Michael Conforto was lifting weights when his minor league manager, Pedro Lopez, approached him with a cell phone to inform him of his promotion to the Mets. Now, comes the part of trying to withstand the temptation to lift the Mets.
Of course, that’s easier said then done, especially with the numbers screaming this is a team in desperate need of help. After Friday’s 7-2 loss to the Dodgers the Mets are losers of six of their last eight games. They have the worst team batting average in the majors at .233 and next to last in runs scored with 331.
Yes, the Mets are a team in need and along with the much-anticipated promotion of Conforto, they were on the verge of swinging a deal with Atlanta for third baseman Juan Uribe and left-handed hitting utility player Kelly Johnson.
Conforto, at least, seems to have his head screwed on straight regarding expectations.
“I haven’t played in big league games,’’ Conforto said. “So really there’s no way for me to really know if I’m ready.’’
Conforto is here because Michael Cuddyer was finally placed on the disabled list with a sore knee. That decision came at least three weeks too late by GM Sandy Alderson.
Alderson, as usual, spoke legalese when it came to talking about Conforto’s expectations, saying there was thought he would “super dramatically,’’ upgrade the Mets’ production. Conforto was hitless but drove in the Mets’ first run with a groundout.
Maybe Alderson was attempting to take the pressure off Conforto, but the game’s smartest general manager, according to his auto-biography, couched everything.
Alderson said the promotion might have occurred without Cuddyer’s injury, but since it was tied to a player going on the disabled list there was no guarantee how long he would stay up here. Alderson also said the promotion was no connection as to how active the Mets will be on the trade market.
By the end of the game, the Mets hadn’t announced the trade that would send pitching prospects Michael Gant and Rob Whalen to the Braves.
Figuring it does, the Mets could play Uribe at third, move Daniel Murphy back to second and Wilmer Flores back to shortstop. Of course, that means Ruben Tejada will likely return to the bench.
Johnson, who can also play both outfield positions as well as the infield, is hitting .275 with nine homers and 34 RBI, numbers which could arguably make him the Mets’ best hitter.
Do Conforto, Uribe and Johnson make the Mets decidedly better?
Uribe, who is hitting .272 with eight homers and 23 RBI, this year with Atlanta and the Dodgers, and Johnson, bring with them batting averages that would put them at the top of Mets, but they are essentially complementary players. And, Conforto, whom Alderson didn’t want to bring up in the first place, remains a Double-A prospect.
You could say they make the Mets better because what has been here has been so bad.
That’s not really that comforting, is it?
Surely, there has to be more. There just has to be.