Mar 5, 2014; Melbourne, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores (4) throws to first against the Washington Nationals in spring training action at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
Flores, 22, spent a chunk of the winter working on his fitness and agility at a camp in Michigan, and impressed the Mets when he showed up to spring training with what some said was a brand new physique.
So far this spring, the Mets have used Flores primarily at second base while occasionally shifting him over to shortstop in the late innings. That will change Tuesday.
It’s exciting to envision Flores somehow being able to play shortstop adequately, but it’s also something that’s not likely to happen.
There are reasons the Mets moved Flores from shortstop three years ago. According to their scouts – and other scouts throughout baseball – Flores lacks the range necessary to play the position at an acceptable level. His hands are soft and his arm would be average, but the range issue is a huge one.
The Mets are obviously unhappy with Ruben Tejada and are exploring options via free agency (Stephen Drew) and trade (Nick Franklin). In the meantime, they’ll take a look at Flores and see if his increased agility translates into improved range at a position he was deemed too slow for over three years ago.
It would be great if it somehow worked out.