It’s called in baseball a good problem to have, when you have too many good players at one position. And now the Mets are looking at this issue at third base.
But how good is it really? With Todd Frazier coming back and J.D. Davis looking like a varsity player, there’s going to be a discussion every day for manager Mickey Callaway.
“It’s going to be a hard decision every day,” Callaway said after the Mets decimated the Phillies, 9-0, thanks in part to Frazier’s grand slam home run. “When you are hitting quality hitters like that far down in the lineup, it makes you feel dangerous.”
Yes, both players make the lineup look extended, especially with a guy like Jeff McNeil and his .370 average in front of them. Tonight, McNeil was given an intentional pass only to have Frazier deposit the ball down the left field line.
“It felt really good after missing a bunch of games,” Frazier said adding that he was following the team and texting the players after each game.
That means Frazier said Davis and how he’s has been a similar type of player the first three weeks of the season. That made Callaway’s life even tougher, because he had to move McNeil the outfield to get the former Astros farmhand’s bat in the lineup.
Frazier, though, with his $10 million contract isn’t going to sit on the bench and Callaway knows that, so yesterday he said McNeil was going to be in left and Frazier will be the primary third baseman. Davis is now more of a bench player.
“I just want to contribute as much as they are doing,” Frazier said. “We have a good team here.”
Being a player with a couple of cups of coffee in the majors, as Davis is, give him limited options and right now hos to grin and bare it.
But you have to wonder if everyone is going to stay happy. Both players are very similar with Davis, essentially looking like a younger version of Frazier. Both hit right handed and hit for power with a decent, but not a great average. Frazier will give you a little better glove at third, but not so much that all things else being equal, you should go with the younger player.
But depending on how the Mets do over the next few months may dictate who stays and who goes. A contending Mets team may want to stay with Frazier, while dangling Davis as trade bait, while one that falls off the cliff will quickly sell the veterans on the team.
So right now, Callaway just needs to make a few tough choices here.
Oh and let’s not forget this will get harder for the second year manager, because Jed Lowie will eventually come back further crowding third base and when Yoenis Cespedes comes back in the second half of the year, that will force McNeil to find a new home.
But seriously, having this wealth of players give the Mets another option, which they didn’t do over the past few seasons. With so much depth they club can keep a player on rehab a bit longer to make sure they are 100 percent before coming up.
It shows with Frazier, who looks like he’s in midseason form and expect Lowie and Cespedes to do the same. In the past, the Mets may have been desperate to get a player playing at 80 to 90 percent, not they can make sure they get full rehabs for their guys.
At least this works in the infield and even the outfield with guys like Carlos Gomez and Rajai Davis at Syracuse.
But they don’t have it on the mound, which makes Zack Wheeler’s seven inning gen even more important today.
The Mets may sign a Gio Gonzalez or wait it out right now, but come the trading deadline, a guy like JD Davis may come in handy, turning him into some pitching relief.
And that’s a good problem to have if you are the Mets.