I couldn’t help paying a little extra attention last night when Gary Cohen brought up the subject of shortstop after Wilmer Flores committed his second error of the game which led to three unearned Dodgers runs. What struck me as odd was when he downplayed the Mets promoting Matt Reynolds because he isn’t on the 40 man roster and that the Mets will likely need those spots to address other players they don’t want to risk losing in the Rule 5 Draft.
I completely get what Cohen was referring to, and you know what, to a certain extent he’s actually right. However the Mets will have until late November to lock in that 40 man roster, and for the time being their bigger priority is sorting out this current problem at shortstop.
Look, I’m not going to sit here this morning and pile on Wilmer Flores because he had a bad night in the field. Defensively, he’s shown off a solid arm and despite poor lateral range, he’s even made an occasional spectacular play.
But I think it’s very clear now that his future does not lie at shortstop. He simply does not possess the instincts that the position demands and you end up holding your breath everytime a ball is hit in his direction.
Hey look, I was one of those who wanted to see what Flores could do with some extended playing time at short, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what’s happening here. The experts were right, Flores is not a shortstop.
The other thing is Flores’ bat… Where is it? This was his time to show the Mets what he could do and by and large he’s been invisible. What’s concerning to me is that even in those few instances when he gets full extension and hits the ball hard and right on the sweet spot there’s no real power. His line drives frequently fall to the ground like dead quails. He rarely lifts anything past the warning track an there’s absolutely no power or momentum being generated from his lower body. He just stands there at the plate and waves at the ball – he’s all arms.
Anyway, enough on Flores.
Last night Matt Reynolds continued his torrid pace at the plate going 4-for-4 with a walk to raise his average to .349 for the season. He doubled and stole third base for his 15th swipe of the season.
Through 117 games between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas, Reynolds is hitting .352/.417/.465 with an .882 OPS. Over his last ten games for Vegas, the 2012 second rounder is batting .422 with two home runs, eight RBI and ten runs scored.
I think it would be in the Mets’ best interest to get Reynolds up here on September 1st, if only to see if his performance can translate to the majors.
As we enter another offseason of uncertainty – particularly at the shortstop position – it’s imperative that we examine all of our options now, so that we can have as much information as possible before determining how we’ll proceed in 2015.
There’s no telling if Reynolds can continue to rake as he has at this level, but we have nothing to lose in bringing him up and giving this team a charge that it so desperately needs. My hunch is that Reynolds will impress both with his bat and his glove.
“I’m not going to wow you with my power, I’m not going to wow you with my speed,” he said. “But I guarantee that I’ll give it 100 percent and play the game right and play the game hard.”
There’s a lot of Wally Backman in this kid. He’s just as fiery and he can be a catalyst at times. I believe he deserves a shot and that he should be among the players that get called up when rosters expand next weekend.
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