To get the most out of him, the New York Mets need to start using Wilmer Flores in the outfield. What do they have to lose?
When the 2018 season began, many ideas were floated around. Mickey Callaway wasn’t going to use the New York Mets bullpen in a traditional sense. He was going to go with whichever man best fit the situation. We were also promised a much more injury-free season. Look how that turned out.
One thing I would like to see the Mets do is start using Wilmer Flores in the outfield. Through his six MLB seasons, Flores has yet to venture beyond the infield dirt. It’s time he does.
I was hopeful the year would begin with Flores in a super utility role. Instead, we’ve seen the lifelong Met play mostly first base with a few starts at third base sprinkled in. Flores has logged a few innings at second base as well, but not enough to make Yahoo Sports give him the qualifier in their fantasy baseball leagues.
By keeping Flores as a first baseman, the Mets are limiting what he can do. I don’t want to classify first base as an easy position. I just didn’t pay enough attention in my high school English classes to put it any other way.
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Flores is better than a first baseman. Though not so quick on his feet, he’s someone who has played shortstop more than any other position in his career. Those days may be over, but trying him out at new spots shouldn’t be.
The Mets may have decided to keep Flores on the infield due to their outfield depth. The emergence of Brandon Nimmo gave them a surplus, however, injuries have given them opportunities to put Flores out there at times.
There are opportunities for the Mets to see what Flores can do in the outfield. Now that the season looks like a wash, why not see what he can give them?
As one of the few consistent right-handed hitters on the team this season, the Mets need to utilize Flores in better ways. This means making him more than a first baseman who can handle other infield positions.
Flores needs to become a one-stop shop for any defensive needs. As a first baseman who occasionally plays other positions, he’s nothing special. This can change if the Mets allow it to.
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Let’s hope they don’t wait until next year to start this process.