According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, a source has told him that manager Terry Collins is getting set to name Luis Hernandez the starting second baseman.
Disenchanted with what he has seen from Luis Castillo, Daniel Murphy, Brad Emaus and Justin Turner this spring, manager Terry Collins is preparing to name Luis Hernandez the starter at second base, a source with direct knowledge of Collins’ plans told The Post yesterday. The move will be contingent upon Collins convincing the front office to find roster space for Hernandez.
You may remember that just three days ago in this post, I wrote about Collins’ demeanor and body language when he was asked about the second base situation by reporters.
Collins tapped his foot and paused six seconds when asked if even giving Hernandez remote consideration signaled displeasure with the original second-base combatants.
The manager eventually replied: “I don’t know if I’ve added him. I think we forgot that he could play there because he has been unable to play there early in camp. … I’m still looking at the primary four guys, but I just know we’ve got another guy who can play there.”
As a matter of fact I wondered who he was referring to at the time… Some of the readers thought it might be Reese Havens, but who would of believed it would be 26-year old Luis Hernandez?
Puma said Collins came to this decision mostly because the primary contenders for second base did nothing to distinguish themselves at the plate or in the field or both.
Last night, Adam Rubin wrote that “there are rumblings around baseball that Terry Collins is firmly in the not-Luis Castillo camp for second base”. He also quoted a rival executive who told him that Castillo won’t see Opening Day in Miami. “I think he will be out before spring training ends,” the person said.
Hernandez only entered the second base picture after Collins brought his name up after the three error game by the Mets on Saturday. Two of those errors were by Daniel Murphy, the other by Chin-leng Hu.
What is odd about the whole situation is that for weeks Collins has stated that he saw second base as an offensive position, which many believed was a vote for Daniel Murphy. Hernandez is far from an offensive type and has always profiled as a utility infielder. In parts of four seasons he is a career .245 hitter and previously played for the Orioles and Royals. He is having a solid spring batting .417, but only has 12 at bats.
Truth be told, Castillo is having the best spring out of all the candidates, so clearly this is a signal that Collins wants nothing to do with him.
Rule 5 pick Brad Emaus was supposed to be the favorite, but he has underwhelmed at the plate and looked shoddy in the field.
Ruben Tejada, their best defensive second baseman, has already been dispatched to the minors.
This seems so uncoordinated to me and I don’t like the smell of it. I would even go as far as saying that it looks a little like desperation on the part of Terry Collins.
Furthermore, we haven’t heard a peep from Alderson on this yet, who might very well insist that Collins plays his guy, Brad Emaus.
It’s most likely that we haven’t heard the last on this. But at least we’re not talking about Oliver Perez this morning.