Mets’ Mark Vientos looking to make the most of the late-season opportunity

During a tough September, the Mets have waited for gamers with established résumés to turn into the gamers they’ve been in the previous.

Before a recreation through which he positioned Mark Vientos in the center of the order, Buck Showalter signaled that he’s open to ignoring that back-of-the-baseball-card historical past if a brand new applicant impresses shortly.

“Oh, yeah. Get sizzling first,” the Mets supervisor stated when requested if he can be open to using an unproven bat reminiscent of Vientos’. “Like a giant horse, I’ll trip it.”

The rookie has not discovered many alternatives since being known as up, however extra would seem if he performs.

Vientos, who went 0-for-4, batting fifth and was the designated hitter for the Mets’ 6-3 loss to the Cubs Wednesday night time at Citi Field, the first recreation the 22-year-old would begin in Queens. Darin Ruf — who has been in an abysmal droop since arriving at the commerce deadline — began in proper subject in opposition to Chicago lefty Drew Smyly, the Mets stacking as many righties of their order as attainable. Ruf went 1-for-2 in the loss.

Mark Vientos runs to first on a groundout in the sixth inning of the Mets’ 6-3 loss to the Cubs.
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In the previous, Showalter has repeatedly said the Mets depend on observe data, and Ruf’s observe report — he entered play with an .897 lifetime OPS in opposition to southpaws — suggests the 36-year-old will come round.

But if Vientos’ bat will get sizzling, the Mets would have a choice to make at DH in opposition to lefty starters. Before his third profession main league recreation, Vientos stated he “completely” needs to run with this opportunity.

“Just do my factor on the market and do not strive to do an excessive amount of,” stated Vientos, who pinch hit Tuesday and flew out. “Just assist the staff as a lot as I can with no matter state of affairs I get put in.”

The Mets’ designated-hitter spot, a weak spot they believed they strengthened at the commerce deadline with Ruf and Daniel Vogelbach, has reverted to the black gap it as soon as was. Entering play, their DHes had posted a .320 OPS in September, the worst in baseball. The lefty-hitting Vogelbach was 5 for his previous 42 (.119), and the righty-hitting Ruf was hitting .137 in his first 23 video games with the Mets.

The Mets known as up the power-hitting Vientos final weekend, when Starling Marte’s IL stint opened up a spot for a righty bat.

Vientos has been attempting to hold his rhythm regardless of sporadic at-bats whereas inhaling his first days as a significant leaguer — spent in the warmth of a pennant race.

“Just having fun with it. Enjoying the ambiance. Enjoying being right here at Citi Field with the staff that I signed with,” stated Vientos, whose dad and mom flew in from Florida and who was anticipating a large cheering part that included his uncle’s household and godfather’s household. “It’s simply thrilling.”

Vientos feasted on lefties with Triple-A Syracuse, batting .330 with 13 dwelling runs in simply 112 at-bats in opposition to southpaws this 12 months.

The Mets have been resistant to name up the suspect infielder, although, and wound up including Ruf from the Giants as an alternative of selling internally. Vientos stated he simply tried to give attention to enhancing.

He advised himself that “after I get the opportunity, I’m going to be prepared for it.”

To show himself at the big-league stage, he could have to be. The Mets are set to face 4 righty starters of their collection in Pittsburgh that begins Thursday. The following collection will probably be in opposition to the Brewers, whose two lefty starters, Aaron Ashby and Eric Lauer, are at present on the injured listing.

In the close to future, Vientos and Ruf doubtless will probably be Showalter’s prime choices off the bench to pinch hit for Vogelbach or a catcher late in video games in opposition to lefties. The supervisor stated he’s “keen” to see extra of Vientos, however the rookie would have to leapfrog Ruf to be the first bat out of the dugout.

So as Vientos tries to respect every day he’s in the majors, he additionally has a path — slender as it might be — to show he belongs on this roster and the postseason roster.

“Just staying mentally locked in, no matter state of affairs I get put in,” Vientos stated. “I get pleasure from every single day popping out right here and residing my dream, being with the guys and studying from them.”

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