Mets third base coach Tim Teufel, dished a little about the state of the Mets infield, an infield that looks to be returning intact. Adam Rubin caught up with Teufel on Tuesday night at the B.A.T. Dinner in Manhattan.
On Ruben Tejada
“I think he just got off to such a slow start last year,” Teufel said. “Him going to the camp and making an effort to come into camp in shape and ready to go…I think he’s done that. I’m looking forward to seeing him.”
“I think he’s a talented young man. I know he can hit. He hit .280 one year and is one of those guys that can get on base as well… I think this is going to be a different year for Ruben. I think he’s going have one of those nice rebound years and really solidify himself as a big-league shortstop.”
On Lucas Duda
“I saw a big confidence boost in him out in the field,” Teufel said. “For me, he looked more relaxed at first base. He’s been there before. He’s done that successfully in the minor leagues. They made him into an outfielder, so to speak, along the way. But his natural position is first base. I think he’s more comfortable. That’s a place where he thrives. Whether that relates to a big year with the bat, I don’t know. I don’t know if that makes him comfortable where all of a sudden he has this monster year with the bat. I think there’s less worry for him being in the infield rather than the outfield.”
“He’s an interesting guy. He’s still young enough. For me to say he can’t play second base right now would be kind of a little bit foolish on my part, because the times that I’ve seen him, he’s had bad ankles.”
“He’s coming off injuries and sprains and was limited already. How much of an effect that had on his game remains to be seen. I can’t wait to see him in spring training as well. He’s an offensive player. He can hit and he handles the strike zone well. I think there’s something there. It’s just now seeing him at full strength. That’s what spring training is all about for me.”
I think it stinks that Flores will most likely be heading back to Triple-A. Here’s a team that could use a run producer in the worst way, and you have Duda, Tejada and probably Omar Quintanilla all making the team, while their top major league ready bat will be heading to back Vegas with nothing left to prove.
In my opinion, the biggest casualty of this unresolved first base situation was not creating room for Flores to play everyday. That was the move… If 2014 is really all about 2015, we needed to see what we had in Flores. He’s the potential core player for this team, not those two lumberjacks we currently have at first base now… I mean am I right or wrong on this?