The Mets’ former batting champ is out of the lineup again as his slump continues

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets are in the midst of another disappointing campaign. After entering the season pegged as a sneaky third wild-card contender, the blue and orange are sitting 10 games under .500 (25-35) with a little more than a one-third of the season played.

Despite the squad’s struggles, there have been no free rides on the roster this season when a player has underperformed.

When Adrian Houser struggled, he was demoted to the bullpen; Joey Wendle and Omar Narváez were designated for assignment for underperforming, and recently, Brett Baty was sent down to Triple-A Syracuse when he was slumping.

Now, a former batting champ has been taken out of the lineup.

The Mets Bench Jeff McNeil…Again

When the blue and orange released their lineup before their Tuesday night matchup against the Washington Nationals, one thing again stood out: Jeff McNeil is out of the lineup for the third straight day.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at New York Mets
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

McNeil is coming off a tough month of May, where he slashed just .202/.262/.303 with two home runs and seven RBIs, with a 3-for-22 stretch being how the 32-year-old ended the month.

Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said yesterday following the blue and orange’s 8-7 victory over the Nationals that the organization wants McNeil to get back to hitting line drives and impacting the baseball.

“I think he’s lifting the ball a little bit too much. This is a guy that won a batting title by hitting line drives from line to line, but right now, we’re not seeing that consistently,” Mendoza said.“He’s [had] stretches for couple of games where you see, ‘Ok, he’s back.’ And then he goes some games where, like ‘Alright, he’s just missing pitches.’ So that’s basically it. Want him to square baseballs and hit line drives the way we all know he’s capable of.”


The 32-year-old has hit the ball in the air much more often this season, with his flyball rate at 26.8%, which matches his career high from his rookie season. In addition, McNeil’s line-drive percentage is sitting at 24.6%, which is down 1.1% from 2023 and 5.4% from his batting title-winning 2022 campaign.

Time will tell if McNeil can turn things around, and the California native will need to do just that if the blue and orange have a chance to turn their playoff hopes around.

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