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The Mets May Have Found a Solution for Slumping Second Baseman

As the New York Mets struggle this season, their usual second baseman also has struggled. As a result, the Mets began starting a different second baseman who has had more success than many people expected. Former All-Star Jeff McNeil has not had the year fans have expected. Through 57 games this season, McNeil has posted a poor average of just .227. After McNeil was the National League batting champion in 2022, his batting average has steadily declined. His average from 2022 went from .326 to .270 in 2023 and this season to .227. Throughout McNeil’s career, he’s never been a power hitter but someone who can hit for a high average.

Other than the 2019 season, where McNeil hit 23 homers, McNeil has never hit more than ten home runs since then. Mets manager Carlos Mendoza does not intend to replace McNeil or use him secondary to the recently called-up Jose Iglesias. However, New York seems to have found someone who can help McNeil and the Mets.

How Jose Iglesias Can Fuel the Mets’ Offense

Iglesias is better known for his defense. In the four games with the Mets, he’s been better at the plate than on the field. For instance, he started over McNeil at second base against the Washington Nationals on Monday night. Iglesias went 3-for-5 with the go-ahead RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base in the Mets 8-7 win. He’s 5-for-11 since joining the Mets. In the last year alone, the Mets have gotten rid of Luis Guillorme, Zack Short, and Joey Wendle, who were all seen as better defensive players. However, the Mets don’t emphasize too much defense; they also seem to also want offensive production, which all three players couldn’t provide. On the other hand, Iglesias has provided the Mets with some good offensive and defense. Although the Mets might soon continue to lean heavily on McNeil, Iglesias gives the Mets some comfort at second base.

The Roster Move is Paying Off

Last week the Mets made a few roster moves, which have paid off so far, especially offensively. However, this does show the Mets are not afraid of pushing the trigger when it comes to releasing or demoting players. Known for his glove throughout his career, Iglesias has given the Mets some offensive punch since his callup. More than that, he’s offered effort. On Saturday, after entering as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning, Iglesias busted down the line on a routine ground ball. The result led to an infield single that plated a run, giving Pete Alonso the chance to follow with a two-run home run, forcing the Arizona Diamondbacks to bring their closer into the game.

Two nights later, Iglesias found himself back in the starting lineup for the second time in four games, at the expense of a slumping McNeil. Mendoza appears to be operating both players as a platoon between the right-handed-hitting Iglesias and the left-handed McNeil

Iglesias may be able to provide the Mets with a solution for the slumping second baseman by either giving him rest or taking over the job, which, although unlikely, is not out of the question.

Main Photo: © Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


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