It’s time to start Wilmer Flores over Jose Reyes

Baseball is a beautiful game, but it is rare that a tear is shed on the diamond. The most memorable tear ever shed on the grounds of Citi Field was undoubtedly the one that fell from the eye of Wilmer Flores, who thought that he was about to be traded from his team. The Mets had been his only team, and he had grown attached. This much love for one’s team is rarely displayed in modern day sports, and after the trade didn’t go through, led to Wilmer becoming a folk hero for the Flushing Faithful. Wilmer now shares an infield role with former Mets hero Jose Reyes.

Reyes followed a different path to get to where he currently is. After coming up with the Mets in 2003, the dynamic shortstop decided to leave the Mets for the warm confines of Miami, Florida to join the division rival Marlins following the 2011 season. A slew of injuries and legal issues followed, and Reyes found himself back with the Mets on a minor league contract during the 2016 season. He opened the 2017 season as the Mets starting third baseman after David Wright was injured. A slow start at the dish led to him loosing playing time though.

For the Mets, it is odd to see that they have shown an inexplicable amount of favoritism over a player that willingly left the team over a player that cried over his potential departure from the team. We all know Terry Collins loves his veterans, but at some point you need to play the superior player. Sure, Reyes still has an effective throwing arm from all areas of the diamond, and that’s where he is better than Flores. But at the plate, Flores is besting Reyes by over 100 points in batting average.

On the year, Flores is slugging to a .299 batting average, while also posting an OPS of .812. While his power statistics don’t jump out at you, they are still higher than Reyes’s. While Reyes may be more fleet of foot, he is nowhere close to where Flores is in consistency at the dish. With Reyes, it seems that there are more negatives than positives when he starts. While Flores may not field any infield position exceptionally well, it is not a stretch to expect him to have a hit in a game. With Reyes, it is eye opening whenever he makes solid contact.

Already at age 34, it is clear that Reyes’s playing abilities have taken a solid dip south. He no longer can hit for average, and no longer hustles when he hits balls to the infield. It is sad to see him as a shell of his former self, especially having witnessed his glory days. At 25, Flores is still developing his hitting abilities. That could be a scary thought, especially considering that he is already a proficient hitter. At this point in the season, it is only hurting Flores to be riding the pine in leu of Reyes. It could also be hurting the team, as Flores is having a better season than Reyes at the plate.

19 comments for “It’s time to start Wilmer Flores over Jose Reyes

  1. Mack
    June 27, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Dalton –

    Playing Reyes offers two benefits for the Mets.

    1. He’s one of the top clubhouse and dugout guys in the league

    2. He’s one of the guys that Cespedes demands is part of this team.

    His productive playing days are far over.

    • Ray Savage
      June 27, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      i agree that his productive days are “far over”. Time to think younger and more athletic.

  2. Dudd
    June 27, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Hey old buddy, Reyes is done! He’s probably the worst starting player in MLB today.

  3. Hector
    June 27, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Trade Reyes and Grandy kep Bruce

  4. Chris F
    June 27, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Id DFA Reyes and trade Flores under the hope some team may be bamboozled that he is a major league baseball player. His best position, as we have seen, is a bench guy. Every time he gets regular playing time, all of the weaknesses take center stage. He cant field. He cant run. He has terrible first steps. He cant throw. And occasionally he can hit a ball. Dont point me to the Giants series, but tell me how he looked in LA? 1 for 14 with 1 error and otherwise bad defense.

    Keeping him on the playing roster is waving the white flag, the same as Reyes, who stinks.

    • June 27, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      Why would you trade a solid bench player/possible starter with great fan appeal? Make an affordable long-term proposal and have him be part of the winning that was supposed to continue in 2017.

      • Chris F
        June 27, 2017 at 3:25 pm

        Because he is not a major leaguer.

        • Dalton Allison
          June 28, 2017 at 2:06 pm

          He has proven that he can be productive at the plate, even as a bench player. That is more than can be said abour Reyes.

  5. Mack
    June 27, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Chris –

    Here’s the catch…

    Cespedes will not agree that Reyes can be moved. I know this sounds weird and complicated at the same time, but Cespedes gave the Mets a list of his ‘buddies’ that he wants to remain on this team. Reyes and Cabrera are two of them.

    • Chris F
      June 27, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      I dont believe for 1 second Alderson would be hamstrung like that. Neither Cabrera nor Reyes will be on the team in 2018 Spring Training.

  6. Eraff
    June 27, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Isn’t Flores already getting the majority of AB’s???

  7. Ray Savage
    June 27, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    A correction. The Mets let Reyes leave by not offering him a competitive contract. Having said that, no doubt Flores has earned the right to play every day.

  8. Pete In Iowa
    June 27, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    When he’s ready to come off the DL, I would play Walker at third. He’s played a little bit over there, I don’t think he would whine about it, and good Lord, he’s got to be an upgrade over Flores/TJ over there. Leave Cabrera at second and call up Rosario. He has got to be our best defensive option at SS, and I think he’ll post at least the .191 Reyes is giving us. Platoon Flores/Duda at first and slide TJ to a back-up 1b, 2b, 3b and OF roles. He’d also be a great bat off the bench.
    Given the current roster, I think this is the best infield alignment we could come up with, and it might be pretty good on both sides of the ball.
    Oh, and show Reyes the door.

    • Dalton Allison
      June 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      I like the idea of platooning Rivera/Duda, but the only problem is that you loose a true home run threat in Duda when he is not in the lineup.

  9. Metsense
    June 27, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    The title of this article could have been “It is time to play TJ Rivera over Reyes”.
    Flores is the starting third baseman and has played there in 16 games this month so it is obvious to TC that Flores is the third baseman. Reyes has a OPS+ of 55 whereas TJ Rivera is significantly better with a OPS+ of 89. Reyes is a better defender and an infield of Flores- Cabrera-Rivera has very little range. So if the Mets are looking to improve their defense then they should call up Rosario. If they call up Rosario then the original title of this article would not pertain because Flores would still be the starting third baseman.

  10. Mack
    June 28, 2017 at 8:17 am

    I understand that both Reyes and Cabrera will be gone, but they were a necessary part of the Cespedes resigning.

    I fully understand your reluctance to sign on to this. I did too when I was first told it.

    • Chris F
      June 28, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      I realize you have deep connections with the team, and so at face value I appreciate you know way more than me. It does seem odd a player could handcuff the owners and FO.

      At this point I wonder if Alderson could care less what Cespedes thinks. He is a leader of “Team Disappointment” if you ask me. He came into ST chirping about MVP, and yet cannot even run, will not hustle, and cannot even stay on the field. I understand he has elite status, and I argued to sign him like many did, but its time he just let his play determine demands not his mouth. His name is ink. At this point shoveling off Cabrera and Reyes is unrelated to his happiness in terms of team structure.

  11. Mack
    June 28, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    I agree with you Chris.

    I only speak of the conditions the Mets verbally agreed to when they brought back Ces, not what’s going on right now.

    Frankly, I consider Yo one step above Puig in drama and Sandy one small step above Phil Jackson

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