonso. Alonso needs Cano to get on base. It works. It could the best way for the Mets to produce a lot of runs, and if things roll well, the trickle-down effect will help Ramos and Rosario, if he stays at that spot in the lineup. Time will tell on that one.
This could be a legit lineup. Todd Frazier may not be able to crack it if McNeil starts off hot. If Alonso hits home runs, then Lowrie is a super sub and plays on everybody’s day off. That’s what I would do.
Opening Day is drawing near. This will be fun.