Andy Martino of the Daily News gives more evidence that Ruben Tejada is not even considered in the mix for the second base battle this spring.
He begins with comments from Terry Collins on the newest Met, at least for now, infielder Brad Emaus, the Rule 5 pickup from the Blue Jays.
“Obviously, with J.P. (Ricciardi, a former Toronto GM) involved, we had real, real good information about him, what kind of player he is. Talked to some people in the Dominican about him, talked to Obie (Ken Oberkfell, the Mets’ new bench coach and Emaus’ manager in the Dominican winter league) about him because Obie has seen quite a bit of him. He said he is a solid player, looks like he can play a couple of positions. His approach at home plate is something that’s going to fit here. He’s a big pitch-selection kind of guy, good walk-to-strikeout ratio. We’re going to give him a shot in that mix at second.”
Emaus would have to make the Mets 25 man roster, otherwise by league rules, he would have to be returned to the Blue Jays organization. Emaus could be a potential top of the order hitter as he had a .397 on-base percentage between Double-A and Triple-A last season, and seems to be an Alderson type player as I read on Baseball America.
Collins named Emaus, Luis Castillo, Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy as the competitors for second base at Spring Training, and didn’t even mention Tejada, who excited the fanbase during his short time with the Mets last season, but only batted .213 in 216 at-bats.
Collins also weighed in on Daniel Murphy when asked if he was a viable candidate for the job.
“I think he is. I really do. Work is not an issue with Murph. He’s worked very, very hard to play second…His range is OK, his hands are fine. He’s just got to get familiar with turning double plays, gotta get used to it. We’re going into camp with four legitimate guys – Justin Turner, people are not mentioning him, but he’s also down in winter ball having a very, very good winter. He had a very good finish in Triple-A, so we have to include him in that mix.”
Both Murphy and Justin Turner are having solid seasons at Winter Ball.
Adam Rubin sees Turner as a sleeper. The 26-year-old was claimed off waivers from the Orioles in May at the suggestion of Wayne Krivsky. In Triple-A with the Orioles and Mets, Turner hit a combined .316 with 12 homers and 43 RBIs in 396 at-bats, although he was snubbed for a September call-up, despite going 6-for-6 and hitting for the cycle on the final day of Buffalo’s season.