Mets aren’t ready to change infield alignment

By Danny Abriano

Sandy Alderson said on Tuesday that although there is no timetable for David Wright‘s return, the club is not yet ready to make any changes to the current starting infield alignment.

While Alderson noted that the team could potentially move Wilmer Flores off shortstop — since it would be due to Wright being out, not any ‘failure’ on Flores’ part — he suggested any such move isn’t close to happening.

At present, the Mets have Ruben Tejada at third base, Flores at shortstop, Daniel Murphy at second base, and Lucas Duda at first base.

Dilson Herrera, who has been out since mid-May due to a broken middle finger on his right hand, recently resumed baseball activity and could return within the next few weeks.


I understand why the Mets are hesitant to move Flores off shortstop, but with Tejada playing every day at this point, it makes very little sense for both he and Flores to be playing out of position. And regardless of what the metrics say or what Sandy Alderson says, Flores is indeed out of position at the moment. The throwing issues have calmed down, but his lack of range remains.

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Between now and the time Herrera comes back, I would shift Tejada to shortstop. Under that scenario, the Mets could either use Flores at third base (where he’s comfortable) or use Murphy at third base (since it’s his natural position) with Flores at second base.

If the Mets do move Flores off shortstop, how they adjust when Herrera comes back will be a bit tricky.

Tejada is on a 10-for-21 tear at the plate, but the odds are that he’ll regress to the mean sooner rather than later and settle in as the .255/.329/.321 hitter he’s been over the course of his career. If the Mets had a healthy David Wright and Michael Cuddyer and Curtis Granderson were producing, having a shortstop with a line like Tejada’s would be palatable. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.

If the Mets’ roster is the same when Herrera is ready to be activated — and Tejada has regressed — the play should be to slide Flores back to shortstop, use Murphy at third base, and use Herrera at second base. Yes, it’ll be less than ideal to place Flores back at shortstop, but his lack of range would at least be partially mitigated by having Herrera to his left instead of Murphy.

With Wright out, though, the main objective for the Mets right now should be finding a player who can replicate the production Wright generated in 2012 and 2013. And it’s highly unlikely they have that kind of player in-house.