PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Mets posted their travel rosters for the next three games and two names were conspicuously absent: Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith.
A year ago, Rosario and Smith were the Mets’ two top prospects. They were toast of this sleepy, spring training town, with all eyes fixated on the Mets’ future stars.
Fast-forward to now, when Smith made headlines for all the wrong reasons and strained a quad in his first and only spring training game. His chances of making the team out of spring training are looking as slim as his newly slimmed-down frame.
Give credit where its due, Smith hasn’t lost his sunny disposition and his positive attitude. If he starts the season in the minor leagues, he’ll use the opportunity to become a leader, he says.
Rosario, on the other hand, is a little safer than Smith when it comes to a roster spot. But he has struggled at the plate in limited Grapefruit League opportunities and hasn’t been able to play over the last few days because of a knee injury that somehow turned into a groin injury. And it’s worth noting that there are a few minor league infielders right behind him, knocking at the door with good spring numbers.
“It can be concerning a little bit,” manager Mickey Callaway said, after the Mets’ 11-4 Grapefruit League loss to the Yankees on Wednesday, at First Data Field. “Those guys need at-bats. They need reps in the field. We want Rosario to be the best defender he can possibly be and he’s missing some valuable days.”
The omission of Smith on the weekend’s travel rosters isn’t quite as glaring since he hasn’t been playing, but holding Rosario out for three more games could signal that something bigger is wrong. Callaway still downplayed the severity of the injuries.
“Now, is it going to hold him out for the start of the season, four days probably wouldn’t,” Callaway said. “But it’s valuable reps and playing time that they’re missing.”