The Mets entered Monday at 53-58, 6 1/2 games back of the Wild Card. While they’re not firmly ‘in contention,’ they are showing signs of coming into their own as a team while hanging on the fringe of the playoff race. One lingering issue? The Mets’ 25-man roster and everyday lineup doesn’t jive with the corner they’re trying to turn.
Jul 26, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets outfielder Chris Young (1) hits a double against the Milwaukee Brewers during the eighth inning at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
There are three common sense changes the Mets should make, sooner rather than later:
- Bobby Abreu has one hit in his last 21 at-bats, has been unproductive in a pinch-hitting role, and brings negative value on defense. He should be designated for assignment, with Matt den Dekker recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.
- Despite a pair of solid games a few weeks ago, the Chris Young experiment has been a failure. Signed only through the end of the season, cutting bait with Young should be a common sense move. He should be designated for assignment, with Kirk Nieuwenhuis recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.
- Ruben Tejada has a sub-.200 average since early July. His OBP is respectable, but since he primarily hits eighth, it’s been pumped up by over a dozen intentional walks and lots of pitch-arounds. Wilmer Flores, who has hit at every level and who possesses extra base hit ability, should be at shortstop every day, with Tejada serving as the backup.
There is some thought that the Mets may be attempting to gauge August trade interest for both Abreu and Young, but the chances that either of them has enough value to bring back anything of significance is slim.
As far as the Tejada/Flores situation, it’s been established that Tejada is not the answer at shortstop for the Mets. It’s highly unlikely that Flores will be either (because of his lack of range), but he could very easily serve as the second baseman in the event Daniel Murphy is moved. For the rest of the season, Flores should get an opportunity to play every day – due to both the short-term and long-term interest of the club.