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Mets release Adrian Gonzalez, call up Dominic Smith

The veteran first baseman was batting .237 and struck out three times Sunday.

Adrian Gonzalez of the Mets looks on after

Adrian Gonzalez of the Mets looks on after grounding out to end a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Mets have had enough of Adrian Gonzalez.

In a series of roster moves announced late Sunday night as the team headed to the airport for a 10-game road trip, they released the first baseman, who was batting .237, and called up first baseman Dominic Smith from Triple-A Las Vegas. They also added utilityman Ty Kelly from Las Vegas and designated catcher Jose Lobaton for assignment.

Neither Gonzalez nor Mets officials were available for comment.

The roster shakeup came immediately after the Mets snapped an eight-game losing streak by beating the Yankees in a contest marked by the same trends that have bogged them down for weeks: tremendous starting pitching, weak hitting. Mets starting pitchers have a 2.34 ERA in the past 21 games but the team is 6-15 in that stretch. The Mets have scored eight runs in their past 68 innings.

Gonzalez, 36, hardly was the reason for the poor offense, but he was a part of it. He was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts Sunday, lowering his OPS to .672. He had a .226/.278/.298 slash line in 27 games since a two-homer game in Cincinnati last month.

Gonzalez has 2,050 hits and 317 home runs in 15 major-league seasons with five teams.

His release marks the beginning of Smith’s next shot to prove himself as the Mets’ first baseman of the future. Smith, who last month said he was down to 215 pounds (from 250 at the end of last season), has had a poor year with Las Vegas, including a .260/.343/.370 slash line. He hit two home runs in 56 games.

Last year, Smith made his major-league debut in August and hit .198 with a .262 on-base percentage and .395 slugging percentage in 49 games.

The Kelly/Lobaton exchange registers as a subtler change. Lobaton was a little-used bench bat — the Mets said carrying a third catcher would allow them to use Kevin Plawecki and Devin Mesoraco off the bench — and had a .152/.264/.239 slash line in two stints (19 games with the Mets).

Kelly, a Met in 2016 and for one game in 2017, has been strong for Las Vegas this year, hitting .262 with a .346 on-base percentage and .450 slugging percentage. He had six homers and 29 RBIs in 60 games, seeing time at all three outfield spots plus second, third and shortstop.

Kelly is perhaps the Mets’ No. 2 pinch-hitting option behind Jose Bautista and could see time at second if Cabrera is sidelined.

New York Sports