Mets Youth Movement Misplayed

Ruben Tejada
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It’s not that I mind the Mets going young by bringing up Fernando Martinez and Ruben Tejada. I’m cautiously optimistic that both players have some kind of future in the Major Leagues, whether it’s with the Mets or another team. Since the 2010 season has tanked, there’s no reason for the Mets not to go young for a couple of months to see what they have. Maybe they can even showcase some young players to prepare for offseason trades.

It also makes a lot of sense to bench Luis Castillo for Tejada. The Mets already know exactly what they have in Castillo, and it isn’t good. The guy has always been a slap hitter with limited range in the field since he came to the Mets. Hitting .245 this season in 61 games doesn’t exactly make him irreplaceable.

Although Tejada is only hitting .196 and is pretty much an automatic out, he’s only 20 years old and has some serious skills in the field. If he can gain some experience this year, in a meaningless season, it could pay dividends in the future.

The problem I have is the Mets stated plan to platoon Martinez in right field with Jeff Francoeur. Why bother? Francoeur is a goner after this season. There’s not a chance in the world that anyone sane would offer Francoeur arbitration after this season. It just doesn’t make sense to bring up Martinez and then let him ride the pine in a platoon.

We need some clear direction here. Are the Mets trying to win games and finish the season at or near .500 this year? Or are they trying to build something for the future? The Mets didn’t make any moves at the non-waiver trading deadline which indicates management believes that they’re out of contention or don’t have the resources to take on salary.

This lack of direction is a failure of leadership. Make a decision and commit to it. Don’t go halfway and not accomplish either objective.

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