Just because he hustles doesn’t mean Daniel Murphy will win the second base job. There are concerns about his defensive abilities, and while he has shown glimpses of offensive production, it is still a small window.
The Mets like Rule 5 selection Brad Emaus’ potential, and he’ll get a nod over Justin Turner because the latter has remaining options.
The book on Emaus is he has adequate range and power potential as he hit ten homers in 309 at-bats for Toronto’s Triple A affiliate last summer.
Could he and Murphy share the job in a platoon basis? Absolutely.
Also working in Emaus’ favor is his ability to back up David Wright at third. Murphy, of course, can back up Ike Davis at first, so that platoon offers versatility.
Where does that leave Luis Castillo?
The Mets would love to deal him, but aren’t close to drawing any interest. Reports are Castillo could have reported in better shape, and although he didn’t come to camp early because of a family situation, he didn’t tell the Mets what was going on.
Manager Terry Collins said he would have preferred Castillo report early, but said that while not being aware of Castillo’s situation. A little communication would have spared Castillo a dig from his new manager.
Not a good start by Castillo, who has to be flawless to make the team.
I believe the deciding factor at second base is defense. If Murphy/Emaus show they can handle the position, it would go a long way to keeping that platoon over Castillo, whose defense skills are on a decline.