The problems never stop coming for the New York Mets. The team’s All-Star second baseman, Daniel Murphy, will be missing the first week of the 2015 season due to a hamstring injury. While the injury is nothing to be worried about, it raises the question about who will starting at second base for the opening games.
The first option the Mets have is the man who was set to be the backup middle-infielder, Ruben Tejada. Tejada, who was originally thought to be the next great Mets shortstop after the departure of Jose Reyes, has turned out to be a bust when playing in the majors. His lackluster performance on the field and his unimpressive 2015 offensive numbers of .237/.342/.310 were the last straw for the Mets organization. Thus, Tejada has not been in the conversation for filling in for the absent Murphy.
The Mets could also choose Dilson Herrera to start his season in the majors. Herrera is often seen as the future successor to Murphy, so it would make sense that the Mets would try to give him the major league experience. After hitting the ball well in Double-A Binghamton, Herrera’s offense in the majors last season was pretty good, given that it was his first time in the majors and the twenty year-old had skipped Triple-A. His defense was also a large improvement over Murphy’s, so it seems that he would be the obvious choice to play in his absence.
However, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN, Sandy Alderson is not considering Herrera for the job because if he were to get injured, he would be eligible for the major league disable list. This could potentially earn him major league service time at the beginning of the season. So, Herrera is to start the season with Triple-A Las Vegas.
With Tejada and Herrera out of the question, Alderson has to decide between two other prospects – Matt Reynolds and Danny Muno. While Reynolds is a well known prospect of the Mets, Muno is somebody who very few Mets fans know about. Both men have been hitting the ball especially well in the major league training camp, so it is clear that both of them have the potential to add to the Mets offense.
Looking at last years statistics, Reynolds proved to be the better player. He hit .333/.385/.479 in 68 games with Las Vegas. Muno hit a respectable .259/.372/.418 in 117 games with the Triple-A team. While Reynolds has the low-power, line drive bat that one would expect of a middle infielder, his speed leaves something to be desired. Muno seems to be able to offer more power to the line-up and his switch-hitting will be greatly appreciated.
At the end of the day, Alderson needs to choose Matt Reynolds to be the opening second baseman for the Mets. While Muno has impressed the clubhouse during spring training and shows immense potential as a ballplayer, he needs to prove that he can continue this success. In addition to this, testing Matt Reynolds against the strong pitching of the Washington Nationals will give important information about where he truly stands in his development.
If Reynolds maintains a strong bat during the first week of the season he could greatly alter Alderson’s plans for the rest of the season. He might take over for Wilmer Flores at short or possibly cause Murphy to be traded. Either way, the possibility of his success means that the Mets could greatly improve their defense up the middle – a must have for a team built around strong pitching.
While one can make the case that Reynolds should be developed more in Las Vegas and that Muno should be the one testing the waters of the major league, Reynolds looks to be the driven player of the future. If this is the case, Reynolds should be offered the opportunity to make this future the present.