Dominic Smith has long been painted as the Mets first baseman of the future, but recently, it’s been looking like the future is not any time soon.
Manager Mickey Callaway said Saturday that though Smith will get his fair share of starts with a busy schedule heading up to the All-Star break, the Mets will have to evaluate the situation after they begin the second half to see whether he’ll get enough at-bats to justify keeping him in the major leagues.
“I really like Dom’s swing. I like his approach,” Callaway said. “. . . He’s definitely still developing and it is tough when you don’t get a ton of at bats. We’ll have to re-evaluate where we are after the All-Star break and see if we’re in a spot where he’s going to continue to get enough at-bats for it to make sense because he is still young.”
Callaway said factors include pitching matchups post All-Star break and whether Jose Bautista and Wilmer Flores — both of whom are hitting well — need a breather.
Bautista, taken off the Atlanta Braves scrap heap, has proved he still has baseball left to play and has impressed Callaway with his contributions on and off the field. Bautista hit a walk-off grand slam Friday and coming into Saturday, held a .432 on-base percentage since joining the team May 22.
“He’s out there every day working on his defense,” Callaway said. “He obviously stays in really great shape . . . and then his approach in [batting practice] — all the facets of his game are where they need to be, so not only does he lead vocally, but by example.”
Rosario’s rough day
Callaway said the Mets spoke to shortstop Amed Rosario after a litany of defensive miscues in Saturday’s game. He misplayed a grounder in the first, allowing a run to score, and threw to third rather than second in the eighth, allowing Carlos Gomez to advance. (The Rays didn’t cash in that time.)
“We’ll talk to him,” Callaway said, noting that bench coach Gary DiSarcina already had a word. “Other guys have to be communicating as well and I think he just got confused and threw it to third.”
Noah Syndergaard (strained ligament in his right index finger) will pitch in Brooklyn against the Staten Island Yankees in a rehab assignment Sunday . . . The Mets signed two international free agents: Venezuelan catcher Francisco Alvarez and Dominican outfielder Freddy Valdez, both 16. Alvarez was named the ninth-best prospect in Baseball America’s international prospects list and Valdez came in 29th.