Although expectations were relatively low for the New York Mets (9-8) entering the 2024 season, there were reasons to believe they could surprise people. An 0-5 start temporarily stifled said optimism, but they are rolling right now. Moreover, fans are enjoying watching this club take the field.

Winning definitely helps in that regard, but there is also a fun energy surrounding the Mets. While mainstays like Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo struggle, guys like Brett Baty and Harrison Bader are picking up the slack. The young third baseman, in particular, has been a key contributor in the batter's box and at the hot corner.

But his momentum might be halted for the time being. Baty suffered a hamstring injury in Tuesday's 3-1 victory versus the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates and was removed from the game in the seventh inning. Such an issue can force a hitter out of his routine and lead to a prolonged slump.

Fortunately, it appears that the 2019 first-round draft pick avoided disaster. New York manager Carlos Mendoza says Baty is day-to-day with left hamstring tightness, per SNY. The 24-year-old's postgame comments echoed the positive outlook.

“I'm just glad I caught it early,” he said. “I don't think it's much right now. We'll see how it feels tomorrow.”

This encouraging news could obviously change when Brett Baty reports to work on Wednesday, but there seems to be a decent chance he is back in the lineup by this weekend. Nevertheless, no one wants to see this speeding locomotive get derailed by anything.

Brett Baty has played an important role in Mets' surge 

Baty struggled mightily in 2023. He sorely lacked plate discipline, batting only .212 with an alarming strikeout rate of 28 percent. He was also shaky at third, netting a -4 in outs above average, according to Baseball Savant. Simply put, Baty did not look like an MLB-caliber player.

But what a difference seven months can make. He has made noticeable strides in multiple areas and has hit safely in all but three games this season. Baty leads the Mets with a .305 batting average and is tied with Pete Alonso for the highest War on the team (0.4).

While it is silly to gush over stats this early in the year, this promising first couple of weeks is a welcome sight for fans and likely a big confidence boost for the Round Rock, Texas native. Along with catcher Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty is an important part of the Mets' future plans.

With management opting to be conservative in the offseason, one of the main selling points of this team is watching some of the younger players and prospects develop in 2024. For Baty, though, it is about solidifying his slot on the roster. Ceding opportunities to someone else would delay that individual mission.

If the hamstring issue turns out to be worse than both he and Carlos Mendoza anticipate, Mark Vientos could be called up from Triple-A Syracuse. He suffered through his own big league missteps in 2023 and is determined to capitalize on a second chance. Joey Wendle also figures to get more responsibilities.

Mets fans will hope for the best in the meanwhile and try to relish this run. The club goes for its fourth consecutive win on Wednesday afternoon against the Pirates.