New York Mets: Back-Up Left Handed First Baseman

ed feverCorrespondent IMay 5, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 29:  Fernando Tatis #17 of the New York Mets runs the bases against the Florida Marlins on April 29, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Marlins defeated the Mets 4-3.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

It appears that the Mets are looking at their options in the event Carlos Delgado needs to rest his ailing hip.

Fernando Tatis has looked solid at the position, but if pushed into full-time work, most expect the law of diminished returns to set in, especially since his swing gets too big.

When Tatis first came back, his swing was extremely long, which made him susceptible to strikeouts. He worked very hard to compact and shorten his swing, but when tired or over exposed, it elongates again.
The Mets would be very smart to see what they have behind Tatis and a left handed hitter would be ideal.

Dan Murphy and Jeremy Reed both took fielding practice at the position.

It's believed that Murphy is the team's future first baseman and it might be the only place, long term to keep his bat in the line-up and hide his glove. Prototypically, the first base position is where a power hitter fields in the National league. The year the Mets used Doug Mientkiewicz at first, they really missed the offense. If Murphy becomes the first baseman they will have to sign a power hitter for left field.

Jeremy Reed was a slick fielding first baseman in college, until his range seemed wasted at the position and he was moved to center field. What made Reed a top prospect was his bat, but what made him a major leaguer was his glove. If Reed could put it all together, he'd be much more then a defensive replacement.

Not sure what this says about Carlos Delgado's hip condition, but Daniel Murphy and Jeremy Reed are out early today taking ground balls at first base.

Both look pretty decent, thought Murphy did sail a throw over second base after making a nice grab behind the bag. The good news: he didn't fall down once. With Delgado in the final year of his contract, perhaps Murphy would be a logical replacement -- as long as the Mets could get a serious run-producer for leftfield. And I don't mean re-signing Gary Sheffield. source Newsday