Wilmer Flores has been the odd man out ever since Ruben Tejada started to play better baseball again, and even though Flores has been relegated to the backup role, he still finds ways to make his presence known in the lineup, as he did on Monday night in Philadelphia.
With the Mets already up 5-0 in the top of the sixth, Flores came up with the bases loaded and slapped double to right field scoring David Wright and Bobby Abreu, this after being robbed of a hit his first time up in the game.
Then in the top of the ninth, once again the bases loaded, Flores swung at a 3-1 pitch and parked it over the left field wall for his first home run of the season and the first grand slam of his career. His bomb put the Mets up 11-2, and completed the rout.
Flores spoke with Adam Rubin of ESPN NY after the game about his big blast.
“It felt good,” says Flores. “I’ve been struggling the last couple of games. I didn’t feel good my first two at-bats. As the game was going, I made adjustments. I put a good swing on it.”
There is no telling if Flores has earned his way back into the Mets lineup for Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Cubs, but with how well he swung the bat on Monday, he definitely deserves the opportunity to do it again.
But with Tejada batting .345 (10 for 29) with a home run in his last ten games, it will be tough to decide who should get the start. Either way Flores helped his cause with that double and a blast, as he finished the game 2 for 5, with two runs scored, a double, home run and six RBI’s.
Thoughts from Joe D.
It’s a shame that since his first callup to the majors in 2013, Flores has yet to get the time he deserves – the time any top prospect deserves – to show what he can do with consistent playing time.
For years we’ve heard analysts, scouts and even Paul DePodesta himself refer to Flores as an RBI Machine, and in small flashes he has shown himself to be just that. Last year, when the Mets GM was asked what position Flores will ultimately play, he respond with a smirk, “cleanup.”
But here we are nearly a year later with Flores trying to do what he can despite middling playing time. The Mets have a top prospect blocked by the likes of
Troy Tulowitzki Ruben Tejada.
It’s kind of sad really, but I’ve been saying this for a long time… I believe when Flores, who is only 22, finally has his breakthrough season and goes onto deliver a string of All Star caliber seasons, it will more than likely be with another team. A team who will realize what this kid is capable of and unleash all of that plus-offensive potential that many scouts have been raving about for over five years.
Thank heavens for our pitching. Because it’s tough to see a team that languishes at baseball’s bottom in extra-base hits and OPS, completely ignore and sidestep what could be a big part of the answer to their offensive problems.