Mack - Thoughts on Wilmer Flores


I’m sorry.

I said I was done with all my roster tweaking when I wrote the ‘end of April’ tweak post. But I simply can’t continue to watch what I consider an amateur trying to play major league baseball at shortstop.

I’ve been consistent here. I’ve never liked Wilmer Flores at shortstop. I suggested very early to try and teach him first base, or switch him to a second baseman, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to be able to figure out that he can’t hold the fort down at short.

Also, it’s only a matter of time that either Lucas Duda or Dilson Herrera/Daniel Murphy have a groin injury trying to catch one of Flores’ errant throws.
Lastly, everyone decided to live with his limited defensive ability because of his potential bat. Well, that started slow, heated up for a week, and through Thursday he’s only hitting .235, which includes .182 in the last 10 games.

TROVE - With Dilson Herrera's recent promotion and David Wright likely to return soon after suffering a hamstring injury in April, Daniel Murphy could become the odd man out in the Mets' infield. The Mets wouldn't necessarily be desperate to trade Murphy, but could move him if they get a solid package of minor leaguers in return


My suggestions:

Time a Flores DFA with the returned of the all-star David Wright. Bring up Matt Reynolds after adding him to the 40-man and make Reynolds/Herrera your new inside infielder combo and, when ready, return Travis d’Arnaud to the starting catcher position (I would keep Kevin Plawecki in Queens as the catching backup, DH-1, and PH-1).

Then… market Murphy for the best player you can get. Your purpose here is to reduce salary and give Herrera the room to breathe and know he’s the starting second baseman to stay.

Murphy has to be able to bring a better alternative than Kirk Nieuwenhuis.


Ernest Dove said...

I guess technically there might be two flaws in this.
All that youth and inexperience would give poor Terry a heart attack.
Reynolds is no ozzie smith either from what I understand, and he has less power then Wilmer, so there's guarantee he'll jump out the gate hitting .300 and help this team make the 2015 playoffs.

Thomas Brennan said...

Flores has used up most of his audition time. Matt Reynolds has been relentless in AAA. I still feel Matt could use a little more time in AAA - but I could be way off there.

So a switch could be triggered if Wilmer has another weak week.

OMG, Kirk must go! He was bad the second half of spring training, and follows that up with 2 for 22 during the season so far. He couldn't crack the Vegas Outfield, for Pete's sake.
BTW, Dekker hitting .187 in the minors, so he apparently was not the answer either.
I'd much rather see Murphy as the 5th (LHH) OF than Kirk, defensive warts and all.

Christopher Soto said...


Unfortunately, we are stuck with Kirk on our bench.

Heaven forbid something were to happen to Lagares, Kirk is the only guy capable of playing a serviceable CF.

Now....that said....

If the club wants to be really bold...

DFA Kirk Nieuwenhuis and purchase the contract of CF Darrell Ceciliani.

He may not carry much of a bat but he does bring a similar defensive profile with better speed.

eraff said...

The Previous Murph LF experiment did a good deal of long term Damage because they may have made it impossible to try him there again.

His preperation for playing outfield seemed non-existent. The scrutibny would be heavy, but he'd live through it. BTW...his defensive lapses in LF were no more conspicuous than his 2b play. He'd be every bit the LF'er that Cuddy is!!!!

The idea that he could play some left, sub at 3rd and 2nd and 1st---that gives you about 400-450 ab's....it would be productive.

eraff said...

Mayberry can play Center, as can Grandy---we're talking about manning the position in a pinch.

Christopher Soto said...

CF is a position where we need significant range from due to defensive liabilities in the corner OF spots.

No way I would trust Mayberry or Granderson out there.

Now that I think about it more....I actually LOVE the idea of DFA'ing Nieuwenhuis and calling up Ceciliani

Stubby said...

Before the season started, virtually everybody said give Wilmer til June, at least, to figure out what we've got. We'd barely reached the end of April and folks are jumping ship. Terry Collins didn't even wait that long. Maybe, you've been consistent, but the only consistency I see from most Mets fans is the constant griping. How much "room to breathe" are you actually going to give Herrera and what does it matter what you say you'd give him if he looks over at Wilmer and sees how quickly you'd kick him to the curb? Don't get me wrong, I never thought Wilmer was a major league shortstop (neither is Desmond, btw), But when you're trying to "fix" in early May a Mets team that isn't broken, that's when I worry. Tweaking is one thing. Absent a "big deal", wholesale changes, at this stage, are another. If Wilmer really bothers you that much, I understand Omar Quintanilla is available. What I'm saying is you could do a lot worse. Just sayin'. Yes, we've hit a small rough patch, but that's with two of your big bats on the DL. Patience is your friend.

eraff said...

Chris... I don;t feel you need to Roster a Spare part CF'er with the current group...nice to have if the guy does "somethinbg else"....I thought the question was about having someone to man the position with something like an in-game injury---Mayberry and Grandy can do that.... and the replacement is a plane ride away as needed.

Mack Ade said...

Stubby -

I understand what you are saying. I'm the guy that not only asked for all of us to wait until the end of June before deciding what to do with Flores. Now, I'm jumping ship.

Did you watch the last game?

I'm tell you... Lucas Duda is going to pull his rib cage out trying to stay on the bag and catch what this guy throws.

This team is not in a position to lose another 'bat'... technically, Flores' bat is already lost due to a new slump he has started.

I hope I'm wrong about all this but I see more problems coming here.

Dallas said...

What about this Travis Taijeron character? I swear I have no idea if any player is good in Vegas because so many of them hit .350+ then stink when they come up.

Mack Ade said...

Dallas -

I wrote about him last night on the Minor League Recap:

Mack - I guess we also need to keep our eye on Taijerson, who seems to be lined up as the next in line to be promoted to a Mets utility outfield position.

One thing about Taijeron - He's always been known for his power... The Baseball Cube gives him a power rating of 98... but he's never produced more than he's doing right now. Taijeron's slugging percentage this season is .623, the highest it has ever been since his senior year in college at Cal Poly Pomona.

This would be such an easy decision if this guy batted from the left side of the plate, but he doesn't. The Mets are paying John Mayberry Jr. $1.45mil to be the right hand hitting utility outfielder and Junior is only hitting .136 (3-22) and they have been known for eating contracts if thigs aren't working out (Chris Young).

I think there is a good chance we could see this guy before the All-Star break if 1) Mayberry doesn't break out of his slump, 2) Taijeron keeps red hot, and 3) the Mets lead in the NL-East continues to go away.

There's no sure fire litmus test from AAA to the MLB. Ever since Juan Lagares that proved us all wrong, anyone could be the next starter in the majors.

Down side - he strikes out a ton, is an outfielder, and is already 26

Thomas Brennan said...

Or Taijeron could be having his Jim Hickman moment. Jim was very mediocre with the Mets for years , goes to Cubs and out of nowhere he hits .315 with over 30 homers. Maybe Taijeron figured some things out. Still, his high K rate thruout his minor league career does not make him an ideal pinch hitter. He might come up and (not) hit like Anthony Recker.

Mets had a guy like Travis last year...Andrew Brown...he did not do well when called up.

Chris, Ceciliani might be good,but I would like to see him continue to hit well for another month before considering him. He'd almost have to out-hit Kirk. Maybe Kirk and Kyle can play semi pro football together.

eraff said...

It's a tough mission to be a bench bat in April. Mayberry--- 22 ab's... Newee...22 ab's--- these guys are "on pace" for 110-120 ab's--- you can't expect production from COLD players.

Reese Kaplan said...

I couldn't disagree more about Flores. He hasn't been put in a position to succeed, yet despite batting 8th most of his Terry Collins' career, he's on a 162 game pace to hit 13 HRs and 63 RBIs. I wouldn't be so quick to give up on that offensive production which should only get better while the manager pencils in others in the 7th and 8th spots in the lineup. He'll obviously never be Ozzie Smith out there but a guy who can deliver 13/63 is not someone I'd DFA. Ruben Tejada on the other hand...now you're talking...Kirk Nieuwenhuis...Anthony Recker...these are players who've proven they don't belong in the big leagues.

Mack Ade said...

Well Reese, we've disagreed before, right? :)

And, trust me... I hope you are right, especially after the negative news today about David Wright and one of our starters.

We need Murphy to stay put on 3B and Herrera to produce at 2B. If that happens, just bury Herrera/Flores 7/8 in the lineup and hold your breath when the ball is hit to short

Thomas Brennan said...

I was gonna be nice about Wright's prolonged absence, I was gonna just let it slide, but when I did, I pulled my hammy. Derek Jeter may be back before him.

My guess is Niese, but I hope whatever pitching injury it is, it is minor.

Enough with the friggin' injuries.

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance that Puello, if he does well on rehab when he's ready, gets Kirk's spot instead of being DFA'd?

Under the radar, Ceccini seems to have learned to hit at AA. How does his D compare with Reynolds'?

Stubby said...

I look at Wilmer, now, and I see Travis last year. Travis couldn't hit squat the first half of last year. So maybe--just suggesting another option--you send Wilmer out to Vegas for a bit to get his confidence back. The glove...well...it is what it is. But the bat will definitely be better. He's pressing right now. His attitude isn't a problem and I doubt few Mets have worked harder in the last year.

No, Mack, I don't get to watch the Mets anymore since I moved to North Carolina (unless they're on ESPN). They don't even show games on WGN or TBS anymore. Sometimes, that's not a bad thing...gives you some perspective. That's not to say I wouldn't prefer watching them to not watching...just trying to make the best of a bad situation (heaven knows we can use the eggs).

Mack's Mets © 2012