“Who’s on third?” is a question that’s been asked by Mets fans over the years as much as Abbot and Costello. According to the UltimateMets database, 153 Mets players have manned the hot corner since the team’s 1962 inception. Make that 154 while we wait for the webmaster to add backup catcher turned emergency third baseman Anthony Recker to the list. Recker was not the first catcher to jump in unexpectedly. Among the names of Mets who’ve played third for five games or less includes Gary Carter, Mackey Sasser and Sandy Alomar.
Counting only players who’ve manned the position at least 25 games, the Mets have still had 55 third baseman over their 53 seasons. As any long-time Mets fan knows, prior to David Wright taking over in 2004, the position was more or less a revolving door. Wright has played 1505 games at third and counting. Next up on the list are Howard Johnson (835), Wayne Garret (711) and Hubie Brooks (516). During the four years between Garret and Brooks, the Mets trotted out a collection of players that included Roy Staiger, Lenny Randle, Elliot Maddux, Richie Hebner, Alex Trevino and a dozen other short term fill-ins, including future managers Joe Torre and Bobby Valentine.
For the twelfth season in a row we know who’s on third. However, as he gets on in age, Captain America seems to be more prone to injury, his latest another strained hamstring. So, once again, we find ourselves asking, “who’s on third?”
The short term answer seems to be Eric Campbell. The super sub who can play every position but pitcher surprisingly didn’t make the opening day roster despite his versatility, a solid spring training and a decent year last season. Campbell was tearing it up in Las Vegas and can play the position well enough. Assuming Wright’s hamstring doesn’t take more than a few weeks to heel, Campbell should provide sufficient coverage. But what if it turns out to be more serious or what if Wright suffers a bigger injury – then what? There are plenty of other options, from calling up a player from triple A, to making a trade, to re-organizing the infield, but it’s a little complicated.
- Daniel Murphy (with four options)
- Wilmer Flores (with three options)
- Tejada takes over at shortstop. Tovar is called up.
- Reynolds is called up to take over shortstop.
- A trade is made for a shortstop.
- Matt Reynolds
- Eric Campbell
- Tovar is called up.