New York Mets Need To Consider Ruben Gotay

Dominick DiFucciAnalyst IFebruary 1, 2009

Heading into this year the Mets have many question marks surrounding the roster.

Their pitching staff has multiple holes that have yet to be filled; their bullpen is still lacking a second left handed pitcher to complement Pedro Feliciano.

However, their biggest question mark lies in the middle of the infield at second base. Luis Castillo, a once solid hitter and stellar defensemen, has shown that he is most likely at the tail end of his career.

After all, the once .300 hitter, came into spring training in poor physical condition and went on to hit .245.

In an attempt to ease Mets fans’ and management’s concerns, Omar Minaya hit the free-agent pool and signed veteran infielder, Alex Cora.

While Cora plays well defensively, he is not much of a hitter. This is fine for a reserve player, but what happens by mid-June when Castillo is back on the DL, and we all know he will be.

Cora will likely become the Argenis Reyes of 2009 in terms of offensive production, if thrust into the starting job.

The Mets need a talented and low cost second basemen candidate to help provide additional depth. Orlando Hudson is currently not an option due to him seeking a pricey multi-year deal.

The current crop of free agent second basemen is rather thin after Hudson including two former Mets (Damion Easley and Ramon Martinez).

Ruben GotayThere is one name that pops up at me from the list and that name is Ruben Gotay. Mets fans may remember Gotay, who was acquired in the 2006 trade  that sent Jeff Keppinger to the Royals.

Gotay played in 98 games with the Mets in 2007 before being claimed off of waivers in early 2008 by the division rival, Atlanta Braves.

During his short stint with the Mets, Gotay was productive. He hit .295 with four home runs and 24 RBI. While those numbers are nothing to rave about, they certainly are an upgrade over Castillo’s.

The 26 year old, Gotay, would most likely come at a rather cheap price due to his poor performance with the Braves (.235 BA in 102 ABs).

When evaluating Gotay’s struggles in 2008, it is important to take into consideration that most of his at-bats came in the form of pinch hits.

Pinch-hitting is no easy task and there are many stars, such as David Wright, who have trouble doing it because they are not used to it.

It was Omar himself, who said that some of the best free agent signings are the under-the-radar ones, thus I believe it would be foolish on his behalf to not at least offer him a minor-league deal.