Has Justin Turner achieved must-start status?

You know, I had a thought the other day about the Mets’ lineup. When you look up and down the order and go across the diamond, what Met players are solid no-brainer starters for almost each and every day?

With the way Ike Davis is struggling, he is now teetering on the edge of becoming a platoon player until he sorts outs his struggles. Otherwise, Davis should be a cornerstone piece of the Mets for the foreseeable future.

With that said, I can only think of four players in the Mets’ lineup that should be penciled in practically every day: David Wright, Daniel Murphy, John Buck and Ruben Tejada (and that is basically because of the lack of options behind him).

You can make a case for Lucas Duda too, as he has shown that he has great pop and is very good on getting on base.

This leads me to Justin Turner.

When you peruse Turner’s stats this year, his inclusion in the lineup is bordering on mandatory. Prior to Friday night’s game, Turner was sporting a .378/.408/.444 slash line. He has also shown the knack for driving in runs with many clutch at-bats.

Now comes word that Terry Collins is trying to get him some time in the outfield, which is not necessarily a bad thing with the way he is playing right now. The Mets need all the help they can get from the right side of the plate, as Wright is basically the only righty threat in the lineup-especially with Buck struggling right now.

Michael Baron of MetsBlog put it in good perspective in calling Turner a “poor man’s Ben Zobrist.” Surely, Turner is no Zobrist, but Turner does have the ability to play all positions for the Mets-outside of catcher.

That versatility is something the Mets should take advantage of. While second base is Turner’s best position; that is where Murphy is firmly entrenched. So, with Davis struggling and much of the outfield in flux, Turner can get his at-bats by alternating at these spots. It’s also nice to know that, in a pinch, Turner can man third base and shortstop.

Look, we all know that Turner is no world-beater, but the Mets should ride the hot hand as long as it can. Right now, Turner has a 0.3 WAR, which is good for 75th in the NL-which supports the argument for him to get everyday at-bats. Sure, Turner will more than likely regress, but with a team lacking other quality options, let’s turn to him in the meantime.

Where’s the harm, I say.

By the way, it’s time  Turner gets some pie instead of serving it up.

2 comments for “Has Justin Turner achieved must-start status?

  1. Metsense
    May 11, 2013 at 8:35 am

    I am an advocate of the “hot hand” theory fully aware that Turner at his best is just an average NL second baseman. Right now Turner platooning at 1B and 2B vs lefties will give him some more starts while allowing Murphy and Davis to work out their offensive struggles and still face some LH pitching. A start at SS and even one at 3B during the 16 games in a row would also be prudent. What to make of Justin Turner? Murphy is better so one option next winter could be a Murphy trade for some much needed OF help and a Valdespin/Turner platoon awaiting for Flores to emerge as the everyday 2B. When Murphy and Ike get on track then Justin can again find his spot on the bench with Soupy Sales.

  2. Name
    May 11, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    If Terry is going to use Turner in the outfield, one of the current OFer’s MUST GO.
    6 OF’ers is already pretty ridiculous, having 6.5 outfielders is borderline insane.

    I think that he is playing just about right. He’s started 10 games and subbed in 10 other games.

    I also think it’s time to start giving Buck more days off. He’s cooled significantly and we’ve seen that Recker isn’t totally useless.

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