Dominic Smith returns to Mets after rediscovering swing at Triple-A
A plastic storage crate served as Dominic Smith’s dressing area in the Mets clubhouse Monday, because a regular locker hadn’t been prepared for him.
It was less than ideal, but Smith will take it over the locker space at Triple-A. The Mets recalled Smith from Syracuse after placing Seth Lugo on the paternity list, on a day they had to reduce from 14 pitchers to 13 per an MLB edict for teams.
Smith owned a .785 OPS in 64 at-bats for Syracuse following his demotion from the Mets on May 31. In need of another bat — and Smith was already on the 40-man roster — team brass decided a reunion was appropriate.
“I went and played and tried to have fun and the guys down there, they have got some talent,” Smith said after the Mets’ 6-0 victory over the Marlins. “I just tried to bring what I do on an everyday basis, which is my energy and the way I like to have fun and just try to teach as well, because a lot of these guys are going through this for the first time, too.
“It was fun to be around those young guys and help them kind of develop and help them with their mindset, because they try really hard and they put a lot of pressure on themselves. Just turn the page. That’s the biggest key and the faster they learn that the faster they can get up here. That is something I just wanted to teach them.”
Smith owned a .543 OPS in 86 at-bats for the Mets before his demotion. At the time, the team needed another reliever and wanted to get Smith on track.
“He went down and did what he was asked to do,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Great work habits, got going again. We sent him out because we had some pitching issues, but we also wanted to get him better because we knew he was capable of better.”
Showalter indicated he’s not concerned that Smith will lag without regular playing time. As it stands, J.D. Davis has been receiving regular at-bats in the DH role.
“In whatever role, [Smith] is ready to help,” Showalter said. “He’s a good player and he’s capable of making contributions. We’ll see what the need of the club is and what he’s capable of bringing, for that game and situation.”