Mets' Slugger Daniel Vogelbach Returns to Form, Crushes 10th Home Run

By Lily Hackett August 20, 2023

Daniel Vogelbach finds his groove again, hitting his third home run in a week; meanwhile, Starling Marte nears return to Mets’ lineup.

The New York Mets' own, Daniel Vogelbach, the left-handed slugger, has announced in unmistakable terms his return to form against right-handers. He stands rooted to his confidence despite a trying season, his recent power surge being a testament to his belief in his skills against right-handed pitches. A grand slam caps off his scintillating performance in the 13-2 blowout win against St. Louis, his third home run during a seven-match spread.

“I feel like I know what type of hitter I am and what I’ve done against right-handed pitching my whole career,” Vogelbach said Saturday night. “It just doesn’t go away.” Even after a career-high 30 home runs during his All-Star season in 2019, he managed a paltry two in his opening 47 games this year. However, despite these hurdles, his Saturday night slam marked his 10th home run of 2023. This powerhouse was found rocking an impressive .237 against right-handers this season, fairly consistent with his .238 career average against them.

“You have stretches where you don’t hit well and you have stretches where you struggle, but if you stay the course, you’ll come back to life,” Vogelbach said. “I feel like I just started to put some games together here.”

The 30-year-old has yet to hit off a pitch from a left-hander in 14 attempts this year and sports an unimpressive .130 against left-handers across his career. But Vogelbach proved his worth by reigniting the Mets' batting side in the second half of the previous season, averaging .255 with six home runs after joining the team ahead of the trade deadline. He eagerly hopes to replicate this form for what remains of 2023. “A month and a half offer ample opportunities,” mused Vogelbach.

Meanwhile, Starling Marte is due to consult a physician on Monday, marking two weeks since this agile outfielder was sidelined with a groin strain. “ “He’s progressing slowly but surely,” indicated the team’s manager Buck Showalter ahead of Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.

The 34-year-old Marte, an All-Star member from last year, has been battling migraine headaches this season. His current average is .248 with five home runs this year. Showalter last week stated that the team has yet to consider withdrawing Marte for the year, a sentiment echoed by Marte, who is keen to return to the pitch. “I want to be back on the field,” Marte said last week. “I want to be there with my teammates and my friends and to be able to do the best thing I can possibly do — which is go out there and contribute to the team.”

Team changes saw the Mets suffer one to their bullpen ahead of Sunday's game, with Reed Garrett returning from Triple-A Syracuse. As a result, fellow reliever Vinny Nittoli, who debuted on Saturday, was sent back. Despite Nittoli allowing just a single run over his two innings, Garrett, 30, has had a shaky start, conceding 10 runs in seven innings with the Mets, who got him off waivers from Baltimore in June.