It has been a tough first five games for the Met offense but when I look at this roster I see far too much talent to stay down much longer and the key to that equation may indeed be Michael Conforto.
Met manager Luis Rojas dropped him down to sixth in the order in his lineup card elevating Dominic Smith to the third spot and even indicated he may consider Jeff McNeil for that spot in certain scenarios. But don’t expect Conforto to stay in that sixth spot too long because I have seen this before from him and know he is a tireless worker that will rebound from this rough patch.
Many in the media have theorized that Conforto’s contract status is creating his issues at the plate but I say that is simply not true. Sure–he would love a contract extension but understand Conforto is an ABSOLUTE team first guy and he cares far much more about his name on the front of his uniform than the name on the back of his uniform. He is a great teammate and I know that for a fact as I have received unsolicited feedback from his Met teammates that he leads in many ways–including by example.
Michael has gone through these slumps before and each time I can always tell when he breaks out of it. He starts hitting the ball to the center of the field and maybe some of those swings results in outs but I am talking hard outs–line shots with authority. Once that happens, games follow where he hits the ball where it is pitched with authority all over the field. And there is no doubt in my mind that we will see this occur in short order.
In these pandemic days we are not in the clubhouse and only talk to players via Zoom but I can tell you in past years I witnessed how hard Conforto works and the fact he NEVER makes excuses when things do not go his way. And I know that work ethic will get him through this issue. And once he does the Met offense will be clicking on all cylinders.
So far this season Brandon Nimmo has been on base very frequently and eventually that will result in RBI at bats for Lindor, Alonso, and Conforto. When you look how deep this Met lineup is with players like Jeff McNeil and James McCann following these hitters you just know the Mets will score plenty of runs. But I do realize we live in a town where people think strengths come to the front of the room on Day 1 of a baseball season but that is not always the case. Lineups could take time to evolve no matter how talented that they are.
And as Met fans just look at the 1986 team–Like this team they started 2-3 and the world started to call them overrated. How do they respond? With an 11 game winning streak and then put the division away by Memorial Day. Now I am not saying this will happen with the 2021 team but my point is talented rosters sometimes need time to reach their potential.
And this roster has plenty of talent both in the pitching staff and in the lineup and I refuse to believe 5 games in which they go 2and 3 refutes all that. And I know Michael Conforto will rebound because he always does. And when that happens the offense will flourish just as a car can speed along once you fix a flat tire.
Michael Conforto has too much on his resume to ever make me believe he won’t come to the table and perform the way we expect him to because he is too good a player not to and beyond that he combines talent with an incredible work ethic which I have always felt is an unbeatable combination.