SAN DIEGO – It’s been a long road in a short time for Khalil Lee.
The Mets outfielder, who was called up Wednesday from Triple-A Syracuse to give the team bench depth, went from joining the team in spring training, dropping down on their prospect list after a dreadful April, getting sent all the way down to Single-A, and now he’s here, in San Diego, with another chance to make an impact.
Lee, who moved back up to Triple-A on May 24 and went on an absolute tear, joins the Mets as they look to navigate around injuries to Starling Marte and Pete Alonso. Since coming back up from Port St. Lucie, he’s hitting .333 with four home runs, 11 RBIs and five walks in 12 games. He’s still, however, prone to the strikeout, whiffing 17 times in that span.
Righthander Adonis Medina was optioned back to Triple-A in a corresponding move, though Buck Showalter said Wednesday that it wasn’t the last the Mets will see of the reliever this season.
Lee played 11 games for the Mets last year, going 1-for-18 with a whopping 13 strikeouts. His one hit, though, was memorable – a game-winning RBI double against the Marlins.
Showalter said that he liked what he saw of Lee and was hopeful that the team’s approach at the plate – patience, working opposing pitchers – will be a good influence.
“Good hitters want to swing the bat,” Showalter said. “That’s what gets them here but it’s that controlled aggressiveness. It certainly won’t hurt him (to be around veterans) and it’s something that we talked about in the spring. He’s done a little better job of it down there…He’s done his part and we’re happy to be able to reward him.”
Notably, with Alonso’s immediate future uncertain, the Mets declined to bring up Dominic Smith. Showalter, though, said there might be more moves Friday.
For now, they’re hoping they caught Lee at exactly the right time.
“Really swinging the bat well and playing well,” Showalter said of Lee. “That’s one of the conversations. We probably caught him in the best part of the year for him so far. He runs good, throws well and he’s only 23.”
Megill update. The Mets will set their rotation for their series against the Angels once Tylor Megill completes his throwing Wednesday and sees how he feels. Megill, who’s been on the injured list with bicep tendinitis, last pitched on May 11. If he gets the all clear, he’d likely pitch Friday or Saturday.