Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Shortstop Stopgap

Posted by JD on May 23, 2009

First off, I want this on the record: under normal circumstances, I have nothing against Ramon Martinez. He’s a perfectly decent Quadruple-A player who had some nice plate appearances for the Mets in the final series against Florida last year. Here’s the kicker: these are not “normal circumstances”. Last year, he was playing second base. This year, he’s filling in at short for Jose Reyes. Also, he’s still in “Spring Training” mode, only recently returning from an injury. He was an emergency call-up to Buffalo (finger point to Matthew Cerrone) and now he’s an emergency call-up to the Mets, playing out of position and while trying to get his legs under him. It’s actually a worst-case scenario.

Defense is key in this situation. Any offense provided by the replacement player is icing on the cake. With that being said, I would go with Argenis Reyes. Yes, he’s been playing second base in Buffalo. But he came up as a shortstop and he’s got a proven track record in the majors. In my mind, he’s the safest choice.

Of course, the Mets could sign a free agent.  Just for fun, I poked around the interwebs to see who’s still available. We’re pretty far into the season and the best free agents were snapped up long ago.  Let me tell you, the remainders are downright unappealing:

1. Mark Grudzielanek (finger point to http://mlbfreeagents.com/positions/shortstops.php): Although retired, he’s worth investigating. His mobility is surely awful at this point and he’s really more of a second baseman, but he’s a righty bat with a career OPS of .727. He averaged 112 games played over the past three years in Kansas City, during which he OPS’d .751. And he could slot into Alex Cora’s role until he returns. All that being said, I’d pass.

2. D’Angelo Jimenez: Currently playing for Veracruz in the Mexican League, Jimenez hasn’t played in the majors since 2007. There’s a reason for that. Pass.

3. Jose Vizcaino, Royce Clayton, Jesse Garcia, Luis Ordaz, John Nelson: Uhmmmmmm, no (sadly, because Nobody Beats the Viz), nope, no thanks, not quite, and who is that? Seriously, shouldn’t ESPN Fantasy remove these guys from their Player Rater? Is anyone seriously contemplating picking any of these guys up?

Obviously, the answer isn’t coming off the free agent list. Argenis Reyes would suffice and Jonathan Malo might fit the bill, too. Either way, something should be done soon. It’s bad enough that the Mets are struggling to score runs. They don’t need Ramon Martinez giving them away.

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