When you watch Mets infielder Luis Guillorme make a play like the one he made behind Edwin Diaz in the ninth inning on Wednesday night, on the heels of the ridiculously good play he made the night prior, it’s easy to see that the Mets will have a good problem on their hands when J.D. Davis returns from the IL.
And when you add Guillorme’s improving offense to the equation and consider other factors, it becomes hard to justify removing Guillorme from the lineup.
It is expected that Davis will come off the IL on Saturday against the Rockies in Colorado. So what should the Mets do?
Let’s dive in…
WHAT THE METS HAVE WITH GUILLORME
Despite two early errors this season and some hiccups in spring training, Guillorme is a truly elite defender and probably the Mets’ best defender not named Francisco Lindor.
Whether he’s at third base, second base, or shortstop, Guillorme’s smooth hands, quick actions, plus arm, and elite athleticism stand out.
Earlier this season in Philadelphia, Guillorme went airborne and parallel to the ground on a barehanded try and almost made a play he had no business making. And on Wednesday night against the Phillies, he ranged to his right and went into a slide behind the bag before popping up and firing a one-hop strike to first base for the out.
Beyond his defensive prowess, Guillorme (in a small sample) has been one of the toughest outs on the Mets since 2020, showing terrific bat-to-ball skills while often working deep at-bats.
Guillorme hit .333/.426/.439 in 68 plate appearances in 2020 and has four hits and four walks in 15 plate appearances this season.
WHAT THE METS HAVE WITH DAVIS
When Davis is right, he is an elite offensive player. And he is meticulous about his craft.
Davis was one of the most pleasant surprises for the Mets in 2019 before regressing a bit in 2020, but there’s no reason to believe he can’t be an offensive force again in 2021.
Defensively, though, Davis has been a liability at third base. And while he has worked incredibly hard to try to get better at the hot corner, the results haven’t been there just yet.
Davis spoke during spring training about being in a better spot this season because he didn’t have to worry about going back and forth from third base to left field, but he’s still looked shaky at the hot corner at times.
In addition to Guillorme and Davis, the Mets also have Jonathan Villar as an option at third base, but it’s very hard to argue that he should take playing time away from either Guillorme or Davis.
The Mets also need to determine just how much fielding uncertainty they’re willing to deal with.
With Dominic Smith in left field and Brandon Nimmo in center, New York already has two guys playing out of position. While Nimmo has been solid in center so far, Smith — who is being forced to play left because there is no DH — will likely continue to be an adventure in the outfield.
When you factor in the above to go along with the likelihood that the Mets will be an offensive force with or without Davis, choosing to start Guillorme at third base most days makes the most sense.