Lagares May Be The Odd Man Out

juan lagares

The news coming out of Flushing the past couple of days is starting to point to what may be a difficult pill for many Mets fans to swallow—Juan Lagares is starting to look like the odd man out in the Mets outfield in 2014.

For whatever reason, Terry Collins seems happy heading into 2014 with Eric Young Jr being the leadoff hitter in the Mets’ lineup. Adam Rubin, of ESPNNewYork.com, reports that Collins reiterated that EYJR is his favorite candidate for the leadoff role this season again on Thursday evening.

Rubin also notes that Sandy Alderson has stated that Lucas Duda will be used in an outfield capacity, and Collins used the word “platoon” when describing it. Collins also stated that he wants to get Ike Davis about twice as many at-bats this spring in order to avoid a slow start in 2014.

What the heck is going on here?

About three weeks ago, the Mets were trying to get Davis on the first train out of town, Duda was slated to be our starting first baseman, and Lagares was believed to be on his way to winning a Gold Glove Award in 2014. Fast forward to today, and now Davis looks to be the starting first baseman, Duda is going to platoon in the outfield, and Lagares may start the season in Las Vegas. Oh, and I almost forgot that Wilmer Flores will be getting a tryout of sorts at shortstop again this spring.

Am I surprised with any of this? Nope. Not at all. Nothing surprises me when it comes to the Mets anymore.

Here’s the deal. I stated it in a post earlier, and I will state it again in case you didn’t get a chance to read it. When I was being recruited to play college ball, one of the main questions I would ask was whether I would start right away. The response I often heard was “if you can hit, you will play.” In other words, the best offensive player with get the time—the coaches really never cared who the best defender was. That always resonated with me. This is how it is at any level of baseball.

I hate to break the news, but just because Lagares is a great defender doesn’t mean he has locked down the job. It doesn’t matter how many stats you point to that shows he saved X number of runs last year. The way the Mets are going to look at it now is how many runs will Lagares cost them by having him in the lineup? They aren’t forced to play him anymore because there isn’t a better offensive option.

Lagares got called up because he was performing outstanding offensively in Las Vegas in 2013—if the Mets had anyone else to play in center last season while Lagares was struggling offensively, he would have been sent back down. They didn’t call him up for his defense.

Lagares is an outstanding defender—there is no doubt about that. But he needs more offensive development. If you are going to make a serious run at the playoffs, you are not going to want a player that is an offensive project in the lineup.

juan lagaresDo I think EYJR is an upgrade offensively over Lagares? No. In fact, they were both pretty awful in 2013. Lagares had a wRC+ of 75 and Young was a 78. But the Mets need a leadoff hitter and they think Young Jr. is the man for the job. His slightly higher OBP and his ability to steal bases seem to be giving him an offensive advantage in Collins’ eyes.

The best offensive players will be on the field, period. The Mets would feel very comfortable with Chris Young in center (he’s no slouch defensively), and Eric Young Jr in left. In fact, it’s looking more and more like this is exactly what Collins wants.

The Mets just dished out over $20 million for Curtis Granderson and Chris Young, so you know those guys will be in the lineup. I’m sure the Mets are expecting 45-50 home runs combined between the two of them. That last outfield spot is coming down to EYJ, Lagares and now Duda is back in the mix. It actually sounds like Duda may get more playing time than Lagares, which just goes to show what coaches and executives think about offense and defense. Offense will always prevail.

The Mets love Duda’s offensive approach. Collins loves EYJR as the leadoff hitter. Lagares plays awesome defense. Who do you think will be the odd man out?

Check out this potential lineup for opening day in the Grapefruit League…

1. Eric Young Jr, LF

2. Daniel Murphy, 2B

3. David Wright, 3B

4. Curtis Granderson, RF

5. Chris Young, CF

6. Ike Davis, 1B

7. Wilmer Flores, SS

8. Travis d’Arnaud, C

I don’t think anyone had that in mind a couple of weeks ago.

Presented By Diehards

  • I HATE THIS FRONT OFFICE, THE GM, AND THE OWNERS.

    That is all.

  • NewYorkMammoths

    It’s like a village idiots convention over there.

  • SpinalRemains

    Plz shoot me.

  • Lare Clark

    Who could the Mets have gotten that would be a good lead off batter? I was hoping they would get a short stop and a first baseman. Usually a first baseman is not a lead off hitter but as we know sometimes a short stop can be an awesome lead off hitter.

    I lean toward acquiring a young short stop such as Owings, but I doubt he could somehow be decent leading off right out of the wrapper.

  • XtreemIcon

    This makes me sad.

  • DrDooby

    It’s a 162 game season.
    Take a look at the Mets Opening Day 2013 lineup and the typical lineup come July. Things change. Heck, what Terry Collins says now won’t really mean anything by March 1st, let alone April 2nd.
    And Sandy Alderson has never “ruled out” anything or will “always consider” any option.

    Maybe weight camp did wonders for Wilmer Flores, Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada and all three are in the “best shape of their life” this year. And the more options there are, the better for the team. Hamstrings will get strained, bones will break, elbow ligaments will tear and side muscles will pull. Depth is the name of the game and a huge part of the recent success of the Oakland A’s, Tampa Bay Rays and St.Louis Cardinals. Be opportunistic, have options available and rotate some players all over the field to be able to react.

    If Juan Lagares hits, say .275 and gets OB, say, .320 while showing a little pop, say .400 SLG, of course, he’ll be in the lineup on most days and starting in CF.

    The Mets will also need a DH by the 2nd week of the season.

    And if players do not perform, they will lose jobs – a lot faster than in the past when there were no valid alternatives around…

    So, to Mets fans:RELAX !

  • Scottydoeskno328

    I may not be in the majority of the MMO community when I say this but I kind of like that lineup this article presents. Would I prefer to have Lagares in there over EYJ, absolutely, but we need a leadoff hitter and this may be the right move. It’s not like EYJ is a terrible defender either. If the guy can get on base for us consistently and steal 60 bases with consistent playing time, that sounds like a catalyst to me.

    I do however love if we can get Flores’s bat into the lineup somehow by placing him at SS. May he be a headache at SS, most likely, but if he can put up numbers like 280 20 75, I think we can live with the defensive short comings (were talking atleast top 10 shortstop with those numbers and its definitely feasible for Flores.)

    I also absolutely hate it when people rag on Murphy on this site. The guy can really breakout this season and become a stud. He is not a defensive liability anymore and now with the protection of Wright and Granderson in the lineup, Murphy can become easily a Top 2nd baseman in the majors with stats like 300 15-20 HR’s 40 doubles 80 RBI’s 20 SB’s.

    I also agree with giving Ike ample playing time at 1st, this is it for Ike. If he flounders in Spring Training or first month of the season its goodbye. We need to see if he can become that 30 home run threat again with a serviceable batting average.

  • calamityfrancis

    Tough pill to swallow for sure. EY is the better offensive player but Lagares is surely worth more overall given his insanely great glove. I don’t like it at all, nor do I like how this offseason has shaken out. Sandy promised a real shakeup and improvement. I don’t see it. Fail.

  • Jack

    Opening Day:
    C d’Arnaud
    1B Davis
    2B Murphy
    3B Wright
    SS Tejada
    LF Young
    CF Lagares
    RF Granderson

    Make Young Jr. A 4th outfielder and the primary pinch runner.

  • Jack

    Lagares is going to save more runs than Young is going to score

  • Jack

    How can you do this to Lagares after the fantastic season he had last year. He had the 2nd most assists in the league at CF and he didn’t play the whole season. Hopefully his bat plays near dividends to his glove in tye spring so he can win the CF job. I love Young Jr. But we need Lagares in the lineup to prove himself.

  • Jack

    3 things i wanna see happen this spring
    1) Mejia wins 5th spot
    2) Lagares win the CF
    3) Ike wins 1B Job
    4) Tejada wins SS job (Even though it would be an absolute miracle if we sign Diaz)

  • NewYorkMammoths
  • Pike Miazza

    This all stems from the knee-jerk dumba$$ CY signing.
    if we hadn’t signed him we could have ran with Brown as our #4 outfielder and avoided the $7M nightmare logjam……or we could have not arbitrated EY and just let HIM walk…but the CY signing sent this ball rolling down dumba$$ hill…

  • Pike Miazza

    Murph HAS to hit #2

  • Jack

    Why doesn’t baseball decide to remove our owners from baseball. They can’t function like a big market team when they r paying multi million dollars in loans.

  • Pike Miazza

    I still think Ike will be dealt before its all over…

  • Joey D.

    Hi SpinalRemains,

    Please forgive me for not giving you a thumbs up but if I did, that would be encouraging someone to shoot your and I wouldn’t want to do that! 🙂

  • Pike Miazza

    That line-up looks just like 2013 substituting Byrd with Grandy….not too promising unless our pitching is All-World

  • Frank Francisco

    I for one, like that line up quite a bit, it is spanking offensively. Defensively, the only real red flag may be Wilmer Flores, and if that experiment fails there’s always Tejada.

  • Pike Miazza

    Lol….probably right on that 1

  • Jack

    Absolutely! A lineup if all players play to their potential/hype could be like thus make the lineup like this

    1) Chris Young
    2) Murphy
    3) Wright
    4) Granderson
    5) Davis
    6) d’Arnaud
    7) Lagares
    8) Tejada

  • Pike Miazza

    Same line-up as last year, substitute Byrd with Grandy….

  • Jack

    If C Young fails than ill put E Young Jr. There

  • El_Verdadero_Presidente

    How the hell are we ever going to develop talent if Terry insists on benching everybody their first three years in the league? Thank God Buck isn’t here, we wouldn’t see TdA until his 30th b-day.

  • Jack

    I love how you can be an owner of a team (in this case the Wilpons) and have a massive majority of the fan base hate your guts. Just to get some respect I would sell but obviously these owners don’t care.

  • Hotstreak

    A lot of K’s in the middle.
    A lot backwards K’s too.

  • blastingzone

    Wow three months ago I mentioned Flores playing SS and I was attacked! The
    mets have got to get his bat in the line up everyday even if it means giving up some defense after all its not like Tejada is a great SS and if Flores fails you
    can always play Tejada! Benching Lagares for EY won’t last long because
    C Young can’t hit right hand pitching very well and we should see a platoon
    of C Young and Duda or EY in left field by late april or may if Davis is our first
    baseman and Lagares in CF everyday!!

  • Jack

    How can you be an owner of a team when you lie to your fan base?

  • Scottydoeskno328

    I definitely disagree with you. It will be the same lineup only if all of these things happen.

    -Chris Young can not make successfull strides forward this year and reproduce some of the magic of his 20007 or 2010 seasons
    -TDA flounders
    -Ike gets DFA
    -Grandy can’t put up a season like his past 4 seasons (2009-2012)

    Then you have the same lineup, as Grandy is just substituting for Byrds performance last year. Why don’t you be a bit more optimistic and hope for things like TDA putting up a 270 15-20 55 season and chris young putting up 230 20 70 and Grandy putting up a 240 35 100 season. These are all quite possible.

    And lets say they start Flores at SS and he puts up top 10 SS numbers like we know he possibly can. That my friend is not the same lineup. And if Ike can get his act together finally (Hopefully!!!), this could be a pretty lengthy lineup, with a great balance of speed and power.

    Its absolutely a lot of ifs but absolutely not the same lineup at all, not even close. I don’t see Quintanilla in here, or Baxter, or Turner, or Satin, or Cowgill getting starts here.

  • Jack

    Wilpons and Katz are the problems. Things will get better only if they aren’t owners. It must suck knowing that the fans think you are a problem rather than a solution running their sports franchise that they desperately love.

  • XtreemIcon

    Why would or should they care what you think?

  • Joey D.

    Hi DrD.,

    With this entering our fourth season under Sandy Alderson’s control, one would hope there would be a more concrete set of options heading into spring training than what we currently have.

    All teams head to camp with a certain amount of uncertainties but for an organization that was supposed to be re-building with a well-focused, long-term plan, this certainly is not the stage one expected to find itself in by 2014. The young pitching was already in quantity when Sandy took over in 2011. Position players weren’t and other than d’Arnaud and Granderson who replaced Byrd (who was lightning in a bottle – a bottle perhaps filled with PED fluids to be injected) no other moves have been made to address those issues. CYJ is no answer.

    It is not the fault of the organization that we now have holes at short and first that were unexpected but it is the responsibility of the organization to try and resolve it. The Mets were trying as hard as possible to ship Ike Davis this winter. They were badmouthing Tejada no end. What more can be said about their expectations for either of these players?

    We can talk in terms of “what if” but being more pragmatic, we should be looking more into what is most likely to be expected. If we seriously tried addressing more of our pressing issues, then Juan’s bat would not be an issue. But because we didn’t, his outstandng glove, range and arm are luxuries we can ill afford to take advantage of.

    So we’re still being told to either “hope” or “relax”. How much longer till we at least go into spring training with more concrete steps finally beginning to be put in place rather than “let’s try this and see what happens”.

  • Terry Collins is the worst! This front office is trash! I think EYJ is a nice player to have as a fourth outfielder and spot starter but, Lagares seems to have a higher ceiling. Also Duda back in the outfield?! That’s like saying hey I know we named our boat Titanic for a reason lets go iceberg hunting. Duda cannot play the outfield, even worse he is such a whiny headcase that it effects his weak offensive capabilities.

    I’m all for giving Ike another shot at first but this has to be it! He gets till the end of June and if is not hitting at least .260 with 15hr’s he should be gone. Chris Young is an interesting case because I don’t see him hitting his weight. If Young bombs out which is highly likely because lets face it, he has been in decline the past few seasons. This guy swings at balls in the dirt like chubby kids love to eat donuts, often and without fear. Chris Young will probably be released at some point, if the fans are lucky and once again Lagares will come to the rescue. I would also rather have given Cesar Puello a chance at winning at outfield job.

    In closing, if all the reports on Flores’s work this off season to become more mobile, pan out. Then maybe he can play as well a short stop as Daniel Murphy plays second. Yeah the range will be limited but his RBI machine bat will be huge.

  • Frank Francisco

    Not at all…
    2013 vs 2014:
    -Byrd -Cowgill -Lucas Duda -John Buck -Tejada
    +Granderson +Young +EYJ +d’Arnaud +Flores

    Completely different so Idk what you’re talking about.

  • KennyandtheMets

    This is EXACTLY what I have been afraid of. Lagares can not sit on the bench. He needs to play. If they don’t want to start him then I hope they at least send him to Vegas to start the season. When someone gets hurt, or just plain sucks, then you bring Juan up to be the EVERYDAY CFer.

  • KennyandtheMets

    So you want Duda in the OF, Flores at SS, with Murohy at 2B? That’s not giving up “some defense”. That’s giving up a TON OF DEFENSE! Duda is NOT AN OFer!! Flores is NOT A SS!! This is supposed to be the major leagues. You can’t just put every potential bat out there and disregard the defensive side of the game. Lagares wins games with his range and arm alone. He needs at bats to see if he can become a productive hitter at this level, like he did at every level of the minors.

  • WillisReid

    I don’t think this is that big of a deal. First off, this was being reported weeks ago as likely. Seems like EY is going to play regardless, so Lagares being on the big club comes down to the performance of CY. If CY is awful, and Lagares is taking care of business in Vegas, problem solved. If CY reverts to Arizona form and produces, there’s a very real possibility he gets dealt around the deadline, and a spot in the OF opens up.

    I hope the idea of Flores at SS goes the way of Turner in the OF.

  • WillisReid

    I don’t think Terry has the authority to make these kind of decisions.

  • blastingzone

    I never said I wanted Duda in the out field, I was just saying
    what will happen because we all know how Terry thinks! I
    also said give Flores a chance in spring training to try to
    play SS and lets see what happens not play him at SS no
    matter what just to get his bat in the line up! I do want his
    bat out there everyday but if his fielding sucks then I would
    not play him their!

  • DrDooby

    Hi Joey D.,

    but this isn´t a situation of “hoping” for something and especially “hoping” that a scrap heap player emerges. In past years we were hoping for Brad Emaus or Collin Cowgill, non-descript minor leaguers who were picked up for next to nothing surprising or other scrap heap talents suddenly becoming valuable contributors.

    In the current situation the “problem” is that the Mets have 4 outfielders that can be viewed as potential starters for 3 spots – even if there are some valid question marks regarding all 4 of them – and that they have two 1bmen awaiting their final chance while there´s no room to put the very legit bat of Wilmer Flores for now. Considering all the options, I´m not really worried about 1b right now. If either Ike or Duda performs up to their capabilities, it´ll be alright. And if not, well then by June 15th the latest, Wilmer Flores probably gets an extended chance to become a legit bat for the middle of the order.

    This team very much remains in transition. As of today, the Mets project to have at least 6 players open the season on the 25-man roster who have yet to play even a single full season in the majors: Zack Wheeler – Jennry Mejia – Vic Black – Gonzalez Germen – Travis d´Arnaud – Juan Lagares – Josh Satin, maybe Jeurys Familia as well. That´s almost 30 % of the roster. This besides several more players who are on the cusp and should see action at some point in 2014. Be it Wilmer Flores, Rafael Montero, Jake DeGrom, Cory Mazzoni or eventually even Noah Syndergaard, Cesar Puello, Juan Centeno or Wilfredo Tovar.

    This is what happens when you rebuild and suddenly have a team loaded with young talent – but naturally rather unproven. The results are tough to predict. The last time the Mets were in similar situations was in 1984 and in 1996. In 1984, this talent broke out in a big way and the Mets had a mini-dynasty for several years. In 1996, Generation K collapsed and there was no follow-up depth behind them – but at least the financial slate was cleared to invest heavily into the eventual 1997 to 2001 “run”.

    In this case, the realistic projection is .500, sort of as the middle ground.But the upside is certainly a lot higher while the downside also is significant. But the positive aspect is that the Mets have one of the deepest farm systems in Baseball right now, so there will be follow-up & backup options rather sooner than later in case the current crop of youngsters doesn´t turn out as well as hoped.

    It´s the big difference between now & the wave of young talent in 1995/1996 (Generation K, Alfonzo, Ordonez, Payton, Person, Acevedo, Ochoa, etc.). This time, there actually are further irons in the fire going forward.

  • Pike Miazza

    Really you don’t?
    Do you know that dArnaud played in 2013?
    Do you know that Cowgill was gone in June?
    Do you know that Ike played in 2013?
    Do you know that Flores played for 3 months in 2013?
    What are you talking about?
    This is the Mets forum…..from Queens, NY

  • DrDooby

    If Lagares hits .240 and gets OB below .300 without much power, he obviously won´t start, regardless of how great his OF defense may be. In that case, he´s an Endy Chavez type 4th OF who can come in for defensive purposes.

    If Lagares hits .275 and gets OB above .310, he´s a starter who should play a lot. And since the starting 3 aren´t exactly Trout – Harper – Stanton, there´ll be plenty of opportunities for Lagares.

    For now, Eric Young is the only “classic” leadoff hitter on the Mets, so he figures to get a shot to start. The Mets were a .500 team once he came over in 2013. Of course, Young needs to get OB. Which he has done in the minors but not exactly in the majors. If he has a .340+ OBP, he´s a very nice leadoff hitter. If he doesn´t he´s a bench piece. He should get a shot in 2014 but then lose the job rather sooner than later if he doesn´t hit enough.

    With Chris Young, the Mets have bought themselves a nice hedge for both spots for 2014. If Lagares needs more time or doesn´t hit enough, he plays CF. If EY jr. doesn´t get OB enough while Lagares does well, he plays LF (or RF if Granderson goes to LF).

  • Vindog99

    45-50 home runs between GRANDY and young? Hahahahaha

  • Nolrog

    If Lagares is the odd man out, then you have a bunch of blithering idiots running that team. He could bat .200 and I’d keep him in there for his defense alone. He’s the best defender on the team (on a team that is not great defensively at all), and one of the top fielders in the NL.

  • Nolrog

    I’ll have some of what he’s having.

  • Nolrog

    Ike batting 5th made me throw up in my mouth a little.

  • Benny

    When is Lagares going to be able to prove he can hit? During Spring Training? If so, it seems that Terry has made up his mind on EYJ being his leadoff hitter no matter what Spring each player has, hence him making this announcement before ST even starts.

    “For now, Eric Young is the only “classic” leadoff hitter on the Mets…”

    EYJ can’t even get on base at a respectable pace, which a “classic” leadoff hitter should, especially when ones ultimate skill set is speed and stolen bases.

    “With Chris Young, the Mets have bought themselves a nice hedge for both spots for 2014. If Lagares needs more time or doesn´t hit enough, he plays CF. If EY jr. doesn´t get OB enough while Lagares does well, he plays LF (or RF if Granderson goes to LF).”

    I believe you are misunderstanding Collins, he already set EYJ to be his leadoff hitter, so he will be starting in LF, while Young slides over to CF, and Granderson plays in RF. Lagares “is the odd man out,” no matter if he hits or not.

  • Super T

    This is even more reason (as if there weren’t already enough) to sign Stephen Drew. He could be the leadoff hitter and EY becomes the 4th outfielder.

    Stephen Drew’s obp vs RHP .377. Against LHP, have EY leadoff (he’s better against LHP) and Tejeda can play SS.

  • pennmetsfan

    EYJ gets the leadoff spot because he steals bases. He has been slightly better as a hitter than Legares and (of course) a worse defender but stealing bases will make the difference. If a pitcher has to quicken up their delivery because they worry about a stolen base that could give an advantage to a guy like Grandy. It might not work but I think thats the theory the Mets are going with.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    I don’t really think anything is TC choice. Sandy is in charge here. Sandy prob wants E young in the of and lagaras in AAA to begin the year. Hoping to trade C young by the all star break and then bring up lagaras.

  • Joe

    Why not just have Lagares in NY as the late-inning defensive replacement?

  • veech2203

    My only comment is if Flores shows he could play short why wouldn’t we want him there. Has anyone seen him play short, my guess is NO, the only reason we think he can’t is because someone else wrote it

  • HawkZon

    ^^THIS^^

  • 2aSupport

    As much as I like Lagares, and I really liked him last year, I think Lagares needs to compete for the spot. I don’t think he should be labeled the odd man out, but I don’t think he should be anointed the CF savior yet either. The truth is, things change, injuries happen, and some players have unexpected breakouts while others have inexplicable declines. It’s 1/31. None of the speculation matters now.

  • FL Met Fan Rich

    Does it really matter? This is still not a competative major league team. At best it is a high level AAA team. We didn’t gert any better this winter, we just replaced for players that we lost.

    You could put all the outfielders on the field at the same time and your looking at the same results as last year.

    Under .500 again and a fourth place finish. Crappy players equals crappy record.

    It’s like doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result!

  • mad met

    Winner winner bingo bingo

  • mad met

    Try 30-40 with 400 k’s

  • Martin

    They don’t lie. Most of the stuff reported is nonsense

  • Peter

    If Lagares goes into spring training and hits the way he did in winter all he willl start! If he does not hit then they go with EY. Either way it’s an upgrade over last year and shows some depth. This is all talk until spring training comes and we see who wins the job. Like I said if Lagares kills it then he in there, if he hits 190 well then how can we complain?

  • mad met

    1300 k’s here we come

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    Hey Jason Bay what do you think of this???

    I thought Sandy was all about building from the farm???

    The prospects…You complained about Minaya starting Gary Matthews Jr. but Sandy is about to trout out another Junior and son of a former MLB player, Eric Young Jr.

    Only difference here is Alderson has a young prospect options in Lagares and Den Dekker. Minaya didnt have another option.

    I ask you because you always bring up GMJ and how that was a terrible move by Minaya and how Alderson would never do that but here he is about to allow it.

    Whats your take,JASON BAY????

    I’ll wait……………………………………………………………………………..

  • CyYout

    Yeah I don’t like the sound of any of that, but then again I don’t like the sound of much that comes out of Collins’ mouth. We could be wrong about assuming Lagares is the odd man out if Murphy is traded before the season. Some Dodger fansites have been pushing a deal for Murphy (they would send over Chris Reed and a PTBNL, maybe Gordon?), and if that happens, EYJ could take over at 2B. Anyway, all of this, including my own response here, is pure speculation. I’m sure the players who perform best in ST will get the most looks out of the gate like ever year, and the lineup will look very different as injuries, trades, and non-performance happen.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    Whats the sense of building the team on pitching in a big stadium if defense is put on the back burner?

    Good rebuilding plan Sandy

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    So if Recker is better than d’Arnaud offensively he will start right?

    NOPE!

  • Martin

    Any news that involves lagares staying away from a major league bat is good news.

  • Benny

    The problem is it doesn’t sound like TC wants a competition, it sounds like he has it set in stone that EYJ, Young, and Granderson will be his starting OF no matter what happens in ST.

  • Benny

    Because then that negates all the runs saved he can produce over a given game.

  • Benny

    Because the customer is always right? 🙂

  • METS62FAN

    VEECH2203, FLORES WAS SIGNED & BEGAN @ SS; BUT HAS SINCE APPARENTLY OUTGROWN THE POSITION PHYSICALLY ACCORDING TO REPORTS. TO MY KNOWLEDGE WILMER FLORES HAS SUPPLIED PROFESSIONAL INNINGS PLAYED @ 1B,2B,SS,3B PRIMARILY A POTENTIAL JUSTIN TURNER WITH GREATER POWER POTENTIAL.

  • mitchpetanick

    Exactly – the Mets give nuggets of info and after all the reporters are done playing telephone with it, the message gets twisted and distorted and is subject to all different interpretations.

  • mitchpetanick

    If the Yankees are willing to play Derek Jeter at shortstop at 40 years-old then I can’t picture Flores’ range being worse than a 40 year-old…they are practically the same size and weight also. I think the news of Flores moving back just took everyone off guard.

  • METS62FAN

    LAGARES IS SOOO MUCH MORE THAN MERELY A DEFENSIVE SUBSTITUTION IF GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY AS WELL AS ONLY 25 ROSTER SLOTS LIMITS YOUR SURPLUS #s TO ONLY “MUST HAVES” NEEDING 8 POS PLAYERS ON THE FIELD+ B/U CATCHER[9]+ 5 ROTATION[14] & 7 BULLPEN PITCHERS[21] ALLOWS VERY FEW”NICE” EXTRAS THAT TYPICALLY AREN’T ALLOWED UNTIL SEPTEMBER ROSTER EXPANSION TO 40

  • METS62FAN

    WELL, CERTAINLY TERRY SAID THAT THIS SPRING EVERY POSSIBLE POTENTIALI FOR INCREASING THE TEAM’S ODDS @ WINNING WILL BE EXPLORED. ISN’T THAT EXACTLY WHAT A 3rd PLACE TEAM SHOULD DO EACH & EVERY SPRING. I LISTENED INTENTLY TO THE HOT STOVE INTERVIEW BY GARY APPLESAUCE THEY AIRED ON SNY LAST NIGHT & BASICLY, TERRY SAID HE LOVED THE ENERGY & INCREASED WINNING POSSIBILITY WHEN EY WAS IN THE LINEUP LAST SEASON; HOWEVER, HE ALSO SINGLED OUT THE OUTSTANDING CF COVERAGE PROVIDED LAST SEASON BY LAGARES WHILE EY WILL BE WORKED ON BY HUDGENS TRYING TO INCREASE HIS .310 OBP & LAGARES WILL ALSO GET WORK TO INCREASE HIS OFFENSE. I CAME AWAY BELIEVING THAT IF LAGARES CAN PROVIDE AS MUCH OFFENSE & ENERGY AS EY, THE STARTING CF/LEADOFF POSITION IS LAGRES’S. IF NOT, CREATIVE MEANS OF GETTING EY IN THERE WILL BE EMPLOYED
    WHILE TC CONSIDERS DUDA’S BAT WITH GREATER RESPECT, THAN I DO; HE ALSO ADMITTED GETTING LUCAS ABs IN SEASON WILL REQUIRE CONSIDERABLE CREATIVITY ESP CONCENTRATING ON LUCAS’ “EGO.ISSUES”
    “THERE WILL BE A “POTENTIAL TO PLATOON” SOMEWHAT IN THE OUTFIELD” WAS ONE TC STATEMENT. IMPLYING DUDA MAY GET ABs THERE IF THE MATCHUPS INDICATE THAT AS PREFERENTIAL. THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO COMMITMENTS MADE ONLY WHAT CONSIDERATIONS HE IS TAKING INTO ACCOUNT IN THIS SPRING’S WORKOUTS AS IT CERTAINLY SHOULD BE ON A TEAM LOOKING TO MAKE GIANT STRIDES FORWARD ON MINIMAL FINANCIAL ADDITIONAL INCREASED INVESTMENT
    FLUIDITY & FLEXIBILITY ARE MAINSTAYS OF WINNING BASEBALL IN THE NON-DH NATIONAL LEAGUE! WAS THE UNSTATED TRUISM OF THAT INTERVIEW.
    GRANDY WILL PRIMARILTY BE EXPECTED TO PROVIDE A BAT OPPOSING PITCHERS DO NOT PREFER TO CHALLENGE OVER DAVID’S. WAS THE STATEMENT NOT ANY IMPLICATION OF GRANDERSON AS CLEANUP.
    IN MY ESTIMATION THIS USAGE OF GRANDY WILL PROVIDE DAVID HIS VERY FIRST LINEUP COVERAGE(PROTECTION) SINCE HIS CLIFF FLOYD DEPARTED. AS WRIGHT WAS USED TO PROTECT DELGADO BATTING 5th WHILE BELTRAN SAT 3rsd.
    NIESE HAS GROWN AS A SP AND HAS EARNED CONSIDERATION AS THE OPENING DAY STARTER AS WELL AS GEE’S INCRESED PRODUCTION LAST SEASON HAS MADE HIM A CANDIDATE. AS FOR “FAT BART TC IS ANTICIPATING A SUPERB MODEL FOR HIS YOUNG GUN POWER ARMS TO FOLLOW AS WELL AS LEARN FROM AS BART HAD ONCE BEEN THEM AS A POWER PITCHER, NOW REDUCED TO 1 SINGLE PITCH HE USES TO CARVE THE STRIKEZONE SUCCESSFULY TC ANTICIPATES HIS “KIDDIES” COMING AWAY WITH THE FEELING “IF HE CAN DO THAT USING ONLY 1 PITCH, IMAGINE WHAT I CAN DO IF I ONLY CONTROLLED MY ARSENAL AS WELL?

    TC WAS ENTIRELY CIRCUMSPECT & NONCOMMITAL MENTIONING HOW HE WAS CERTAIN BOTH CHRIS YOUNG & CURTIS GRANDERSON HAD AT TIMES IN THEIR CAREERS BATTED LEADOFF SUCCESSFULLY.

    I CAME AWAY FROM THAT INTERVIEW FEELING TC WAS ONE, IF NOT MORE STEP AHEAD OF HIS BOSS, ALDERSON, IN POSITIVELY OBFISCATING BEFORE THE NY MEDIA.
    THIS SPRING? EVERYTHING IS ON TERRY’S TABLE OF OPTIONS WHAT DOESN’T WORK IS UNLIKELY TO KILL HIM, CONTRACTUALLY SPEAKING, ; BUT WHAT DOES WORK WILL BE USED REPEATEDLY TO PROVIDE MORE WINS THAN ACHIEVED RTHESE PAST FEW YEARS.

    BTW, ONE OF TERRY’S ONLY DEFINITIVE STATEMENTS WAS “HE LIKES WHAT HE HAS SEEN OF PARNELL, SO FAR”

  • skyhappysal

    Terry is just managing veterans, their expectations, and what they were promised going into this year.
    Maybe the opening day lineup will look like the one presented but as long as Juan does not regress I feel like he, CY and EY will be splitting the full time at bats of 2 players (or 2.2 given EYs appearances at second)..
    Terry has a much easier row to hoe if he says that EY and CY are in the OF to ‘start’ and he works in Juan rather than the other way around. Lagares still needs to come into spring strong after a great winter season of course – but you don’t hand it to the youngster and feed the vets humble pie on Jan 31st.

  • METS62FAN

    VINDOG, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, I BELIEVE THE ADDITIONS OF BOTH GRANDY & CHRIS YOUNG CAN & WILL NET OUT TO AT LEAST 30 ADDITIONAL HRs; BUT CLOSER TO 40. AS HAVING LINEUP PROTECTION, THAT OPPOSING PITCHERS ACTUALLY FEAR BEHIND WRIGHT IS LIKELY TO ADD 10 HRs FOR DAVID, I BELIEVE A CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATE FOR GRANDY CAN BE SOLID @ 20 HRs WHILE IN THE NL, PLAYING REGULARLY CHRIS YOUUNG HAS NEVER HIT LESS THAN A DOZEN MAKING 10 FROM YOUNG A NEAR GIVEN ALL OF WHICH TALLIES TO 40 HRs NOT PRESENT IN 2013.

  • B-Met Fan

    Even if you accept Mitch’s argument that the guy that hits is the guy who plays, the pill that’s tough to swallow is Chris Young’s batting numbers. Here’s what they look like compared to Lagares.
    AB R H HR 2B 3B SB RBI AVG OBP SLG
    Young 335 46 67 12 18 3 10 40 .200 .280 .379
    Lagares 392 35 95 4 21 5 6 34 .242 .281 .352

    Unless HR’s is pretty much your only source of measure, Chris Young does not profile as a guy who hits. Granted, Young has hit 32 HR’s in a season in the past but so did Ike Davis, and we were eager to get him a ticket out of town. The big problem is Young is trending downward with three straight seasons of diminishing returns (BA. .236, .231, .200) (OBP .331,.311,.280) (HR’s 20, 14, 12).
    After a slow start at the plate during his first major league season Lagares added 8 points to his batting average after the All-Star break last season and raked for the first month after the classic before fading a bit in September. Lagares bounced back to win MVP honors in the Dominican Winter League, all indicators the young Met center fielder is trending upward.
    Of course, Lagares’s defensive play in centerfield had Met fans marveling last summer. First in assists for a National League center fielder, first in range factor/9 innings for an NL center fielder, 2nd fewest errors committed by a center fielder in the NL and so on.
    Then comes common sense. Don’t get me wrong, I’m hoping Sandy pulled a rabbit out of a hat and Chris Young has a great bounce back season. But, the fact is we signed him to a one-year deal. If he bombs, Young is done as a Met. If he excels, Young (30) is a free agent and will price himself beyond what the Mets are willing to pay. The only way Young makes the 2015 squad is if he’s average or slightly below average with little to no market value.
    Finally, there’s the eye test. Every Met fan who watched our team game after game last summer knows our product improved after Juan Lagares manned centerfield. Hitting statistics or not, our pitchers were more daring and we got better when this kid played centerfield. They simply can’t start the season with Lagares in Vegas. He has to be on the big league team, one of 4 outfielders who get 350+ at bats apiece next season.

  • NewYorkMammoths

    Not to mention having 8 first basemen that you can’t unload on anyone and no shortstop.

  • alan friedman

    I have always respected your opinions and enjoyrd reading your articles but Wilmer Flores at shortstop? No way and I can say that with no doubt! He is a liability in the field to start with even at third base his “natural” position. His bat could get him to platoon at first base with Davis or Duda but it is more than likely that one of those guys could be gone by April. I am hoping that Ike makes it easy for Terry and the front office and that we send Duda packing for almost anyone prospect wise. He is a dinosaur if you ask me!

    Sorry Mitch…..but Flores at SS is not gonna happen!

    Juan Lagares is a comer offensively due to his work ethic and his desire to improve. He’ll be there opening day in the CF slot!

  • BarnRat

    Not to mention that he could bat .200 and be ahead of half the line-up

  • mad met

    Home runs are the only thing this fornt office cares about…. they believe that whom ever out homers the other team wins 70% of the time .thats what they are trying to go with

  • mad met

    People usally only respond if they feel they can win the argument

  • mad met

    What do you mean ? You dont like 1300 strikeouts .no ss no cleanup hitter or the same crap at firstbase .sitting prospects for crap vets and playing people out of position .lets also add in there is no way to balance this line up ..whats wrong with that

  • Dark HelMet

    The team EASILY stands to be better than last year, and if you simply think its a Harvey/Byrd – Colon/Young/Granderson thing you’re completely wrong. You have to take into account young guys getting better and full years of wheeler, d’arnaud, etc etc

  • This is ridiculous! Let’s compare the two players:
    Defense: Lagares is a top 5 player at a more valuable position. EYjr is average or worse at a less valuable position.
    Offense: EYjr is SLIGHTLY better and he’s in the prime of his career, so he’s unlikely to get noticeably better. Lagares is close to EYjr with 121 games of experience. He went to work in the off season and was the MVP of his winter team. It seems likely that he’ll make modest offensive progress this year which will make him BETTER offensively too.
    Age: Lagares could contribute to this team for a decade. EYjr???
    Salary: League minimum vs. 7 figures.
    Sorry junior, but grab a spot on the pines.

  • DD

    I don’t believe a word of it. Lagares will play, and he probably will show improvement over his rookie numbers. The Mets are just making nice with Eric Young.

  • metsfaninparadise

    But, but, but (says TC) EYJ was nominated for a Gold Glove, so he MUST be better!

  • SRT

    The one thing I think we’ve all learned about TC is even when he declares something that sounds like it’s set in stone, he’s apt to change his mind just a few days later.

    He is the great tinkerer.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Can we calm down please. It’s not even February. Of course they’re not “ruling anything out.” EY might leadoff because there aren’t any solid candidates. At least he has decent speed, can steal bases. His OBP needs work of course but it’s not terrible. The Mets were among the worst in leadoff stats so any improvement will help.

    As for Flores at SS – I can’t see it happening. He’s terrible defensively and unless he hits a ton to compensate, the Mets are going to need defense. Especially with Murphy at 2B.

  • mitchpetanick

    I guess you won’t like my new article either lol

  • Martin

    I am always trying to pin down why the fan base is so obsessed with lagares. I think it must be because he appears to try hard. This is the same reason why beltrans talent was under appreciated. The fanbase will ignore futility if your playing style makes you appear to be trying hard. See jeff francouer.

    You don’t even have to actually be trying hard, you just have to appear to be.nbeltran was amazing but made it look too easy so people failed to appreciate what a monster player he is.

  • Benny

    Very true!

  • Metsaholic

    I think you have a point. But the fans also like to see young talented players rise, and succeed being the best at his position. Largares seemed to be emerging as the best defensive CF in the game. If someone is that good, fans are more forgiving of his offense. Rey Ordonez would be an example.

  • Metjorge

    Great article almost summarizes everything.
    Lagares coming off a great season in the Dominican Winter League hitting almost 400, plus his success offensively last year at AAA leaves him with nothing else to prove at the minor league level. It is time for him to show his offensive development playing every day the entire season and winning a gold glove in CF for this team.
    Also, Chris Young would be a much better RF than Granderson because of all the real state to cover in the gap, but then again, having Lagares patrol CF, you would not have to worry so much about the gaps anymore.

  • Bail4Nails

    If Chris Young hits .190 in Spring Training, does he ride the pine? No. This is what bothers us. You can’t tell fans “may the best man win”, and then “promise” somebody 600 at bats. It reeks of Little League politics.
    If you want to win from the farm system up, eventually you are going to have to trust your prospects to play every day. If not, trade them. But blocking these players with reclamation projects, solves absolutely nothing. It decreases the prospect’s confidence, and sometimes their value.

  • Catt-A

    I think the Mets know Flores’ career is likely to be utility infielder, so they’d like him to be able to play short in an emergency, or best case for a game now and then. If he can become anywhere close to competent they can release/demote Quintanilla and use that roster spot for someone else.

  • Taskmaster4450

    Do you think that if Texiera hits .190 in ST, he will lose is starting position? Vets who are signed to a deal like CY are not brought in to “win” a position. Grandy and CY are guaranteed starting positions.

    Lagares should be too unless he just bombs totally in ST.

  • Taskmaster4450

    No truer words were ever written.

  • Taskmaster4450

    And if they didnt sign CY and Grandy opted for another team, you would be whining that Alderson didnt do anything.

    Now you are complaining about who he signed.

  • trevordunn

    between Tejada and the 2HR and 25 RBI out of SS, and EY and the 250 BA and 2 HR out of him…what a lineup

  • nymetswinws

    8 first basemen and non of them talented enough to start.

  • nymetswinws

    CY is only a “vet” based on time in the league, not based on being very good in the past. He had a few good seasons half a decade ago, but the Mets act as if he is last years Chris Davis.

  • nymetswinws

    They aren’t going to fire him right after signing him to an extension. I agree though, he is my least favorite manager/coach out of the sports teams I root for.

  • Matlack

    This is a good point about Mets fans, which I have felt to be true for a long time. Beltran was greatly unappreciated here by many. That being said, Lagares has hit in the minors, and despite non-optimal plate discipline, has shown the ability to hit the other way. If he can produce a WRC+ near league-average 98, that’s a nice player for league minimum. Question is, can he do it?

  • nymetswinws

    your caps lock button is broken.

  • nymetswinws

    No, the Mets have 4 outfielders and only Granderson would be a starter on another team. We have just as man first basemen, and non of them would be a starter on another team. We have no short stop on top of that.

  • Matlack

    Agreed. Terry is middle management. If he’s too obtuse, Pedro Lopez is being groomed.

  • sperry

    Duda should absolutely and unequivocally be ruled out for left field. Period.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Well, I’ll admit I have no explanation for that one except that the organization just loves Duda so much. That said, I can’t see any way Duda wins an OF spot over anyone else on the team.

  • Guest

    Lagares has incredible upside…. he’s only 24. He proved he could hit at the minor league level and over the summer. Give the man a full season or two. Jesus. He’s a top 3 centerfield in the majors, and if he can develop offensively he’s our centerfielder for the future. Playing EYJ is judge a bandage in centerfield like Colon is for our starting rotation.

  • Joe

    Lagares has incredible upside…. he’s only 24. He proved he could hit at the minor league level and in winter ball. Give the man a full season or two. Jesus. He’s a top 3 centerfield in the majors, and if he can develop offensively he’s our centerfielder for the future. Playing EYJ is judge a bandage in centerfield like Colon is for our starting rotation. Give the man some time to develop.

  • Jack

    I know they shouldnt. Im just sharing what i think. Its buds fault

  • Joey D.

    Hi DrD.,

    CYJ a starter, I don’t think so. Eric Young a starter, he hasn’t been in his career.
    Juan Lagares – a starter in my book but only on a team that can afford to carry his glove. That’s not much “hope” other than defense.

    Duda and Davis – yes, I haven’t given up on either player but as their young careers have progressed, pitchers have shown that they have caught onto them – at least it appears that way until now. So we have to “hope” that is not the case.

    But if you feel the team is still unproven and needs to be further developed, then we are in much further trouble than you might suggest – for that means we only have three starters who have proven themselves – Harvey, Gee and Niese, one in the bullpen with Parnell and only three position players with Wright, Murphy and Granderson. Two more have to prove they can come back (Davis and Tejada) and CYJ is only here for one season regardless.

    You know, DrD., I was still feeling there was at least potential for this team right now but that it was the economic situation that was holding us back – now you’re giving me second thoughts about even that. Thanks pal, now I don’t even have that to fall back on with my misery! LOL

  • Pike Miazza

    So if they didn’t sign CY nor Grandy and only signed Fat Boy Burger Id be whining ???
    OR, are you saying that if they didn’t sign CY nor Grandy and went out and did what they should have done which is get a 1B & SS Id be whining?
    And its not called whining, its called stating the obvious

  • skyhappysal

    Sandy responded to a question about Flores at short, it isn’t a plan. Flores is going to come to spring training and try to show value to the team by being able to play multiple positions. Hopefully he can be an emergency short stop – Hojo style or Kevin Mitchell like.

  • Cervant

    The only way EYJ leads off is if Murph gets dealt, which isn’t going to happen. So cut the crap, Terry. We all know that what Lagares gives up in the speed department, he gives back several times over with his defensive wizardry.

  • mad met

    Let it go he has a disability

  • mad met

    I felt like that when i saw granderson was gonna bat fourth

  • Did you just say utility infielder? and the organization knows it???!! I hope youre kidding!!!

  • Mike

    I think they’re just giving Lagares more time in Vegas to take a little pressure off himself and develop into a better hitter. By June TC will see ey2 is not a regular and hopefully Lagares will be raking in Vegas and will take over the job and keep it for 5 years or more.

  • Catt-A

    What role do you see him in? I don’t mean he’s going to be a defense replacement, he’s going to be a pinch hitter and a guy who gets a few starts a year at various positions.

  • joeythew

    Exactly, I yearn for the days when Davey Johnson even put Kevin Mitchell at shortstop to get his bat in the lineup. Power arms and bats win – why can’t Collins get that. No one cares about stealing bases anymore.

  • Tectaru

    I have to disagree. Offense and Ike Davis/Chris Young can’t be used in the same sentence. I NEVER criticize payroll or “perceived cheapness”, but this is almost exclusively about who they are paying.

    Assuming the team isn’t changing, If this was about offense, EYJ and CY would be fighting for time in the corners and Duda would be on first (maybe with a Satin platoon).

  • XtreemIcon

    Unfortunately, baseball is not a customer service industry.

  • Lare Clark

    Lagares only ever played 17 games at AAA. He could use some seasoning at the plate for a couple of months, the Mets do have a solid outfield without him. If he is brought along I think he can be a very good hitter.

  • Lare Clark

    Home runs are sexy, you know it and I know it. Some people will come to the park just to see a guy that hits 40 home runs a year.