NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets have optioned first baseman/outfielder Dominic Smith to Triple-A Syracuse amid a slow start to the season for the 26-year-old.
The Mets announced Smith's demotion Tuesday and promoted right-hander Adonis Medina before a game against the Washington Nationals.
“We needed a pitcher to try to keep everybody healthy down there,” manager Buck Showalter said. “And Dom was the option we ended up with.”
Smith batted .316 during a breakout season in 2020, but the 2013 first-round pick has struggled to replicate that success. He is hitting .186 this season without a home run in 101 plate appearances and with a .543 OPS.
Smith has played parts of six seasons in the majors and hasn't played regularly at Triple-A since 2018. Showalter said Smith will primarily play first base with Syracuse.
“Give him a chance to get back to the things we know he's capable of,” Showalter said. “Hopefully, he can do that and I have a lot of confidence he will and get back up here and help us.”
Sending down Smith allows the Mets to keep outfielder Nick Plummer on the roster. Plummer, a 25-year-old former first-round pick with five big league games, had four RBIs in a 13-5 win over Washington on Monday and hit a tying homer in the ninth inning of a 5-4, 10-inning win over Philadelphia on Sunday for his first major league hit.
Plummer is a better outfield defender than Smith, making him a versatile late-game option for Showalter.
Center fielder Brandon Nimmo was out of the lineup for the fourth straight day with a sore right wrist, but Showalter said he's improving and could start Wednesday or Thursday.
Right-hander Tylor Megill threw a simulated game Tuesday and could make a minor league rehab start soon. Megill hasn't pitched since May 11 with right biceps inflammation.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports