After a Monday night loss to the Cardinals, the Mets fired hitting coach Chili Davis and assistant hitting coach Tom Slater.
Through the early weeks of the season the Mets bats have fallen remarkably short of high expectations, as New York entered the season with one of their best lineups in recent years.
The most obvious issue in the lineup is the bat of the Mets’ most expensive player. Through the first weeks of the season, Francisco Lindor’s production at the plate has been abysmal.
The star SS has shown off his immense defensive ability, but at the plate fans are still waiting to see results as he hits under .170 with one HR and three RBI.
The fans aren’t the only ones waiting, as Lindor is well aware of his struggles at the dish, even with premature boos coming down from a handful of reactive fans.
“They expect results, I expect results and I get it,” said Lindor. “I just hope they cheer and jump on the field when I start hitting home runs and help the team on a daily basis”
Those home runs and big results can’t come sooner for Lindor, who extended his hitless streak to 21 at bats on Monday. It’s the second-worst streak in his career and it’s tough to see New York’s newest star struggling so badly in his first season.
The struggles are in no way limited to Lindor, as a familiar issue is again plaguing the Mets offense. Just like in the past few years, the Mets have shown absolutely no ability to hit with runners on base.
Situational hitting has seemingly been an afterthought in the early season, as the Mets again rank near the bottom of the league in batting average with runners in scoring position.
The lack of hitting with runners on is translating to other team stats like runs per game. New York also ranks second-worst in the league at just 3.3, a disturbing sight for a team who can barely provide run support for dominant pitchers like Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman.
With 10 of their first 23 games settled by 1 run, the Mets may only need a few small tweaks to win more close games. If the Mets come up big just one or two more times per game, the close losses can easily turn into close wins.
Following a 2-1 loss in Philadelphia last Friday, the Mets averaged 6 runs over their next three games. A 5-4 win evened the series before New York took the rubber game 8-7. In their first game in St Louis, the Mets put up a solid five runs in a 6-5 loss.
With the Mets finally scoring runs, the next couple of weeks will be huge if the Mets want to take advantage of the underperforming NL East, with no teams able to stay over .500 so far.
Now is the time for the Mets to get going, as there is no clear frontrunner for the division. The bats are heating up and pitching has remained relatively strong, so if New York can keep positive momentum, they should be able to leave this team-wide slump behind them.
Taking over as hitting coach is Hugh Quattlebaum, with Kevin Howard taking over as assistant. Quattlebaum was hired by the Mariners in 2018 and the front office change may be the spark that reignites the Mets offense.