Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Wilmer to be shortstop ... at Vegas?
By Adam Rubin
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Wilmer Flores starts his third Grapefruit League game at shortstop Tuesday. And the experiment is slated to continue, team personnel tell ESPNNewYork.com.
Flores should see ample time at the position during the remainder of camp. He also will see action there with Triple-A Las Vegas in April, as the Mets search for viable options at the position.
Barring an external acquisition -- which the Mets still do not rule out -- Ruben Tejada will be the Opening Day shortstop. And Omar Quintanilla is expected to be the backup.
Anthony Seratelli may have been the favorite over Quintanilla for the backup role entering camp, but Seratelli has struggled catching up to fastballs and his shortstop fielding has not been ideal.
The Mets stopped using Flores at shortstop after the 2011 season, but have revisited it this spring training. The hope is that winter agility work in Plymouth, Mich., will increase his range. However, scouts are widely skeptical.
If Tejada were to falter in April and Flores looks passable at shortstop in the Pacific Coast League, the Mets would consider having Flores take over the role in-season. Still, that seems like a long shot.