Brett Baty has strengthened his case to remain in the Mets’ lineup.
The rookie third baseman smacked the second home run of his nine-game stint with the big club to put the Mets on the board in their eventual 7-6 walk-off win over the Rockies on Friday night at Citi Field. The solo homer, which came on the first pitch he saw while leading off the third inning, was Baty’s first at Citi Field.
“Home runs are always awesome, no matter where I hit them, they’re going to be cool no matter what,” said Baty, who also had a strong night in the field at third base. “I was just glad we could get around on the board and start scoring some runs for [starting pitcher Chris] Bassitt out there.”
The Mets have some decisions to make now that infielder Eduardo Escobar is set to return from the 10-day injured list, on which the 33-year-old landed with a left oblique strain last week. Escobar played seven innings at shortstop for High-A Brooklyn on Thursday night, which manager Buck Showalter said was part of a plan to see how he could fare as a utility infielder.
“Played well at shortstop, hit two or three balls on the button, couple just barely went out,” Showalter said Friday afternoon. “He felt good physically. We talked to him, I didn’t, after the game and the decision with the left-handed starter there — that’s the last bridge to cross — he’s going to DH there tonight to get some right-handed at bats.
“If that goes well, then probably make a decision on what we want to do [Saturday]. I just hope the left hander stays around for a few at bats, because basically he gets through the left hander, I think he’s going to get in the car and head back here.”
Should the Mets decide to have Escobar backup at short until Luis Guillorme (groin) returns from the IL, Baty could remain in the big leagues and split time with Escobar at third. Infielder Yolmer Sanchez, who is also an option at shortstop, then may be the roster casualty. If Baty is sent back to Triple-A Syracuse, Escobar would be the primary third baseman and Sanchez could serve as the backup across the infield.
Since hitting a home run in his first MLB at-bat, Baty has gone 5-for-34 with eight strikeouts and is still hitting just .171. Baty said he has felt comfortable in the Mets’ locker room from the get-go after spending spring training with the team, but noted that he has felt more settled in as he collects more games under his belt.
“It’s not in my mind at all,” Baty said when asked about the looming roster moves. “I’m just going out there every day. If they want me to stay then I’ll stay, if they don’t, then I’ll go play where they want me to play. But I’m just here and I’m just here to contribute. Take it one AB at a time, so I’m not thinking about that at all.”
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