So, the Mets are going to go a couple of days without a backup middle infielder, as Wilmer Flores goes to the DL and is to be replaced by Sean Gilmartin. The Mets decided a full complement of relievers was more important than a utility guy and in the short run, they’re probably right. Besides if Asdrubal Cabrera was to go down, we might see the 2014 wish of watching Jacob deGrom play shortstop for a few innings come true.
But it’s extremely doubtful that the Mets will go with a short bench the entire time that Flores is shelved. So, who do they call up in his place? Let’s look at the candidates, listed in alphabetical order:
Pros – Has 12 XBH and nine multi-hit games in his last 20. He is the best all-around player under consideration for the promotion.
Cons – Mets seem completely opposed to him playing short. Sitting on the bench doesn’t help him get reps the club allegedly feels he needs.
Pros – Quietly hitting .418 after 96 PA. Has experience at both 2B and 3B
Cons – Has played just two innings of short professionally. And while he’s experienced at other infield spots, he’s really an OF trying to add to his versatility.
Pros – Has played 362 games at short in his career. People still fondly remember his fluke 2014 season.
Cons – He’s a lousy hitter. He had a .721 OPS last year and has a .684 mark this year. The average Las Vegas hitter this year has a .766 OPS and that includes pitchers. This is his fifth year in the minors and he hasn’t hit in four of them.
Pros – Has hit everywhere he’s been and has an OPS 201 points higher than Reynolds this year at the same level. Has played 2B, 3B and SS.
Cons – While he’s played multiple infield positions, no one raves about his defense. Currently not on the 40-man roster.
That last one for Rivera is a killer. If he was on the 40-man, he’d be the easy call. It still should be easy because there are guys who could be removed without causing any angst. Among the replaceable are Dario Alvarez (7.15 ERA in LVG, not dominating LHB) and Jeff Walters (5.52 ERA in LVG, 28 years old). If we were being honest with ourselves, Reynolds would be in the discussion here, too.
Instead, Reynolds will likely get the call. This despite the fact that among the six players this season to play either 2B, 3B or SS for Las Vegas, Reynolds is no better than the fifth-best option for a promotion. He would be a better option than Daniel Muno, but that’s about it. Not listed above is Gavin Cecchini, who after getting off to a dreadful start is beginning to hit like he did last year and he has shown more range at SS (4.77 to 3.08 RF/G) than Reynolds.
But Reynolds has experience being on the MLB roster without actually getting into games, so he’s got that going for him.
Rivera has earned a shot in the majors and it would be nice to see him rewarded. Can’t you see him giving the Bull Durham speech?
”Yeah, I was in the show. I was in the show for 21 days once – the 21 greatest days of my life. You know, you never handle your luggage in the show, somebody else carries your bags. It was great. You hit white balls for batting practice, the ballparks are like cathedrals, the hotels all have room service, and the women all have long legs and brains.”
Free T.J. Rivera!