David Wright recently suffered a setback, most likely resulting in him not being able to play third base for a long time. The Mets are going to need a solution for this opening very quickly. Here are five in-house replacements the Mets should consider.
1 Jose Reyes
Reyes is the most likely to take on the everyday third base job in the wake of Wright’s setback. Last season Reyes came in and appeared in 60 games filling in for Wright. He handled third base better than anyone could ask. He provided some life to the ball club both on and off the field. Offensively, he showed he could still get it done as he hit .267 with 8 home runs and 24 RBI’s. Reyes is expected to be the Opening Day leadoff man and starting third baseman for the Mets.
2 T.J. Rivera
T.J. Rivera is the type of guy who you know what you’re going to get from him. In his minor league career, he his a .324 hitter with a .805 OPS. Rivera puts the ball in play. He isn’t going to strikeout much, or hit for much power. However, he will get on-base, and that is the type of hitter this team needs. In a brief appearance in the majors last season, Rivera showed he could get it done at the big league level too as he hit .333 with an .821 OPS in 33 games. Rivera has appeared at third in the minors before.
3 Wilmer Flores
Flores spent some time at third last season before the Mets brought in Reyes. Flores has been very productive the past two seasons as he has hit .263 with 16 home runs and .267 with 16 home runs. Flores absolutely destroys left handed pitching. Last season 11 of his 16 homers came against lefties, and he hit to an average of .340. Flores has appeared in 78 games at third and has made only 8 errors in 167 chances over his career. Flores has started to come around at the plate for the Mets, he just needs to be given the at-bats.
4 Matt Reynolds
Reynolds spent sometime with the big league ball club last season, and showed the mets some things that I personally liked. Reynolds appeared in 47 games and hit to an average of .225 with 8 doubles, 3 home runs, and 13 RBI’s. It has been said that Reynolds won’t produce much offensively (.276 career hitter), however I was very impressed with what I saw from the rookie. Defensively, Reynolds was very impressive, however he has always been known to play solid defense.
5 Kelly Johnson
Johnson isn’t really an in-house candidate, however he was with the Mets last season so I will count him as one. Kelly is an 11-year utility man. He was productive in his two season in New York the past two seasons. He hit a combined .260 with 14 home runs and 37 RBI’s. The thing that makes a guy like Johnson so intriguing is that he can play any position asked of him. The Mets should consider taking a flyer on Johnson before someone else sign the veteran utility man.