The Mets have no money and a glaring need for RHB. Given those two realities, it is a little strange that we have not heard more about plans to find playing time for Josh Satin. While he’s defensively challenged, Satin has hit everywhere he’s played in the minors, including a .286/.391/.442 line in 527 PA in Triple-A Buffalo last year.
Last year, Satin was primarily a first baseman (79 games) but he also saw time at 2B, 3B and DH. It seems just a bit strange that they did not try him in the outfield, even for a single game. The same organization that had no qualms about playing Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy and Jordany Valdespin in the outfield has seemingly drawn the line at Satin.
Okay, so they didn’t want to move him to the outfield having never played a single game in his professional career. That makes some sense. So, let’s send him to Winter Ball with an outfielder’s mitt and see how it goes. Well, as of the morning of November 25th, Satin has yet to play a single Winter Ball game anywhere, much less show up in the outfield.
There’s probably a good reason why the Mets have refused to play Satin in the outfield. He is not fast and he doesn’t have a particularly good glove – you would prefer your outfield converters to have at least one of those qualities.
But as we’ve mentioned more than once, these are far from ideal times and they demand creative solutions. It’s hard to imagine Satin being worse than Duda while patrolling the outfield – it just seems like his bat would make it a gamble worth trying in Winter Ball with the idea of continuing the experiment in Spring Training as long as he didn’t lose a limb or something else extreme.
Perhaps the organization has already cut ties figuratively with Satin. Currently, he’s not even on the 40-man roster. He was this time last year, but he was removed last June when the Mets needed the spot to promote Pedro Beato. Satin went unclaimed and returned to the Mets.
Satin is in a tough position. If he’s to have any kind of career in the majors, it will be because of his bat. And he’s got good but not great minor league hitting stats. In another organization, he might get more of a shot, but with the Mets he’s caught up in a numbers game. New York also has Daniel Murphy in the majors with a similar skill set and the minor league system contains Wilmer Flores and Zach Lutz as corner infielders without great gloves looking to get by with their bats.
Still, it’s hard to ignore the .391 OBP he posted last year. While he did not hit particularly well against southpaws in 2012, he still managed to notch a .388 OBP against lefties, despite a .223 AVG against portsiders. Here’s how some Mets OF did in OBP against LHP last year:
.304 – Duda
.286 – Nieuwenhuis
.250 – Valdespin
.182 – Baxter
Since our Christmas tree is unlikely to have a righty-hitting OF sitting under it, the refusal to try to get Satin to fake it in an outfield corner for 50 games is a bit puzzling. I expect him to remain with the Mets after the Rule 5 Draft and I hope they give him the opportunity to play OF in Spring Training.
If he falls on his face – so what? He goes back to the minors as infield depth and nothing is lost. But the upside is that he can be a useful platoon bat from the right side of the plate, an area of need for the 2013 Mets. It’s disappointing that a potential low-cost solution seemingly was not even explored. Even if the odds were stacked against this being a success, Satin still has a greater chance to contribute for the Mets in the majors as an outfielder than anywhere in the infield.