Mets are finally moving Wilmer Flores off shortstop
With the expected activation of Daniel Murphy from the disabled list on Tuesday, the Mets will officially be moving Wilmer Flores from shortstop to second base.
Flores, who has started exclusively at shortstop for the entire season, committed 10 errors there and was worth -5 defensive runs saved per Fangraphs and -10 DRS per Baseball Reference.
Once Murphy is activated, he’ll play third base and Ruben Tejada will shift to shortstop.
That the Mets started the season with Wilmer Flores as their shortstop was a huge mistake. That they kept it going after David Wright was injured was odd. That they kept it going after Daniel Murphy was injured — with Tejada at third base — defied logic.
Playing two players out of position made absolutely no sense, and the fact that the Mets went as long as they did with Tejada at third base and Flores at shortstop will never make sense.
With Flores finally about to be moved off shortstop, the Mets should get credit for finally waking up, but I refuse to believe their reasoning — that Flores is being moved not because he failed, but because the present situation allows for things to be switched up.
Flores did fail, but it’s not his fault, not something fans should be angry at him for, and not something he should allow to impact him going forward.
As was written in this space and elsewhere many times between the winter and now, Wilmer Flores was moved off shortstop years ago for a number of reasons. Flores doesn’t have the range for shortstop, doesn’t have the agility, and doesn’t possess the footwork necessary for the position.
That Flores stopped making lots of fielding and throwing errors after his initial struggles is admirable, but he was always miscast for the position. His lack of range alone is enough of a reason for him to never again start a game at shortstop.
The Mets will have a big decision to make if David Wright battles back from the spinal stenosis that is ailing him and is cleared to return. Theoretically, they would have to trade Murphy to clear room or bench Tejada and shift Flores back to shortstop (please don’t). For now, though, Flores is where he should’ve been all along: not shortstop.