Mets' plans for J.D. Davis, Dom Smith up in air as universal DH situation remains unclear

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Dom Smith and J.D. Davis stand near first base with helmets off in home uniforms
Dom Smith and J.D. Davis stand near first base with helmets off in home uniforms

The Mets are among the teams that stand to be impacted most negatively if the universal DH isn't approved for the 2021 season. And with the situation still up in the air, so are the 2021 roles for Dom Smith and J.D. Davis.

"We see (Smith) as of now, today, playing more left field than he will at first base," Luis Rojas told reporters on Wednesday via Zoom. "DH is not in place as of now, so we're working to get him time there during this spring. That's the plan today. That can always change, but he'll play first base, too."

Rojas said that Smith's versatility has always been important, adding that the team is comfortable with his defense in left field.

"We're comfortable with his defense. He's got a good feel, he plays hard, he's always trying to get better out there," Rojas explained. "And with the addition of Tony Tarasco -- our new outfield/base running coach -- I know he's gonna be seeing some new things there as well to keep developing his skills out there in the outfield."

Rojas also mentioned Jonathan Villar, J.D. Davis, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo among the Mets who offer versatility.

And when it came to Davis, Rojas -- as has been the case this offseason when Sandy Alderson and Zack Scott have been asked -- refused to commit to Davis as the everyday third baseman.

"It's just really tough right now to commit to any role," Rojas said. "I gotta stick with our versatility. J.D. is a guy that's played left, too. And we're thinking of that. He improved a lot at third base. We may see him probably playing more at third base than in left field, but we want to keep that versatility always open.

"Multiple guys are gonna play multiple positions. That's where we stand right now. And that's where our roster is."

Rojas also mentioned Villar and McNeil as potential candidates to play third base.

"If we're talking about Pete Alonso, he's gonna play first base," Rojas said. "But guys with versatility are gonna move around."

In the event there is a DH in the NL this season, the Mets can use Smith or Pete Alonso at DH (with the other playing first base). And if they don't slide Nimmo to left field, Davis could get time there -- or perhaps get a bunch of at-bats against lefties as the DH.