Abbott: Strange as it may seem, they give ball players nowadays very peculiar names.
Costello: Funny names?
Abbott: Nicknames, nicknames. Now, on the St. Louis team we have Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third …
With less than two weeks until Opening Day at Citi Field, if you ask New York Mets manager Terry Collins who will be starting at third base he’d probably say: “I Don’t Know.”
He’d be right, but it wouldn’t be “Who,” he’s on first, of course. Who is, you ask.
What’s his name, you reply.
Yes. He’s on first … and “I Don’t Know” is on third, at least that’s what Collins would probably say, I think. I Don’t Know.
I Don’t Know.
But that is the lingering question as Opening Day draws near: Who will start at third base?
No, he’s on first.
With David Wright planning to stay in Florida indefinitely when the Mets head north, here are the third base options:
Jose Reyes – Reyes is the leading candidate to spell Wright. His presence on the field (and in the lead off spot) has been limited due to his commitment to play for the DR in the World Baseball Classic. Reyes batted .154 in five games for the Mets this spring. He carried the majority of the playing time at third base last season, in Wright’s absence.
Phillip Evans – Evans has had an impressive spring, both offensively and defensively. He had batted .333 with a pair of home runs and 8 RBI. Last season, Evans hit .335 at Double A Binghamton in 96 games.
Wilmer Flores – Flores, who made his MLB debut in 2013, has an opportunity to stake his claim in the starting lineup, if he hits — consistently. He is batting .270, including a pair of home runs, in 15 games this spring.
Ty Kelly – At 28, Kelly is versatile and can play infield or outfield. Still, he is one of the weaker offensive players among the Mets options. Kelly batted .241 in 39 last season with the Mets. He did hit .328 at Triple A Las Vegas before being called up to the Mets. Batting just .200 this spring, he’s had limited playing time because he left the team earlier in the month to play for Israel in the WBC.
T.J. Rivera – Rivera, 28, made his MLB last season and provided much-needed punch for the Mets offense, hitting .333 in 33 games between August and September. This spring he’s picked up where he left off, hitting .305 over eight games.
Matt Reynolds – Reynolds, 26, has disappointed this spring, batting .074. Last season, he shuttled from Queens to Las Vegas a handful of times, batting .225 in 47 games in New York. He is traditionally a second baseman, but has proved to be be versatile on defense in his short MLB tenure.
The bad news: No one knows if and when Wright might return to the Mets and, if he does, will he play third base. The good news: The Mets have depth. It will be up to Collins to find the right mix until further notice.
Until then, I Don’t Know is on third.
Oh, no … here we go again …