Last night the Mets walked off in dramatic fashion when Eric Young, Jr. parked his first home run with the team into the right field netting. If you ask most fans, it didn’t feel like it had the feeling of sweetness that it should have. Despite Young getting pied in the face by LaTroy Hawkins, it felt instead like everyone was getting punched in the gut. David Wright was injured during the late innings of the game, as his tweaked hamstring finally gave in on him after days of being weakened.
Aug 2, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) leaves the field with a trainer after hitting a single against the Kansas City Royals during the tenth inning of a game at Citi Field. Wright would sustain an injury on the play and be pulled from the game. The Mets defeated the Royals 4-2 in eleven innings. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Wright is not only one of the top offensive threats on the team and in the National League, but he’s the face of the franchise and the Captain of the team and sometimes the United States of America. He’s put the team on his back for the past two seasons, and one of the few reasons to continually watch the team. Many fans and press soon realized his injury would most likely mean a DL stint, thus the Mets would need to make a roster move.
While Justin Turner had just himself been taken off of the disabled list, many had speculations the club would call someone up from Las Vegas to fill the void for the time being. Rightfully so, most thought the Mets would give a shot to the young infielder Wilmer Flores. Earlier in the year, I pointed out the Mets may want to give him a shot, as the team’s offense at the time was horrendous. With Wright out, it seemed now was the prime opportunity to call up Flores.
To keep you up to date on how Flores has been doing in the Pacific Coast League, he’s batting .320, has 14 homers, and 85 RBIs. To go along with those numbers he has 35 doubles and an .882 OPS thus far. To say the least, he is raking with the Mets’ Triple A affiliate.
The timing seemed right for Flores to get his first opportunity with the big club. Well the Mets did not decide to bring up Flores, but instead left handed outfielder Mike Baxter. While bringing up Baxter gives the Mets more depth on the bench, it does not seem to be the team’s best decision.
ESPN’s Adam Rubin reported today that the Mets decided against the promotion of Flores because of his apparent lack of range. Since his time in the minors, that has been Flores’s main issue. He originally came through as a third baseman, but with David Wright signing an extension, it seemed the Mets began to look for a new spot for him. He has played some second base this year, and has been recently playing first base.
Normally it would make sense that the team believes defense is important as well as offense. Although it is important to be able to have range in the field, it seems to be hypocritical to how the Mets have handled the team previously.
While Daniel Murphyhas been a good hitter for the Mets over the course of his tenure, his fielder has been below average at best.
May 27, 2013; Flushing, NY,USA; New York Mets left fielder Lucas Duda (21) misplays the ball hit by New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) (not pictured) during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
While he has been improving at second base the past few seasons, he’s still below average in many defensive categories. Early in his career he seemed to be a man without a position. Similar to Flores, he came through as a third baseman, but had to move around to the outfield and even first base.
It hasn’t just been with the case of Murphy, but also Lucas Duda. Duda, who is not a terrible first baseman, has been put into theoutfield full time the past two seasons and has been an interesting person out there to say the least. Easily caught fly balls by almost any other Major League outfielder turn into an adventure with Duda. Since he has been out with an injury, the Mets have used Young in the outfield along with Juan Lagares, and the defense has been much improved. The coverage by the speedsters have given the Mets a boost. But during today’s SNY broadcast, Gary Cohen mentioned the Mets using Duda in left and trying Young at second, shifting Murphy to third. Duda’s range, who’s subpar on a good day, would most likely start to get regular time in left.
Using a less than rangy Duda in left is alright, but using a player similar to Murphy’s ability in the infield, and who’s looking to be a better hitter, is not okay? Why the hypocrisy surrounding Flores? To say the least, it’s a very interesting situation.