Sep 19, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores (4) throws to first during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Alderson: Wilmer Flores May See Time At Shortstop During Spring Training


Every scout who has seen Wilmer Flores play shortstop insists that he can’t handle the position at the big league level.  That is why he hasn’t played shortstop (instead seeing time at third base, second base, and first base) since 2011.  Still, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said earlier this week that Flores playing shortstop is something that just may happen during spring training:

I don’t think we’d rule it out.  Why should we? I think we have to see how Spring Training plays out for him — is there going to be a spot for him in the lineup? Is there not? Is he going to be a bench player for us? Is he going to go to Las Vegas?

Alderson went on to note that Flores may have been at a disadvantage conditioning wise, and that the program the Mets put him through this winter may have helped with his agility, and suggests that the idea that Flores may be able to play shortstop in the majors isn’t dead:

I don’t want to place too much stock on four weeks of conditioning, but this is a guy who’s never really had the opportunity to develop himself physically the way players here in the United States do, who have a season and then an offseason.  He’s never had an offseason.  He’s always played.  So this is a different type of offseason for him — one in which he’s been able to invest in his career. We’ll see how it pays off for him.

I wouldn’t say [Flores to shortstop] is dead. I think that one of the things we want to see is how well he has done with his training regimen in Michigan. Before this offseason, I’m not sure he ever had any sort of structured, regimented conditioning program. The work that they have done on speed and agility and quickness, etc., may have an impact on his ability to play certain positions — including second base and conceivably even shortstop. But right now, that’s all speculation.

Thoughts:

Anyone who watched Flores play second base last year knows that his range is close to non-existent.  At shortstop, he would be exposed further.

Still, Alderson is pushing the idea that an offseason of conditioning may have improved a slow-footed, range challenged player to the point where he’ll be able to play adequate shortstop defense.

I’m not sure if Alderson even believes his own words when it comes to Flores and shortstop.

This strikes me as one of the things that’s said as spring training gets closer.  It wouldn’t be shocking if Flores got some reps at shortstop during exhibition games (they don’t count, so who cares), but if Flores ever played shortstop at the big league level it would be incredibly surprising.

The Mets currently have a shortstop problem.

Prospective starter Ruben Tejada had a dreadful 2013 and was bashed by the front office, and Omar Quintanilla is currently his backup.

The Mets need to find a solution at shortstop, but it’s highly unlikely that solution will be Wilmer Flores.

 

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Tags: Featured New York Mets Popular Sandy Alderson Wilmer Flores

  • Kabeetz

    The solution has to be Tejada reverting to 2012 production or they will have a true hole defensively and offensively.

    Flores as a successful SS would be a dream come true but not happening.

    • chums41

      You have no idea if Flores can develop as a shortstop! Wilmer has been working very hard in an off-season speed and agility program and was a .960 fielder in the minors back in 2011. Not great, but passable. And his bat is so quick, it is something to watch. Tejada’s hitting pales in comparison to Flores and I hate to further burst your bubble, but Tejada is at best, a slightly above average fielder, not Ozzie Smith. Flores has so much hitting upside, we have no choice.

  • Ken Meoni

    I think Flores at 2B would be more realistic. We all know that means Murphy would have to be traded. Which brings me to this…..we came into this off season knowing trades had to be made. None have been made. So, because of that, we will probably see Flores not play in the majors and if Ike breathes, Duda will be sent to AAA. You can’t tell me the Mets couldn’t make a trade with the surplus they have. Is it so hard to put a package together with Davis, Murphy and a pitcher? There are alot of teams out there that need a 2B. There were also teams that needed a 1B and pitching is always needed. It has all the writings of a three team trade to me. Let JP run with it.

    • chums41

      Flores at 2B is not realistic because Murphy is our 2B, period. Flores at shortstop is a definite possibility because he is a superior hitter vs. Tejada, and given the agility work he’s been undertaking this off-season, he could become an average fielder. Besides, what is our return in your hypothetical Davis, Murphy, pitcher trade? Murph could be a .300 hitter this year with 15-20 HR’s and 90+ RBI’s so the trade would need to yield an Adam Jones type player to make sense. No team was willing to give up any player of value for Davis. No read to trade him for nothing.