Despite having the rookie of the year in Pete Alonso and two backup first basemen, the New York Mets are looking to expand their depth there. Brodie Van Wagenen said Yoenis Cespedes and J.D. Davis might see time at first base throughout Spring Training. It certainly is a questionable move, considering the situations for both players.
Yoenis Cespedes, health pending, could see time at first base this spring training, Brodie Van Wagenen said.
J.D. Davis, too, in addition to his reps in left and at third.
BVW: "Really, itâ€™s a matter of having as many players capable of playing multiple positions as possible."
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) February 8, 2020
The Mets already have Alonso, Dominic Smith, and the recently signed Matt Adams at their disposal. Alonso spent 156 out of his 161 games at first base, and the five games he did not play there were either a DH or pinch-hitting stint. First base should be the least of concern for the Mets as pitchers and catchers officially report this week.
Focus on the Outfield
Cespedes is coming off of nearly two years on the sidelines, and Davis is trying to prove he can be a capable defender in the outfield. It would be a waste of time to take away outfield reps to have a couple of players have the ability to play multiple positions. Of the 15 position players on the current 40-man roster, nine can play multiple positions. It would be different if the two were not fighting for playing time, but both have something to prove during the Spring.
Only 9 players posted a xwOBA of at least .370 against both fastballs & breaking balls in 2019 (min. 100 PA vs. both pitch groups):
— Mathew Brownstein (@MBrownstein89) February 3, 2020
Giving both first base reps could also mean the Mets could still be shopping one of the two. The Mets already have an abundance of veteran players throughout their roster. Van Wagenen might look to make a move close to the end of Spring Training if both are playing well, and having them split time is not ideal. Cespedes seems the more likely option trade due to his age, contract, and Davis recent success compared to Cespedes’s inability to play a full season.