Mets’ slugger Dominic Smith still out, but is making progress

New Yor k Mets, Dominic Smith
Sep 29, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets’ outfielder Dominic Smith has spent most of the week sidelined with an annoying wrist injury that refuses to completely go away. The slugger was initially scratched from the lineup for Wednesday’s game against the Miami Marlins with the issue, and hasn’t played since.

However, there is an encouraging update on his ailment. The Mets’ slugger, who broke out last season, took batting practice on Friday, one day ahead of schedule. The soreness is on his right wrist, but the issue likely won’t sideline him for very long, as he is still expected to be a fixture in the Opening Day lineup.

Smith didn’t take the field on Friday, but he does seem to be turning a corner and is expected to be back in Grapefruit League action soon for the Mets. According to what the player himself told manager Luis Rojas, he “would be playing” if it were the regular season, indicating that the soreness is actually not that bad.

The Mets need to have Smith’s bat in the lineup

During 2020’s shortened campaign, Smith had a full-on breakout performance, batting .316 with 10 home runs, 27 runs scored, 42 RBI, and a .993 OPS. If he had a clear defensive home, he would play virtually every day for the Mets.

However, his natural first base position is blocked by Pete Alonso, so he figures to get semi-regular playing time in left field for the Mets, as they try to give at-bats to Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Kevin Pillar and Albert Almora in the outfield.

If the New York Mets and the rest of the National League teams could have the designated hitter spot available, the Mets could simply pencil Smith’s name, or JD Davis, there every day, but MLB owners and the players’ association couldn’t agree on it as well as other topics.