DENVER — Daniel Vogelbach isn’t producing the numbers the Mets would like, but the veteran DH expects that to turn around.
“I’m hitting the ball harder than I ever have in my whole career,” Vogelbach said Friday before going 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the Mets’ 5-2 win over the Rockies at Coors Field.
But those hard-hit balls weren’t translating into hits, and Vogelbach lately has been caught with the bat on his shoulder.
He entered play in a 2-for-17 slump that had dropped his OPS to .705. His slugging percentage was an anemic .333.
Manager Buck Showalter stuck with Vogelbach in the DH spot for a third straight game. Vogelbach had two homers in 99 at-bats entering play.
“I’m just trying to keep working through it and get my feel back to where I can get the ball in the air and launch the ball more,” Vogelbach said. “When I came here my job was to hit right-handed pitching and even going through what I have, I am still doing it at above-average numbers.
“I am just hitting the ball hard the wrong way right now, not doing it the way I want. Even when I had technically good numbers or whatever people want to call them, I still didn’t feel right so I am just working hard to get my direction back the way I want. If I was not hitting the ball hard or not walking and doing all those things I do I think we would be having a whole totally different conversation about things.”
Mark Vientos likely will play the next three games, beginning Saturday, according to Showalter.
The rookie started on the bench Friday for a third straight game with Vogelbach as the DH, before pinch-hitting for Brett Baty in the ninth on Friday.
Showalter did not say whether Vientos would DH or play a corner infield position.
Brooks Raley had his first shaky outing since returning from the injured list.
The lefty reliever was removed with one out in the ninth after walking two batters.
Entering play, he had pitched five scoreless innings over five appearances with one hit allowed and three walks.
Raley missed two weeks previously with elbow inflammation.
Jose Quintana threw off the mound at Citi Field in his third side session since he was cleared to ramp up workouts last week.
The left-hander, who is returning from bone-graft surgery on a rib, needs to throw five side sessions, according to Showalter, before progressing to the next step.
The Mets are hopeful Quintana will be ready in July.