Mets flip infield alignment but keep Flores at shortstop
Two days after Sandy Alderson said the Mets weren’t ready to change their infield alignment, Ruben Tejada has been moved from third base to second base, with Daniel Murphy shifting from second base to third base.
On Tuesday, after David Wright spoke to reporters and said his rehab is still on a week to week basis — while noting there’s still no timetable for his return from spinal stenosis — Alderson said the Mets weren’t prepared to make a change. After Tejada committed two errors at third base on Wednesday night, though, the change was made.
Alderson said on Tuesday that the team wouldn’t rule out moving Wilmer Flores off shortstop since it wouldn’t be deemed a ‘failure’ due to necessity forcing it. However, though Tejada and Murphy flipped positions, Flores remains at short.
Dilson Herrera, out since May 15 due to a broken middle finger, started his rehab assignment with High-A St. Lucie on Thursday night and will likely figure into the infield plans soon.
With Wright out indefinitely, it made no sense to keep Tejada at third base and Murphy at second base. That change should’ve been made earlier, but at least they finally got it right.
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As far as Flores is concerned, as was noted here on Wednesday, it’s understandable why the Mets are hesitant to move him off shortstop. If that move was made, some would deem the Flores at shortstop experiment a failure, but so be it. Terry Collins said prior to Thursday’s game that moving Flores off shortstop would cause a “firestorm,” but I think that’s blowing things way out of proportion.
Simply put, as there was no logical reason to have Tejada at third base with Murphy at second base, there’s no reason to have Flores at shortstop with Tejada at second base. Both players would be stronger if the positions were flipped, and the team would be better off for it.
When Herrera returns, the Mets could either send him to Triple-A, use him at second base ( with Flores shifting back to shortstop and Tejada on the bench). While it’s not ideal to have Flores at shortstop, using him there with Herrera at second would be more palatable than the current alignment.