The Mets have yet to take advantage of the spark that came with the acquisition of Javier Baez at the trade deadline — there are too many glaring factors that are hampering a team that’s hanging onto its lead in the National League East by its fingertips. But the presence of the 28-year-old has certainly been felt in his early days as a Met.
Prior to Thursday’s series finale against the Miami Marlins, Baez had a pair of home runs and three RBI in his first five games with the team, including the go-ahead round-tripper in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 5-3 win over the Marlins.
His big night also included a swim slide at home plate to get the Mets going in the second inning, putting on full display the base-running savvy that is just as well-known as his power and sterling defense.
Needless to say, Mets manager Luis Rojas loves that he’s been seeing so far from the new acquisition.
“All the things that Javy does, like the slide or making a play on a relay, making a strong throw, or hitting a homer, all those things, they can impact anyone on the team and motivate them,” Rojas said before Thursday’s in Miami. “When a guy like that is on your team, there can be any moment when he can boost you up.
“That’s the advantage of having a player like that. That was a great acquisition.”
Baez himself has said that the transition hasn’t been overly taxing after seven-plus seasons with the Chicago Cubs, citing “good communication” in the clubhouse that has helped him find his game rather seamlessly in Queens.
“I’m going to be the same guy every day,” Baez said. “I’m going to be around them, going to bring my energy.”
For the Mets, that hopefully means that extra special something to catapult them into the playoffs as their division lead has shrunk significantly over the few days of August.
“We have to stop paying attention to what’s outside or things we can’t control,” Baez said. “We just have to slow down and take it pitch-by-pitch.”