A Look At Shortstop, Shortcomings, and Shortfalls

An article by posted on May 21, 2014 0 Comments

USATSI ruben tejada

Anthony Rieber of Newsday, checked in with Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins to determine what the plan at shortstop is these days in the wake of Stephen Drew agreeing to return to the Red Sox.

Here’s what they are doing: rotating two guys at the spot, possibly for the rest of the season. And who plays won’t be based on what happened the night before. There’s an app for that, apparently.

Collins told Rieber he has two options in Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores and that he’ll pick and choose who plays on a game by game basis.

“Now that they’re both here,” Collins said, “we’ve got to pick and choose what we’re looking at. But there’s no reason why you can’t get through the year with two guys getting opportunities to play.”

When Alderson was asked if either will eventually win the job outright, he responded by saying:

“That’s a good question. I think that what we have to do is make sure that we’re taking a structured approach to these things,” the general manager said.

“So for example, other young players that we have, I think that we need to have a good idea of how they’re going to be used over a period of time . . . I think what we have to do is make sure that we have the longterm in mind. With respect to shortstop, with respect to centerfield, with respect to the bullpen, with respect to the starting rotation. I don’t mean to suggest the long term is the next five years, but we have to make sure that we give some of our young players a chance to realize whatever potential they have. Does that answer the question?”

Maybe it’s too early and I haven’t had enough coffee yet, but I have no idea what Sandy is saying there. However, it sounds like the team will use the rest of this season to assess Tejada and Flores to determine who is the longterm answer… Sort of like they did in 2013 with Ike Davis and Lucas Duda.

On the subject of shortstop, Kevin Kernan of the New York  Post also had plenty to say.

Instead of spending money, the Mets will continue to go along with Ruben Tejada (.183) and Wilmer Flores, who is getting on-the-job training.

The Mets also continue losing, getting trashed 9-4 by the Dodgers at Citi Field, a night the Mets went 0-for-4 with the bases loaded. The loss dropped the Mets (20-24) back into last place all by themselves.

Cheap and bad is no way to go through life.

Kernan says the trade route remains a possibility with Seattle’s Nick Franklin available, or perhaps now that Tony La Russa is running the Diamondbacks, the Mets will have the chance to land Didi Gregorius.

But the point, he says, is that no matter who plays shortstop, it’s going to be someone who does not cost a lot of money.

“Hey, it’s only shortstop. Why do you need to spend money at shortstop, one of the most vital, if not the most vital, positions on the field?”

My gut feeling?

Sandy by now probably regrets shelling out $7.5 million on Chris Young and can’t wait to get out from under that one-year commitment. And as soon as he does, he will eventually use that freed up cash to strongly address the situation at shortstop – if not at the trade deadline, certainly next offseason.

Alderson can’t do anything about it now because the team is broke and the Wilpons will not take payroll above $89 million under any circumstances in my opinion.

So if you’re looking to point the finger of blame at someone, blame the Wilpons for turning the Mets into a small market team, and save some blame for Sandy who could have allocated the scant resources he had in a better way.

MMO

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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.