WASHINGTON – Fair or not, much of the ink shed on the Mets’ trading deadline strategy has focused less on what the team has accomplished and more on what it hasn’t. The Mets did not acquire a left-handed catcher or savior. They didn’t imitate the more graceful moves made by the Braves, Phillies, Padres and other National League competitors.
However, general manager Billy Ebler emphasized that the front office “made our club better” by improving on the sidelines with Daniel Vogelbach, Tyler Naquin, Darren Rove and Michal Givens. To prove it, Vogelbach won a Grand Slam in the team’s 9-5 victory over the Nationals on Wednesday, joining:who – whichList of players whose first long ball with the Mets was all four.
“It’s always good to hit the ball home,” Vogelbach said.
Put who was the first home run is the Grand Slam
• Daniel Vogelbach in Nationals, Aug. 3, 2022
• Adrian Gonzalez in Nationals, April 8, 2018
• Justin Ruggiano in the Giants, Aug. 18, 2016
• Taylor Teegarden vs. Taylor. Brewers, 10 June 2014
• Colin Coogill vs. Colin. Padres, April 1, 2013
• Angel Pagan Vs. Cardinals, Aug. 5, 2009
• Amir Santos vs. Amir. Marlins, April 27, 2009
• Jose Reyes in Angels, June 15, 2003
• Dave Marshall at the Giants April 28, 1970
• Jack Hamilton vs. . Cardinals, May 20, 1967
• Carl vs. Willy. Astros, 15 July 1963
At Vogelbach and Ruf, the Mets feel they have built a strong hitter platoon defined for a club that has received minimal contributions from DH over the first four months of the season. Prior to the Vogelbach acquisition, the Mets ranked in the bottom third of DH production, as measured by OPS. Since then, Vogelbach has lifted the Mets to third thanks to a start that has seen him reach base 16 times in 34 games.
He entered Wednesday’s game at Nationals Park with a 0.905 OPS against a right-hand throw. The Ruf had .886 OPS vs. . the left. The Mets hope that together, these two players can approximate the production of a daily player with OPS near latitude — the kind of Pete Alonso or Juan Soto, as it were.
It’s probably a hard dream to believe that Vogelbach and Ruf could give a production Mets superstar the DH position, but so far, so good. Vogelbach’s grand slam was his third, jumping at 97 mph from Jordan Wims who sprinted over the right fence.
“If you look at their track record and why they were acquired, it’s pretty clear what to expect,” Director Buck Showalter said of Vogelbach and Ruf. “We had some good things, but not as much as we’d like to have. We looked at a way to upgrade that, and we think these two guys have a proven track record from both sides of the board. It’s a real challenge for the other team.”
Entering the season, the Mets looked as well-equipped as any team to take advantage of the world DH, with Robinson Kano, Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis all holding reasonable records as hitters. Other National League teams lack this feature. But Kano performed so poorly that the Mets hired him by early May, Smith received a minor league demotion shortly thereafter and Davis proved unable to match his earlier productions as the right half of the platoon.
“She takes advantage of the opportunities she gets,” said Rove, who has spent most of his career in faction positions in Philadelphia and San Francisco. “It’s really important – especially if you get two or three rackets at the start of the game, or one or two at the end of the game – to be ready to go.”
During his first two weeks in Flushing, Vogelbach proved his preparedness, although contributing mostly to singles and walking. So Fogelbach’s production was so light that Max Scherzer began ripping him inside the club’s walls, calling the 6-foot, 270-pound hitter a slap hitter.
Then on Wednesday, Showalter said, “Vogey was a big hit for us” — retelling not only Scherzer’s joke, but also about the DH attitude that the Mets think is finally fixed in the long run.
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