T.J. Rivera

Jose Reyes Isn’t Good Enough For This Nonsense

It’s a fact of life that if you are supremely talented, you get away with more than other people.  It’s an unfortunate fact of life.  However, what is baffling is when people who aren’t even that good get away with stuff.

Take Jose Reyes.

Last year, Reyes was a .267/.326/.443 hitter in 60 games for the Mets.  If you’re being honest, that is much worse than you would have thought considering the fanfare that surrounded him last year.  Over the past three seasons, Reyes has been a .279/.321/.400 hitter who averages 21 stolen bases a year.  While people are arguing that he’s the Mets best leadoff hitter, he’s not even good enough to play everyday.  Certainly, his 96 OPS+ and his 96 wRC+ will tell you he is a below average hitter.  Basically speaking, the argument should be whether he should be batting eighth or if he should be playing at all.

However, he is playing because David Wright can’t right now.  He’s playing because Wilmer Flores is a platoon bat, and the Mets refuse to admit a guy who hit .239/.293/.371 against right-handed pitcher last year is every bit the platoon bat Flores is.  The Mets are also not willing to give T.J. Rivera a shot at the third base job due in part to his OBP fully ignoring Reyes’ .321 OBP the last three years.  Gavin Cecchini won’t get a chance to play third because he’s never played there before.  Of course, that didn’t stop the Mets from playing Reyes there last year.

Simply put, there is a wide chasm between the Jose Reyes that was a superstar with the Mets from 2003 – 2011 and the player Reyes is now.  Consider in Reyes’ first stint with the Mets, he was a .292/.341/.441 hitter who averaged 25 doubles, 11 triples, nine homers, and 41 stolen bases a year while playing a good defensive shortstop.  Now?  Reyes doesn’t have the same ability to hit, the same speed, or is that good defensively.  Also, consider the distraction Reyes is.

Last year, Reyes was arrested for allegedly beating his wife.  The only reason the case did not go to trial was because Reyes’s wife did not cooperate with prosecutors.  After serving a suspension and being released, Reyes found himself back on the Mets.  It was that rare second chance.  Still, Reyes could not be on his best behavior.

Now, we find out, much like Bartolo Colon, Reyes has another family.  Apparently, in addition to allegedly beating his wife, Reyes also has an alleged history of cheating on his wife.  He also has a child with his paramour, who claims that not only does Reyes not see his child, but he also does not pay sufficient child support.  Reyes’ attorneys state he has met his obligations.  Reading between the lines, this may reference child support, which is still to be determined, but not in terms of being an actual father to his other daughter.

Look, it could be a case of someone trying to maximize upon Reyes being back with the Mets.  The child support claims could be patently false.  However, it does not change the fact that it gets harder and harder to root for Reyes.  It does not change the fact that Reyes is no longer a good baseball player . . . that is unless you expect him to be that rare middle infielder whose game is predicated upon speed to get better during a season in which he turns 34 years old.

At this point, you have to ask yourself, what’s next with Reyes?  How much longer can the Mets put up with this nonsense?  Turns out, it will be quite a while because the team is only paying him $507,500 this year.

The funny thing is the Mets once took a stand against stuff like this like they did when Francisco Rodriguez attacked his girlfriend’s father.  For that, the Mets put him on the restricted list.  Then again, the Mets found their courage there because K-Rod was making a little over $12 million back in 2010.  Perhaps if K-Rod was making the league minimum, the Mets would have ignored that situation as well.

So, despite the Mets having legitimately better options, and Reyes possibly serving as a distraction, the team will keep the cheap player because in reality the Mets only really have the courage to do the right thing when they owe a player actual money.  It’ll be interesting to see the Mets no comments or diversion tactics if something else happens with Reyes.  Based on recent history with him, you can’t discount that from happening.

Dreading the USA v. Puerto Rico WBC Matchup

In international competition, I am an American, and as such, I will always root for the USA to prevail.  In the Olympics, I root for the USA regardless of what Rangers are playing for the other country.  I love Henrik Lundqvist to death, but I would root for an American team full of Islanders, Devils, and Flyers if it was ever a USA-Sweden gold medal match.

The same goes for the WBC.

Surprisingly, the closest ties USA has to the Mets is Daniel Murphy and Tyler Clippard, both of whom were on the 2015 pennant winner.  Mostly, the USA roster is full of players you would rather not root for as a Mets fan.

There’s Eric Hosmer whose name cannot be mentioned in my house anymore.  I loved watching Michael Conforto take Danny Duffy deep in the World Series, but to be honest, Duffy got the last laugh.  Tanner Roark is a National, who also did all he could do to help blow the 5-0 lead against the Dominican Republic.  While I generally like both Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford, when seeing them play, you cannot help but be reminded of the heartbreaking loss in the Wild Card Game last year.  Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton have been a thorn in the Mets side on a Marlins team that seemingly exists just to be a Mets spoiler.

Overall, while I have found USA to be a likeable team, there are enough players there that harbor bad memories.

The Puerto Rican roster, on the other hand, is full of players I absolutely love.

Carlos Beltran may be the next Mets player inducted into the Hall of Fame.  T.J. Rivera grabbed a hold of the second base job last year after a number of injuries left the Mets searching for a capable player at the position as the team was fighting for a Wild Card.  Rene Rivera helped Noah Syndergaard improve as a pitcher last year.

Worse yet, Seth Lugo is going to start against the USA in what should prove to be an incredibly important game.  Lugo was an vitally important pitcher who helped get the Mets back to the postseason last year.  He may prove to once again be an extremely important pitcher for the Mets next year whether he is in the rotation, the bullpen, or both.  As a Mets fan, you do not want to see Lugo get bashed around by the USA in the WBC.  Rather, you want to see him continue to improve and be in the best possible position to help the Mets next year.

Not to be wishy-washy, but you hope that Lugo pitches well and the Americans still win.

And yes, despite all the Mets ties to Puerto Rico, including Angel Pagan, who was once a pretty good Met, I am still rooting for the USA tomorrow night.  Mostly, I am rooting for the USA because I am an American.

Also, ever since Aaron Heilman delivered that ill fated pitch, I can never bring myself to root for Yadier Molina.  At least in that respect, my Mets fandom and country pride are aligned.

Go USA!

WBC Reminds You Of David Wright’s Greatness

On the dawn of the World Baseball Classic, Mets starter Noah Syndergaard made some waves when he stated, “I’m a Met. Ain’t nobody made it to the Hall of Fame or the World Series playing in the WBC.” (Abby Mastrocco, nj.com).

Judging from attendance at Spring Training, Syndergaard’s belief is not something that is universally shared in the Mets clubhouse. Jose Reyes is one of the few major league players that have appeared in all four WBCs. He is joined on the Dominican Republic team by Mets relievers Hansel Robles and Jeurys Familia.

Fernando Salas threw his first pitch this Spring for Mexico. Brandon Nimmo and Gavin Cecchini have been stars for Italy. Seth Lugo and T.J. Rivera, two players arguably fighting over the last spots on the Opening Day roster, are playing with Mets back-up catcher Rene Rivera for an undefeated Puerto Rico team. Ty Kelly is both fighting for a potential roster spot and for a spot in the semifinal for Israel.

Point is, while Syndergaard doesn’t believe in the importance of the WBC, many of his teammates do. That includes team captain David Wright, who said, “Everybody has their right to their own opinion, and obviously Noah doesn’t think too highly of it. But I do. So I’m not sure if it’s just a different mentality, and I’m not sure if there’s a right or a wrong. But getting a chance to represent your country, and put that jersey on, and hear the chants of ‘U-S-A, U-S-A’ — that’s one of the highlights of my career. (Anthony DiComo, mlb.com).

It should be noted Wright wasn’t calling out Syndergaard like the time he and Bobby Parnell threw Syndergaard’s lunch in the garbage. He wasn’t singling out Syndergaard either noting other great players like Clayton Kershaw have opted not to play in the WBC without having to face the same scrutiny Syndergaard has. Rather, Wright was merely trying to speak to what the WBC has meant to him.

It certainly was one of the highlights of Wright’s career. In the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Wright sent USA to the semifinals with a walk-off hit against Puerto Rico. In the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Wright would loom even larger. He hit the decisive grand slam against Italy that helped propel the United States back to the semifinals. In the 2013 tournament, Wright hit .438/.526/.750 with two doubles, a grand slam, and 10 RBI. Wright was named as the third baseman to the All WBC Team. If not for his intercoastal injury before the semifinals, who knows if USA wins the WBC that year?

Among USA players in WBC history, Wright is second all-time in games played, third in hits, second in doubles, and first in RBI. He is a ,333/.400/.458 hitter in WBC history. He had two huge go-ahead late inning hits that propelled the USA into the semifinals. It is why Wright was dubbed Captain American. Overall, you cannot discuss the greatness of Wright’s career without mentioning the WBC.

It is an event that has mattered to Wright as much as any moment in his career. As Wright said, “Up to this point if you say, ‘Hey, what’s the most fun you’ve had on a baseball field?’ I’d say the World Series. But I would say in the conversation of cool things that I’ve gotten to do on a baseball field, the World Baseball Classic is toward the top of that list for sure.”

Overall, during Spring Training and the WBC, Wright has been noticeably absent. As his health issues continue to linger and keep him off the field, the 2013 WBC and 2015 World Series seem farther and farther away. However, those moments should not serve as the epilogue to a great career for a great Met. Rather, they should serve as highlights.

Deep down, each and every Mets fan must hope Wright has another chapter left in him. It may not happen in the WBC. It may happen in the World Series. And it may just happen this year.

Five Prospects Who May Contribute In 2017

Last year, we saw Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, and T.J. Rivera become significant contributors to a Mets team who claimed one of the two National League Wild Cards.  Their contribution was as pleasant as it was surprising.  In fact, no one truly could have predicated the slate of injuries that befell the Mets last year.  This year?  Well, that’s a different story all together.

With David Wright already questionable for Opening Day, and the Mets prospects performing better in Spring Training than many originally anticipated, many fans question not if, but when will we see these prospects contributing for the Mets.  With that in mind, here are five prospects, who have yet to appear in a major league game, we may very well see at Citi Field in 2017.

#1 David Roseboom

Once Akeel Morris was traded to the Braves for Kelly Johnson, Roseboom became the closer for the Binghamton Mets last season.  Roseboom blossomed in the role and made it an eight inning game for the B-Mets.  He saved 14 out of 15 games while posting a 1.87 ERA in 52 games on the year. From July 2 to the last regular season game on September 5, Roseboom held opponents to a .130/.193/.383 slash line, and a 0.92 ERA.  This work has caught the Mets attention, and he was a non-roster invitee giving the Mets coaching staff an opportunity to get an up close look at him.

At a minimum, he could very well be the second left-handed reliever the Mets covet in the bullpen.  With the struggles we have seen from Josh Edgin this Spring, that could be sooner rather than later.

#2 Paul Sewald

What is interesting about Sewald is his terrific results have not gotten him the attention he deserves.  Seemingly every pitcher struggles in Las Vegas, and yet in the second half, Sewald converted 10 save opportunities while posting a 1.85 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP.  While naysayers will point to his high 80s to low 90s fastball, Sewald has clearly shown the ability to get batters out even in the most difficult of pitching environments.  As teams go through multiple relievers year-t0-year, it may only be a matter of time before Sewald finally gets his well earned chance to pitch in the majors.

#3 Dominic Smith

This Spring, we have already seen Wright become questionable for Opening Day, and Lucas Duda need shots in his hip and have back spasms.  For a Mets infield that already had injury questions to start the season, things are already progressing quite poorly.  The Mets have talked about experimenting with Jay Bruce at first.  Wilmer Flores has already shown he can be part of an effective platoon there as well.  Neither player is the long term answer.  That’s Smith.

Smith is a terrific fielding first baseman who reported to his first major league camp in the best shape of his professional career.  So far, the only concern about him is if he will hit for power.  He quieted some of those concerns in the final 58 games of the season.  During that 58 game stretch, Smith hit .355/.426/.537 with 16 doubles, one triple, seven homers and 42 RBI.  Extrapolating that over the course of a 162 game season, that would translate to 45 doubles and 20 home runs.  That type of production can definitely play at first base especially when Smith has the promise to do even more.

#4 Amed Rosario

Across baseball and the Mets organization, Rosario has been dubbed a superstar in the making.  The only question is when his star will begin shining at Citi Field.  Arguably, he is further away from Citi Field than Smith as Smith played a full season in Binghamton last year.  Moreover, you probably want to give both players until the All Star Break before you even begin to consider calling them up to the majors.  And yet, as Michael Conforto proved in 2015, if you are a truly special talent, you can come to the majors and contribute for a World Series caliber team in the thick of a pennant race.

In Rosario, the Mets have a game changer in the field and at the plate.  Should any infielder go down, room can be made for Rosario.  Certainly, Asdrubal Cabrera has shown in his career he can play second and third.  Also, do not discount the Mets trying to play Rosario at third this season so he can become more versatile, and quite possibly open a spot for him on the major league roster this year.

#5 Chris Flexen

Arguably, this spot could go to P.J. Conlon, but Flexen is on the 40 man roster.  Also, Flexen pitched a full season for St. Lucie last year, whereas Conlon only pitched half a season there.  Another issue is Flexen’s stuff plays better in the bullpen as Flexen has a mid-90s fastball and a plus curve ball.  If the Mets were to be willing to move Flexen to the bullpen, he can rocket through the Mets system.

In addition to Conlon, another name to consider is Corey Taylor.  He’s got terrific stuff, and the minor league closer is already drawing Jeurys Familia comparisons.  Overall, the Mets farm system has plenty of players who should be able to contribute at the major league level at some point next year.  It should give you some hope the Mets should be good in 2017 even if there is a rash of injuries.  It should give you more hope that the Mets should be good in years to come.

Editor’s Note: I consulted Michael Mayer while making my list, and he pointed out to me he wrote a similar column for Mets Merized Online.  His list is slightly different as he includes Champ Stuart.  As Michael is one of the most knowledgeable people on the Mets farm system, please give his article a read as well. 

Matt Reynolds Skill-Set Compliments This Team Perfectly

Looking over the Mets infield, there are two things that squarely stand-out.  The first is that this is an aging group of players coming off significant injuries.  The second is this infield is not a particularly good defensive infield.

John Dewan of Acta Sports, and Fielding Bible fame, projected the Mets to have the worst defense up the middle in 2017.  The projection calls for Neil Walker to be a -1 DRS next season, which is what he has averaged over the past three seasons.  Asdrubal Cabrera is projected to post a -9 DRS, which is worse than the -7 DRS he has averaged over the past two seasons.  While you would certainly want both Walker’s and Cabrera’s bats in the game, certainly, the Mets would benefit by having a better glove in the game when there is a lead late in the game.

That is exactly what the Mets have done with Juan Lagares.  After the team acquired Yoenis Cespedes at the 2015 trade deadline, Lagares has served as a defensive replacement late in games.  The Mets doing this has served two important purposes.  First, it has helped the Mets preserve leads by putting their best defense on the field.  Second, it helps save some innings, and by extent wear and tear, on players like Cespedes and Curtis Granderson.  It is a large reason why the Mets will be returning Lagares to the same role in 2017.

It is something the Mets should consider for their infield.  The issue is the Mets do not have the bench to do it.

Jose Reyes has averaged a -9 DRS at shortstop over the past three years, which would indicate he’s a downgrade from Cabrera.  Wilmer Flores had a -10 DRS as the starting shortstop in 2015, and he has a -6 DRS as a second baseman in 576.0 major league innings.  The other options being considered for the bench, T.J. Rivera and Ty Kelly, are hardly terrific defenders in their own right.  Certainly, you are not taking the steady handed Walker and Cabrera off the field for them.

No, the only good defensive player who is a realistic option to make the Opening Day roster is Matt Reynolds.

Reynolds is not a gold glover in the middle infield.  However, he does have the same steady hands Walker and Cabrera have while having better range at the position.  He certainly has the arm to play second, short, and third.  That also makes him an option to take some innings away from David Wright at third.  Overall, Reynolds is most likely the best defensive infielder the Mets not named Amed Rosario.  The fact that he is also capable of serving as the team’s fifth outfielder makes him an all the more enticing roster option.

What is going to hurt his chances of making the team is his bat.  He hit .225/.266/.416 in 47 games with the Mets last year.  He has played 254 games in the hitter’s haven that is the Pacific Coast League, Reynolds has only hit .284/.342/.411.  Overall, he’s not a great hitter.  It’s quite possible that even with him putting in extra time with Kevin Long he will never develop into a good hitter.

But the Mets don’t need hitters.  They have plenty of them on this team.  What they need are good defenders.  With Lagares, they have that in the outfield.  With Reynolds, they would have that in the infield as well.

Editor’s Note: this was first published on Mets Merized Online

The Other Mets in the WBC

After last season, Mets fans became aware of who Gavin Cecchini, Ty Kelly, Seth Lugo, Brandon Nimmo, and T.J. Rivera were. While we may have been aware of who they were, Mets fans got to see Rene Rivera and Fernando Salas up close and personal for the first time.  Naturally, you are well aware of who Jeurys Familia and Jose Reyes are.  Still, there are some other Mets participating in this edition of the World Baseball Classic that most Mets fans are going to see for the first time.  Here’s a a look at those players and what we may expect to see

C Xorge Carrillo

Country: Mexico

2016 Level: Binghamton & Las Vegas

2016 Stats: 85 G, 327 PA, 290 AB, 28 R, 79 H, 14 2B, 4 HR, 25 RBI, CS, .272/.347/.362

The 27 year old Carrillo is a catcher’s catcher.  He is a good receiver behind the plate, and he has a good, not great, throwing arm that allows him to control the running game.  For his defensive skills, he was recently given a Gold Glove in the Mexican Pacific Winter Leagues.

At the plate, Carrillo shows a good eye at the plate, but not much pop.  While you can argue his glove is major league ready, his bat probably isn’t.  Still, Carrillo is a hard worker that has shown the willingness to do whatever is necessary to improve his game.  Considering Mets fans once saw the likes of Mike Nickeas serve as a back-up catcher at the major league level, it is not impossible that Carrillo could one day get a chance in the major leagues.

RHP Nabil Crismatt

Country: Mexico

2016 Level: Brooklyn, Columbia, Binghamton

2016 Stats: 1-4, 2.47 ERA, 13 G, 7 GS, SV, 65.2 IP, 74 K, 0.883 WHIP, 10.1 K/9

MMN Rank: 26

The 22 year old Crismatt has been an interesting pitching prospect since the Mets signed him as a non-drafted free agent out of Columbia in 2011.   Crismatt has never had dominating stuff with his fastball typically sitting between the high 80s to the low 90s.  With that said, he’s able to get batters out because he knows how to pitch.  He has clean, easily repeatable mechanics.  While he does not have a blazing fastball, he is able to locate the pitch well.  He gets the most out of his fastball because he has a terrific change-up.  He gets the most out of both pitches because he knows how to attack hitters to not only get a high number of strike outs, but also get a good number of ground balls.

The Mets did not protect Crismatt from the Rule 5 Draft last year, and he wasn’t selected.  The Mets may not be so lucky the next time around.  Crismatt has shown he can thrive as a starter and as a reliever.  At the moment, he projects as a major league reliever.  With that said if he can develop a third pitch to be on the level of his fastball and change-up, he may very well be able to thrive in a major league rotation.

Certainly, aside from these prospects, I’m sure the player most Mets fans have the most interest in seeing play during the World Baseball Classic is Yoenis Cespedes‘ 19 year old brother Yoelkis.  Unsurprisingly, Yoelkis has been dubbed a five tool player.

Go ALL-IN And Re-Sign Kelly Johnson

Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise David Wright is not going to be ready for Opening Day.  No one realistically knows when Wright is going to be ready to play this year.  With that in mind, the Mets now have an open roster spot on the Opening Day roster.  On the 40 man roster, the Mets have T.J. Rivera and Matt ReynoldsTy Kelly would also be an option should the Mets be willing to make a 40 man roster move, which could include putting Wright on the 60 day disabled list.

The argument for Kelly would be the fact that his switch hitting ability would present the Mets with a left-handed hitting option for a team that promises to have a completely right-handed bench.  His versatility in the field may also prove to be important.  With that said, if you are willing to make an important roster move for Kelly, why not go ALL-IN and bring back Kelly Johnson.

Over the past two seasons, Johnson has hit .260/.319/.441 with 14 homers and 37 RBI in 131 games.  Over those 131 games, Johnson has played every position for the Mets except pitcher, catcher, and center field.  He could prove to be a very important player for the Mets.

Fact is, Johnson has been vitally important to the Mets over the past two seasons.  In 2015, he was able to serve as an everyday player until the team got healthy.  In 2016, he worked diligently to become a better hitter with him hitting .268/.328/.459.  When Neil Walker went down, he and Wilmer Flores joined to make an extremely effective platoon at second base.  As we’ve seen, he’s also capable of playing third, which just became an important issue again with Wright being unable to play on Opening Day.

Frankly, it is surprising that it would come to this for the Mets to make a move to add Johnson.  This is the same player the Mets have traded prospect after prospect for in successive years.  The ultimate reason these trades were necessary was because the Mets had built flawed, if not weak, benches heading into the 2015 and 2016 seasons.  While the Mets bench in 2017 promises to be deeper than year’s past, it is still flawed for the aforementioned reasons.  The addition of Kelly Johnson would go a long way in resolving the issues the bench currently has.

Right now, the Mets have a need for another bench player.  There is a veteran who has not only played well coming off the bench, but he has also played well in New York.  Both are more difficult than many believe, and that is why a player like Johnson is important.  Realistically speaking, with Sandy Alderson already telling the media, the Mets are “all-in” this year, he should put his money where he mouth is and re-sign Johnson.

That’s what teams who are all-in do when a need arises.

Please Televise All Spring Training Games

Ever since T.J. Rivera lined out to Denard Span, it has been an excruciatingly long offseason.  Somehow, we have navigated through the offseason, and now it is Spring Training.  Finally, on Friday, there was a game being played.  On what was a pleasantly surprising Spring day in the middle of February, there was a baseball game being played.  It was the perfect day for baseball.

It gets better.  Michael Conforto was being allowed to hit against a left-handed pitcher.  Gavin Cecchini was playing second base.  Gold Glover Juan Lagares was going to be patrolling center field.  Personal favorite, Seth Lugo, was getting the start.

Wait, it gets better.  Uber prospects Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith were slated to appear in the game.

This is the type of day where you align your lunch with the game.  You get in your car to listen to Howie Rose do the play-by-play.  You find a place to eat where you can watch an inning or two.

Except, you can’t.  With the Mets traveling to Fort Myers to play the Red Sox, the game was not going to be televised.  Typically speaking, road Spring Training games are not telecast for a myriad of very justifiable reasons.  With that said, it would have been nice to watch some of the game during lunch, and it would have been great to watch the replay with my son when I got home.  However, I didn’t get that opportunity because, like the revolution, this game was not televised.

With baseball looking for more and more ways to improve the sport, it should find a way to televise all of their Spring Training games.  At the very least, it would be an olive branch to your most die hard fans who may take real issue with the rule changes you want to put in place.

Trivia Friday – Opening Day Middle Infields

With the Las Vegas 51s prospectively having an Opening Day lineup that includes Dominic Smith, Gavin Cecchini, T.J. Rivera, and Amed Rosario, the Mets infield can look radically different in 2018.  It certainly creates the possibility the Mets will once again have a new middle infield combination to open that season.

Can you name the Mets Opening Day double play combinations since 2000?  Good luck!


Edgardo Alfonzo Rey Ordonez Roberto Alomar Rey Sanchez Ricky Gutierrez Kazuo Matsui Jose Reyes Anderson Hernandez Jose Valentin Luis Castillo Alex Cora Brad Emaus Daniel Murphy Ruben Tejada Eric Young Wilmer Flores Asdrubal Cabrera Neil Walker

Mets Infield Depth

It would take a minor miracle if the Mets Opening Day lineup lasts the full season.  It is very likely that one of Lucas Duda (back), Neil Walker (back), David Wright (body), or Asdrubal Cabrera (knee) doesn’t have a stint on the disabled list.  With that in mind, the Mets infield depth is going to be more important than ever.  Fortunately, they seem to have more choices than they have ever had in the past:

Jose Reyes

2016 Stats: 60 G, 279 PA, 255 AB, 45 R, 68 H, 13 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR, 24 RBI, 9 SB, 2 CS, .267/.326/.443

In many ways, it was the Reyes of old last year with the electricity on the basepaths which created a buzz in both the dugout and the stands.  There are two areas of caution with Reyes.  He had a poor .326 OBP which is not an outlier as Reyes’ OBP over the past three seasons is .321.  The other issue is he struggled against right-handed pitchers hitting .239/.293/.371 off of them last year.  With that said, Reyes does seem rejuvenated being in a Mets uniform, and he can now completely focus on baseball giving hope for much better results.

Wilmer Flores

2016 Stats: 103 G, 335 PA, 307 AB, 38 R, 82 H, 14 2B, 16 HR, 49 RBI, SB, CS, .267/.319/.469

Simply put, Flores mashes left-handed pitching having hit .340/.383/.710 with 11 of his 16 home runs off of them.  While fans have soured on him as a shortstop, he still can capably handle all four infield positions.  Based on the numbers, when there is a left-handed pitcher on the mound, the Mets needs to find a way to get him in the lineup.  When there’s a right-handed pitcher, the Mets would be better off looking in another direction.

T.J. Rivera

2016 Stats: 33 G, 113 PA, 105 AB, 10 R, 35 H, 4 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 16 RBI, .333/.345/.476

In September, we saw that Rivera can not only hold down a position due to injuries.  More importantly, we know he can rise to the occasion.  While he may not walk enough to justify putting him in the everyday lineup, his ability to hit can justify his presence on a major league roster.  Those justifications are only enhanced when you consider he is also capable of playing all four infield positions.

Matt Reynolds

2016 Stats: 47 G, 96 PA, 89 AB, 11 R, 20 H, 8 2B, 3 HR, CS, .225/.266/.416

Whereas the aforementioned players primarily rely on their bats, Reynolds is a terrific defensive player.  In one game last year, he surprised us all not by playing a representative left field, despite never playing there previously, but also by hitting a monster home run to give the Mets a lead.

Gavin Cecchini

2016 Stats: 4 G, 7 PA, 6 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 2 2B, 2 RBI, .333/.429/.667

Cecchini is a promising hitter who should be able to hit for more power as he ages.  Despite having all the tools, he has struggled as a shortstop.  Those struggles along with the rise of Rosario, Cecchini should find himself playing second base next year.  With the increased versatility, he should be able to help the Mets at either second or short if the need arises.

Amed Rosario

2016 MiLB Stats: 120 G, 527 PA, 479 AB, 65 R, 155 H, 24 2B, 13 3B, 5 HR, 71 RBI, 19 SB, 8 CS, .324/.374/.459

With Rosario it is just a matter of time before the shortstop of the future becomes the Mets everyday shortstop.  With a little more seasoning, he may become a superstar.  There’s no limit to his talent.  He just needs a little more seasoning in Las Vegas.  Depending on when or if someone goes down, the Mets may want to call up their best prospect to the majors.  Once he gets called up, the Mets are going to have a hard time justifying sending him back down.

As seen above, the Mets are much deeper in the infield than they have been in year’s past when players like Eric Campbell were making the Opening Day roster.  In the case of Cecchini and Rosario, one injury may just open the door for them to claim the position not just for 2017 but for years to come.

While the Mets have a terrific Opening Day infield on paper, the infield that may materialize later on into the season may be even better.