SNY: If you have been holding your breath waiting for the Mets to call up 23-year-old first baseman Peter Alonso, you should probably stop.
The Mets have no plans to bring Alonso to the majors this season “no matter what,” Mets radio announcer Howie Rose said on Sunday night, citing a “pretty strong source” within the organization.
Adrian Gonzalez was released after Sunday night’s win over the Yankees, with Dominic Smith on the way from Triple-A Las Vegas to join the team before Tuesday night’s game in Atlanta.
For now, Alonso remains with Binghamton, though a promotion to Triple-A would make sense.
Alonso is hitting .310/.441/.567 with 15 HR and 50 RBI in 62 games (210 at-bats) this season for Binghamton. He is a career .301/.390/.548 hitter with 38 HR between three minor league levels over three seasons (185 games).
In a corresponding move to Adrian Gonzalez being released and Jose Lobaton being designated for assignment, Dom Smith is on his way to join the club as the first baseman replacement. Ty Kelly is also joining the Mets, wow let’s celebrate. Naturally, Mets fans are up in arms about the call up being for Dom Smith instead of Peter Alonso. I’d be a major hypocrite to condemn Mets fans for jumping to conclusions, acting irrationally, or anything of the sorts. But let’s calm down.
To preface, I don’t have much faith in Dom Smith. I’m hardly an established baseball talent evaluator, but I didn’t like what I saw from Dom Smith last year. We’ve been waiting for his “gold glove defense” for years. We’ve also long heard about his ability to hit for average. He hasn’t gotten a fair shake to make rulings on those yet. BUT his defense was shaky last year, and he wasn’t exactly a tough out at the plate. Maybe he was promoted prematurely. Maybe the motivation and talent truly are not there. Time will tell. And I think it’s only fair to give him that time to prove himself. This season is already totally lost, so there’s no harm to replace Adrian Gonzalez with Dom Smith today.
In regard to Peter Alonso, he’s been the talk of the town over the last year or so as someone who’ll make a major impact when he arrives. We were hearing the same things about Tomas Nido filling the catcher void, and he was a complete bum before they brought in Devin Mesoraco. You don’t have to search too far for answers as to why they traded for a catcher in the first place. Nonetheless, Peter Alonso is one of the few “bright spots” amongst a rather bleak farm system. He’s dominating in Double-A ball right now. And given Dom Smith’s struggles last year, I completely get why people are writing him off in favor of a new face.
But that’s part of the problem. We’re quick to cut bait with guys who don’t seem to have it. Some of it is warranted and some of it isn’t. At the end of the day, it all comes back to the fact that we’re desperate for these young guys to flourish, we’re desperate for a championship, and we’re especially desperate for anything that’ll end this nightmare that is the 2018 season. While I get the clamoring for Alonso, I surely don’t want to see another situation where a guy is brought up too quickly just because the major league roster stinks (Rosario last year?). How about we let this kid prove he can excel in Triple A first? Then we can talk.
HAVING SAID ALL OF THAT, it’s so Mets to hear a statement like this, if it turns out to be a valid comment. I trust Howie Rose with my life, so his sources are about as good as it gets in my book. I’m absolutely fine with keeping Alonso in the minors, but to rule out a promotion on June 10 is dumb. Nobody knows what’s going to happen between now and September.
The context of the conversation is unknown, but let’s assume someone in the front office was asked about Peter Alonso and the possibility of giving him the nod. It could have been so much easier to say something along the lines of “Peter’s showing great success in Binghamton and we hope to see that continue up the ranks and eventually with the big league ball club. That timeline is entirely dependent on Peter’s progress and the makeup of our time. We plan on him being a key piece to this team. And when that time comes, we hope it’s a permanent move.” Boom, I just fielded that question masterfully. Mets gonna Mets though.