Tyler Naquin finished meeting the media in the clubhouse Thursday night and then wanted to go meet his mother.
Roanna Naquin can get fired up. What could be better fuel for that than seeing her son’s two-homer debut at Citi Field with the Mets?
Except she missed both homers while trying to get here from Texas for the series. She arrived late to the ballpark but couldn’t help but hear about Tyler’s big splash in the win over Atlanta.
“She was super-excited, obviously,” he said Friday afternoon, back in the clubhouse before the second contest of the five-game series. “She didn’t get to see them in person, but when she was in the taxi headed here, my brother [Zac] was giving her the updates and her phone was going crazy from everybody back home.
“My dad [Ken] is back home watching, fired up,” Naquin added.
Naquin was back starting in left for this rematch, his fourth start at that spot to go with one in right since being acquired July 28. He had a single in two at-bats before leaving for a pinch hitter in the Mets’ 9-6 loss. Manager Buck Showalter said he will “take it as it comes” each day in determining who opens in left, whether it’s righty-hitting Mark Canha or the lefty-hitting Naquin.
The Mets brought Naquin over from Cincinnati with the idea he could help against righty pitching. The 31-year-old Texan has a combined .280/.341/.522 slash line with seven homers and 31 RBIs against righties for his two teams.
And he’s off to a strong start with the Mets, delivering three singles, a double, a triple and two homers — 7-for-20, aka .350 — with three RBIs in his first six games.
“It’s important,” Naquin said of making a good first impression. “But play well or play bad, you’ve got to keep playing your game.”
After five seasons with Cleveland, the team that made him the 15th pick in the 2012 draft out of Texas A&M, Naquin signed with Cincinnati for the 2021 season and batted .270 with 19 homers and 70 RBIs. He was at .246 with seven homers and 33 RBIs at the time of the trade.
“He brings energy,” said Carlos Carrasco, his teammate with Cleveland and now with the Mets. “He always plays with energy, even from the bench.”
“He’s really happy [to be here],” Carrasco added.
“It’s exciting,” Naquin said. “I’m here along for the ride as a trade piece. We’ll see what happens come October.”
Naquin went to the World Series in 2016 when Cleveland fell to the Cubs. He looks at this Mets team and sees the qualities that could lead to a run there, too.
“Obviously, the first goal is to get to October,” he said. “But yeah, you can see that there’s the pieces here.”
Naquin is the first Mets player with multiple homers in his first home game for them.
“I didn’t even know that,” he said. “They told me after the game. That’s pretty cool.”
Showalter enjoyed the view — solo shot to right, solo shot to left.
“Tyler’s starting to get more comfortable every day,” he said. “I think if he has nights like that, it makes everybody more comfortable around him.”
Naquin is a rental, but he said he’s open to returning if he’s wanted.
“The impression that this place has made on me and [when I’ve been on] the other side has been very positive,” Naquin said. “So I have only great things to say. Whenever that time comes, we’ll address that in the offseason.”