Who Replaces Reyes at SS?

Mets ParadiseCorrespondent IMarch 14, 2010

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 27:  Infielder Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets poses during photo day at Tradition Field on February 27, 2010 in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

The loss of Jose Reyes for what seems to be the first month of the season is a big blow for the Mets.

But now the Mets must address the question of who is going to replace him. As far as free agents left, there really isn’t anyone out there. So the Mets are going to have to solve this problem internally.

The two most likely candidates are Alex Cora and young prospect Ruben Tejada.

Cora, 34, played short stop last season when Reyes went down and did a very nice job. He hit .251/.320/.310 but was a leader in the clubhouse and played very hard. However, those numbers aren’t very impressive and can be easily replaced.

The Mets could go in the opposite direction, and start the 20 year old, Ruben Tejada at short. Last season in AA he hit .289/.351/.381 with with five home runs and 19 stolen bases.

Both of them are good fielders, but Tejada has the edge. According to Adam Rubin, Tejada is the best defensive infielder in the Mets farm system.

So it depends what the Mets are looking for. They could go for the experienced, veteran short stop, where you know what kind of numbers he’ll put up.   Or, they can take a chance, and start the young, talented prospect Tejada.

Personally, I would like to see Tejada there.   Although he is young, he can bring a lot of energy to the team, plus his potential is much higher than Cora, and he is a better fielder.

Joel Sherman also thinks having Tejada be the starting short stop is a good idea.   “Mets pitchers will like Tejada because strong glove,” Sherman says. “Bat just OK but improving.”

I really like Cora, but I think he is more valuable on the bench. From there he can be a nice switch hitting bat when you need him, plus he can give rest to Luis Castillo and even Tejada when they need it.

So here is what the Opening Day line-up might look like:

1. Angel Pagan – CF
2. Luis Castillo – 2B
3. David Wright – 3B
4. Jason Bay – LF
5. Daniel Murphy – 1B
6. Jeff Francoeur – RF
7. Rod Barajas – C
8. Ruben Tejada – SS
9. Johan Santana – P

The line-up  certainly isn’t amazing, but when you take away two All-Stars from any line-up it will be weaker. Hopefully, by the beginning of May we can count on this line-up being use everyday:

1. Jose Reyes – SS
2. Luis Castillo – 2B
3. Carlos Beltran – CF
4. Jason Bay – LF
5. David Wright – 3B
6. Daniel Murphy – 1B
7. Jeff Francoeur – RF
8. Rod Barajas – C

Ahhh… much better.

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