The New York Mets got a little too casual with the way they approached Ronny Mauricio’s inevitable position change. A shortstop for most of his professional career, it was only this season when he began to transition into a second baseman and occasional left fielder. Reviews were mostly negative about his handling of those two positions. It’s not as easy as saying the two positions aren’t as difficult as shortstop. Take it from someone who can ice skate well and pick it up years later with ease and has never lasted more than a few seconds on a bike without it tilting over.
While the Syracuse Mets provided Mauricio with a stomping ground to taste some other places on the field, the big league Mets have already given him more innings at the hot corner than the Triple-A club ever did. He had only two starts at third base down on the farm this year. He made an early error for both teams.
The growing pains of learning a new spot on the field remain present for Mauricio. Why did the Mets wait until he was in the major leagues to start this change with more force?
The NY Mets seem too unsure of where Ronny Mauricio and the rest of the prospects will play
Unless someone can complete a Rorschach test with management, we might never know for sure why Mauricio’s move away from shortstop and to a more open position failed to happen earlier. Left field is understandable. However, the Mets have barely given Brett Baty those same opportunities in the majors or minors as well.
The thought of Baty not being a major league third baseman existed well before we saw his play at Citi Field. A move to left field had been long-discussed and explored in the minor leagues. No permanent change ever took place. Even the temporary string of starts away from third base didn’t show.
Perhaps the Mets were thinking “why move two players to a new position when we can do it with just one?” But it goes against how they’ve been behaving with Mauricio getting starts at third base. They’ve put on their white lab coats, ready to experiment. It’s necessary for a team out of playoff contention in September to try unique tests. The problem with the Mets is they waited until there were only two weeks in the season.
Mauricio is pretty much the only alternative the Mets have in-house to replace Baty at third base. Mark Vientos isn’t a major league third baseman either, a determination we’ve all accepted for a while now. Baty needs work at the position and so does Mauricio.
The Mets should forget all about playing the spoiler role in the NL Wild Card skirmish and focus instead on what they can learn about next year’s team. Are they afraid to expose Baty to a new position and lose his remaining trade value? How quickly does the cord get plugged on Mauricio at third base and if so, what’s next for him?
A common complaint about the Mets over the last two seasons is how long it takes for them to call up their hot-hitting prospects. Add another piece of paper to the suggestion box: have an idea how you plan to use them.