We need Castillo. But I’d only trade Vientos and McNeil if there’s a guarantee that we sign Kris Bryant afterwards.
Word has it that McNeil is officially on the trading block. I like McNeil a lot and would hate to see him go, especially since I think he’s got a lot left in him. But with my feelings on the Mets desperately needing starting pitching help to back up DeGrom and Scherzer, if they could get a front-line starter like Luis Castillo for McNeil and a prospect, I’m all for it. And the Reds make the most sense as McNeil can play 3rd base, thus giving Cincinnati the option of moving current 3rd baseman Eugenio Suarez (31 HRs, but a whopping 171 strikeouts and a .198 BA in 2021) to DH since in all likelihood the NL will be using the DH next year.
The Mets are calling on a familiar face to help cope with their latest injury.
They’re calling up Ruben Tejada as Jeff McNeil is going on the 10-day injured list with a mild left hamstring strain, The Post’s Mike Puma confirmed. McNeil underwent an MRI Wednesday.
McNeil hurt his hamstring in Tuesday night’s 5-3 loss to the Braves while trying to beat out an infield hit in the ninth inning.
“It didn’t feel great, but I don’t think it’s terrible,” McNeil said after the game.
Tejada, 29, was signed by the Mets in March and hasn’t appeared in a major-league game since 2017 with the Orioles. He spent his first six MLB seasons with the Mets, who originally signed him in 2006. He’s most remembered for suffering a fractured leg from a Chase Utley slide during the 2015 NLDS. Tejada is hitting .330 in 71 games with Triple-A Syracuse.
This is the type of situational managing that you like to see. Sure, Rosario is your starting shortstop and he’s been hitting well all year long. But he also strikes out a lot and with the Mets behind a run with two runners in scoring position in the 7th inning, the scenario screamed for putting up somebody with a batter chance of putting the ball in play. And even with the risk of hurting Rosario’s ego, Callaway made the right move by pinch-hitting him with McNeil and it paid off.
The Mets acquisition of infielder Jed Lowrie on a two-year, $20 million deal that is still pending a physical crowds their infield, and has the potential to squeeze Jeff McNeil’s playing time.
As a solution, the Mets plan to use McNeil in the outfield in 2019, according to a person familiar with the plans.
At the beginning of the offseason, McNeil was pencilled in as the starting second baseman. He was nearly shipped to Seattle in the Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz trade, but the Mets pulled him out of that deal at the last minute, and replaced him with reliever Gerson Bautista.
At that point, the team saw McNeil as a super-utility type, Wilmer Flores with better defense. But Lowrie will now play that role. The team still sees great potential in McNeil’s bat, however, so it plans to use him both in the infield and outfield next year. With that additional option, Mickey Callaway should be able to find more playing time for McNeil.
McNeil played nine games in the outfield in his minor league career, for a total of 65 ½ innings. But the team believes that he has the speed and athleticism to adapt.
Gotta admit, when the Mets penciled in McNeil for the starting 2nd baseman spot in 2019, I was excited. The guy can flat-out hit, he’s gutsy and I thought that he’d make up for Daniel Murphy, who I never wanted to see leave. Then the Mets went after and got Robinson Cano, still have Todd Frazier at 3rd, Amed Rosario at SS, Peter Alonso most likely playing 1st and now Jed Lowrie is on the team as a ‘super-utility’ guy. Oh and let’s not forget TJ Rivera coming back. Would love to pick McNeil’s brain to see what he really thinks about all this, much less now getting ready to play in the outfield.