Do Mets Still Have Problems With Positional Depth?

An article by posted on March 23, 2010

Depth… Depth… Depth… How deep are the Mets?

It’s a thought that sometimes falls through the cracks. The Mets received some great news about Reyes’ and his thyroid issues so he should be getting back to baseball very soon once he’s in baseball shape. This situation, although disaster was averted, opened the door to many questions about what would happen if guys like Reyes, Wright, and even Johan were injured for an undetermined period. Do we have the protection and insurance within to keep pressing on as a team and win games? 

When we thought Reyes was out, we wondered who would step up between the likes of ”The 2 Million Dollar Man” Alex Cora, “The Future” Ruben Tejada, “Mr. Geico (because he’s strictly insurance)” Alex Cintron, “What’s His Name?” Jolbert Cabrera, and “The Dark Horse” Russ Davis’ , whose had a decent spring playing 2B and SS. Davis, incidentally, is a name that you definitely don’t want to ignore. He’s a left handed batter with pop who has actually established himself this spring. He has hit 17 HR’s in 884 big league at-bats. Adams has a .467 average, one triple, one HR and two BB’s in 15 plate appearances. Besides, he has major league experience with Toronto. He would have been my vote out of the above options, but now the point is moot.

This is only one example of what appears to be a problem with the depth at many positions on our team. To scan the names and options of our depth charts is still a tad disheartening.  

I know I’ve been a bit of an optimist of late, but our depth really concerns me. Injuries can happen at any time and for a team that experienced an epic amount last year, you would think that it would have been addressed in time for the new season. The opening day rosters are not quite set yet, but so far I don’t see the pieces coming together to secure our Amazins don’t suffer a similar fate in 2010. Do you? 

Last year, when Reyes was out for an indefinite amount of time (as was most of the team), there was inconsistency at the position. It’s clear why Cintron was brought in and why Cora was kept around, but no one liked the Cora signing and no one cared much about the Cintron signing except me… maybe. Cabrera, R. Davis, and Tejada have each been getting long looks this spring. Is it really expected that one of these guys step up as an everyday player? I think Cintron and Davis have the best chance of doing it because they carry a wealth of experience and can step in if Reyes needs a rest during the season. Cora is simply Cora. He may provide a routine double play or maybe a hit from time to time, but I think his best days have already passed.

That’s just shortstop, but what about third base and second base?

Tatis manned third base when Wright was not playing but c’mon, it wasn’t the kind of replacement that breeded confidence. At  first base, there is still much to be sorted out with a weak hitting Murphy, an undervalued Chris Carter, a first baseman/catcher who might hit in Jacobs, and the inexperienced Ike Davis. Who has Castillo’s and D-Wright’s back?

Truthfully, we can’t look to the minors (at current) to resolve this issue and we all know that teams are not going to throw us a life saver should tragedy strike again. The Marlins will not trade Hanley Ramirez , and the Phillies won’t suddenly release Chase Utley and the Nats or D-Backs wont offer up Zimmerman or Reynolds to us. Just like last season, we’ll have only our bench and our minor league system to bail us out again.

Many of my compatriots may not even want to think about this. Why? It’s still spring. Well when would be an appropriate time for the Mets to consider this and stockpile for the future and any possible occurrences? If we look deep enough, there are, at least, two more positions on the field that are also depth-challenged. Nobody expects the worst. Well, some Mets fans do, but I wonder if this is a recipe for disaster.

The Angels do it. The Phillies do it. The Cardinals do it. The Red Sox do it. The Yankees do it. The Twins do it. And the White Sox do it. And (coincidentally?) they win a lot. All good teams pay close attention to their depth charts and have contingency plans in place, but it seems as though the Orange and Blue Express does not. Time to get the train back on the track.

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