T.J. Rivera hopes Wilmer Flores injury gets him to the show

T.J. RiveraSo, 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:

Dilson Herrera
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.

Ty Kelly
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.

Matt Reynolds
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.

T.J. Rivera
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!

6 comments for “T.J. Rivera hopes Wilmer Flores injury gets him to the show

  1. Eric
    May 12, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Since the Mets are not blessed with any glove wizards at SS in AAA, I think Rivera should be the guy due to his bat and versitility ( 1B, 2B, SS & 3rd).

  2. Metsense
    May 12, 2016 at 11:49 am

    The Mets need a back up shortstop to replace Flores if Cabrera gets hurt in game. TJ Rivera is the the most deserving and your description sounds like he is a Flores clone without his power. Reynolds should be behind TJ on the depth charts at this point.
    The Flores injury has made Campbell Wright’s caddy. He needs to exploit this opportunity. TJ Rivera, if given this promotion, would allow the Mets to evaluate Rivera in case Campbell fails. TJ should get very few at bats so he better make the most of them. We are talking about the 25th man on the roster so the role is more offensive as a pinch hitter than defensive under these circumstances. Free TJ Rivera!

  3. Gene
    May 12, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    I stated in “A Disappointing Spring Training” that the Mets should have given reps at third base to Walker so that he could move to third and Herrera could get called up in case of a Wright injury. In this case it is for Wright’s caddy, Flores. Herrera is the best player to call up but because of not being prepared for this scenario the Mets should not do it. Spring training was a lost opportunity to see if Walker to third was feasable.
    The Flores injury is probably very short term and Herrera would only get sporadic playing time before being sent back down but his hitting, speed and power would have been a nice dimension to add to the bench.

  4. Metstheory22
    May 12, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    If he is just going to sit(more than likely), then Reynolds. If he was coming up to play, I could see Rivera then.

    • May 12, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      I don’t understand this.

      Do you think Rivera will complain if he doesn’t play? Rivera is 27 and has 2319 PA in the minors, so it’s not like he needs regular ABs

  5. George Armonaitis
    May 12, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Reynolds was a third baseman in college before moving to short, and would make sense so you can also push Campbell a bit. If Reynolds comes up and hits, when Flores returns, Campbell could go to Las Vegas. I think it is good to have a few guys shuttling between the majors/AAA for sharpness and flexibility of the roster.

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