Remember in 2011 when Luis Hernandez was the starting second baseman for the Mets? Think hard now. You don’t remember? That’s because it was nothing more than a spring storyline that was generated by Terry Collins. Reported Mike Puma of the New York Post in March of 2011:
"Disenchanted with what he has seen from Luis Castillo, Daniel Murphy, Brad Emaus and Justin Turner this spring, manager Terry Collins is preparing to name Luis Hernandez the starter at second base, a source with direct knowledge of Collins’ plans told The Post yesterday. The move will be contingent upon Collins convincing the front office to find roster space for Hernandez."
What happened in 2011 was Terry Collins making a declaration that seemed absurd. He either came to his senses or the front office overruled him. Either way, the starting second baseman was not Luis Hernandez.
As spring training 2014 draws near, Collins is again saying some things that are causing fans to scratch their heads.
- Daniel Murphy could win the first base job if Ike Davis and Lucas Duda struggle, while Eric Young, Jr. shifts in to play second base.
- Juan Lagares may not be on the roster if Eric Young, Jr. gets on base enough during spring training.
Allow me to preface the following with this: I’m not attempting to bash Collins. As can be seen above, though (with the Luis Hernandez situation), he does have a tendency to say things that make very little sense.
Daniel Murphy at first base would be pointless. The Mets have two first base only players (Ike Davis and Lucas Duda) on the roster, and it would be stunning if both of them were left off the 25-man roster. Additionally, moving Murphy to first would put him at a position where his offense is much less valuable, and would force Eric Young, Jr. to come in and play second base.
Sep 29, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) waves to the fans after a game at Citi Field. The Mets won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Like Murphy to first base is pointless, so is the idea of placing importance on how much a certain player gets on base during meaningless spring training games.
Meaning, the center field job should come down to determining the best player suited for it, not rewarding the player who performed the best at the plate during games that don’t count against competition that is half-assing it.
When it comes down to it, all roster decisions will ultimately be made by Sandy Alderson, not Terry Collins. It’s that fact that needs to be taken into account before worrying about Terry Collins and his yearly spring storylines.