Can Justin Turner play shortstop adequately enough to be a reliable backup?
You need to have a backup shortstop, right? Isn't that the only reason Chin-lung Hu is on the roster?
To his credit, he did have a big go-ahead pinch-hit sac fly last week against Washington. But Hu certainly isn't here for his bat.
He's supposed to be a plus defender, which is nice, because the Mets don't have a lot of good defensive middle infielders.
I'm sure the metrics will show he has great range, which is important, don't get me wrong. But in his start on Thursday, he threw a ball away for an error.
I'm not saying Chin-lung Hu doesn't have value. The "Hu's on first" jokes were funny at first, but they're starting to get stale.
I think it's time he takes his talents to Buffalo.
I could go through the stats to prove that he's not cutting it at the plate, especially as a pinch-hitter. I could argue he's probably just not a major league-caliber hitter.
But if you've seen the Mets play this year, you've seen it with your own eyes.
I don't think Hu brings anything to the table except a plus glove in the middle infield; I don't think the value he provides is any better than what a third catcher or an extra pitcher in the bullpen could provide.
However, you have to have a backup shortstop. Regardless of Jose Reyes' status, there has to be a second-string shortstop on your 25-man roster at all times.
Turner played 22 games at shortstop in Triple-A last season. He's got a decent glove at second base, better than Murphy by default but not outstanding.
I'm sure he can play shortstop in the rare instances the Mets needed a backup shortstop. Reyes has played all but one inning this entire season. It's not as if the backup middle infield spot is a dire need on this team.
Let Justin Turner be the backup middle infielder. Chin-lung Hu should be cut, waived, DFA'd, released, driven to the airport—whatever.
You can call up almost any player you want from Buffalo. You could call up another middle infielder, an extra pitcher, Nick Evans, Mike Nickeas, whoever you need.
It'll make the ballclub better. The new Mets front office has already shown a willingness to cut bait with sunk costs and/or unproductive players pretty swiftly in their short tenure with the team.
Chin-lung Hu seems to be next on the chopping block. Maybe they don't trust Turner's ability to play shortstop. Who knows?
Seems like a silly reason to use a roster spot on Hu, though.
I like Turner's bat a heck of a lot more than Hu's. I starting writing this post before Turner's big hit on Saturday, if you choose to believe that.
I can't imagine his defense is so incredibly poor that it necessitates Hu's presence on the roster. It seems inevitable that they'll make this move eventually.
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