Results tagged ‘ Ruben Tejada ’

Shortstop not necessarily dead for Mets’ Flores

Wilmer Flores has not played his natural position of shortstop professionally in the United States since 2011, when he was 19 years old. Despite the Mets’ clear weakness at that position, Flores’ name does not typically surface in discussions about it. And for good reason — the Mets have no immediate plans to use him there, in part because of the lack of mobility that scouts have long predicted for him.

But the notion of trying Flores at shortstop is not permanently dead. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said this week that if Flores’ winter conditioning program pays the type of dividends the team hopes, it’s possible he could receive some reps at the position this spring.

“I don’t think we’d rule it out,” Alderson said in a telephone interview. “Why should we? I think we have to see how Spring Training plays out for him — is there going to be a spot for him in the lineup? Is there not? Is he going to be a bench player for us? Is he going to go to Las Vegas?”

Alderson pointed several times to the team-supervised conditioning program Flores attended in Michigan this winter alongside Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada and several Mets prospects. This was the first winter of his career that Flores spent significant time focusing on his overall health rather than his baseball skills, according to the GM.

“I don’t want to place too much stock on four weeks of conditioning, but this is a guy who’s never really had the opportunity to develop himself physically the way players here in the United States do, who have a season and then an offseason,” Alderson said. “He’s never had an offseason. He’s always played. So this is a different type of offseason for him — one in which he’s been able to invest in his career. We’ll see how it pays off for him.

“I wouldn’t say [Flores to shortstop] is dead. I think that one of the things we want to see is how well he has done with his training regimen in Michigan. Before this offseason, I’m not sure he ever had any sort of structured, regimented conditioning program. The work that they have done on speed and agility and quickness, etc., may have an impact on his ability to play certain positions — including second base and conceivably even shortstop. But right now, that’s all speculation.”

Flores, who signed with the Mets as a 16-year-old international free agent in 2007, played shortstop exclusively over the first four years of his Minor League career. In 2012, he shifted to third base, before playing mostly second last year — partially an organizational response to third baseman David Wright signing an eight-year contract that runs through 2020.

Along the way, scouts have continually pegged Flores as a corner infielder, skeptical that his limited mobility would allow him to play a middle infield or corner outfield spot. But Flores held his own at second despite a nagging ankle injury, and Alderson is curious to see how he responds after two intensive fitness sessions near Ann Arbor, Mich.

“It became clear, if you watched him play last year and run the bases … that [conditioning] was an area that needed to improve,” Alderson said. “Since he’d never done any conditioning at all, you say to yourself, ‘Gee, there may be substantial opportunity for improvement. Let’s see what happens. Let’s try it.’ And that’s what we’ve done. We won’t know the benefits of that until we get down to Spring Training.”

What the Mets do know is that they are thin at shortstop, with Tejada coming off a below-replacement level season, free agent Stephen Drew a long-shot to sign and no high-ceilinged prospects on the immediate horizon. Flores, by contrast, revived his own prospect status with a breakout offensive year in 2012, carrying that wave all the way to the Majors in 2013.

“Is he definitely not a shortstop? I try not to say anybody’s definitely not something,” Alderson said. “We tried Duda [a natural first baseman] in left field. There’s no reason why we can’t try other players at positions where at first blush you’d say, ‘No, that’s not possible.’”

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets’ Opening Day lineup? Forever Young is in their mind

After the Mets inked Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60-million deal, the popular thinking was that the signing would push Eric Young, Jr. to the bench, giving the Mets an outfield of (from left to right) Granderson, Juan Lagares and Chris Young. Yet one Mets official cautioned Monday that that might not be the case. The Mets were enamored with what Eric Young, Jr. gave them last season, and want his bat in the lineup in some capacity.

If the Mets trade Daniel Murphy, they could achieve that by sliding Young into the starting second base role. Short of that, and assuming the Mets trade Ike Davis instead of Lucas Duda, their Opening Day lineup could look something like this:

Eric Young, Jr., LF
Daniel Murphy, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Curtis Granderson, RF
Chris Young, CF
Lucas Duda, 1B
Travis d’Arnaud, C
Ruben Tejada, SS
Jon Niese, LHP

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets 9, Yankees 4: Three Up, Three Down

While everyone watches Ike and Ruben, the rest of the Mets just keep on winning.

Three Up:
1. RHP Jeremy Hefner:  Hefner continues to do what a fifth starter should, keeping his team in the game despite a lack of dazzle. For the first time all season, the Mets actually took advantage of that.

2. 1B Ike Davis: This was Ike’s most promising offensive game in some time, mostly because each of his two hits went to the opposite field. He may have spared himself an imminent demotion. Again.

3. LHP Scott Rice: What a find this guy has been for the Mets, who continue to abuse his arm with excellent results. As long as Rice’s shoulder stays attached, he should remain a bullpen cog for the Mets.

Three Down:
1. SS Ruben Tejada: A leadoff hit was nice, but Tejada went 0-for-4 from there and made an iffy play on defense to cost Hefner a small bit of heartache. He may be in hotter water than Davis at this point.

2. OF Mike Baxter: Baxter did not deserve this at all. He finished 0-for-1 and did very little wrong. But he was the only Mets player without a hit.

3. RHP LaTroy Hawkins: He let up a run. On this night, that was enough.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+7
RHP Matt Harvey
+6
C John Buck, 2B Daniel Murphy
+4
3B David Wright

+3
INF Justin Turner, OF Marlon Byrd, RHP Jeremy Hefner

+2
OF Juan Lagares, RHP Greg Burke, LHP Jon Niese, LHP Scott Rice, OF Mike Baxter
+1
LHP Robert Carson, OF Lucas Duda, RHP LaTroy Hawkins
-1
RHP Collin McHugh, RHP Bobby Parnell, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Rick Ankiel
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Scott Atchison, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker, RHP Brandon Lyon
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin, SS Ruben Tejada
-5
RHP Dillon Gee
-15
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets 2, Yankees 1: Three Up, Three Down

This is the Mets’ first three-game winning streak since the first weekend of the season.

Three Up:
1. RHP Matt Harvey:  A vintage performance may not have been enough to give Harvey the win, but it did keep him undefeated: now 5-0 in 11 starts.

2. OF Lucas Duda: Duda’s season-long struggles with runners in scoring position have been well-documented; perhaps this will change things for him.

3. 3B David Wright: He’s always in the middle of everything good that happens with this club. That’s no coincidence.

Three Down:
1. SS Ruben Tejada: His defense is an issue, his pickoff at second base (according to manager Terry Collins) was unacceptable and his performance at the plate remains anemic. This is all becoming an issue.

2. OF Marlon Byrd: Byrd’s error on a routine single nearly cost the Mets the game. Harvey deserves better defense behind him.

3. 1B Ike Davis: Yet another tough game for Davis, who continues to struggle mightily at the plate. A Minor League demotion could be coming, and soon.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+7
RHP Matt Harvey
+6
C John Buck, 2B Daniel Murphy
+4
3B David Wright

+3
INF Justin Turner, OF Mike Baxter, OF Marlon Byrd

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Juan Lagares, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Greg Burke, LHP Jon Niese
+1
LHP Robert Carson, LHP Scott Rice, OF Lucas Duda
-1
RHP Collin McHugh, RHP Bobby Parnell, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Rick Ankiel
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Scott Atchison, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker, RHP Brandon Lyon
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, SS Ruben Tejada

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-5
RHP Dillon Gee
-16
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets lose two of three to Braves: Three Up, Three Down

A delayed reaction to this weekend’s series against the Braves:

Friday/Saturday: Braves 7, Mets 5
Three Up: RHP Jeremy Hefner, C John Buck, 2B Daniel Murphy
Three Down: RHP Brandon Lyon, LHP Scott Rice, 1B Ike Davis

Saturday: Braves 6, Mets 0
Three Up: RHP Greg Burke, SS Ruben Tejada, OF Mike Baxter
Three Down: RHP Dillon Gee, 3B David Wright, OF Marlon Byrd

Sunday: Mets 4, Braves 2
Three Up: 1B Ike Davis, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Lucas Duda
Three Down: OF Rick Ankiel, SS Ruben Tejada, 3B David Wright

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
RHP Matt Harvey, C John Buck
+5
 2B Daniel Murphy
+4
OF Marlon Byrd

+3
INF Justin Turner, OF Mike Baxter

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Juan Lagares, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Greg Burke, 3B David Wright
+1
LHP Jon Niese, LHP Robert Carson, LHP Scott Rice, OF Lucas Duda
-1
RHP Collin McHugh, RHP Bobby Parnell, RHP Shaun Marcum
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Scott Atchison, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker, SS Ruben Tejada, RHP Brandon Lyon
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-5
RHP Dillon Gee
-14
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Reds 4, Mets 3: Three Up, Three Down

Still no offense. Still no offense.

Three Up:
1. OF Marlon Byrd: Byrd’s three-run homer off Johnny Cueto was the only offensive spark for the Mets, who continue to struggle consistently at the plate.

2. OF Rick Ankiel: In the lineup due to his success against Cueto, Ankiel reached base in each of his first two at-bats. That might be enough for the Mets to try him out in the two hole again.

3. RHP Greg Burke: This is more a makeup call for last weekend in Chicago, where Burke continued to establish himself as a consistent performer. He has not allowed a run since returning from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Three Down:
1. 1B Ike Davis: Another 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, plus an obstruction call at first base. Even at the nadir of his slump last season, Davis never struggled on defense to the extent he is now.

2. 2B Daniel Murphy: All hot streaks must come to an end; Murphy’s came crashing down with an 0-for-4 performance, including a key strikeout in the seventh inning with the tying run in scoring position.

3. SS Ruben Tejada: Tejada looks absolutely lost offensively, and he’s not enough of a difference-maker on defense to make up for it. At what point do the Mets consider giving Justin Turner some starts at short?

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
RHP Matt Harvey, 3B David Wright
+5
OF Marlon Byrd

+4
C John Buck
+3
INF Justin Turner, 2B Daniel Murphy

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Mike Baxter, OF Juan Lagares
+1
LHP Scott Rice, LHP Jon Niese, LHP Robert Carson, RHP Jeremy Hefner, OF Rick Ankiel, RHP Greg Burke
-1
OF Lucas Duda, RHP Collin McHugh
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker, SS Ruben Tejada
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin, RHP Dillon Gee
-12
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets win two of three in Chicago: Three Up, Three Down

A delayed reaction to this weekend’s series in Chicago:

Friday: Mets 3, Cubs 2
Three Up: RHP Matt Harvey, 3B David Wright, OF Marlon Byrd
Three Down: LHP Scott Rice, SS Ruben Tejada, C John Buck

Saturday: Cubs 8, Mets 2
Three Up: 2B Daniel Murphy, OF Rick Ankiel, LHP Robert Carson
Three Down: RHP Jeremy Hefner, 1B Ike Davis, RHP Collin McHugh

Sunday: Mets 4, Cubs 3
Three Up: OF Juan Lagares, 2B Daniel Murphy, LHP Scott Rice
Three Down: RHP Dillon Gee, 2B Justin Turner, C Anthony Recker

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
RHP Matt Harvey, 3B David Wright

+4
OF Marlon Byrd, C John Buck, 2B Daniel Murphy
+3
INF Justin Turner

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Mike Baxter, OF Juan Lagares
+1
LHP Scott Rice, LHP Jon Niese, LHP Robert Carson, RHP Jeremy Hefner
-1
OF Lucas Duda, SS Ruben Tejada, RHP Collin McHugh
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin, RHP Dillon Gee
-11
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Pirates 11, Mets 2: Three Up, Three Down

What’s wrong with Jon Niese? The Mets would surely like to know.

Three Up:
1. OF Marlon Byrd: One of Byrd’s two hits (the RBI knock) may have been a cheapie, but there wasn’t much else to like about this offense on a dreary Saturday afternoon at Citi. At this point, the Mets will take their hits any way they can get them.

2. 1B Justin Turner: Cracking the starting lineup for a third consecutive game, Turner rebounded from Friday’s 0-for-4 to reach base twice. He continues to be a productive and versatile bat for the Mets.

3. SS Ruben Tejada: Another nice offensive rebound for Tejada, who finally gave the Mets a bit of production atop their batting order. His hustle to stretch a single into a double in a nine-run game did not go unnoticed.

Three Down:
1. LHP Jon Niese: Something is significantly wrong here, and it’s not clear if it’s physical, mechanical or something different. Niese has now given up 16 runs, 15 hits and nine walks over his last two starts, spanning 8 1/3 innings.

2. C John Buck: Not only was Buck helpless to stop Niese’s bleeding from behind the plate, he also finished 0-for-4 with the bat yet again. The Mets have received virtually no offensive production from their everyday catcher since mid-April.

3. 2B Jordany Valdespin: Valdespin’s right forearm will probably be sore tomorrow, after taking a Bryan Morris fastball off it. Most around baseball will say he got what he deserved, one day after showboating his homer in a five-run game.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
C John Buck
+5
3B David Wright
+4
RHP Matt Harvey, IF Justin Turner

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, LHP Scott Rice, OF Mike Baxter, OF Marlon Byrd
+1
RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Bobby Parnell, OF Juan Lagares, LHP Robert Carson
-1
RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Brandon Lyon, C Anthony Recker, OF Jordany Valdespin
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Dillon Gee, OF Lucas Duda, 2B Daniel Murphy
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, RHP Shaun Marcum

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-7
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Pirates 7, Mets 3: Three Up, Three Down

In honor of Arrested Development’s return to the small screen, let’s call this show Arrested Momentum.

Three Up:
1. 3B David Wright: Leadoff hits in the fourth and sixth innings; it’s not Wright’s fault that the offense stalled behind him.

2. LHP Robert Carson: Solid work by Carson to record four outs, one of them on a nifty pickoff move to first. Carson hasn’t really pitched in many big spots this year, but on Friday he gave the Mets some must-needed work.

3. C Anthony Recker: Nice job by Recker to rap out two hits, including a home run, in a rare start behind the plate. With as little playing time as Recker has received, hitting even a little bit is difficult to do.

Three Down:
1. RHP Shaun Marcum: Marcum became the first pitcher in franchise history to fail to complete five innings in each of his first three starts with the team. That about says it all.

2. SS Ruben Tejada: Tejada avoided another 0-for-4 with his eighth-inning single, but furthered a second-inning rally by double-clutching a routine ground ball. Not the shortstop’s best stretch of the season.

3. 2B Justin Turner: Turner’s run as a do-everything utlityman took a hiatus Friday, when he cracked the starting lineup for a second straight day but finished 0-for-4.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+7
C John Buck
+5
3B David Wright
+4
RHP Matt Harvey
+3
Justin Turner

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, LHP Scott Rice, OF Mike Baxter
+1
RHP Jeremy Hefner, LHP Jon Niese, OF Marlon Byrd, RHP Bobby Parnell, OF Juan Lagares, LHP Robert Carson
-1
RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Brandon Lyon, C Anthony Recker, SS Ruben Tejada
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Dillon Gee, OF Lucas Duda, 2B Daniel Murphy
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, RHP Shaun Marcum

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-7
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets 3, Pirates 2: Three Up, Three Down

Meet Mike Baxter. He’s the walk-off singles guy.

Three Up:
1. OF Mike Baxter: If the Mets need a home run in the later innings, they call on Jordany Valdespin. If they need a single, they call on Baxter, who continues to be one of the more valuable left-handed pinch-hitters in baseball.

2. OF Juan Lagares: That catch in center field saved the game. Lagares is receiving regular playing time almost exclusively because of his defensive reputation, and he justified it in the ninth inning Thursday.

3. RHP Brandon Lyon: He may have given up the tying run, but he entered with the bases loaded and no outs and allowed nothing more than that. That makes him one of the most valuable players of this game.

Three Down:
1. 2B Daniel Murphy: Four at-bats, four ground balls to first base This is one streaky hitter, who is having miserable start to the month of May.

2. SS Ruben Tejada: An 0-for-4 from Tejada meant the Mets absorbed an 0-for-8 from the first two batters in their lineup. That’s typically a recipe for a loss, though the Mets managed to recover.

3. RHP Bobby Parnell: Sure he earned the win with a scoreless inning. He also gave up a leadoff hit and a rocket fly ball to center, which probably should have cost the Mets the game. It was actually one of his worst-pitched innings of the season, which says more about Parnell’s year than anything else. He’s been terrific.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+7
C John Buck
+4
3B David Wright, RHP Matt Harvey, IF Justin Turner

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, LHP Scott Rice, OF Mike Baxter
+1
RHP Jeremy Hefner, LHP Jon Niese, OF Marlon Byrd, RHP Bobby Parnell, OF Juan Lagares
-1
RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Brandon Lyon
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, C Anthony Recker, RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Lucas Duda, 2B Daniel Murphy
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-7
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

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