On January 7, 2021 the Mets traded for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco in exchange for Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Josh Wolf, and Isaiah Greene. Obviously, all of us Met fans were beyond ecstatic as we have not acquired a player of Lindor’s caliber in a long time. Considered to be one of the best shortstops in baseball, Francisco was expected to make an immediate impact on the ball club and become the face of the franchise. However, this is not the case a few weeks into the season.
With 49 AB, Lindor has 10 hits which translates to a .204 BA. This is a disappointment for the Mets and their fans as they have not seen the electric side of their new generational talent yet. Personally, I have been to a Mets game and the 20% filled stadium gets loud when Lindor is announced to hit. A majority of these times we have been disappointed as he is more likely than not to pop out than get a hit. The expectations did not seem too lofty and no worse than the ones in Cleveland. It has only been 14 games yet Lindor’s struggles have been surprising. So the question everyone is asking: why is Lindor having such a bad start?
My true belief regarding this question is that Lindor is putting an enormous amount of pressure on himself. He was expected to be the face of the franchise before putting on the Mets uniform. He is putting way too much pressure on himself to be “The Man” when he does not need to do that. Every Met fan knows that Lindor will be receiving the most attention out of anyone within the club, but he played very well under similar circumstances with Cleveland. He has yet to hit a home run or make an eye-popping play which is because he is trying too hard to do so.
Another reason why he could not be playing well is that he is in a much bigger market than he is used to. Obviously, New York is the biggest city in the nation while Cleveland is only a fraction of the size. The attention Lindor will be receiving is a lot greater when he is wearing a Mets uniform than he ever had wearing a Cleveland jersey. New York’s size could be some stage fright for Lindor in his first taste of the Big Apple.
Whatever the reason is, Francisco carries a personality and aura that is unmatched by any athlete I’ve seen in my lifetime. He still plays the game with a big smile on his face at all times. Lindor is among the best in the league regardless of position, but any player who puts too much pressure on himself will not perform well. He has to release the pressure and just play the game of baseball because a single is ultimately just as effective as a home run. When I read the news that the Mets acquired Francisco Lindor I was jumping up and down and I just want to see the player that all of us Met fans thought we were getting.
Photo: USA Today