Did Mets pull the plug on Emaus too soon?
Imagine, for a moment, that the Mets gave up on David Wright after the first 10 games of his big league career, in which he batted .216 with one home run and a .635 OPS. Imagine they shunned Jose Reyes after he hit .209 with one walk and one stolen base over his first 25 big league games in 2003. Imagine they scratched Jon Niese off their plans after he posted a 7.07 ERA during his cup of coffee in 2008.
Usually, rookies struggle. For every Mike Stanton in Major League history, there are a dozen others who crawl out to slow start. All of which is to say that perhaps the Mets should have given their former starting second baseman, Brad Emaus, more of a chance.
Emaus is in no way as talented as Wright, Reyes or even Niese, but — as the Mets went out of their way to say in Spring Training — he had the tools and Minor League track record to become a productive regular. To that end, the Mets named him their starting second baseman over Daniel Murphy, Luis Castillo and Justin Turner, promising him enough playing time to prove himself.
Then Tuesday, after 14 games and 37 at-bats, the Mets suddenly decided that Emaus wasn’t good enough. They designated him for assignment, likely ending his tenure with the organization, and recalled Turner to take his place.
Let me preface this by saying that I would have had no issue with the Mets naming Turner their starting second baseman back in Spring Training — he had the most impressive spring of any of the candidates, along with an adequate Minor League resume. But the Mets committed themselves to Emaus, so it’s only fair to stay committed now. Emaus certainly played poorly (his 14.8% line drive rate explains away his .214 BABIP), but lots of rookies play poorly at first. If the Mets thought he was good enough to start at second base, why not give him at least two or three full months to prove himself? Why not now, in what most consider a rebuilding year for the Mets?
The Mets have yet to explain or defend their decision; that coverage will come later on Mets.com. But this is a puzzling lack of consistency from the new front office, which was supposed to be more broad-minded than the old regime.
—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.