The Mets are going to have a roster conundrum when Jed Lowrie returns from his rehab assignment with the Syracuse Mets.
Todd Fraizer and J.D. Davis have been handling the hot corner through the teams first 39 games of the season, with one player performing far better than the other.
With Lowrie coming back, here is what the Mets should do with the roster…
Start Jed Lowrie
The Mets signed the 35-year-old, 10-year veteran to a 2-year, 20 million dollar contract in the offseason. Lowrie has proved to be still a quality bat, especially the past two seasons where he was an 8.5 WAR player. Lowrie has a low K% with a high on-base percentage the past two seasons, and could very well be the Mets best option hitting second in the lineup considering he makes such high contact to all fields while providing a serviceable defense. Lowrie is a representative of BVW and Chili Davis’s philosophy on hitting, where situational hitting and making contact is a priority. Lowrie should be the starter at third 75% of the time, while also giving days off to Robinson Canó at second as the season progresses.
J.D. Davis Should be the Primary Back Up to Lowrie
During his short time with the Mets this season, Davis has provided a solid bat that has lengthened the Mets lineup. His offensive stats have been impressive, hitting .276 with only a 19.0% K rate, which means he’s consistently putting the ball in play, with significant velocity, as 86.5% of the balls he has put into play have been medium-hard contact. This velocity coming of Davis’s bat would explain why his BABIP is at .340 when he makes contact, there is a high chance that it will find a hole for a hit.
On the defensive side, Davis has been critiqued heavily by those who cover the team. He currently has three errors, two fielding, one throwing, but overall I see an adequate defender, who plays the game hard, and has an excellent throwing arm for third base. Davis is one of the candidates to be sent down when Lowrie returns, but I think he is one of the 25 best players on the roster and should stay up with the team taking 25% of the starts at the hot corner, especially against lefties.
Todd Fraizer Role Should Be Reduced to Pinch Hitting
Todd Fraizer is a great clubhouse leader, and his defense is valuable, but he has been so significantly bad at the plate the Mets can’t justify starting him over Lowrie and Davis. With a .143 AVG and a .168 OBP with a -0.3 WAR, Fraizer is hurting the team by playing. The Mets offense was one of the best in the league to begin the season, scoring 5.6 runs per game before Fraizer returned. After his return, the Mets lineup went through a dreadful period, only amassing 3.1 runs per game.
The Mets have started to realize this, and have begun to start Davis in three straight games, and the offense has perked up, scoring 5.7 runs per game. Fraizer won’t be DFA, as he is owed 9 million this season. Although in a recent poll that was held on our twitter account, 39% of voters would vote to have Fraizer off the team. What I see for Frazier is to have him play a similar role as Michael Cuddyer had in 2015. A solid pinch hitter, who gave the Mets a ton of leadership in their clubhouse to the younger players, Fraizer could grasp this role well if he chooses to.
What the Mets should do is cut their losses and DFA Keon Broxton, as his offensive stats have been abysmal going 7-46 to begin the season, accumulating a -0.6 WAR. Juan Lagares serves as a similar player, while Jeff McNeil has proven to be adequate in the outfield.
Featured Image: Adam Hunger/AP