Spring training is not just to get ready for the season, but for teams to sharpen their cliché skills. The New York Mets have used many this spring, but the prevalent one is: There’s plenty of time left.
Memo to Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins: No, there isn’t.
DAVIS: Still a question. (Getty)
With Opening Day two weeks away, the Mets have many decisions left; way too many for a team that could win 90 games. I bet Alderson already regrets that thought.
Here’s what’s left to decide:
FIRST BASE: Ike Davis entered spring training as the frontrunner, but because of leg injuries, neither him nor Lucas Duda has played much.
Neither will get close to 70 at-bats, much less the 90-plus Collins hoped for Davis.
They could, but I don’t see them carrying both.
Speculation is Davis will open the season on the disabled list, with Duda playing. That’s presumably because Duda is further along.
They could run Josh Satin out there, but I believe they wasted this spring to learn more about Wilmer Flores.
Collins suggested using Flores at shortstop, but he’s barely played there. He has a promising bat, but scouts say he is better equipped for second base or the corner infield positions.
Flores won’t get third because of David Wright, and last I checked first base is a corner infield position. Why couldn’t they look at Flores there? Where’s the vision?
SHORTSTOP: Publicly, they support Ruben Tejada, but almost as visible have been their efforts to land Stephen Drew and trade for Seattle’s Nick Franklin.
Neither is imminent, and the Orioles and Rays also have interest in Franklin. If they really wanted him, they should have acted weeks ago.
Shortstop remains a black hole, but I see Tejada winning the job by default because the Mets are skittish about giving Drew the money and surrendering prospects for Franklin. Anticipate Tejada as the Opening Day shortstop, with much criticism to follow.
LEADOFF HITTER: Collins prefers Eric Young, which is the best choice. However, where does that leave Juan Lagares? That’s the rub.
If Young plays, the outfield would include him, Chris Young and Curtis Granderson.
This isn’t softball, so there is no extra outfielder. For the purposes of his development, Lagares should play fulltime, either up here or in the minor leagues.
If it is here, they are wasting Eric Young. They also have no idea if Lagares can hit at this level.
One possibility is to go with Matt den Dekker or Kirk Nieuwenhuis as the extra outfielder – both can play center – and give Lagares his at-bats in Triple-A Las Vegas.
PITCHING; Both the rotation and bullpen are seemingly set, but there’s the Jenrry Mejia question: Rotation or bullpen?
If they aren’t going to use Mejia in the rotation in the majors, they should use him as a starter in Las Vegas.