The Mets have been notorious in recent years in placing infielders in the outfield to the team's detriment, from Daniel Murphy, to Lucas Duda, to less-important conversions such as Nick Evans. Add Jordany Valdespin to the list.
New York Mets
Valdespin’s misread of a line drive off the bat of Tyler Colvin to lead off the eighth inning allowed the Rockie to reach third, officially with a triple. Colvin ended up scoring the game’s lone run on Chris Nelson’s groundball single as Colorado beat the Mets, 1-0, Thursday afternoon at Citi Field.
“The ball jumped off the bat,” said Valdespin, a converted infielder making his fifth major league start in center field. “He hit the ball good.”
Said Terry Collins: “One of the things you’ve got to be careful of is putting guys out of position in the big leagues, because eventually the ball will find them in perhaps a big situation. Jordany is athletic enough. We saw him play center field enough so far this year where we’ve sat here and said, ‘Boy, this guy can play center field.’ And then a mistake happens. It’s not the first time I’ve seen a guy misjudge a ball. And I’ve seen guys who are center fielders misjudge balls. But when you’re in a situation like we are, it’s going to happen at the wrong time, which it has.”
The bottom line, in reality, is that the Mets need to have a 2013 mindset. So taking your lumps with Valdespin in center field now, in relatively meaningless games, probably isn’t the worst thing if he is in the outfield mix for next season. Collins has said he figures Valdespin will play the outfield in winter ball in the Dominican Republic, too.
Collins, meanwhile, essentially said he’s damned if he puts Valdespin in the outfield right now, and damned if he doesn’t.
“Hey, look, we didn’t score any points today,” the manager said. “If you’d have told me before the game, ‘Look, you’re not going to score any runs, you better put your best defense out there,’ he wouldn’t have been out there. But we still wouldn’t have won because we wouldn’t have scored any runs. You’ve just got to do what you think is right, what you think is best.”