Posts Tagged ‘Juan Uribe’

By Steven Inman

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Photo from NY Post

 

On Monday, Lucas Duda was placed on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his back. Duda wasn’t hitting much recently but the Mets offense could use all the help it could get. Only the Braves and the Padres have scored less runs than the Mets (73 runs) in May.

Duda is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. David Wright had the same injury a few seasons ago and winded up missing a little over 2 months. The Mets are going to have to find some offense at first base. While the trade market hasn’t fully developed yet the Mets do have a few alternatives to Duda. Here are some of their options.

David Wright: With David Wright’s recent throwing issues this could make some sense. It seems inevitable at some point now that David Wright will eventually wind up at first base before his contract is up but the captain has struggled with preparation before games due to his well documented back problems. Adding a new wrinkle like learning a new position after 13 years in the majors might be too much for the veteran to handle right now. Plus then the Mets would have to find someone capable of playing third base every day.

Wright could be an option long-term for the Mets at first base, just not now.

Michael Conforto: At this point, this seems to be Terry Collins preferred option. It would present an opportunity to free Juan Lagares to roam center field every day again and allow Yoenis Cespedes to move back to left field while keeping Conforto’s bat in the lineup. Other than Cespedes, Conforto has been the Mets most consistent bat all season, so making him learn a brand new position doesn’t make a ton of sense either. Conforto, 23, has played a very solid left field for the Mets to start the season. The Mets should leave Conforto alone and let him continue to get better in left field.

Wilmer Flores: Wilmer is expected to be activated from the disabled list on Friday and he should get the first look at playing first everyday with Duda out. Flores has badly struggled this season adjusting to a bench role. If Flores hits the way he did last season, expect him to be the everyday first basemen until Duda is ready to return. The Mets likely won’t consider outside options unless Flores fails to hit as the first basemen.

Eric Campbell: While Campbell has proven to be a very versatile player for the Mets, he hasn’t hit at all since his rookie season, with a career slash line of .227/.316/.320. Campbell has played first in all five games since Duda went down. The Mets can and should do better here.

Ty Kelly: Mike Puma of the NY Post called Kelly “Campbell with more speed” on twitter. If that’s truly the case, not sure why the Mets would want another Eric Campbell on the roster. While the switch hitter raked in Las Vegas, Kelly will probably not be in the first base competition unless he can impress coming off the bench for now.

James Loney: The veteran first basemen is currently in Triple-A in the Padres system. He is a solid defensive first basemen who has 10 years of big league experience under his belt with the Dodgers, Red Sox and Rays. The lefty bat has been playing some right field as a way to become more versatile for a big league team. Loney has never been a big power hitter but he has always hit for a high average. Loney has an opt-out that would allow him to leave El Paso if a club was willing to put him on their big league roster. Loney is a perfect fit for the Mets, as he hits for a high average, especially against right-handers. He has hit .340/.372/.425 in 41 games in the Pacific Coast League this season. Plus Loney’s contact skills could work well off the bench as a pinch hitter once Duda returns. The Mets would only need to pay the prorated version of the league minimum since the Rays are still on the hook for Loney’s $9.66 million 2016 salary.

Juan Uribe: While Uribe didn’t hit well for the Mets when he came to New York last season, the Mets seemed to take off when he and Kelly Johnson were traded to Queens from Atlanta. Uribe hasn’t hit much with the Indians (.237/.305/.342) but he is a versatile player who could play some first along with filling in for David Wright at third. Uribe is only making $4M this season so he could be an option for the Mets but the Indians are unlikely to sell off a clubhouse leader while they are in the race.

Dom Smith: Many think that Dominic Smith is the heir apparent to Lucas Duda at first base. The lefty bat was the Mets first round pick back in 2013. Coincidentally some scouts believe Smith is a very similar player to Loney. Smith, 20, has hit solidly in 44 Double-A games but likely isn’t ready for the big leagues. Smith isn’t an option to fill the Mets first base hole right now.

Who should get the first crack at the Mets first base gig?

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By Steven Inmanima

It has happened. The New York Mets have made a trade, acquiring infielders Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson along with cash considerations from the Braves for two minor league pitching prospects, John Gant and Rob Whalen. Uribe and Johnson who are both having solid years will have an immediate impact on the Mets pathetic and malnourished lineup.

Uribe, 36, is having a solid year with stops with the Dodgers and Braves, hitting .272 with a .331 OBP, 8 home runs and 23 RBI. Uribe is kind of like the position player version of Bartolo Colon, no matter how old he gets he just keeps trucking along. He has World Series experience with the Giants and White Sox and is known as a tremendous clubhouse presence. Uribe will likely play third base in New York for the foreseeable future. Uribe has played just six innings away from the hot corner since 2013.

Kelly Johnson will hope his second stint in New York will turn out better than his first one when he badly struggled with the Yankees in 2014 and was flipped in a deadline deal to the Red Sox. Johnson, 33, has traveled a ton over the last year. The Mets will be Johnson’s fifth team since the start of the 2014 season. He is having a bounce back year as Johnson is batting .275 with 9 dingers and 34 RBI despite only having 182 at bats in 2015. Johnson now leads the Mets in batting average and slugging percentage. He can play all over the diamond as he has played both corner infield and outfield spots this season along with second base. This allows Terry Collins to have something he hasn’t had in sometime as manager of the Mets which is flexibility.
Collins can put Johnson all over the field. With Uribe now at third, Daniel Murphy will likely shift back to second. That means one of Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada will have to sit most nights before even considering where to put Johnson. If Murphy and Lucas Duda continue to struggle perhaps Johnson can steal playing time away from one of them. The Mets hitters are now no longer guaranteed to play everyday.

The Mets are not ruling out making another deadline move with nearly a week still to go before the trade deadline.

Do you like the Mets trade deadline acquisitions?