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Tuesday, August 6, 2013
W2W4: Wilmer Flores' debut

By Mark Simon

Late Monday, the New York Mets recalled infielder Wilmer Flores from Las Vegas, where he was hitting .321 with 15 home runs and 86 RBIs and had arguably been one of the top players in the Pacific Coast League.

Wilmer Flores
Wilmer Flores is scheduled to make his debut Tuesday, his 22nd birthday.
The league is very hitter-friendly, so don't necessarily expect those numbers to carry over. In fact, Baseball Prospectus' preseason projection had Flores hitting .242 and homering once every 42 plate appearances.

Here's a look at some of the other statistical storylines related to Flores' likely debut against the Colorado Rockies.

The hot corner
The presumption is that Flores will play third base as a fill-in for the injured David Wright. Wright is the last Mets player to debut at the hot corner, an 0-for-4 against the Montreal Expos on July 21, 2004.

He's the only Met to debut at the third base in the past 20 seasons. The last prior to him was Butch Huskey (who went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts against the Houston Astros in 1993).

Speaking of Wright, the Mets are 3-9 when he doesn't start over the past two seasons.

Defense
Observations from those who have previously written about Flores have noted his defense is his weakness.

The Mets have gotten great defense from Wright over the past two seasons. He ranks fourth in the majors with 21 Defensive Runs Saved in that span.

The starter
Flores will be playing alongside fellow prospect Jenrry Mejia, who has impressed in his two starts this season.

Mejia had really good command of his offspeed pitches in those two appearances. His fastball (or cutter or whatever you wish to call it), which ranges from 92 to 95 mph, has been hittable, yielding 10 hits and netting 19 outs.

Stat of the Day: Happy birthday, Wilmer
Flores would be debuting on his 22nd birthday. And that makes for a statistical gift that keeps on giving.

He would join pitcher John Pacella as the only Mets to debut on their birthday. Pacella allowed two runs in two innings against the Phillies on his 21st birthday in 1977.

Flores could be the second player this season whose major league debut will be made as a start on his birthday. The other was David Adams, who went 1-for-4 for the New York Yankees against the Seattle Mariners on May 15.

Were Flores to homer, it would be pretty remarkable. He'd be the first to debut on his birthday and hit a home run since obscure ex-Washington Senator Morrie Aderholt, who did so in 1939 against the Chicago White Sox. Aderholt is also the last player to get multiple hits in a birthday debut.