Wilmer Flores had a hell of a day at the plate this afternoon in the Mets’ 16-2 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals in Port St. Lucie. The infielder went 2-for-2 with a grand slam, a double, six RBI, and a walk after getting the start at third base.
Flores has been trying to prove all spring that he can hit righties, and his big hit today came against righty Adam Wainwright. According to Newsday’s Marc Carig, he believes he can succeed in a role larger than the platoon role he seems destined for. However, Terry Collins said he will have to accept a part-time role. “The one thing about his situation is, you don’t have to like it, but you’ve got to accept it,” Collins said. “And be ready to play.”
Flores, of course, had prolific success against left-handed pitching last year, slashing .340/.383/.710 with 11 homers in just 107 plate appearances against southpaws. Against righties, however, he only hit .232/.289/.353 over 228 trips to the plate. Overall, he slashed .267/.319/.469 on the year. For Flores to become a full-time player, he will have to significantly improve his numbers against righties, or forever be relegated to a platoon role.