Mets desperate for return of Francisco Lindor and his swagger

It’s no secret the Mets need star shortstop Francisco Lindor back.

Lindor injured his right oblique on July 16, against the Pirates. Before the injury, the Mets were 47-41 and in first place in the NL East. Since Lindor’s injury, they were 9-14 heading into Tuesday. That included their 1-6 road trip against the Marlins and Phillies, which ended Sunday and dropped them to third place in the division.

The Mets returned home deflated, depleted and, at many times, looking lethargic. During the trip, they were just 9-for-59 (.153) with runners in scoring position.

Not only do the Mets desperately need Lindor’s bat and fielding ability, but also they need his exuberance and swagger, which he has shown since the Mets acquired him from Cleveland. The shortstop proved his dedication to the team by dying his hair blue, his ear-to-ear grin is contagious and he is constantly trying to inspire his teammates with pep talks.

Francisco Lindor
Francisco Lindor has been sidelined since July 16.
Corey Spikin/NY POST

The 27-year-old might not be on the field, but he hasn’t stopped trying to energize the Mets. He has urged them to make it past the dog days of August.

“Just continue to tell them to fight, fight, fight, fight, fight. It’s that time of the year. Welcome to August,” Lindor told The Post. “It’s going to be a tough two months, and the best ones that can play in these two months are the ones that come on top.”

When the Mets acquired Javier Baez from the Cubs before the trade deadline, they didn’t just anticipate a lethal middle-of-the-infield combo of Baez and Lindor. They also saw another high-energy player who could have a similar effect as Lindor on the team.

Baez has shown flashes of that. He hit a home run in his debut, but he was hitting .176/.222/.253 since his arrival. Baez also sustained a hip injury Sunday and is considered day-to-day.

The injury to Baez, however, will not affect Lindor’s recovery.

“Even when Baez was healthy, I felt like I needed to get back. I want to get back. I want to be with the boys, I want to grind together.” Lindor said.

The $341 million man has continued to rehab from his injury. He has been hitting and fielding while continuing to rebuild the strength in his oblique. He is still on pace to meet his expected three-to-five-week timeline.

“He’s still, at this point, I’d say week to week. But yeah, he’s progressing well. I wouldn’t say anything’s different,” acting general manager Zack Scott said.

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