With Francisco Lindor's return to the Mets looming, he opened up about the offensive struggles he has endured this season.
Before straining his right oblique on July 16, Lindor was slashing just .228/.326/.376 with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs in 87 games since signing a 10-year, $341 million mega extension with the Mets on the eve of the 2021 regular season.
And while Lindor's re-insertion into the lineup will be an immediate boost for a unit that has been rather disappointing, he was honest about his own troubles at the plate this year.
“We have been getting that message the whole year,” Lindor said of Steve Cohen’s tweet calling out his unproductive hitters. “We haven’t really hit all year long. I haven’t performed. I haven’t done it. The bottom line is I haven’t done what I’m here to do when it comes to the offensive side. Defense, they can’t talk to me. Base-running, they can’t talk to me either. Offensively, criticize me and say whatever you want, because you are right. They are all right."
“I’m with them. I haven’t performed, so that message that Steve sent the other day, he’s been an owner, he’s been a fan, he is very passionate, he is just letting people know how he felt. He’s been very vocal in tweeting in the past year that I have been aware of who he is. Message to us? No. The message has been sent every single day.”
Despite Pete Alonso and J.D. Davis' production, Lindor cited the rest of the lineup, which have all endured underwhelming seasons.
“I’m below for sure — it’s a fact,” Lindor said. “It sucks. That is the only way I can put it. It sucks.”
On a positive note, Lindor and Javier Báez (back spasms) are close to returning, but time is running out, as the Mets are now seven games back in the NL East.
“I don’t worry, but there is a sense of urgency for sure and I think we all have that impression,” Lindor said. “We all want to go out there and give our best. It’s been a tough stretch for the New York Mets, however, good things will come and I am staying optimistic that good things will happen."
“We continue to play the game as hard as we can and hopefully at some point we have got to win some games for sure, hopefully not too late.”
Manager Luis Rojas says Lindor and Báez could potentially return, as soon as Sunday. And while Lindor wouldn't say if he expected to be back for the Mets' series finale with the Dodgers, he did say he is ready.
“I want to be out there and grind with the boys,” Lindor said. “But we’ll see what happens.”