Francisco Lindor’s slow start in a New York Mets uniform is justifiably worrying a fan base that has seen Murphy’s Law — what can go wrong, will — become a way of life over much of the last 30 years.
Through his first 34 games with his new club, the 27-year-old All-Star shortstop was slashing just .185/.304/.274 (.574 OPS) with three home runs and eight RBI prior to Tuesday night’s action against the Atlanta Braves as he’s been mired in one of the worst slumps of his career.
However, Lindor’s demeanor has yet to change as he maintains an attitude that he’ll break through any day now.
“I want to have success, I’m just not having much right now,” he said. “I’m feeling like Francisco Lindor, I just haven’t gotten the hits that everybody wants. It is what it is. I just have to continue to compete and enjoy the ride. The team is in a good spot so that makes me happy.”
With his slow start has come early displeasure from the always-passionate Mets fan base, which has included booing — something Lindor said he had never experienced before in his previous seven MLB seasons with the Cleveland Indians.
“It’s been very challenging. It’s been tough,” he said. “But out of every tough challenge, good opportunities come and great things happen. So I continue to grind. I’m grinding. I’m doing my best.”
The Mets will need their $341 million man to start producing sooner rather than later, especially with the current state of their shorthanded roster.
Before reserve outfielder Kevin Pillar was hit in the face by a 95-mph fastball from Braves pitcher Jacob Webb on Monday night, the Mets had placed both Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto on the injured list. That increased the Mets’ injured group to 12 in total, including ace Jacob deGrom, starting center fielder Brandon Nimmo, and starting third baseman J.D. Davis.
But you won’t see Lindor putting the pressure squarely on his shoulders to help keep the Mets stabilized and atop the NL East.
“I smile, I pray, I have faith,” Lindor said. “And when it comes to understanding that I don’t have to do it all, it’s being a team player. Understanding that it’s all about passing the baton. I don’t play tennis, I don’t play golf, I’m not by myself. I play a team sport. So understanding that my teammates are really good at what they do… I just have to be a part of the puzzle.”