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Dominic Smith might go to minors to get more at-bats

Mets first baseman Dominic Smith reacts after he

Mets first baseman Dominic Smith reacts after he strikes out swinging to end the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies of Game Two of an MLB doubleheader at Citi Field on Monday. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Mets soon will determine whether scuffling first baseman Dominic Smith should remain on the big-league roster or be sent to Triple-A Las Vegas, where he can get more at-bats.

He didn’t help his own cause this past week with public comments that he didn’t believe a return to the minors would be beneficial. That got him a sit-down with manager Mickey Callaway on Saturday before he sat on the bench for the Mets’ 7-4 win over the Nationals at Citi Field.

“I had a little chat with him today. He needs to worry about the things he can control,” Callaway said. “He can’t control where he gets sent to play, but what he can control is the work that he does.”

Smith is batting .183 in 71 at-bats this season. The lack of production has made him a reserve as most of the starts at first base go to Wilmer Flores. He has started four games since July 4.

Asked about Smith’s take on the situation, Callaway replied, “If he feels that way, when he goes down there, go down there and hit .400 and hit a bunch of bombs in a very hitter-friendly park.

“That was the gist of our conversation. He definitely has some development to do and that’s why we need to get him at-bats, whether it’s in the major leagues or in the minor leagues.

“I am sure he’s frustrated that things aren’t going the way he wanted and that playing time has been sparing since he’s been here. So we need to get him in the right frame of mind so he can continue to get better.”

Rivera has setback

T.J. Rivera may have experienced a setback in his quest to return from offseason Tommy John surgery. The infielder was removed from Friday night’s game for Las Vegas with discomfort in his right elbow. Callaway said, “They felt the need to take him out of the game because it was a little more than the random soreness you feel rehabbing.”

Rivera, a .304 hitter over 106 games in two seasons, was playing his first game at the Triple-A level after playing in five games for Class A St. Lucie.

Callaway said he will be re-evaluated during the weekend to determine whether his minor-league rehab assignment will continue.

Vargas has good outing

Jason Vargas could be ready to rejoin the Mets after the All-Star break. He threw 90 pitches in six innings of two-run ball Saturday for short-season Class A Brooklyn against Williamsport. He allowed a pair of home runs but did not issue a walk and fanned 10.

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