I would consider myself a traditional baseball fan.
I grew up watching National League baseball. I pretty much avoided watching the Yankees, so I didn’t really see much American League baseball until the playoffs. (Where the Yankees were a little bit harder to avoid.)
I’m a big fan of having the game played the way it was intended to be played.
The institution of the designated hitter in the American League was nothing more than a cash grab. Having the pitcher hit for himself creates drama and intrigue. It requires strategy. And you know what?
I don’t care anymore. I don’t have the energy to argue. I’ve accepted the fact that the designated hitter coming to the National League was an inevitability.
And now? They are taking it away?
Traditionalist or not, we could all agree on one thing. Having the ability to pencil in a designated hitter is a godsend for a team like the Mets.
We are going to have to have an uncomfortable conversation.
Is this the most likable Met team ever? I mean, I wouldn’t argue that. They haven’t won anything, but they sure are easy to root for. The chemistry is off the charts!
But the reality is, without the designated hitter, we definitely need to make some player moves.
The conversation among Met fans is now likely going to change directions a little bit this winter.
Realmuto. Springer. Lindor. Arenado?
Well, we have to talk about Smith, Alonso and Nimmo now.
First things first. Conforto isn’t going anywhere. Let’s pencil him into a corner outfield spot. You can even use ink if you want.
SMITH AND ALONSO
No DH? This is where the 2020 Mets would be affected the most. First base. Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso.
Pete Alonso cannot play any other position other than first base. Dominic Smith has played left field for the Mets, but not particularly well.
So, what to do? Dominic Smith has proven that he deserves everyday at bats going forward. Do you sacrifice defense to put Smith in the outfield everyday?
Doing that opens a huge can of worms. If you keep Brandon Nimmo on the team, that means he would now be your everyday center fielder, which certainly isn’t ideal.
Do you trade JD Davis? I think that Davis is a professional hitter. But it’s become very evident that he should be the designated hitter more days than not.
Davis at third base, Smith in left field AND Nimmo in center? YIKES.
Fans have sure changed their tune on Dominic Smith the last few years. When he overslept during spring training in 2018, fans would have given him away for free.
Now? He’s one of the most liked players on the team.
Not to say Smith doesn’t deserve it. He was one of the best hitters in the league in 2020. That was after a 2019 campaign where he adapted to a part-time role magnificently.
But again. Smith cannot be a part-time player going forward. He’s too valuable.
So, do we trade Alonso? Smith is easily the better defender.
There are many who would like to go that route. Alonso’s 2020 season has left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths.
Personally, I would pump the brakes a little bit. Alonso had one of the best rookie seasons ever. Not to mention what he means to this team in the clubhouse.
Oh, you’re asking me?
Damn. I’m going to need a little time here.
Conforto in right field. McNeil at second base. That’s all I got.
I do know this.
If there is no DH in 2021, someone will be on the move.
Who do YOU think it should be?