We are almost over with the great Jordany Valdespin experiment by the New York Mets of playing him at second and hitting leadoff.
Six days doesn’t seem like a long time because it isn’t. However, Terry Collins is staying with this a lot longer than some of his other experiments such as Collin Cowgill in center; Daniel Murphy at leadoff; a half-dozen other guys hitting first. The assumption is Collins will stay with this as long as Ike Davis is in Triple-A Las Vegas, but after that, by his own admission the manager doesn’t have a plan.
The path of least resistance would have been to play first baseman Josh Satin at first and leave Murphy alone at second, a position where he’s made strides.
What will the Mets infield look like as of August 1, the day after the trade deadline? Are they showcasing Valdespin for a trade? How about Murphy? Perhaps, they are hoping Davis pulls himself out of this funk so they can trade him.
The Mets could non-tender Davis as they did Mike Pelfrey last winter and let him walk, or, they could hope he finds some life in his bat and find a taker. If Davis isn’t part of their future, there are worse options. If Davis isn’t part of their future, they should move him as soon as possible.
So, the Mets, losers of five of their last six games and eight of ten, will attempt to salvage this homestand today and Sunday before starting a killer trip that includes five games in Atlanta; three in Philadelphia; two in Chicago against the White Sox; and a make-up game in Denver, before returning home to start a three-game series with Washington.
The Mets’ next off day will be July 11, the day after a three-game series in San Francisco. The All-Star break can’t come soon enough for a team now 14 games below .500.
This afternoon, Jon Niese will attempt to start putting his season back together. Niese, 3-5, hasn’t won a start since May 16 in St. Louis, which seems ages ago. He is coming off a quality start last Sunday in a no-decision in a game lost to Miami.
Here’s Niese’s line-up, which only once in the past week scored as many as five runs:
Jordany Valdespin, 2B: Is making the most of this opportunity and to his credit is making clubhouse strides.
Daniel Murphy, 1B: Hitting just .219 in last 17 games.
David Wright, 3B: Hitting .462 during homestand and .333 this year with RISP.
Marlon Byrd, RF: Has 10 homers with 31 RBI. That has to interest some team.
Lucas Duda, LF: Ten of his 11 homers have been with nobody on base.
Juan Lagares, CF: Got a hit last night, so Collins riding the hot hand.
Jonathon Niese, LHP: Is 2-3 with a 5.61 lifetime ERA in six starts against Cubs.
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