Jeff McNeil turned to an old friend for help in trying to resurrect his swing.
After Sunday’s doubleheader at Yankee Stadium, the slumping Mets utility man held a video call with Patrick Mazeika, the catcher who was a teammate for much of McNeil’s minor league career. Mazeika, who is working out at the Mets’ alternate training site in Brooklyn, suggested mechanical changes for McNeil, and the results were immediate.
A day later McNeil went 2-for-4 with two doubles against the Marlins. McNeil, an All-Star last season, also went 3-for-4 with a scored run in the Mets’ 9-5 loss to the Orioles on Tuesday night at Camden Yards and has raised his average to .289.
“We looked at some pitches that I hit for home runs last year and they are the same pitches I am rolling over this year and it all came down to body position,” McNeil said before the Mets’ loss. “So if I can get my body in the right spot during the swing, I am able to stay through the ball a lot more. I have been rolling over some pitches, so I just need to stay through the ball a little bit more and those power numbers will return.”
McNeil, an avid golfer, said his baseball swing needs to mimic his golf swing.
“They are very similar with my upper body and kind of leaning over the plate, so we got back to that and it felt really good,” McNeil said. “We’re going to just keep working on the stuff we’re seeing in the videos and we’re just trying to replicate that.”
J.D. Davis was absent from the starting lineup for a second straight game after departing Sunday with left hip discomfort. Manager Luis Rojas indicated Davis still hadn’t tested the hip in running drills. He was used as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and grounded out to second base. Luis Guillorme (2-for-4 with an RBI) started at third base.
Michael Wacha is scheduled to start Wednesday’s game against the Orioles. Rojas indicated he was waiting to see how Tuesday’s game transpired before naming a starter for Thursday against the Yankees at Citi Field. Robert Gsellman and David Peterson would be the candidates to start that game.
Walker Lockett was claimed off waivers by the Mariners. The right-hander was designated for assignment by the Mets last week.
Hunter Strickland was designated for assignment, a day after returning to the Mets and pitching a shutout inning against the Marlins. The Mets used Strickland’s roster spot on Tuesday night’s starting pitcher, Ariel Jurado.