Manager Terry Collins made it abundantly clear that Wilmer Flores is not “auditioning” for second base.
Rather, in the mind of the manager, the Mets are experimenting with what infield position is the best fit for the gifted hitter.
“Nobody says you’re auditioning a guy,” Collins said when asked why the Mets would “audition” Flores at second when the organization is pleased with Daniel Murphy’s play at the position.
“You’re just trying to see where his best position is. He’s pretty much played all year [in Triple-A] at second base. So when he came up here, the question [was], ‘Why are you playing him at third base?’ Now the question is, ‘Why are you playing him at second?’ You can’t make anybody happy here. What we’re trying to do is put Wilmer at second base to see how he handles it at this level, so you can look down the road and say, ‘Is there going to be a fit there?’ Because if there isn’t, then you certainly have to look at the two corners and say, ‘Where is he going to fit if he’s not going to play the middle of the infield?’”
While it is assured the Mets will play Flores at second, there is not a schedule in place.
“We don’t have a plan written down,” Collins said. “I wanted to get him in there, [and] wanted to get him in here at home. I want to get him out there so we can take a look. We knew we had Cliff [Lee] and [Cole] Hamels coming into this series, so I thought it would be perfect to get Dan a day, especially with a day game after a night game. If there’s anybody in there that’s certainly beaten up at this time of year, it’s the second baseman and he’s played every game. So I thought it was the perfect time but I don’t have anything etched in stone. We’ll pick some other days [to] get him out there.”
Since being called up on Aug. 6, Flores has hit .250 with a homer, 11 RBIs and has an OPS of .642. In 107 games with Triple-A Las Vegas, Flores hit .321 with 15 homers, 86 RBIs and an .887 OPS.
“I’ve had some people tell me, ‘Are you going to try him at shortstop?’ a la the Cal Ripken image,” Collins said. “Right now, I want this kid to hit and I just said [general manager] Sandy [Alderson] wanted me to try to get him at second base some time, wanted to see how he handled it. So I’m going to get him out there [Thursday]. But I wouldn’t call it an audition.”
A Mets spokesperson announced starting pitchers Jenrry Mejia (bone spurs) and Jeremy Hefner (Tommy John) underwent surgery earlier in the day at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Dr. David Altchek performed both procedures.
Follow Mets beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.