Mets send struggling Dominic Smith to Triple-A Syracuse

Dominic Smith Mets
New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (2) follows through on a two run double during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets sent first baseman Dominic Smith down to Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday afternoon ahead of their game against the Washington Nationals. 

Smith’s playing time had grown sparse due to early-season struggles that saw him slash .186/.287/.256 (.543 OPS) with zero home runs and 14 RBI across 86 at-bats. 

Since May 18 — the last 12 games entering Tuesday night — the 26-year-old only accrued 20 at-bats, recording just three hits. 

It’s been an elongated fall from grace for a player that was a top-10 bat in the National League during the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, slashing .316/.377/.616 (.993 OPS) with 10 home runs and 42 RBI in 50 games. He even finished 13th in the NL MVP voting that year. 

Last year, however, saw a significant regression as his batting average fell to .244 and his OPS dropped to .667 in 145 games.

“We’ll give him a chance to see if he can get back to the things he was capable of and hopefully he can do that,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “We have a lot of confidence that he will and he can be back up here helping us once our pitching has been straightened out.” 

In a corresponding move, the Mets recalled reliever Adonis Medina from Triple-A to provide some much-needed pitching depth for New York. 

With frustration building and Pete Alonso having a monster season — offering few chances for him to crack the lineup —  Smith said as recently as two weeks ago that he would be open to going elsewhere if a team wanted him to play regularly. 

“I just want to play every day,” Smith told Newsday in a story published May 16. “To be honest, that’s what I want to do. I like where this team is going. I feel like I can impact this team in a number of ways, and that’s being (in the lineup) every day, in my opinion. 

“But as a person, being here since I was 22, now I’m 26, and still in the same position. About to be 27. If there’s a team out there that wants me to play and wants to let me play, I would love to play every day. That’s just how I feel about that.”

He later clarified to the New York Post that he did not say he wanted to leave to play elsewhere. 

“We have a really good first baseman in Pete Alonso,” Showalter said. “[Smith is probably] feeling like every at-bat… he has to hit four home runs in one at-bat. He just has to settle in a comfort zone and remind him of how good he is. He’s a confident guy. I’ve seen the work he’s doing.

“He’s going to be out there every day [in Triple-A]. Now let’s get in a groove where we know he’s capable of being.”

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