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Jeff McNeil - Now Where to Play Him

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  • Jeff McNeil - Now Where to Play Him

    How does McNeil fit into Mets' plans?

    Beat reporter Anthony DiComo answers fans' questions


    by ANTHONY DiCOMO @AnthonyDiComo
    5 Dec 2018

    What are the Mets' plans for Jeff McNeil after the trade for Cano?
    -- @esahc88 via Twitter


    At this point, I think we must preface every answer about the Mets' offseason with, "It depends." Since Wagenen's vows to be aggressive clearly were more than mere platitudes, we have to assume his predictions of an active offseason are sincere. The infield in place today may not be the infield on Opening Day. I wouldn't even be shocked if the Mets trade McNeil.

    Disclaimers aside, there's still room for McNeil to play. At first base, the Mets will undoubtedly consider keeping Peter Alonso in the Minors for a couple of weeks to ensure an extra year of service time. (Though Mets officials would never say that out loud, it's become standard operating procedure throughout the league.) While McNeil hasn't played first base very often over the years, manager Mickey Callaway has already indicated a willingness to see what he looks like there.

    At second base, Cano is 36 years old and -- despite what he said at his introductory press conference Tuesday -- unlikely to play in 150-plus games. There will be opportunities for McNeil there. At third, Todd Frazier is coming off a year in which he hit .213 with a .693 OPS and twice landed on the disabled list. I doubt the Mets will simply hand Frazier's job to someone else before the season begins, but they'll at least allow McNeil to steal reps at that position. (When asked specifically on SNY about the possibility of starting McNeil over Frazier at third base next season, Callaway responded: "We still have to talk through that further.")

    If nothing else, those options could allow McNeil to start several times per week early in the season. How it all shakes out remains to be seen, but this much is clear: the Mets wouldn't have insisted on keeping McNeil away from Seattle if their only plans were to stash him on the bench.


    Drew's Sig

  • #2
    https://twitter.com/AnthonyDiComo/status/

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    • #3
      McNeil should play third, bat second.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mjjm367 View Post
        McNeil should play third, bat second.
        I second that. It is utter nonsense to sit him while Frazier starts. McNeil should start until he shows that last year was a fluke (yes, some regression should be expected)

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        • #5
          IMO, McNeil is the reason Flores got non-tendered. They knew Flores had 1 year left before FA and decided they wouldn't keep him around long term. Now if they go out and sign Marwin Gonzalez, they have two super utility guys on their bench .

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          • #6
            It's a long season and players need an occasional day off, and in the NL they can't use the DH for a semi day off. Plus injuries are always looming. 2017; Reyes intended as bench depth led the team in PA. He played in 79 of 81 games with a marshmallow bat, before he hit in the second half.

            If McNeil's bat works, Mickey will find him PAs

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            • #7
              https://twitter.com/MetsDaddy2013/status/

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