New York Mets: With Injuries Mounting, Fans Get a Glimpse of the Future

James Stewart-MeudtCorrespondent IIMay 19, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: (R-L) Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets smiles as he runs from the field after an inning ending out with teammate Justin Turner #2 against the Houston Astros at Citi Field on April 21, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Get used to this, Mets fans.

Last night, at a rain-soaked Citi Field, Jose Reyes was the only regular infielder in the lineup.

With Ike Davis and David Wright on the DL, Daniel Murphy was at first base, Justin Turner was at third and Ruben Tejada, in his first start since being called up from Buffalo, was at second.

Their average age of 25.5 years is the youngest in baseball.

For a team known more for owing big money to aging players, it's almost refreshing. But the lineup was born of necessity, not desire.

It was a strange night for the Mets.

But if this was a strange sight, it can only get worse from here.

Jose Reyes went three-for-four with two runs scored. It was his MLB-leading 19th multi-hit game.

Enjoy it while it lasts, because Reyes is most likely not the Mets shortstop for 2012. The better he plays, the more expensive he's going to cost to resign and with Sandy Alderson envisioning a lower payroll, it's hard to imagine him writing a $100 million check to keep Reyes around.

That would leave Tejada as the shortstop for the foreseeable future.

If that happens, the Mets will once again need a second baseman.

Turner may very well be that guy.

Turner went two-for-four and drove in two runs last night in the Mets' 3-0 win over the Washington Nationals. It was their first shutout victory of the season.

(It's worth mentioning that the mighty Yankees are the only team without one now.)

Turner has driven in seven runs over his last three starts. That's certainly making a big impression on Terry Collins, who will be left with the task of reshaping the infield after Reyes' departure.

With so many injuries, fans are getting a glimpse of their future.

Along with Reyes, Carlos Beltran is also likely to be traded, perhaps even more so than Reyes.

Perhaps the only thing going the Mets' way this season is Beltran. If they're going to get anything in return, Beltran had to have a good season. More than putting up good numbers, Beltran had to prove he was healthy.

He's certainly done that. Beltran has played in 40 out of 42 games this season and leads the team with eight home runs and is second with 24 RBI, just one behind Davis.

Beltran would be an attractive addition to a team looking to add a bat for the late season push if his production and more importantly, his health, continues. 

But once that happens, the outfield will have a different look to it.

With Angel Pagan on the DL, Jason Pridie has filled his role admirably. Pridie is batting .242 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 23 games this season.

The Mets farm system is nothing to get excited about, but they do have several outfield prospects capable of stepping in. Pride is certainly among them.

While Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Cesar Puello may form the Mets outfield of the future, Pridie is making sure his name remains in the conversation.

Again, this is something fans need to get used to.

The Mets are likely to focus on adding starting pitching in any trade for Reyes and Beltran, as well as in the offseason and through the draft. That means that the position players currently on the Mets are likely the ones we'll be seeing in 2012.

They do have several promising prospects down on the farm, such as Reese Havens and Wilmer Flores, but both are unlikely to be ready by next season.

It's hard to imagine that Mets will be a contending team in the near future, but for right now, some of the future is already here.