It took until the Mets’ fourth Spring Training game for the team to finally be outscored, so that’s good. Although New York lost to Washington last night 6-4, there were a number of positives to take away. For one, Wilmer Flores looked comfortable at second base.
I wondered earlier this month about the longtime prospect’s future on defense. Based on how they are playing him so far in Spring Training, the Mets believe that Flores’ best shot at the majors is via second base. Last night, Mets skipper Terry Collins seemed happy with the youngster’s defense.
“He’s adapted to secondbase,” the skipper said. “Being a middle infielder by trade, secondbase should be a fairly easy spot for him to play. He’s done a very, very good job over there. I just want to get him some playing time and take a look at him under some different [conditions]. I’ve been very impressed by Wilmer. He came here a month ago, to get ready for spring training, and I’m very impressed by that.”
Speaking of defense, outfield prospect Matthew den Dekker made a fantastic play in center field last night to rob Nats third baseman Anthony Rendon of an extra base hit. den Dekker’s defense has never been a question, and last season he ripped through double-A with a .340/.397/.563 line. However, in triple-A, he struck out 90 times in just 295 at-bats. As cool as it would be to have two players in the majors this season whose surnames begin with a lowercase “D,” it appears that den Dekker needs a lot more seasoning than Travis d’Arnaud right now.
In the fourth inning, Ike Davis electrified the Tradition Field crowd with a towering solo home run off of the right-handed Ross Ohlendorf. Earlier in the evening, Davis was struck out on a nasty breaking ball from Gio Gonzalez. It was certainly nice to see Davis get back to hitting home runs so early in Spring Training, but he won’t be a great player until he can put as much fear into left-handed pitchers as he does with righties.
On the mound for the Mets, Collin McHugh started and was roughed up for six hits and three runs in just 2.1 innings. Meanwhile, Elvin Ramirez struck out four batters in just 1.2 innings, while fellow bullpen candidate Greg Burke struck out a pair in his one inning of work. Gonzalez Germen and Robert Carson each allowed one run in one innings, while Brandon Lyon pitched two-thirds of an inning and gave up two hits but no runs.
Today, the Mets hit the road to take on the Marlins. Jenrry Mejia will start for the Mets. The only two possible Opening Day starters in the lineup will be Mike Baxter and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.