The Mets Center (Fielder) of Attraction

An article by posted on December 18, 2011

This weekend is just flying by between getting ready for the holidays and this very cool Mets website I’m completely rebuilding for a fellow Mets blogger. But today is Sunday and I’m not leaving this house for nothing – well maybe if there’s an air raid or something like that…

In case you missed it, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported that the Mets would need to be “knocked out” before they consider trading young left-hander Jon Niese. I’ve been shooting down those ridiculous Niese rumors from the get-go and it’s nice to see that the waters have finally calmed on that front. I mean seriously, if Alderson really had any inkling of trading Niese, you have to be a complete moron to think it would be for some near-30 part time outfielder with a lackluster resume. If we wanted someone like Scott Hairston we could simply sign him for $1 million rather than paying Smith $3 million and giving up Niese for him.

I’m completely terrified about what “crazed speculation turned ridiculous rumor” the Mets blogosphere will be freaking out about this week… It’s always something… Come on MetsBlog… Watcha got?

Bay-Torres-Duda, Bay-Torres-Duda… Keep saying that out loud… Sounds a bit scary doesn’t it? Reminds me of Boisclair-Mazzilli-Vail, Boiclair-Mazzilli-Vail…

I’m not buying this lovefest over Andres Torres right now. Everyday there are new videos of him, quotes about how excited he is, blah, blah, blah…. I think bloggers and fans are using him to replace the man crush they had on Jose Reyes, so they’re all rallying around this guy like everything is going to be hunky-dory with him batting leadoff for the Mets next season. Gimme a break and let’s get back to reality folks.

Torres for now may be the de-facto centerfielder, but I’m guessing Fernando¬†Martinez¬†and Kirk Nieuwenhuis will battle him for the job in spring training and they both have more talent in their pinky fingers than our new journeyman has in his entire being. That’s not to say I’m excited at the prospect of F-Mart or Captain Kirk starting in center next season for the Mets, I just wanted to add some much-needed perspective into this whole “Legend of Andres Torres” thing going on all over the place.

I’ll be pushing for Nieuwenhuis to make the team this Spring, but I’m also smart enough to know that our real centerfielder of the future is 20-year old Cesar Puello right now and that eventually Captain Kirk will be pushed to the corner if he displays enough power, or to the bench as a utility outfielder.

One option I wouldn’t be opposed to is bringing back Endy Chavez just in case none of these guys pan out in the spring. Now don’t go getting all sentimental on me – I’m just mentioning him for the mere fact he can still pick it with the best of them in the field, and his bat is nothing to scoff at either.

Don’t laugh… In almost 100 less at-bats last season, Endy Chavez had more home runs and RBI’s, and he’s got more speed and is as good as a defender than Torres.

In 256 at-bats last season, Chavez batted .301 with eleven doubles, three triples, five homers, ten stolen bases and 37 runs scored. His .749 OPS is 100 points higher that Torres’ .643 last season.

Anyway, the point of this post is that you need to look past all the hoopla you’re seeing everywhere else about Torres, and realize that a lot can change between now and Opening Day, and he’s as much of a lock as the everyday center fielder, than Daniel Murphy is as the everyday second baseman.

More on Murph tomorrow…

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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