March 12, 2010
Now that Jose Reyes is out of the picture for the time being, we can now focus on who will likely be playing shortstop for the Mets on a regular basis to start the season.
I am hoping that the Mets actually surprise me here, but I do not have such lofty expectations. I want to see Ruben Tejada out there on opening day, but I am quite sure that Alex Cora (yawn) will be there instead.
Alex Cora will not kill your team in any way. He makes decent contact and fields adequately. That sounds alright doesn’t it? The problem is this…been there, done that. Cora is what he is, and that is a utility player. He is not going to excel at any one area that warrants every day play.
As I previously mentioned, Ruben Tejada has that X-Factor called the unknown. He is a young player on the rise through the Met farm system. He is someone that you could hitch that enthusiastic star to this
April. Sure, we have no idea how this will translate against major league pitching. This is especially true once teams get video on his swing and begin to make adjustments on how to pitch him. Yes, he is also just twenty years of age. However, he is currently enjoying his second spring invite with the big club this March. He is at that stage of development where everyday at bats are needed. He is also needed on the opening day roster to serve as Cora’s backup. Why not give those important at bats to him here? If he struggles initially, you can spell him with Cora here and there. If he continues to struggle, you can send him down and play Cora everyday from that point forward until Reyes returns (whenever that is). I am not sure what the Mets have to lose with this type of plan.
Ultimately aside from a token start here and there, I am quite sure that we will be watching Alex Cora get his four at bats per game while Tejada wastes away on the bench. Then again, I may be shocked instead.