The Mets are getting healthier and that’s a good thing if you are a Mets fan. At one time the team had 17 players on the injured list (IL) with several position players being on the list. Yet, the team remained in first place and that is because a few of the depth pieces stepped up their game in a time of need. As the team gets healthier and more and more players come off the injured list, those players who helped the Mets during the last couple of months will get replaced on the roster by the healthy players and the roster decisions to replace those players become tougher and tougher.
Outfielder Brandon Nimmo and infielder Jonathan Villar were activated over the weekend and infielder J.D. Davis is close to being activated as well. He is currently in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Syracuse. Looking at the current 26-man roster, the Mets will have an interesting decision to make when J.D. Davis returns to the big-league club as far as whose spot Davis will take on the roster.
Naturally the Mets need to have some balance off the bench. I don’t see them going with just one reserve outfielder so both Billy McKinney and Kevin Pillar seem safe when Davis returns. That means it is likely that an infielder would have be replaced. That leaves the options to Jose Peraza and Luis Guillorme.
Peraza spent the first month of the season on the Triple-A roster while playing at the alternate site. He was called up to the Mets after a rash of injuries and has played pretty well. His numbers may not look spectacular, as he is hitting just .209 with 5 HRs and 17 RBIs in 120 at-bats, but there is something that those numbers don’t show.
He has the uncanny ability to hit in the clutch and he proved that again on Sunday. With the bases loaded in a tie game, Peraza ripped a two-run double to give the Mets the lead against the Yankees in the Bronx. The double is memorable because it was caught by a fan, which usually means a home run, but the umpires ruled that it was fan interference and so he was awarded a double.
Peraza has just 25 hits for the Mets this season, but the hits have come in huge spots. He continues to show up in a big spot and for a Mets offense that has struggled to score runs in 2021, that fact cannot be overlooked. He also has played solid defense wherever the Mets have played him this season.
Here’s perhaps the biggest thing that would keep Peraza on the roster. It was just last month that he reached his five-year Major-League service time, which means he can no longer be sent down to the minor leagues without his consent. If the Mets want to take Peraza off the 26-man roster, he would have to be designated for assignment (DFA’d) and would have to pass through waivers eligible to be picked up by the other 29 clubs before going to the minor leagues. With his performance this season, it’s likely some club would add him to their 40-man roster.
Another interesting nugget here is that Luis Guillorme still has a minor league option left. Unlike Peraza, he has yet to reach his five years of service time and the Mets can send him to the minor leagues without a risk of losing him. Each player has six options during that time period and according to some publications, Guilliorme still has one option let.
There’s no question Gulliorme is an outstanding option off the bench, and he can do a lot of things to help the team. However, the Mets can’t keep both he and Peraza on the roster when Davis comes back so it makes sense to option Guillorme to Triple-A.
Guillorme is a left-handed bat and can play anywhere in the infield. His defense is above average, and his plate presence is spectacular. He is one of the hardest players on the Mets to strikeout. In his big-league career, Guillorme has just 261 at-bats with just one homer and 18 RBIs. He is a career .264 hitter. The Venezuelan was a tenth-round pick for the Amazin’s back in 2013 and is certainly a valuable asset to this team.
However, I believe that when Davis comes back the Mets should option him back down to Triple-A Syracuse and keep Jose Peraza on this team. It’s a tough decision because Guillorme doesn’t deserve a demotion, but I believe Peraza has been too valuable and too clutch to let get away. It may just come down to numbers and unfortunately Guillorme has options and Peraza does not. If injuries pile up again, losing Peraza could come back to haunt the Mets. Keeping him here as long as possible makes sense.