Bruce Optimistic About Move To First Base

Jay Bruce is apparently serious about first base. And, we know the Mets are about him playing the position, otherwise, Peter Alonso would be with the team. Bruce has been in touch with former Cincinnati teammate Joey Votto, and he’s sought out the Giants’ Brandon Belt and Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo for tips on the position.

BRUCE: High on first.  (AP)

BRUCE: High on first. (AP)

And, when the Mets return home he plans to talk with Keith Hernandez, a defensive wiz at the position.

`”If I am going to do this I want to be good at it, and I think I can be good at it,” Bruce said.

So far, the Mets are happy with what they’ve seen from Bruce, both on the field and with his effort in trying to learn the new position.

“I think he looks good,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “He is getting more and more comfortable over there the more games he plays. I think he is going to have the whole offseason to work at this if this is the route we are going to go, and [infield coach] Gary DiSarcina and myself feel like he can do the job at first base from what we have seen so far.”

Dominic Smith will rejoin the Mets this week, but the team has cooled on him after his poor performance in the second half. When Bruce was on the disabled list Wilmer Flores got the most time at first, and Callaway said he’ll see some time this month, but September is mostly for the Mets to get a feel for Bruce at the position.

Bruce is signed through 2020 and owed another $28 million after this season. Assuming Bruce works out at first base, the  Mets anticipate Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo playing mostly in left and right field, respectively, with Austin Jackson getting a shot at center.

“Obviously [Bruce] is going to get more and more time over there and we are going to continue where he’s at,” Callaway said. “But he feels comfortable and the coaches like what they have seen so far, so we are definitely excited that he can be our first baseman next year.”

Bruce said he’s comfortable fielding the position, but he’s challenged by the positioning on bunts, relays and cutoffs.

”’I don’t think fielding the position is going to be an issue for me as far as straight-up ground balls,” Bruce said. ”I feel I can get off the bag far enough to have the range and stuff like that. But it’s going to be the nuances that are going to be the most important.”




2 thoughts on “Bruce Optimistic About Move To First Base

  1. Sigh. It’s stuff like this that made me search out an AL team to root for. I figure since I root for a team that gives me the hope of losing 85% of the time, I might as well find a team that gives me the hope of winning 85% of the time. And I did. With the Mets, I sadly see deja vu on the horizon, in which I spend a few years ignoring the team because the mediocrity becomes too overwhelming to bear.

  2. The team should trade dom. It was pretty clear in the spring they don’t value him and they still don’t.

    The former gm thought he sucked. His boys clowning ???? in the front office don’t value him either.

    Alonso should be up so we can see what he has. And so he can see major league pitching.

    Jay should be in the outfield rotation.

    Jay has been a major disappointment this year.

    This team should evaluate what it has and figure out who their first baseman for next year will be, who their second baseman is and what their outfield will look like. We also need to figure out who the bench players are.

    Instead we have been trotting out players like Jose who should not have been signed in the offseason and should have been cut long ago when for the second straight year he puts up a 150 BA and proves that defense is Ancient Greek to him. For those who defend him by saying but look! After the season is meaningless he starts to hit. Jose sucks. We saw that last year and the genius front office decided to sign him for another round rather than either A) bring in a player who can play B) promote a guy from the minors who is younger, better and cheaper.