The Cleveland Guardians aren’t shy about their feelings towards Andres Gimenez. They are quite in love with him, actually. Every day, as dutiful campaign managers, they take to Twitter to reach their loyal constituency and beyond, shaking trees, seeking votes and voters in an effort to make their second base an All-Star.
Since Wednesday: “You casual baseball fans are really going to let Andres Gimenez, the best second baseman in the American League, sit third in the All-Star voting, huh? Even though this is a popularity contest, we like our boy more. ”
From Thursday: “Did you vote for the best second baseman in the American League, Andres Gimenez, today?”
Here’s the thing: This isn’t just hometown boosterism. Gimenez is having a fantastic year, as one of the cogs of a Guardians team with perhaps the funniest offense in baseball. He’s 23, which almost makes him grizzle on the youngest team in MLB. He was hitting .302 for Thursday’s game with the Twins. The OPS of it was .834, the OPS of it + a robust 137.
We raise that, of course, because Gimenez was a Met, and a well thought out Met, before being used as a chip in the exchange that brought Francisco Lindor to New York. And Lindor, on Thursday’s rest day, is reaching .243, with an OPS of .731 and an OPS + of 108. He’s also earning $ 34.1 million this year.
Giminez is earning $ 706,600.
OK: There was a time when we were screaming as loud as anyone about the Mets’ penny pinching, so that really shouldn’t factor in even one bit in this discussion. Steve Cohen can free up some sofa cushions to pay Lindor, and he will do so without shame and without apology.
But this isn’t the last time this conversation will take place.
It is not even the first time. After all, as much as Lindor may have fought in his New York debut last year, there weren’t many people pining for Gimenez, who scored just .218 with an OPS + of 73 in 188 big league bars.
And there’s no denying that while Lindor’s numbers aren’t where anyone would want them, he was much better in his second year with the Mets, leading in 52 runs out of hole # 1. 3 (with a pace of around 110) while he plays an excellent defense.
“I’m much more comfortable this year,” Lindor insisted a few days ago. “Everything that happened last year is last year. I left all this behind. ”
And there have been stretches this season where that has been quite evident. But there were also moments – and now it’s inside him – where it feels like it’s too much in his head again, trying to do too much. This has led to an offensive season that is not only jarring but in many ways downright schizophrenic:
After 17 games, Lindor had a slash line of .313 / .408 / .563.
In the next 21 games, it was .161 / .239 / .259.
In the following 14: .352 / .422 / .574
And on his latest 18: .192 / .244 / .329.
Half of the time he plays at the MVP level. Half the time he’s barely at replacement level. That’s not exactly what Cohen signed up for when he got Lindor’s name at the end of a $ 341 million 10-year contract.
However, the Mets are in first place, their attack remains powerful and manager Buck Showalter is adamant that Lindor is one of the reasons.
“He comes to work every day and asks, ‘What can I do to help us win today,'” Showalter said. “We have a lot of guys like that.”
Comparisons will not simply disappear. They never do this when there is an exchange involved. Lindor is actually lucky that the other key figure in the exchange, Amed Rosario, had mostly pedestrian numbers (he has an OPS + of 98 in Cleveland). For now, it is impossible to declare anything definitive based on 55 fantastic games, as Gimenez may have played in those games.
The Guardians can sniper for their boyfriend and they have a hell of a case. The Mets will run their chances with Lindor and hope to see more of the good version than the bad one. With 9 and a half years to live in that marriage, they really have no other way to cheer.