May 14, 2021

Mets bench struggling Jeff McNeil (New York Post)

CHICAGO — Jeff McNeil’s peripheral numbers indicate he’s hitting the ball better than his true statistics suggest, but that’s not to say he’s been a victim.

The slumping Mets second baseman was on the bench Thursday night, giving Jonathan Villar a start against the Cubs. Manager Luis Rojas said the move was more about getting Villar into the mix than McNeil’s 3-for-19 (.158) performance on the road trip as play began.

Overall, McNeil owned a .167/.255/.286 slash line with one homer and four RBIs. He joined Michael Conforto as a key member of the lineup still not producing. Another important member of that lineup, Francisco Lindor, was coming off his first three-hit game of the season.

Rojas said he has spoken to McNeil about trusting the process, but it’s sometimes difficult to get that point across.

Jeff McNeil
Jeff McNeil
Getty Images

“I still see the same thing and talked to him about that,” Rojas said. “He’s trying to stay inside the ball, he is trying to almost shoot the ball, place the ball. He’s trying to be too fine and I don’t know if there’s any hitter that can be like that.”

McNeil batted only .109 in spring…

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