After a very rough offensive stretch, the Mets have decided to shake things up. After Sunday night’s game, the team announced that they have released Adrian Gonzalez and plan to call up Dominic Smith from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his place. Before Tuesday’s game, the Mets will also designate Jose Lobaton for assignment and recall Ty Kelly from Triple-A.
Gonzalez appeared in 53 games with the Mets this season serving as the starting first baseman. He posted an 83 wRC+ in 184 plate appearances with six home runs and 26 RBIs. After a poor and injury-riddled campaign in 2017, the Dodgers traded Gonzalez to the Braves as part of a multi-player deal in a maneuver to stay under the luxury tax threshold for 2018. The Braves then released Gonzalez and remain on the hook for his $17 million guaranteed salary this season. The Mets picked up Gonzalez for major league minimum this offseason and there was talk of a competition between Gonzalez and Dominic Smith for the first base job. However, Smith injured his quad early in spring training, leaving the door wide open for Gonzalez.
But after putting up -0.1 fWAR in just about a third of a season, Gonzalez has lost his roster spot and Dominic Smith will be given another chance to show he belongs at the big league level. Smith is coming off of a disappointing cup of coffee in the big leagues last season in which he posted a 73 wRC+ in 183 plate appearances without showing the prowess with the glove he had been touted for as a prospect. Smith came into Mets camp looking leaner than ever, after working hard to lose weight and get in shape this offseason. He has a .262/.346/.374 slash line in 55 games at Las Vegas this season.
With injuries sidelining many Mets regulars of late, the Mets have been carrying three catchers on their roster in order to make use of Kevin Plawecki and Devin Mesoraco as pinch hitters off the bench. In cutting Jose Lobaton, the Mets shed the extra catcher in favor of utility man Ty Kelly, who holds a 110 wRC+ in 59 games with the Las Vegas 51s.