It’s funny who ends up paying after a team signs a player to its biggest ever contract. The Mets stuck it on the little guy after the team’s wonky start at the plate, firing hitting coach Chili Davis and his assistant Tom Slater. The Mets are 11-12 and that’s not what they had in mind this year after trading and signing for Francisco Lindor for the GDP of Albania.
Lindor is the object of everyone’s frustration and confusion, as he’s hitting .171 through the season’s first month. But any digging under the surface would reveal that Lindor is going to be fine. He’s walking a ton, and hardly striking out, which might suggest a touch of passivity at the dish, but Lindor never strikes out. He’s hitting a ton of grounders, which is a worry, but also should change. It’s a different game in New York when you’re the centerpiece than it is when you’re in Cleveland, and he’d hardly be the first to take some time adjusting.
The Mets are way last in runs in the NL, though they’ve played the least amount of games. They can’t hit a bull in the ass with a banjo with runners in scoring position, hitting .208. We know that hitting with runners in scoring position isn’t really a skill, after all, this is largely the same group of players that hit .263 in the same situation in the last full season in 2019.
But in reality, and as often as Davis seems to get fired, hitting coaches don’t do much. They’re not pitching coaches, as hitters have their own approaches and routines and rarely deviate from them. At some point, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith, Michael Conforto et al will stop beating the ball into the ground simply because those are the hitters they’ve always been, and the new guy will get credit.
And if they don’t? Well, the only explanation you need is “Mets.”