Mets to promote Wilmer Flores

Chris Trotman

The team will see if he can handle shortstop at the major league level.

After designating Omar Quintanilla for assignment last night, the Mets will reportedly promote Wilmer Flores from Triple-A Las Vegas tomorrow. The 22-year-old is expected to get significant playing time at shortstop, a position he played from 2008 through 2011 in the minors but had not played since then until this year. He's done so 25 times with the Las Vegas 51s after a very brief stint with the Mets at the beginning of the season.

While he figures to be well below average with the glove, assuming he can handle the position, the Mets are clearly willing to experiment with an offense-first approach at shortstop. As one of the younger hitters in the Pacific Coast League last year, Flores hit .321/.357/.531 with 15 home runs in 463 plate appearances. This year, he's hit .307/.360/.500 with 5 home runs in 126 plate appearances.

Mets shortstops Quintanilla and Ruben Tejada have combined to produce a .517 OPS so far this season, the second-lowest mark in Major League Baseball at the position. Only the Pittsburgh Pirates have been worse. The average major league shortstop has a .674 OPS this year. On top of that, the Mets weren't getting stellar defense at the position, either, per Defensive Runs Saved, which currently has Tejada at -2 on the year and Quintanilla at zero. While that's a very small sample, Tejada was a -6 last year, and Quintanilla a -8. Those numbers match the eye test, as neither player has looked like an above-average defender over the past couple of years.

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