MLB

Mets’ Francisco Lindor says Steve Cohen’s criticism was warranted: ‘We haven’t really hit all year long’

Last week, New York Mets owner Steve Cohen tweeted a criticism of his team’s lineup, calling out “unproductive” hitters. On Saturday, he had an unlikely source back him up: shortstop Francisco Lindor, who also took responsibility for his own struggles.

“We’ve been getting that message all year,” Lindor told reporters, including the Associated Press, before the Mets played the Los Angeles Dodgers. “We haven’t really hit all year long. I haven’t performed. I haven’t done it. Bottom line, I haven’t done what I’m here to do when it comes to the offensive side.

“Defense, they can’t talk to me. Baserunning, they can’t talk to me, either. But offensively, yeah, criticize me. Say whatever. You’re right. You’re all right. I’m with them. I haven’t performed.”

Lindor, 27, has not appeared in a game since July 16 after suffering a strained oblique. In his first 364 plate appearances this season, he’d hit .228/.326/.376 (93 OPS+) — or marks well below his career norms (.285/.346/.488) entering the year. To Lindor’s credit, he’s remained a superb defender and his ball-tracking metrics indicate he’s made better contact than he did in 2020. 

Still, it’s fair to characterize Lindor’s first season in New York as disappointing because of his top-line results and the Mets’ recent slide. With a loss on Saturday, the Mets have now dropped three games in a row and are 5-15 in August. They entered the month with a 3 ½ game lead in the National League East, but they now trail the Atlanta Braves by seven games.

The Mets’ offense ranks 29th in the majors in runs scored this season, ahead of only the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates. New York’s lineup does stack up better when evaluated by FanGraphs’ wRC+ metric (a catch-all measure that adjusts for ballpark), ranking 19th. It should be noted that the Mets’ run prevention unit has also scuffled in August, allowing 4.7 runs on average. For comparison, the Mets had allowed just 3.66 runs in their 87 first-half contests. 

The Mets originally acquired Lindor in January as part of a six-player deal with Cleveland. New York also added Carlos Carrasco in that trade, while sending out infielders Amed Rosario and Andrés Giménez, as well as pitching prospect Josh Wolf and outfield prospect Isaiah Greene. 



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