Although he had a solid outing (going 2-4 with three RBI’s) in Friday night’s 5-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, while giving Omar Quintanilla a spell at shortstop, could we be looking at Justin Turner’s last few months with the New York Mets?
With the Mets calling up prospect Wilmer Flores this week, Turner’s role as super-utility player could be in peril as we head to the 2014 season.
Although, that’s based on the assumption that Flores and Daniel Murphy will both be a part of next year’s squad. With all of the above adept at playing second base, the Mets could conceivably move Murphy or Flores in the offseason to address some other pressing needs.
If the Mets do move either Murphy or Flores, then it could open up a spot for Turner to come back in his utility role.
However, haven’t we seen enough of Turner? Is he worth holding on to? It’s seems like he’s reached his ceiling.
The career .257 hitter, who doesn’t hit for power nor boasts any speed, is hardly the asset he once was.
When he first came up for good in 2011, Turner hit right off the bat and endeared himself to Mets’ fans for his ability to drive in runs and come up with clutch hits. He also has become a popular player in the clubhouse, constantly goofing off and lightening up the mood in the locker room. And what about those celebratory pies for each walk-off hero?
You got to like Turner, though. He has all the intangibles you want in a ballplayer. He hustles, he battles in every at bat and gets along well with other players and coaches. But this is a results-oriented business and Turner is just not pulling his weight with the club anymore.
We have likely seen the best of Turner. At 28, and with a career .257/.323/.350 slash line to go with just six home runs and 83 RBI’s in 762 at bats, Turner is a replaceable player.
If the player to replace Turner is Flores, well that remains to be seen, but even if it is not, 2013 could still be Turner’s swan song with the Mets.