Mets keep Young, demote Nieuwenhuis; promote Wilmer, but will play Tejada

Lacking a true back-up infielder on the bench, the Mets promoted Wilmer Flores from Triple-A Las Vegas and sent down OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis on Thursday after Ruben Tejada was hit in the helmet with a fastball the night before.

Flores is 24-years-old and had been hitting .323 with 13 home runs in 55 games for Las Vegas, during which he also had a 22-game hitting streak.

Nevertheless, while Mets manager Terry Collins said he expects Flores to stay with the big-league team, he intends to use him as a platoon middle infielder, splitting time with Tejada and occasionally filling in for Daniel Murphy at second base.


MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies


“We’re playing pretty good,” Collins said, who’s team has won 11 of their last 17 games. “I’m trying to keep things from being disrupted as much as I can, because I like the way things are going right now. I’m trying not to disrupt that.”

Meanwhile, Nieuwenhuis was batting .246 in 30 games, compared to Chris Young, who is batting .176 with five extra base hits in the same timespan.

“He’s been pretty good,” Collins said about Nieuwenhuis. “Unfortunately, you reach a situation where there’s only certain guys you can move. He was aware of that. I told him it’s going to allow him to go down and be an everyday player which, as we’ve seen before, is very beneficial, because when they come back they’ve gotten off to pretty good starts.”

Young signed a one-year, $7.5 million contract this past winter, while Nieuwenhuis will earn the league minimum.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

In regard to Young, I actually don’t mind keeping him around and demoting Nieuwenhuis, though I realize lots of fans probably disagree. I’m frustrated with Young too, believe me. These are two mediocre players in a mostly mediocre outfield. And, while Young has been worse, he’s also experienced, he can help guide the other young players through a time of year when young players tend to lose focus and struggle. There is no statistical category for this, but it is valuable and part of helping direct and lead young players that a team expects to one day step up and be leaders themselves, I think.

So, fine, keep Young for now, let him do his thing off the field, try to get better on the field, let Nieuwenhuis go get at bats in Triple-A and then then revisit the situation in August. In a month or so, if the Mets are still under .500, if Young is still struggling and if the Mets need a roster spot, I bet Young gets released. But, for now, I understand this decision…


MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Mets


In regards to Wilmer’s playing time, I prefer he get regular at bats. He was hitting well, probably feeling good and I hate to see that come to a screeching halt, simply because Terry doesn’t want to distract the other eight guys in the lineup. I mean, if Tejada is going to end up getting the bulk of at bats — whether because he’s playing well or not, but because  the team is doing well — then why promote Flores at all? At that point, bring up Omar Quintanilla instead and let him ride the bench, while Flores keeps hitting well in Vegas. Unlike the outfield situation, this one doesn’t make a ton of sense to me, but I’m willing to keep an open mind and see how it plays out before saying it’s a total mistake…




192 comments
semperfi
semperfi

Sorry Matt but bad spin on this move, Abreu and CY should be gone, Nuiwenhuis and denDekker both provide better D, younger and hitting better, what the hell does Abreu do for you and CY should be taking ABs from anyone.

A Pocono View_
A Pocono View_

I think kirk has proven he;s better than mediocre of..

I'd rather keep Cptn Kirk and drop Bobby A. Kirk can play defense. You can double switch him in three spots. I am still not sure BA is doing on this team. 

nymetsrule
nymetsrule

Yeah, all the young players can't wait to become as untalented and ****y at baseball as Chris Young. Seriously, Matt? You think he is a good example? The guy should be humiliated to even look his family in the eyes. How is he going to guide the kids? Is he gonna show them how to k with the bases loaded every at bat in the dog days of summer? Is he gonna show them how to bat under .200 but still stay on an MLB team? One of the worst players I've ever seen in my life.

luckylou
luckylou

No I don't want to see Quintinilla. When Flores got consistent ABs, he started to get really good swings on the ball. He can hit imo and I rather see him here than Omar Q. CY will get released.... Just a matter of time. We are better utilizing Dendekker in his role.

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

Remember when Jerry wanted to return a sports jacket out of spite on Seinfeld? That's exactly what is going on with both CY and Tejada. You got a guy in Campbell who is batting more than 100 points higher. And you got a guy in EYJr. who at least adds an iota of speed and energy to the lineup. But no, play the old man and Tejada. It has gotta be orders from Sandy. No one with half a brain could fashion a lineup this consistently lame.

Shawn R. Babcock
Shawn R. Babcock

Glad to see the Mets get ahead of something for once. The old swing and miss, three pitch strikeout Kirk was back in full force after the break. The clock struck midnight. Back down you go. No need to keep him up just to see him K at a record pace. I'll skip that.

Scrubs
Scrubs

Chris Young and his .176 batting average is kept on to guide younger players in focusing and not struggle.  Did IQ's suddenly drop while I was at work today? I'm expecting, no, praying to read about Young's release and I get this??  Alderson and Collins should lock arms and high-kick out the door like the freakin' Rockettes.   This is bad for my health...

Richard Davis
Richard Davis

Flores has yet to be given a full month at the ML level when healthy to show what he can do.  Being on the roster and playing one game out of 6 is not a fair example nor any way to see exactly what he can do.  We do know this:

a) from 5/29 thru 6/5, Flores started 4 of the 8 games and went 6 for 18 with 1 HR, 2 doubles and 6 RBIs (the great Philly game he had the grand slam in accounted for this mostly).  He also had two pinch-hitting appearances which he was 0 for 2.

b) for the remainder of June, Flores started in 4 of 18 games, going 3 for 17.  The remainder of his 4 plate appearances were as a pinch hitter in which he went hitless.

Anybody who says this was a fair example to see what he can do is as clueless as Terry Collins.  Flores needs sustained starts which would include at least 50-60 at bats.  If he is still hitting close to the Mendoza line, then you can say he's had a clear shot and failed.  Until that happens, you cannot.  However, I believe that whenever he is given at least three weeks of starts consecutively, he will hit and be worth whatever defensive shortcomings people expect him to have (I dare say I feel he will be acceptable at SS or 2B given a sustained chance to succeed).  Whether that is with the Mets or not remains to be seen.  Considering the yo-yo treatment he's been given, I expect that he will be yet another player we say a year from now, "Geez, imagine if Flores were still with the team"

donw
donw

We're 6 games under at the end of July and the manager says "we're playing pretty good."  Talk about the bar being set low.  What happened to 90 wins? 

theglider
theglider

We need an upgrade at short. No question. But we can live with our shortstop as our #8 hitter if others hit.

Tejada might not be the answer (although he does get on vase), but Flores isn't a shortstop and he hasn't shown any ability at the plate.

Frank Accardi
Frank Accardi

Release cy put Flores at short fire Collins bring up Wally. End of story

Edwin Cruz
Edwin Cruz

What has happened to Lagares? Nothing with the bat is not gonna keep you in the Major Leagues buddy!!!!!!

Edwin Cruz
Edwin Cruz

I'm sorry Young is hitting .176.......OMG, GIVE ME A BREAK ALREADY!!!!

mets63
mets63

I dont like Tejada but check his numbers with Lajaras.One stinks the other no problem

Edwin Cruz
Edwin Cruz

This is Sandys call all the way.....to keep Chris Young and his .190 avg over a younger player with more to gain is ludicrous.......


Rimo Chaloney
Rimo Chaloney

Terry can not disrupt Tejada's scorching .235 batting average.

mets63
mets63

Get rid of Young, Abrea,Lagares.Yes Lagaras the .250 hitter with no power and strike out 100 times.I think he batted .242 and struck 97 times last year,yet he plays every day.If Kirk played as much as him better numbers

cpamerica5
cpamerica5

On CY:

Matt, your way off IMO. Its keeping nonproductive players around like CY that's sends the message you can play horribly and still stay. You toss CY its a little fire for the rest of the team. U said CY can be a veteran presence? You have to produce a little bit. A lot of us have played sports, if I'm the young guy on the team and CY is a vet who makes out in 88% of his plate appearances, can't get a runner in with a man on 3rd and less than 2 out, I'm not listening to someone who is failing and does not belong in the league.

PLAY WILMER!!!! Let the kid go three - four weeks straight starting. Lets get a good sample size. The Mets are an in between team. You won't get a better chance to test Wilmer at the ML level than now.

dooley
dooley

Reluctantly absorbing Colon's contract for a trade, and benching Flores could be related stories. Could it be a team offered a player for Colon and Flores, and also wanted the Mets to take on some of Colon's salary?

Otherwise, it appears that Collins might have a very serious resentment against Flores

shawnp6986
shawnp6986

I'll say it for you,Matt-Its a total and utterly horrible mistake,Imo.

Jeetendra Vazirani
Jeetendra Vazirani

Play him at third base or in the outfield the kid can hit and yet we troll out a lineup that cannot support our pitching... Collins seems to to depended on this current lineup and cannot make changes its Wally time we need to give him a shot he has proved himself in triple a

Jeff Robins
Jeff Robins

Check again! Flores is 22, not 24. And he won't be 23 until August 6.

upstater
upstater

This whole discussion is irrelevant. Everyone with any sense knows that all of these guys -- with the possible exception of Wright, Murphy, d'Arnaud and Lagares -- will be gone before this team is a serious contender. So dump them and let the kids play. Who cares if the final win total is 76 as opposed to 74?

yankeehater
yankeehater

Like i said a few stories ago.....pray for the continued development of Ahmed Rosario and Dilson Herrera and an end to the constant question marks regarding our middle infielders.. The Byrd trade last year probably signaled the eventual end to Murph's Mets career, even though most of us didnt know it at the time.....I think Murph MAY have one year left with the Mets.

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

Have to disagree with you, Matt. I have no problem sending down Captain Kirk, who, like always, started strong and sputtered when they started throwing him nothing but off-speed stuff. But Keeping CY here just serves no purpose whatsoever. LaTroy Hawkins was a valuable clubhouse presence but was also an effective pitcher. His words carried weight. CY has been brutal since Day One. I will hate the Yankees until the day I shuffle-off this mortal coil but at least they TAKE ACTION when needed. I am sure CY is a decent young man. But the guy has had one good series the entire year. At this point it's only $3M and the team would get far better production from pretty much any of the quadruple A players in Vegas.

Christopher Masiello
Christopher Masiello

"And, while Young has been worse, he’s also experienced, he can help guide the other young players through a time of year when young players tend to lose focus and struggle."

Wow, I rarely criticize Matt Cerrone as harshly as many commenters, but  this quote is ridiculous. How much of CY's exorbitant salary is he paying Cerrone to be his apologist?

theglider
theglider

When did Flores play one game out of six?

Rimo Chaloney
Rimo Chaloney

@theglider  So if Tejada is not the answer at SS, why not take the rest of the season to see if Flores is a hitter at least while playing SS?


You say we can live with a SS as a #8 hitter if others hit.  Well others don't hit on this team and they haven't and they won't.  It's not like Tejada is Ozzie Smith or Mark Belanger defensively.

theglider
theglider

You're right. Why doesn't he play Musial and Aaron more? And Gehrig should play too. Not the players he's using now.

yankeehater
yankeehater

@upstater I will if it means our 1st rounder is unprotected....but thats a discussion for the last 2 weeks of September.

stage52
stage52

@yankeehater  I have been watching the Cyclones games and Rosario has a real good bat from what I have seen.  Its only  short season A ball but he shines much brighter than his counterparts.

Mikey J
Mikey J

Exactly. We signed Granderson to fill the exact roll he's talking about here. Only we have actually gotten production out of Grandy. And neither Granderson or Young will be able to mentor Kirk much with him in Vagas. So none of that makes any sense. There is no reason at all for Chris Young to still be here.

jenkins
jenkins

@theglider I showed how ludicrous your argument is. He sat out 6 straight games in May. 


He was productive with hits in 6 of his 7 starts in June-including 2 games with 2 hits. Your saying he got a chance to produce and hasn't ais a bald-faced lie or you don't know what you're talking about.


Either way, your act is beyond tired.

theglider
theglider

He sat out from May 10-17 with a stomach ailment. Maybe I should have prefaced things by saying when he was healthy.