Luis Guillorme stays in Mets roster as hitting intensifies

SAN FRANCISCO — Luis Guillorme’s job description with the Mets reads “be prepared for anything.”

A versatile piece best known for his glove throughout his career, the 27-year-old Guillorme is starting to get attention for his bat, leaving manager Buck Showalter with tougher day-to-day decisions about roster construction.

Guillorme entered Monday with a .395/.439/.526 slash line in 41 plate appearances in May and returned to the bench after four straight starts. The Mets have needed offensive contributions, with players like Eduardo Escobar, Dominic Smith and JD Davis struggling at home plate.

“It’s a bit different to play a bit more than usual, but I’m just more consistent coming off the bench,” Guillorme said. “Even when I was struggling at the start of the year, it felt like I was hitting the ball straight at people. The main difference now is that my swing is in a place where I can repeat it. I swing on the pitches and I have good sticks.

Luis Guillorme took him back to the plate after his setbacks at the start of the season.
David Seelig/Cal Sport Media/CSM

These at-bats usually involve swinging on strikes.

“That’s one of the things I’m proud of is being consistent at home plate and having good sticks, whether it’s coming off the bench, starting, whatever it is,” Guillorme said. “My goal every day if I start is to get out there and get a shot or a walk.”

Along the way, he and Francisco Lindor have formed a strong double-play combination. On other days, Guillorme can play third base – he started there on Sunday in Colorado and his diving save on a ground throw in seventh inning with two runners on base was a key defensive play in the team’s victory.

“I’m super happy for him,” Lindor said. “He’s ready every day, no matter what. If he enters the seventh, he is ready. The reason he’s successful is because he embraces his role and he wants to play every day, everyone wants to play every day, but he’s embraced his role and he’s doing his best.

Lindor was asked about Guillorme as a double play partner.

“He’s a good infielder and that makes it easier for me,” Lindor said. “I just throw the ball and I know it’s going to be there [at second base]. He is very reliable.

Guillorme said the fact that he and Lindor have comparable defensive styles helps.

“It’s easy to go out there and perform when he’s there and stay loose,” Guillorme said. “We always communicate and 98 or 99% of the time on the same page.”

Robinson Cano’s outing this month opened up playing time for Davis and Smith in DH, but more subtly created opportunities for Guillorme, allowing him to play second with Jeff McNeil in left field.

“[Guillorme] has good batting and ball skills,” Showalter said. “He’s a valuable guy because he can do so much for us, one day some guys need one day [off]. I joked, he played too much. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, but Luis is a big part of our club because it’s hard to find people who can do what he does in different positions.

Luis Guillorme
Luis Guillorme can play in multiple positions in the Mets infield.

Showalter also learned to appreciate Guillorme’s inquisitive nature.

“A guy who always thinks about the game, asks me ‘Stump the manager’ questions and is consistently good at it,” Showalter said. “He is engaged.”

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