What Happens When Wright Returns?

An article by posted on July 7, 2011

The Mets have been playing great baseball, working as a team, getting timely hits and playing at least adequate defense in the field. The combination of Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada and Justin Turner have combined to plug the holes in the lineup, get key RBI hits and hold their own at their respective positions. This is all fine and well, but with David Wright expected to return after the All-Star Break, what is going to happen when he returns.

With the very recent news that Jose Reyes will miss three weeks, the plan may not be altered much, but here are a few scenarios:

Harris demoted, Turner/Murphy platoon at 2nd, Duda mans first

The Mets have no quality first baseman backups that are right handed, and both Turner and Murphy have their upsides. Duda has yet to show off his power stroke, but he has proven to get big hits when needed and not embarass himself at first. The Mets have a plethora of left-handed outfield options in both Harris and Pridie, and keeping them both while they have both been underperforming is hard to believe. Murphy has not regularly played second since the Ike Davis injury, and has mostly been manning the corners since David Wright went out.

Duda demoted, Turner/Murphy play 1st & 2nd.

This one seems unlikely, since the Mets front office has openly said they will not keep any of their prospects up at the MLB level if they do not have at-bats to give them. Duda hasn’t done anything wrong to be demoted, and has played about as even keel as one could expect. This option only seems viable if one of Murphy/Turner seems to cool down with the bat.

Tejada & Duda demoted, Turner plays 2B/SS upon Reyes return, Lutz plays 1st

This one is a bit of a reach, but Zach Lutz has been raking as long as he has been healthy, similar to Reese Havens. Lutz is a righty with some power and ability to hit, and right now the only righties on the Mets bench on any given day are Ronny Paulino and Scott Hairston. A Murphy/Lutz platoon at 1st makes some sense, but demoting Duda would take a catastrophic drop in either his fielding ability, or how he has been hitting.

While all of these scenarios seem pretty farfetched at the moment thanks to the Reyes announcement, it is believable that at least one of the four players could return to Buffalo. Duda seems to be on the short end of this leash, since he can only play the corner OF spots and first, and Bay, Pagan and Beltran have those spots held down. Tejada is a better defensive 2B/SS then Turner and Murphy, and Turner’s ability to fill in at SS is adequate at best. Only time will tell, and this may not happen for a few weeks. As Alderson has mentioned, he is only playing the game in two-week intervals. If Duda or Tejada cooled down enough, and Reyes returned one of those players could see a demotion.

Oh, BTW – Nick Evans is returning…again. He of the .000 average in 17 PA.

For more Mets news, notes, ideas, thoughts and useless info, follow me on twitter @TheSeanKenny

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